Choosing the Best Natural Lip Color (in 3 Easy Steps)
Want to move beyond daring red lips but tired of pink?
Nude lipstick offers the perfect relief. Simple yet sexy, neutral or nude lips can add polish to your everyday makeup look.
Plus, nude lips draw more attention to the eyes. By adding a splash of natural color to your lips, you can give yourself permission to use dramatic eyeshadow and liner – choosing bolder colors – without looking overdone. Smokey eyes, anyone?
There’s just one problem.
Finding the Best Natural Lip Color… Well, It’s Easier Said than Done
Nowadays, it’s more possible than ever to look devastatingly beautiful in neutral lipstick. Don’t believe me? Take a look at Jessica Szohr or Adriana Lima. Both olive beauties have mastered that understated minimalist look – and still look fabulous!
But finding the best natural lip color in that just-right shade can be tricky – sometimes even more so than foundation!
- Apply too much color and you’ve gone beyond natural. But don’t add enough color and you’re left with a deathly pale smile reminiscent of a corpse (but hey, at least your makeup is all set for Halloween!).
- The pigment on your lips isn’t always a uniform color. In fact, it’s more common to have darker pigment on the outer lips! This can make it especially tough to choose between lipstick tubes.
- Not all women look flattering in common neutral hues. If you have a lot of natural lip pigment (and some olive women do), you may find your choices limited.
The good news? You don’t have to combine two (or more!) lipsticks together to get the perfect nude.
We’ll help you find the best natural lip color – a gorgeous nude lipstick or gloss that will light up your eyes and look irresistible against your olive complexion. Get ready to pucker up!
No More Mixing Lipstick: How to Choose the Best Natural Lip Color for Your Complexion
Finding a flattering nude shade is an art in itself. You want to give your lips a hint of color without looking washed out or veering too far from your original pigment.
How? We can do this in three simple steps.
- Examine your lips without makeup. Notice the pigment there. The best natural lip color should enhance the undertones on your lips. Choose a nude lipstick that’s close in color to your natural pigment – whether that’s a warm pink, rosy brown, or somewhere in between.
- Consider texture. Lipsticks come in many different finishes – some better than others (for our purposes anyway). Instead of matte, opt for moisturizing sheer or creamy formulas with a soft sheen. Both sheer and creamy textures provide a natural finish without drying out your lips.
- Narrow down your options. Aim for a nude lipstick that combines the color of your lip pigment (step 1) with hints of peach, honey, or even gold. Not only does peach complement the natural green undertones of olive skin, but it can neutralize dark or uneven lip pigment (source).
Most olive beauties settle for a peach-toned nude lipstick in shades of rose or brown to complement their natural pigment – but there can be exceptions!
If you have very pigmented lips, finding the best natural lip color may take experimenting. Don’t be afraid to choose sultry hues a shade lighter than the natural pigment on your lips (see my top 10 picks for olive skin) – but never one that’s lighter than your complexion. Warm undertones in peach-toned lipsticks should also help soften those darker areas.
So, we suggested what to look for. But…
What Nude Lip Colors Should You Avoid?
“For every super-flattering nude lipstick, there are dozens that look like sidewalk chalk.” – Elizabeth Siegel
The wrong shade of nude lipstick can look less than attractive. Avoid these common mistakes.
- Never choose a nude color that’s lighter than your complexion – unless, of course, you’re prepping for a horror film production. Light hues can make beautiful lips look sickly and pale.
- Stay away from cooler neutrals (with too much pink). While olive skin does have neutral undertones, mauve-toned nudes and cool hues may contrast too much against your skin – and not look the least bit subtle or natural.
- Be careful with beige or grey undertones. Some beige neutral colors can wash out your olive complexion – or even look like you’ve dipped your lips into too much concealer.
- Avoid neutral shades with a high matte finish. While the best natural lip color should provide a low sheen, some matte nude lipsticks can make lips appear chalky and dry. If you do decide on a matte finish, you may have to coat your lips with something like this to smooth out the dry areas.
- Skip bold neutral hues. Nude lips should have subtle hints of color. Otherwise, it doesn’t look natural.
Make sense? Great. But how can you make doubly sure you’ve picked the right nude shade?
The Final Test: Looks Can Be Deceiving
Sometimes what appears to be the best natural lip color can actually look all kinds of wrong once applied to your lips.
You can prevent problems by testing the lipstick shade before leaving the shop.
Do this by swiping any available testers on the underside of your wrist – right below the palm. The nude lipstick color should be a couple shades darker than the skin there.
What’s Your Favorite Neutral Shade?
Nude lips are a great way to start off the summer. But don’t underestimate their power during the colder months! For a complete lipstick comparison, visit this guide on the top 10 lip colors for olive skin.
Combined with double-winged eyeliner or dramatic smokey eyes, it’s possible to turn more than a couple heads. And with this lip liner pencil at hand, you can finish off your natural look with lip definition and shape.
So, what do you think? Which is the best natural lip color for your complexion?
Let us know in the comments below!