April 27th, 2010
Beauty, Fashion, Fashion Bomb 101
Nude Lipstick for Skin of Color
By The Fashion Bomb Staff

Greetings, Fashion Bombshells! Danielle here.

A nude lip color is the perfect companion for heavy eye makeup or just a simple all-around “I’m naturally this good looking” understated look. But “nude” is totally dependent on an individual’s skin tone and not everyone can wear a light creme beige as their nude. I’ve put together a quick guide to help you find your nude. Check it out.

Nude lip color tips:
1. Be sure your lips are properly exfoliated (rub a wet toothbrush over your lips) and moisturized (Chapstick will do, but for super-dry lips try Clinique All About Lips or Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Skin Protectant).
2. Add color somewhere on your face to avoid looking washed out. A natural makeup look with tones that mirror your skin tone is pretty, but add a bright blush or eye color to liven things up.

Bobbi Brown (abbreviated below as BB) is a great line to start with when looking for your perfect nude. Many of Bobbi’s looks are based on “natural” pretty makeup so many nudes across the color spectrum are included in the line.

Fair Skin: (think Nicole Kidman) BB Beige, MAC Lipstick in Creme D’ Nude
Medium Skin: (think Sarah Jessica Parker) BB Blush or Uber Beige, MAC Lipstick in Creme D’ Nude
Light Olive Skin: (think Kim Kardashian) BB Uber Beige, MAC Lipstick in Freckletone
Olive Skin: (think Padma Lakshmi) BB Brownie Pink or Brown, MAC Lipstick in Cherish, MAC Lipstick in Taupe

Tan/Golden Skin: (think Jennifer Lopez to Beyonce) BB Brownie or Beige, MAC Lipstick in Freckletone, MAC Lipstick in Fresh Brew, MAC Lisptick in Velvet Teddy, MAC Lipstick in Half N’ Half
Caramel Skin: (think Halle Berry to Queen Latifah) BB Golden Brown or Heather Mauve, MAC Lipstick in Fresh Brew, MAC Lipstick in Siss, MAC Lipstick in Stay in Touch, MAC Lipstick in Touch
Dark Skin: (think Nia Long to Gabrielle Union) BB Cocoa, MAC Lustreglass in Trance Plant, MAC Lipstick in Icon, MAC Lipstick in Shitaki, NARS Lipgloss in Hustler, MAC Lipstick in Coconutty
Deep Skin: (think Kelly Rowland to Alek Wek) BB Hot Cocoa or Chocolate, MAC Lipstick in Coconutty, MAC Lustreglass in Trance Plant

Don’t get caught up in the racial background or ethnicity of the celebs mentioned above. Use their skin tone as a guide. You could be Asian and still look great in the shade for Kim Kardashian or you could be East Indian and work the shade for Kelly Rowland)

So there you have it. If you have questions or would like more personalized suggestions, contact me.

Will you be rocking a nude lip?


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67 Responses to “Nude Lipstick for Skin of Color”

  1. Tati says:

    Love it! Thanks for the tips!

  2. naijamodel says:

    I love the beauty tips! Could you offer drugstore options as well though? Many women can’t do Mac and Bobbi Brown in a recession :-)

  3. Danielle says:


    I will when I can :) The janky drugstores near me never seem to have the good stuff in stock and then some of the prices are so high I might as well get MAC…lol. But Maybelline and L’Oreal both have great nude lines. What any diva on a budget can do is still look at the department store options I mentioned above so you know what colors, textures, etc. make for a good lipstick and then look for similar qualities in any brand. There’s millions of choices out there beyond what’s mentioned above.

    Hope this helps!

  4. Shanitahz says:

    Great tips. You read my mind!

  5. Milani and Covergirl also have tons of great stuff (including nude lipstick and glosses) in a drug store near you. These two lines are my go to when I am short on $ ;-)

  6. texigoan says:

    This was so helpful. I have what I call voluptuous lips and can never seem to find a lip color that doesnt make my lips look outragously bigger. Can women with big lips wear statement lipstick colors such as vibrant red?

