When it comes to lips, less is definitely more – and these nudes are your new bare necessities.
Nude lipstick is definitely having a moment. Lips go naked – except, of course, they don’t, since that would require no lipstick at all. So it’s more about your own lips but ramped up with some on-tone pigment and a finish effect (matt or gloss).
Nude lipstick says power to me every bit as much as a red does to others. I get it – red is emphatic – but in many ways I think nude is the same, just in a different way. It’s a natural confidence rather than take-no-prisoners bold. And I can be either, depending on the day (and the lipstick prop).
The key thing to remember is that nude is about the colour of your own lips – it isn’t just a blanket beige shade for all. My lips have quite a lot of natural pink pigment, so my nudes veer more towards that tone but what works for me colour-wise may not be for you. Visit counters, try on shades and don’t feel pressured to buy until you’re sure you’ve found your match.
For coverage and texture, these are my favourites:
3 of the best nude lipsticks
L’Oréal Paris Rouge Signature (£9.99, boots.com) is top dollar. It’s an oil-in-water formula so feels very light on lips but also has serious pigment and lasts. My nude shade is I Rule but there are some great reds in the range, too. Also, I find you can choose how much you commit to this lipstick – you can dab it on subtly or go for full-on coverage.
Avon True Colour Perfectly Matte Nude Lipstick (£8, avon.co.uk) – my shade is Blush. This has a matt finish but velvety feel. Miraculously, it doesn’t make my very prone-to-dry lips drier or crack. It lasts really well and gives my lips a boost (the range contains five carefully balanced shades for all complexions). Plus, I find the striped packaging rather fun.
If you want more of a gloss, try Charlotte Tilbury Latex Love (£24, charlottetilbury.com) – I like Berry Nude. Don’t panic about the latex part – it’s not like encasing your lips in some Catwoman-worthy slitheriness; it’s about lots of gloss, hydration and plenty of pigment.
I’d also like to give an honourable mention to Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat Liner in Pillow Talk (£16). It’s a great pale pink shade that will work on many lip colours. But for me it’s not just a liner – I fill in lips and use it as an alternative velvet-finish lipstick. If you’re prone to colour bleeding, this is a great alternative. It stays put and, should you find it dehydrating (I actually don’t), you can dab a touch of lip balm over the top and go for hours.
One magical mist
Now travelling with me in my handbag is Susanne Kaufmann’s Rose Water Mist (£31, liberty.co.uk). I’m sure there are – in fact there definitely are – cheaper rose spritzes out there. But this is not too emphatically fragranced and gives a welcome bit of calming hydration throughout the day (and on planes, too). Plus, I don’t know a single woman who doesn’t hanker after a bit of Susanne Kaufmann (and that isn’t just Londoners).
The super-stylish but minimalist packaging (clear glass jars – occasional plastic as in this rosewater instance – white labels, black and red text) means she’s almost as much about chic design as marvellous products. Plus, she’s passionate about all things sustainable, natural and organic.
Feature by Edwina Ings-Chambers. Beauty assistant: Alice Robertson.