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How to Wear Nude Lipstick

Because there’s actually an art to pulling it off.
How to Wear Nude Lipstick
IMAGE iStock
Because there’s actually an art to pulling it off.

From Instagram selfies to the latest red carpet premieres, you basically can’t go a day without seeing a photo of someone pulling off an envy-worthy nude lip. But let’s face it: finding a good neutral that doesn’t make you look washed out is sometimes harder than finding the vampy red lipstick of your dreams. To help you find “The One,” check out our tips below.

NUDE LIP TIP #1: When It Comes to Finding the Right Shade…

When it all comes down to it, you really have to experiment, take photos, and figure out what looks good on you. But if you want to feel more armed when you hit the cosmetic counters, consider these three things first:

Consider Your Undertone

The quickest (and most fashionable) way to do this is by going through your jewelry stash and checking which colors you feel are the most flattering on you. 


If you look good wearing lighter metals like white gold, platinum, or silver, then your undertones are more cool. If you this is your undertone, rosy-pink nudes will look best on you.

PHOTO BY Bobbi Brown

BOBBI BROWN Luxe Lip Color in Pink Buff, price upon request, SM Megamall

If you gravitate towards yellow and rose gold, copper, and brass jewelry, then this means you have warmer undertones. Grab lippies that are peachy-pink or have golden beige hints of color. 

PHOTO BY Beauty Bar

THE BALM Meet Matt(e) Hughes in Sincere, P790, Beauty Bar

If both light and gold metals look good on you, then your undertone is on the neutral side. This also means that practically any natural-looking shade will look good on you.

PHOTO BY Happy Skin

HAPPY SKIN Shut Up & Kiss Me Moisturizing Lippie in The Morning After, P549, Power Plant


Consider your Skintone

Keep in mind that this changes depending on whether you like to tan during summer or not. So if you’re on the fairer side, go for rose- or pink-based shades. For medium skintones, beige, brown, or berry shades nudes will help you look less washed out. If you have darker skin tones, try going for rich, chocolate tones.

PHOTO BY Sephora

MARC JACOBS BEAUTY New Nudes Sheer Gel Lipstick in Anais, P1695,

Consider Your Lip Color

If all this is too complicated for you, then forget everything and just keep this one trick in mind: To avoid looking washed out whenever you wear a nude lipstick, “find a nude [shade] that is slightly deeper than your natural lip tone.” Hollywood makeup artist Pati Dubroff revealed this tip in the comments section of her Instagram and since her A-list clients (like Margot Robbie, Lily Collins, and Emilia Clarke) always have picture-perfect nude lips in their photos, we’re definitely going to follow this.

PHOTO BY Benefit

BENEFIT They’re Real! Double The Lipstick & Liner in Nude Scandal, P1330, Greenbelt 5

NUDE LIP TIP #2: When You’re Doing the Prep Work…

It doesn’t matter whether you’re going for a creamy, matte, or glossy nude—what’s important is that you’re applying your lipstick on a perfect canvas. To do, start by making sure they’re moisturized and flake-free by doing a quick exfoliating treatment with a lip scrub. Don’t have one? DIY by putting a tablespoon of olive oil in a tiny pot and mixing  it with two tablespoons of brown sugar. Don’t forget to apply your fave lip balm after for an extra soft and moisturized pout!

PHOTO BY Beauty Bar

BURT'S BEES Tinted Lip Balm in Zinnia, P545, Beauty Bar

PHOTO BY Rustans

LA MER Lip Balm, price upon request, Rustan’s The Beauty Source

NUDE LIP TIP #3: When It Comes to Application…

This really boils down to how much time you have to get ready. If you’re in a hurry, swiping it on straight from the tube will work (although we reco using a lip brush to for a well-defined pout). If you have more time and want your look to be on point, check out what Kim Kardashian’s makeup artist, Mario Dedivanovic, shared over on Skillshare:


Use concealer.

Apply some on your lip brush to reshape the lips and set it with loose powder afterwards. This will also help prevent bleeding and helps make sure that your lipstick stays in place. 

PHOTO BY Make Up For Ever

MAKE UP FOR EVER Ultra HD Concealer, P1960, SM Megamall


Use a lip liner that’s 1-2 shades darker than your natural lip color.

After you use it to outline your lips, grab a clean brush and blend it towards the center of your pout.

PHOTO BY Rustans

JANE IREDALE Lip Definer in Terra-Cotta, P745, Rustan’s The Beauty Source

Reach for your concealer again.

After applying your nude lipstick, you can dip your brush in a little concealer (or your foundation) to create a more muted color and add more dimension. 

PHOTO BY Rustans

STILA Aqua Glow Serum Foundation, P2350, Rustan’s The Beauty Source.

Finish with a hint of gloss if you want extra shine.

Apply it over the center and blend it towards the outer corners to lift the lips.


NARS Lip Gloss in Chelsea Girls, P1450, Bonifacio High Street Central Square


NUDE LIP TIP #4: When It Comes to Pairing with Makeup…

One of the best things about rocking a nude lips is that it goes with practically every makeup look. Here are some of our favorite looks:

With a Smokey Eye

It’s a popular combo on the red carpet for a reason. It’s super photogenic, sexy, and there are many ways you can play with this look. And obviously, it’s one of the fave ways that most celebs do their makeup. 

With Minimal Makeup

Defined brows, tons of mascara, a hint of blush, and a nude lip. A quick look at the IGs accounts of all the cool girls and you’ll spot this look a lot.

With a Sunkissed Look

Beach babes or gals who want a more laidback vibe will love this combo of bronzed cheeks, shimmery shadows, and peach shades.

With Colored Lids

Whether it’s eyeshadow or colored liner, pairing a nude lip with bright eyes is a great way to balance it out and allow those pop of colors to shine.


For more beauty tips, visit Nicole's blog and follow her on Instagram.