  7. Danielle says:


    You certainly can wear bright lip color on voluptuous lips. But since it does make them more apparent, you will of course need confidence to pull it off. Also, try to keep the rest of your makeup understated so that your features don’t all compete for attention. Jill Marie Jones (aka Toni Childs from Girlfriends) has a set of gorgeous, voluptuous lips and in many pictures I’ve seen she pulls off the bright lip fabulously. Use her as your guide/inspiration.

    Hope this helps :)

  8. Jonell says:

    great post!! im making notes…. love it!

  9. Danielle says:

    One other thing—when looking for nude lipstick outside of what’s mentioned—if you’re lighter skin (Rihanna, Beyonce, etc.) go for beigey pinks. Darker skin (caramel skin and darker) go for brownish pinks.

  10. [...] on an individual’s skin tone and not everyone can wear a light creme beige as their nude.  Fashion Bomb Daily put together a quick guide to help you find your nude. Check it [...]

  11. miko says:

    great tips. i’m a tad more chocolate than gabrielle union and i’ve found that the lancome natural beauty cream lipstick looks really good as well.

  12. AG says:

    I’m wearing nude right now and i cant get enough of it! I am caramel complexion, and i wear the nude lipstick from Sephora, it’s called Maniac, and it’s only $8. Love it!

  13. Tiffany says:

    This is great! I think of Nia Long as a beauty icon of mine, and so happy that I can find ways to mimic some of her looks! Keep up the good work

  14. zy says:

    great post! i’ve gotten 2 new shades to add to my MAC collection!

  15. wendy says:

    ohhh now i know wht to try!!thks!!

  16. Kendra says:

    This is an excellent guide!

  17. msreezy says:

    rihanna looks so gorgues <3

  18. Natalie says:

    I’m about Gabby’s complexion and my personal favorite for a nude is Mac’s lipglass-Spite. Love it! Will probably wear it until I’m 50!

  19. chickypoo says:

    Great post, I’m light brown skin abt Rihanna’s tone and I love Chai by MAC as my nude but I eager to try some of the suggestions listed. Great post Danielle!

  20. Simon says:

    great tips. i’m a tad more chocolate than gabrielle union and i’ve found that the lancome natural beauty cream lipstick looks really good as well.

  21. BlaqCurrant says:

    “Dark Skin: (think Nia Long to Gabrielle Union) BB Cocoa, MAC Lustreglass in Trance Plant,…..” I’ll 2nd that on the MAC Trance Plant – I absolutely LOVE IT!!, I also wear it with MAC 5N Lipstick, my perfect nude lip, but I will be adding your suggestion to my nude lip arsenal!!

  22. Deviantdiva says:

    This was really great, Danielle! I’ve had the hardest time finding a nude lip (i’m gabby’s complexion as well) but I fell IN LOVE with Viva Glam V. its has a great pinkish/brown color for a nude lip on the go!
    Danielle, I have also been in awe of the gold/brown lips that alot of women are doing…any chance you would do a profile on it? Thanks again!

  23. Danielle says:

    Thanks, everybody!

    @Deviantdiva–can you link me to an example of the lip look you’re referring to?

  24. Fox says:

    I am light skinned maybe like Rihanna. I found Cover Girl lipstick #470, and it works for me. Don’t sleep on Walgreens & CVS yall.

    I love my MAC and Chanel too, but I like to balance my spending.

  25. racheal says:

    thanks girl………..will be able to show off in school now.Keeping all the records lol……..love you

  26. [...] with a nude lipgloss. Since all nudes aren’t the same for everybody, be sure to check out my Nude Lipstick for Skin of Color post for some [...]

  27. [...] 5. Apply a sheer nude gloss to the lips. For your perfect nude, check out Nude Lips for Skin of Color. [...]

  28. Lashawn says:

    Danielle, I’m not too sure which category I fall in, but I wear MAC NW45…I’m a slight darker than Gabby I think…Need ur expertise…Thanks

  29. Danielle says:

    Hey Lashawn!

