18 Nude Lipsticks That Won't Look Pasty On Brown Skin

The first time I tried on a pair of "flesh toned" stockings from my local drugstore before church, I was sorely disappointed. Instead of matching my dark brown legs, I looked down to see my limbs covered in a wildly unflattering beige material. That's my experience with "nudes" in a nutshell. For years, whenever I saw a new line of nude lipsticks or glosses from my favorite brands, I'd keep browsing, not wanting to relive my nylon nightmare.
Of course, I'm not alone. "'Nude' is a tricky theory, especially when it comes to darker skin," makeup artist Nick Barose, who works with stars like Lupita Nyong'o and Zoë Kravitz, explains to R29. "People think of nude as something beige, so on darker skin it just looks unnatural and too light."
Thankfully, things are rapidly changing: Fashion and beauty brands are realizing that nudes aren't a one-size-fits-all concept, offering more options for more complexions. But those who are still hesitant — especially those that fall on either side of the complexion spectrum —should rest easy, because picking out the right nude from modern options is as simple as looking in the mirror. "Your nude should look like it could be your own skin — just a bit rosier and warmer," Barose instructs. "On darker skin, I go a bit more bronze berry, so it looks fresh and healthy... not pale and flat. The right nude should make you look fresh, not dull."
To help you navigate the complicated world of nudes, we got the pros to spill their favorite next-to-nothing shades, ahead.
At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.

More from Makeup

Watch

R29 Original Series

Watch Now
Documentary
Five love stories behind diverse, multicultural marriages.
Watch Now
Lifestyle
Life experiments, 5 days at a time.
Watch Now
Fashion
The style of subculture.
Watch Now
Beauty
Viral trends, tried and tested.
Watch Now
Documentary
From vibrators to lipstick, learn how your favorite products are made.
Watch Now
Documentary
Extraordinary, one-of-a-kind individuals
Watch Now
Documentary
The latest stories to watch.
Watch Now
Lifestyle
Inside the homes of millennial women — & what they paid for them
Watch Now
Comedy
Let's talk about sex, baby.
Watch Now
Documentary
Female artisans around the world
Watch Now
Politics
Made by and for smart, opinionated women.
Watch Now
Film
We helped 12 female directors claim their power.