Lately, I haven’t been in the mood to wear anything remotely close to a bold lip. I’m having a moment with all things nude, nude, nude. My beige/brown/neutral lip products have come out of hiding and have replaced my usual rosy and/or plum staples in my bag(s). Even MAC Smoked Purple (review), which got a lot of love from me in 2014 because I used it both sheer and bold, now finds itself spending the day tucked into one of my Muji storage drawers.
Now I know I never exactly go crazy with my lipsticks and many of my FOTDs feature “safe” shades as opposed to reds or bright pinks, but this moment I’m having with real nudes (as opposed to MLBBs–will explain this later) is pretty legit. Last year I stuck with my MLBB and nude shades when I was lazy, but I always wanted some new and exciting (i.e. colourful) shade to wear. That led me to some amazing discoveries like NARS Deborah (review) and MAC Smoked Purple, but now I feel like those will have to take a back seat for a while. I don’t even want MLBB lipsticks–fleshy nudes are my jam right now.
These are my most used and abused nude lipsticks. From L-R: Shu Uemura BG 950, Revlon Colorburst Lacquer Balm in Coy, Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment in Petal, Revlon Mink, and Revlon Colorburst Lacquer Balm in Ingenue.
They might look very similar to some people, but they each help me achieve just the right tone of nude on my lips depending on whatever makeup I have on the rest of my face. For example, Petal is what I reach for when I need a tiny bit of pink in the look but still want it to be muted. Shu Uemura’s BG950 is what I pick up when I want a creamy, opaque formula to cover up the natural pigmentation in my lips (kind of like a lipstick-concealer), and Revlon Ingenue is what I go for when I want my lips to look plump and glossy. All “nude” but all in a very different way.
Nudes are also different from MLBB (my lips but better) shades in my mind, although some people might think or speak of them interchangeably. The way I see it, MLBB shades enhance your lips by making them appear more pigmented in a natural, more even-toned way. They’re usually rosy colours that mimic the pink in your skin but with a touch of brown or beige. Nudes on the other hand will not deepen the colour of your lips but will straddle the fine line between enhancing-without-colouring and washing you out completely. It’s quite difficult to find a nude that doesn’t require a smokey eye to balance it out, and that nude will be different per individual and even from look to look.
To be honest, I don’t know which lipsticks (or combination of lipsticks) I’m wearing in each of these photos anymore, except the one where my hair is a little messy because I’m using the warmest of my nudes in that photo and it’s obvious. Like I said, the lipsticks all kind of have the same effect in the sense that it’s difficult to tell them apart once on. Still, owning all of them isn’t redundant, and I’m not just telling myself that. Sometimes you need a little more red in your nude to balance out a look… know what I mean? (Please say yes, haha!)
I’ve learned over the years that I like my nude lipsticks to have a lot of brown in them. I also prefer creamy, opaque formulas because the red in my lips will show through anything sheer. For that reason, I often layer the shiny nudes over top of my Shu Uemura BG 950 (BG = beige, btw) which (as I mentioned earlier) acts as a sort of concealer for my lips.
Pahabol before I ask you to share your own fave nudes: this is another combo I have been liking lately. Ellana’s Lip and Cheek Cream Color in Diva mixed with a clear lipgloss. It’s what I’m wearing in the photo with semi-disheveled hair. This is great because the cream is so highly pigmented and it’s a very brown shade, so my lips are totally bronzed out. I feel like J.Lo when I wear this combo plus bronzer on my cheeks. Lol. So anyway, my tip for finding the perfect true nude is this: go a lot more beige or brown than you might be used to. You may stumble into the 90’s browns, but if you do just reign it in a notch. You’re on the right track!
Now, please share your own fave nudes with me in the comments section and if you had a difficult time finding them. It’s bound to be a different shade and a different story for everyone. Oh and also let me know if you think “MLBB” and “nude” are the same thing or totally different. Tell me I’m not alone!