    Go for the ones in the Dark category. I’d also add a new nude fave for myself (I’m NW47)—Dior Addict High Shine Lipstick in #714 Model Brown.

  30. [...] one of those really cool colors that looks good on all shades of brown. Rock your teal eye with a nude lip or be bold and pair it with a glossy red. If you just want to dip your toes in, go with a simple [...]

  31. [...] Red…lol) on all our shades of brown from French Vanilla to Chocolate Deluxe. Pair it with a nude lip or go all out and rock it with a bright lip. Add a shade of turquoise or violet to give your blue [...]

  32. [...] it may look, it actually works through the spectrum of our skin tones. Still not feeling it? Grab a nude lip or be bold and rock a red [...]

  33. [...] clear shimmery gloss on top of your nude lipstick/gloss) for your skin tone. I have a guide for you here, but will also add that if you, like many brown girls, have lips that are two different colors, try [...]

  34. Rosequartz says:

    Thank you soooo much!!!

    I’ve been searching for a great tip like this forever! Recently I’m so into nude lipsticks but I’m not sure which shade I should get cuz it could be too light on my face, now I have more confidence!

    I’ll go try as you suggested, thank you again!

  35. [...] you’re having dinner with the Knowles and/or the Ross family), try a smoky eye paired with a nude lip. A quick, simple, no-fuss way to create a smoky eye is to use apply an eyeliner pencil to your [...]

  36. [...] To get a contour look, gather the following: * A stick foundation or concealer that matches your skin tone * A stick foundation, matte blush, concealer, etc. that is 2-3 shades darker than your skin tone * A stick foundation, matte blush, concealer, etc. that is 2-3 shades lighter than your skin tone * A shimmery eyeshadow that’s about the same shade as your skin tone * A very light shimmery eyeshadow that’s 2-3 shades lighter than your skin tone * A matte eyeshadow about 2-3 shades darker than your skin tone * A dark eyeliner * Peach blush * Nude lip color [...]

  37. [...] For the lips, you can try a nude for your skin tone or try a sheer peach or coral gloss like MAC Dazzleglass Creme in Passing [...]

  38. [...] For the lips, you can try a nude for your skin tone or try a sheer peach or coral gloss like MAC Dazzleglass Creme in Passing [...]

  39. [...] to Fake Flawless Skin), the eyes (a little liner and loads of mascara), and the lips (a non-sticky nude will do). Add warmth and color via our tried and true fave, bronzer and [...]

  40. [...] lipstick or gloss (make your own by applying concealer to your lips and adding gloss on top). See Nude Lipstick for Skin of Color for options Sheer, shimmery gloss (to add on top of your nude lip [...]

  41. [...] glide on the lips and takes little effort to look good. Check out tips on how to choose the right nude, berry, and red. (30 [...]

  42. [...] Apply a nude gloss (find your nude here). Get your makeup to stay put with a few spritzes of Ben Nye Final Seal Matte Makeup [...]

  43. Reena says:

    I love nude nip colors! The natural look is always my go-to makeup look. Although it can get a bit boring I try to put some color into my look by putting on a brighter color blush. If I feel adventurous I play up my eyes and then tone it down with a nude lip color.

  44. WOW ! I really like this style it made the lips look more natural and sexy. Thanks for sharing the tips.

  45. jennifer o says:

    Hey Danielle, tnx so much for d post. Totally lovin d article (altho I kno it’s old) lol. I’m mac nc 45 n not sure of which category I fall into. Ur suggestion wud help. In a ‘ nude rave’ now. :D lol

  46. Danielle says:

    @jennifer hey! go for the tan/golden category for NC45 skin :)

  47. Kay says:

    A really good drugstore dept. nude is Wet N’Wild Bare it All (902C). I’m a NW45 and it looks GREAT on my skin tone. It’s a matte and if you aren’t into matte shades, just put on lip balm beforehand. I also line my lips too (cuz I’m a sucker for lipliner) and sometimes add gloss afterward for shine.

  48. dippedingodiva says:

    Hi Danielle I love this blog sooooo much. It’s one of my fav sites. I’m NC5O in Mac which category do I fit in?

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