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The Best Nude Lipstick for Every Skin Tone

Make this versatile classic work for the entire crew.
November 22, 2023


Nude lipstick is one of the most versatile lip colors in the world. This beauty staple has made its mark and rightfully secured a place in just about everyone’s makeup bag. It's a versatile color that comes in many shades to fit various nude hues, ranging from dark brown to warm honey to light beige. With all these options comes the tricky part of finding the best nude lipstick shade to complement  your skin tone.


While nude lips in the perfect hue can tie together just about any makeup look, choose the wrong shade and it can make your complexion look washed out. But with the right nude you have a perfect, natural lip color that creates a timeless look. We know how frustrating this whole process can be, which is why we’re breaking down how to find the best nude lipstick for fair, medium, olive and dark skin tones, and the best nudes lipsticks from L’Oréal Paris below.


How to Find the Best Nude Lipstick for Fair Skin Tones 

If you have a fair skin tone pay close attention when choosing a nude lipstick because you run the risk of looking extra pale (like ghostly pale) when wearing one. This can happen when the nude lipstick matches your complexion too well, making you look one tone and flat. To avoid that, reach for nude lipstick that has light pink undertones. Go for a touch of color by wearing a pink nude lipstick that can help warm up your complexion without taking you into porcelain doll territory.


If you prefer a matte finish, try L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Matte Lipstick in Matte-Cademia or L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Intense Volume Matte Lipstick in Le Nude Rebellious for a soft pink nude that won’t dry out your lips. And if you prefer a glossy finish, top off your lipstick of choice with L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro Gloss Plump in Nude Twinkle.


There are also a couple of lip colors you should steer clear of if you have fair skin, including nude lipsticks that have yellow undertones, as these can wash you out and make your skin look lackluster and dull. You should also avoid nude lipstick shades that have an orange tinge because they can make pale complexions look sallow. That doesn’t mean you can’t wear orange-like colors, when you do just reach for a nude with a coral undertone to pop against light skin. Try Colour Riche Intense Volume Matte Lipstick in Le Nude Unstoppable for a subtle peachy coral that’s still nude and doesn’t appear too bright. 


How to Find the Best Nude Lipstick for Medium Skin Tones 

When choosing a nude lipstick for medium skin tones, look for a shimmery shade with peach or pink undertones. Make sure whatever nude lipstick shade you choose is slightly lighter or darker than your natural complexion to hit that color sweet spot. 


Avoid wearing a nude lipstick color that’s too similar to your skin tone, as you don’t want your nude lips to completely blend in with your skin. Also consider using a long-wearing formula to help your look go the distance, sans multiple touch-ups throughout the day.


Keep things simple and try one of the following nude lipsticks. Each is ultra-flattering for medium skin tones, so it all comes down to finish preference.


If you prefer a matte finish, try L'Oréal Paris Infallible Matte Resistance in Breakfast in Bed Liquid Lipstick or Colour Riche Intense Volume Matte Lipstick in Le Nude Resilient, both of which offer a long lasting nude lip color with a touch of moisturizing ingredients like hyaluronic acid. 


For those who prefer a glossy finish, try L’Oréal Paris Glow Paradise Balm-in-Lipstick with Pomegranate Extract in Luminous Coral.


How to Find the Best Nude Lipstick for Olive Skin Tones 

When it comes to finding a natural-looking nude lipstick for olive skin tones, you have many options. Peachy nude lipsticks can help balance the green undertones in olive skin tones and add warmth to your look, while a light golden beige nude lipstick can complement your olive complexion. 


Both peachy and golden beige nudes are beautiful choices for olive skin, but it's also true that some of the best colors for an olive skin tone are caramel and taupe shades. The only rule is to stay away from nude lipsticks that are much lighter than your complexion — you don’t want to look like you’re wearing concealer on your lips instead of an actual lipstick.


If you’re not sure how to find a golden beige nude, take your pick from the following nude lipsticks for olive skin.


When you prefer a matte finish, try Infallible Matte Resistance Liquid Lipstick in Snooze Your Alarm for a golden beige nude or Colour Riche Intense Volume Matte Lipstick in Le Nude Defiant for a brown-based nude shade. 


If you prefer a glossy finish, top off your favorite golden beige nude with L’Oréal Paris Glow Paradise Lip Balm-in-Gloss with Pomegranate Extract in Rose Harmony to deepen the shade.


How to Find the Best Nude Lipstick for Dark Skin Tones 

When shopping for a nude lipstick for dark skin tones, there are so many options, including caramel nude, mauve nude, chocolate nude and more. If you have a deeper complexion with red or blue undertones, go for darker nude lips. 


You can also choose a sheer, shiny nude that will let your natural lip color show, especially if you have naturally dark pigmented lips. Steer clear of lipsticks with tones too gray that may appear too icy or frosty on your lips. No matter your skin tone, there’s a nude out there for everyone. Play up your pout with one of our favorite nude lipsticks for dark skin, below. 


If you want a matte finish, try Colour Riche Intense Volume Matte Lipstick in Le Nude Assertive for a rich, chocolate nude. If you prefer a satin finish, try L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect Makeup Luminous Hydrating Lipstick + Nourishing Serum in Brilliant Brown or L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Satin Lipstick in Ginger Spice for a warm-toned brown that will work with any deep complexion. 


And if you prefer a glossy finish, try L’Oréal Paris Infallible 8 Hour Pro Lip Gloss, hydrating finish in Truffle as a lip topper, or worn on its own for a glittery, nude lip. 


The Best Nude Lip Liners 

Once you’ve chosen the best nude lipstick for your skin tone, it’s time to apply it — which means you need a great nude lip liner to complete your look. Choose from any of these favorites below to line your lips, create a base for your nude lipstick and give your lip color a long-wearing boost. 


For a natural finish, reach for L’Oréal Paris Color Riche Lip Liner in Eternal Mauve, Au Naturale, More Chocolate or Nudes for Life. If you prefer a matte finish, go for L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Matte Lip Liner in Matte-Ing Call.


And if you have mature lips that require a gentle touch, opt for L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect Makeup Anti-Feathering Lip Liner in Dark Chocolate and Nude Pink. This extremely creamy formula glides on lips smoothly without tugging at any wrinkles around the mouth. 


Next: How to Find the Best Red Lipstick for Your Skin Tone


Photographer: Stephanie Price, Photo Assistant: Evan Mann, Digi Tech: Sergio Colon, Art Director: Hannah Packer, Creative Producers: Becca Solovay and Hannah Lee, Content Director: Shalwah Evans, Visual Designer: Sarah Duvivier, Makeup Artist: Jonet Williamson, Hair Stylist: Daniel Lutz, Wardrobe Stylist: Rika Watanabe, Wardrobe Assistant: Serena Orlando, Model: Dara Woo

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