Find the Perfect Nude Lipstick to Match Your Complexion.

nude lipsticks to match your complexion

Finding the perfect nude lipstick to match your complexion is not as easy as it looks, especially when shopping online.

Nude lipsticks compliment nearly every makeup look, from the classic smoky eye to the natural everyday no-makeup look.

In recent years celebrities including J-Lo, Kim Kardashian and Zendaya have made this natural makeup look a big trend.

The first step to finding your go-to shade is recognising what ‘nude’ means to you, and what your skin tone is.

Choosing between a lip gloss and a lipstick is another challenge. Gloss can give a more characteristic shine that has thicker texture. Lipstick on the other hand offers high pigmentation, less maintenance and a more refined look.

Finding the right nude ultimately means having a shade that perfectly matches your complexion. The ideal nude will bring your makeup look to life and avoid making you look washed out or too pale.

To achieve the perfect lip combo, pick a nude that is two or three shades lighter than your skin tone, says celebrity makeup artist from LA, Ash K Holm. Pair this with a darker nude lip liner to create the perfect statement lip.

However when using lipstick alone without lip liner, always ensure the shade is darker than the natural undertone to avoid drowning out the skin. Choosing a lipstick that is lighter than your undertone will drown your lips out, making them appear as pale.

Undertones are categorised into either cool, warm or neutral. Looking at the colour of the veins in your wrist will help identify your undertone.

Blue or purple veins mean a cool undertone, while green veins mean a warm undertone. Anything other than those vein colours means a neutral undertone.

Nude lipstick
Choose your perfect nude according to your undertone.

Before you find the perfect shade for your skin tone, take this top tip on board:

A tip from the founder of The Lip Bar (USA), Melissa Buter:  “Make sure you apply the color heavily in the center – this will add depth to the lip and is always the first area to go throughout the day due to eating and drinking.”

Here are some key tips and recommended lip products for each skin tone.


Lighter tones work well with rosy nudes. These will add life and colour to the face, rather than making it look pale and chalky.

Avoid colours that are too close to the natural skin tone as these will drown out the colour of the lips once lipstick is applied.

Lipstick in Tolede, NARS ($37)

For a sheer coverage and light skin tone.

NARS lipstick

French cosmetics brand NARS knows lip colours. The brand was launched in 1994 in Barneys New York, with an iconic range of 12 lipsticks.

Providing a natural finish, the shade Tolede is the perfect satin lipstick that gives sheer coverage but can be buildable into a full coverage lip.

One of NARS’s bestsellers, this lipstick incorporates moringa oleifera seed oil and Passiflora edulis seed oil to nourish and protect the lips.

Get it here.


For a fair complexion, steer clear of milky and lighter nude shades. Instead, reach for nude shades that have more pinky tones to add some warmth to the skin, giving it a healthy hue.

Even better, make sure they are a combination of cool and warm tones in order to best complement the lips. Cool tones consist of blue and purple hues, while warm tones are made up of reds and oranges.

However, avoid opaque formulas as they will wash out the complexion.

Colour Sensational The Creams Lipstick in Flush Punch, Maybelline ($19.95)

For a hydrating lip that is perfect for fair skin. 

Maybelline nude lipstick

This cream lipstick by Maybelline is infused with shea butter to give the ultimate hydrating and conditioning feel.

The vibrant coral shade doesn’t feather or bleed while wearing, delivering a high coverage yet natural look that lasts all day.

Its packaging is also ergonomic, coming in slim packaging that can be taken and reapplied on the go.

Get it here.

L’Absolu Rouge Intimatte Matte Lipstick in Worn Off Nude, Lancôme ($57)

For a creamy yet matte formula.

Lancome nude lipstick

Giving a soft matte effect, this lipstick by Lancôme utilises the Lancome Intimatte formula that offers good spreadability and a creamy feel.

Application of this lipstick is a pleasure as it glides on and is not drying like a traditional matte.

Its formula also incorporates hemispherical fillers that allow for a matte lip that is not shiny but not opaque.

Get it here.


