I am perpetually intrigued by the nude lip. There’s something about it that looks even more effortless than the standard swipe of bright red that’s been my go-to for so long. It’s becoming a thing, these days. Between the nineties resurgence in fashion and beauty and Kylie Jenner’s beautiful, pillowy, possibly-fake-but-definitely-a-LEWK lip steez, the nude lip is here, children. I think I am here for it. But before I make that decision, I had to investigate for myself.
The first thing to know about nude lipstick is that it’s not technically nude or colorless; it’s more of a muted pink, like the color of your lips naturally, but slightly more pigmented. I’m thinking that my spring/summer look is going to be something close to Jennifer Lopez circa “Love Don’t Cost A Thing.” She’s an olive-skinned lady like me and she pulls off a just-glossy-enough nude lip and a big hoop like she was born with both.
So, I did some research and picked out some colors that I think might actually work for somebody mixed-race. “Look at the color of the center of your lips,” said Allure. “If you have olive skin, find something with an orange undertone,” whispered Elle. So, I amassed some colors and rubbed them on my arms, like the bloggers do.
And, here’s how they looked on my actual face.
As you can see, most of these were not that impressive. Most were just a hair darker than my actual lips, and the one Marc Jacobs Sheer Nude Lip Gel, Anais, left my mouth looking like I’d coated it in concealer. “I want nude lips!” I complained to anyone who would listen. “I want the best and biggest nude lips money can buy!”
So, I went full Kardashian.
And here is when it all came together. Despite the fact that I have erased my actual lipline with concealer and drawn on an obscene mouth in place of my functional, normal one, here’s what I now understand. Lipliner is everything. I filled in my lips with a Wet N Wild lip liner that I had kicking around. Then I mixed the lighter and the darker Sephora shades together until I had achieved something that I would actually almost wear out of the house. See? Just pink enough. Like my lips, but better.
Kylie, you’ve won this round. Thank you for showing me the light.