According to Merriam-Webster, the third definition of “nude” — the one that designates it as a color — is “having the color of a white person’s skin.” For those of us who understand the changing nuances of words, we know that a dictionary’s definition is hardly gospel (e.g., racists use the definition of “racism” to prove they aren’t racist), but it’s sometimes a good measure of where the blind spots are in the status quo. In particular, why fashion and beauty labels have offered a ridiculously narrow range of shades for their “nude” products. So, if your complexion falls outside of “ivory,” “fair,” or “beige,” you're most likely forced to get real creative when looking for nude pumps, nude underwear, and nude lipsticks.
But there are a handful of brands that are aware that their customers consist of all types of women, with all types of skin tones. From iconic heritage labels that are leading the industry by example to indies that are taking on the charge themselves, these are the institutions attempting to dismantle that dictionary definition. In honor of National Nude Day, we've chosen to celebrate the brands that are helping redefine “nude” simply as “having the color of a person's skin.”