The right nude lipstick shade and texture can subtly elevate any make-up look, bringing natural-looking radiance to the complexion.
The benefits of nude lipstick
The perfect nude lipstick should bring a subtle, healthy-looking brightness to your face, and is ideal for drawing attention to a bold eye look.
Warm vs. cool tones
Nude lipstick comes in multiple tones, which can be more-or-less divided into warm and cool hues. By choosing a lipstick shade with the same tones as your natural skin type, you'll end up with the most flattering finish.
How to find out your skin tone
Your jewelry can tell you! Silver jewelry looks better on cool skin tones, which have blue and pink undertones, while gold pairs well with warm tones, highlighting the yellow and peach hues. Neutral skin tones also exist, and they look great with everything.
If you've identified your skin tone as cool, look for a nude lipstick with very slightly pink or blue undertones. For warm-toned skin, a lipstick with subtle yellow or gold undertones will look great. Neutral? The choice is yours!
Nude Lipstick Shades for Fair skin tones
Lip Colors that work: We recommend Tendre Mirage from the iconic L'Absolu Rouge lipstick collection — it’s a cool pinky nude shade, which emphasizes the natural color of the lips while providing a sheer, slightly pink nude lipstick finish.
Lip Colors to avoid: With naturally fair skin, you don't want a lipstick that will wash you out. If the shade is too close to white, or has hues of brown in it, you risk draining the energy from your face.
Make-up inspiration: There's almost nothing that looks better with a nude lipstick than a seductive smokey eye. The 5 Pan Hypnôse palettes by Lancôme make creating your look super simple. For a really chic buildable smokey eye, our favorite pair with a nude lip is the Color Design 5 Pan Eyeshadow Palette French Nude palette.
Nude Lipstick Shades for Medium to olive skin tones
Colors that work: On olive complexions, gold-hued nude lipstick looks delicious, like Lancôme's L'Absolu Rouge Cream Lipstick in But First Cafe, which brings out the natural warmth of the skin. For medium but not olive-toned skin, peachy nudes are ideal.
Colors to avoid: As a general rule, avoid nude lipstick shades with yellow undertones which are less flattering on medium/olive complexions.
Make-up inspiration: Bring some sunshine to your make-up look and pair your nude lip with bright and happy sun-kissed color using a touch of shimmer to provide contrast.
Nude Lipstick Shades for Deep skin tones
Colors that work: For a nude lip effect on deep and dark skin tones, try a nude lipstick shade with a pink or gold shimmer to it depending on your skin tone. Lancôme's L'Absolu Rouge Cream lipstick in Crème De Marron is a favorite.
Colors to avoid: To avoid dulling your natural glow, avoid nude lipstick colors that are too light for your skin tone. If in doubt about whether the color suits you, swipe the lipstick over the skin on your inner wrist to get an idea as to how the color will appear on your lips.
Make-up inspiration: Wearing nude lipstick means you can go to town when it comes to eye make-up colors. Try playing around with a graphic liner look or a color clash with pink eyeliner. A bold eyeliner shade can look fantastic against dark skin colors!
Nude Lipstick Finishes
Matte nude lipstick has been all over social media for the last few years, and it looks like the trend is here to stay. Glossy nudes are perfect for a summery beach vibe that looks like you've just walked out of the waves, while sheer nudes are our go-to for an everyday make-up look, and cream-textured nudes are wonderful for dinners and cocktail parties where the light can play off the different contours of your lips, giving a voluptuous pout.
Whether it's a creamy peach, a matte beige or a glossy gold, there are a multitude of possibilities when it comes to nude lipstick shades. The trick is all about finding the right shade that suits your skin tone. After that, it's up to you how creative you get!
Other Lipstick Shades
Whilst a nude lipstick shade is iconic you may also look to experiment with another lipstick shade. Learn how to wear a different lipstick shade:
Try a classic red lipstick shade.
Find a purple lipstick shade for you.
Learn how to wear a peachy coral lipstick shade.
Find a brown lipstick for your skin tone.
A guide to burgundy lipsticks.