Lips

Best nude lipsticks and how to find your perfect shade

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The 90s are back. Nude lipstick has become one of the sexiest makeup trends. There are a variety of shades available that can elevate your look to the next level. Yet, finding the color that compliments your skin without giving off the clown effect is not always easy.

I have a darker complexion, which means that I’ve bought half of the makeup aisle to try and steal the look with little success. Whether I want to go a shade lighter or darker than my naturally brownish-pink lips, the result is always the same: Apply makeup. Cringe. Wipe Off. Repeat.

It’s important to remember that not all shades are created equal. In fact, finding a color that compliments your undertones makes all the difference. Here’s how you can find the right shade for your complexion.

If your skin tone is fair…
Avoid nude lipsticks that match your skin tone perfectly. This will wash you out and make your skin look even paler. Instead, use a rosy-beige lipstick such as Urban Decay’s Sheer Revolution Lipstick in Sheer Liar or Jouer’s Hydrating Lipstick in Meg to make your face look bright and awake.

If your skin tone is light…

Compliment your yellow and beige undertones with a full on pink or beige lipstick. The goal is to add more warmth and color to your face. Try warm shades such as NYX’s Matte Lipstick in Nude or Natural.

If your skin has cooler undertones that are red, pink or bluish, stick to muted mauves and soft peaches such as Circa’s Color Absolute Velvet Luxe Lipstick in Ava. This hue will really make your lips look more defined.

If your skin tone is medium…

Experiment with nude lipsticks that are a shade lighter or darker than your skin tone. This is especially important if you have cooler undertones. You want your lip color to stand out against your skin. Try L’Oréal Paris’ Colour Riche Collection Exclusive in Eva’s Nude.

If you have warmer undertones, stick to lipsticks that are a shade darker than your skin. Try a caramel-beige hybrid such as L’Oréal Paris’ Colour Riche Collection Exclusive in Jennifer’s Nude.

Lastly, if your skin is more olive, you can pretty much pull off any nude shade! Compliment your skin tone by alternating between pink, beige, and bronze shades.

If your skin tone is medium-dark…

Go for shades that will give you a warm flush. Your warm undertones make your makeup choices more versatile; your lips will look killer rocking a rosy-mauve hybrid or a brown with a metallic hue. Check out Colourpop’s Tulle or Milani Color Statement Lipstick in Teddy Bare.

Ladies with cooler undertones can get a healthy glow with a dusty mauve. Try Anastasia Beverly Hills’ Liquid Lipstick in Dusty Rose or Urban Decay’s Vice Lipstick in Peyote (which is more of a metallic dusty mauve).

If your skin tone is dark…

Whether you have warm or cool undertones, rich coffees and deep mauves will make your eyes pop! One of my favorite mocha-colored lipsticks is L’Oreal Paris’ Spice. It’s very office friendly and can also be dressed up for a night out by blending it with a red or sangria lipstick shade. Colourpop’s Limbo, a deep chocolate brown shade with serious 90s vibes, will also give your look the right amount of sass.

If your skin tone is deep…

Add color to your face by rocking a hue that has layers. A metallic brown or a dusty rose-brown will definitely do the trick! You want to make sure that your lipstick isn’t too bright so it doesn’t wash out your skin. Try Bobbi Brown’s Brownie. Deep mauves will also make your skin glow.

Cassandra is a beauty and women's health writer. She spends most of her time binge crying over Marvel's Netflix shows and figuring out how to perfect the matte lip.