Olive toned skin is arguably able to pull off the majority of nude shades. The ideal is a warm-toned lip colour that will really stand out and bring warmth the face.

A true nude lipstick shade is ideal for olive skin tones. Rosy, earthy and light browns define the true nude lip colour.

For olive complexions, do use a pigmented lip colour so that it is visible. A lipstick is pigmented if its colours are strong and intense, requiring less product to achieve full coverage results. 

Lip Soufflé Matte Lip Cream in Courage, Rare Beauty ($34)

For a lippie from an upcoming brand.

Rare Beauty nude lipstick

Part of Selena Gomez’s hot new beauty line, this air-whipped satin formula is made with a botanical blend of lotus, gardenia and white waterlily.

Infused with Vitamin E, it avoids drying out the lips while giving a fuller and plumper look.

Gomez’s brand ethos is to take a stand against unrealistic standards of perfection, and 1% of sales go to mental health charities, so you are giving back just by buying her products.

Courage is a brownish-mauve shade that gives an even, lightweight coverage after just one layer. With a single layer application being enough last up to five hours, being both smooth and comfortable for the lip.

Get it here.


For semi-tanned and medium skin, nude lipsticks with pink undertones are ideal. These warm nudes will give the lip a natural finish, complementing the natural complexion of the face.

Rouge Coco Ultra Hydrating Lip Colour in Mademoiselle, Chanel ($58)

For a luxury and shiny lip colour.

Chanel nude lipstick

Being a more luxurious and high-end lipstick, Chanel’s Rouge Coco is a warm brown tone with hints of a pink undertone.

The Rouge Coco range is inspired by the close friends of Mademoiselle Chanel and is a combination of natural ingredients to give a hydrating wear that lasts all day. Some of these ingredients include three vegetable waxesmimosa; jojoba and sunflowerhydrates.

The formula also incorporates a light silicone wax for a softer application that melts right onto the lips providing shine.

Get it here.

Always on Cream to Matte Lipstick in Here For It, Smashbox ($34)

For a cream lipstick that appears matte.

Smashbox nude lipstick

This lipstick applies cream but dries as velvet matte. Unique in its texture, it gives the look of a liquid lipstick, but applies like a traditional lipstick.

Infused with Smashbox primer oil complex, this lipstick doesn’t leave the lip looking flaky or dry and stays on for up to twelve hours.

The moisture-infused formula comes in a tear-drop shaped tip to ensure a precise and non-messy application.

Get it here.


For darker skin tones, it is important to choose shades that suit the natural complexion colour.

Use darker nude shades that have pinkish-brown undertones like mocha, caramel or bronze. This will accentuate the natural undertones of the lip.

The perfect lip combination for darker complexions is either a nude gloss, or a nude lipstick paired with a layer of shimmery gloss on top.

Stunna Lip Paint Longwear Fluid Lip Colour in Unveil, Fenty Beauty ($39)

For a pigmented and long-wear lip.

Fenty Beauty nude lipstick

This long-wear soft matte shade is a warm-toned dark brown that has a twelve hour hold on the lips.

The Stunna Lip Paint range is known for high-impact colour that is low-maintenance and is so weightless the wearer will forget they even have lipstick on. 

Get it here.

GIRL Lip Stylo in Achiever, Hourglass ($48)

For the everyday nude lip that is non-drying.

Hourglass nude lipstick

This deep mauve shade from Hourglass is nourishing and is an ideal colour for everyday use.

It is infused with a lip-softening solution that provides both a non-drying yet pigmented formula.

Two of its key ingredients are Shea Butter and sunflower seed, which gives the look of a fuller pout, and Castor seed oil, which strengthens the lips natural barrier for improved hydration.

Get it here.

Phoebe Tran

Phoebe is an early riser who always starts her day with a cup of coffee, waiting for the postman to deliver her latest online purchase. She is very passionate when it comes to shopping, writing and social media. During her spare time she is searching for the latest online trends in beauty and fashion to try, which adds to her online shopping addiction. When not surfing the internet, you will find her head in a novel (either crime, thriller and even classics), or doing puzzles that take hours on end.

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