What is Nude Lipstick?

Jessica Hobby

Nude lipstick is lipstick that is close to the shade of a person’s natural skin tone. Depending on an individual’s skin tone, nude colors can include very pale colors that are close to white, medium tones which are close to the beige family and light to medium browns for those with dark skin. Wearing nude lipstick is meant to enhance the lips without being too dramatic.

Nude lipstick is similar in shade to the wearer's skin color.
Nude lipstick is similar in shade to the wearer's skin color.

There are a variety of ways to wear nude lipstick. High fashion magazines often show models wearing nude lipstick who have applied smoky or very dark eye makeup. The two extremes are meant to contrast each other. Those who want a natural everyday look may also choose to wear a nude colored lipstick.

Nude lipstick will not work best if applied to lips that are cracked or chapped.
Nude lipstick will not work best if applied to lips that are cracked or chapped.

Before someone decides on the perfect shade of nude lipstick that matches their flesh tone, they need to decide what kind of lipstick they prefer. Matte lipsticks have little or no shine and do not moisturize the lips. They work best for younger people or people with naturally moist lips that are not cracked or chapped. However, matte lipsticks don’t generally offer as many color options as other varieties.

Crème lipsticks are one of the most common types of lipstick for people who prefer to wear a nude look. They offer a little bit of shine and moisturizing without being extra sparkly. Crème lipsticks are available in a wide range of nude shades and work on almost all lip types and ages.

For people who want extra shine with moisture, gloss lipsticks are the best choice. Glosses are very shiny and are the most transparent of all kinds of lipstick. Because of their transparency, gloss lipsticks typically come in very light colors and are generally worn by adolescents and young woman. For older women who want to benefit from the moisture that gloss lipsticks offer, it is common to apply gloss over a crème or matte to get the best of both worlds.

Finally, shimmer and frost varieties of lipstick can make nude lips sparkle. These kinds of lipsticks are typically crème or shiny, but they have added particles that reflect light. For women who wish to have the nude look without wearing lipstick, they should consider a coat of clear gloss. Regardless of the type of lipstick chosen, it is necessary to match skin tone and avoid any light colors that are too pink, peach or orange. Although these colors are light, they will offer more color than necessary and defeat the purpose of a nude lipstick.

Gloss lipsticks are generally worn by adolescents and young women.
Gloss lipsticks are generally worn by adolescents and young women.

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Discussion Comments


@burcidi-- Those are great tips and I completely agree with you!

Most people don't know this and maybe don't need to know this but nude beige lipsticks (actually all lipsticks) have different color undertones just as our skin. We all have either a cool, warm or neutral undertone. I, for example, have a cool undertone.

The easiest way to know what your undertone is, is to compare silver and gold jewelry. If silver jewelry looks good on you, then you have a cool undertone. If gold jewelry looks good, you have a warm undertone. If they both look equally good, you have a neutral undertone.

The point I'm trying to make is if you have time and energy to look into this, find nude lip colors that have the same undertone as you. Because if you pick a nude with a different undertone, it doesn't look as good. The point of nude colors is to under-emphasize your lips. And you can best do that by making it appear as though it's part of your skin by matching it perfectly.


@turkay1-- If a nude lipstick makes you look ghostly, it means that the color is lighter than your skin tone. Even with nude lipstick shades, you have to stick with colors that either match your skin tone or that are one tone darker than your skin. This will prevent the ghostly look.

The other thing I would recommend is to use nude lipsticks and lip glosses with shimmer in them, preferably, shimmers with warm colors like red or pink. If you're not sure what that looks like, ask any store assistant at makeup counters about it. All makeup brands carry nude lipsticks and lip glosses like this.

The reason I recommend this is because the shimmer in the nude lipstick will reflect light. The light will make your lips bright and will stand out from the rest of your face even if it matches your skin tone.

You can also use a little cheek tint or light application of blush on the apples of your cheeks to get rid of the ghostly look. I hope this helped!


I really want to wear nude color lipsticks but for some reason they make me look like a ghost!

I don't like wearing too much color on my lips, I feel like I look overdone. So most of the time, I just use a regular or tinted lip balm. But the girls at my school wear nude lipsticks all the time and I think it looks really nice. It hides flaws like cracked or chapped lips nicely. And it never looks like you're wearing too much makeup.

But how do I prevent my face from looking so white and ghostly? I'm already pretty pale, I don't want to add to that by completely canceling out my lips with a lipstick. Please help! I'm waiting for suggestions!

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