Going for sexy but landing at zombie when applying a nude lipstick? While the idea is simple, it can be hard to pull it off properly. Instead of solely focusing on your pout, take your entire face into consideration. “When you see stars like Jennifer Lopez and Kim Kardashian wearing a nude lip well, keep in mind that they also have on full-face makeup with highlight, contour, and lashes,” says Mario Dedivanovic who works with both celebrities. Here are his two tips for preventing a wash out:
1. Use a lip liner for definition, pick one that’s just slightly darker than the lipstick you’re applying.
2. Accentuate your other features so the overall look is balanced, use foundation to even out skin and make sure the eyes are well defined.
Check out our staffer favorites!
Role: Beauty editor, InStyle
Skin tone: Tan/light brown with golden undertones
Favorite neutral lip: Nars Audacious Lipstick in Vanessa, $32; narscosmetics.com
"I like Nars Audacious lipstick in Vanessa. For a cheapie fix, I like Sonia Kashuk Sahara Sunset Shine Luxe Sheer Lip Color in Nirvana ($11; target.com)."
Role: Associate beauty editor, InStyle.com
Skin tone: Medium/tan skin with olive undertones
Favorite neutral lip: Chanel’s Rouge Coco Shine in Deauville, $36; chanel.com
"Never have I ever found a nude lipstick I didn’t like, and the million tubes stashed throughout my handbag and cluttering my desk serve as proof. Though I’m constantly flirting with almost every shade in the beige spectrum, Chanel’s Rouge Coco Shine in Deauville is my long-term steady. The slightly dusty rose tint provides enough contrast against my skin tone, and I love how it can be worn sheer to let your natural lip color peek through, or opaque by adding another layer. Another added plus—the lightweight formula won’t stick to your hair should you get caught in an unexpected windstorm, which, in the midst of the brutal New York winter, can be a more common event than you’d think."
Role: Beauty director, InStyle
Skin tone: Medium/fair with olive undertones
Favorite neutral lip: Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G Fallen From The Lipstick Tree in "Hepburn Honey," $32; charlottetilbury.com
"My favorite neutral lipstick is Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G Fallen From The Lipstick Tree in "Hepburn Honey." It's a rose-gold bullet that has a rich, pinkish-apricot base, so it brings depth and life to my complexion. Plus, the formula is moist – never drying – and wears like your favorite balm."
Role: Fashion and beauty editor at large, InStyle
Skin tone: Brown skin with warm orange-red undertones:
Favorite neutral lip: Make Up For Ever Aqua Rouge No. 3, $24; sephora.com
"It took me years to find the right nude—everything was either too beige, too chalky or too pink. Finally, I found this one, which has a slight mauve tint. Not only is it the perfect match for my skin tone, but it's a stain formula so it lasts all day. I line and fill in my lips with brown pencil before layering it on top."
Role: Senior beauty editor, InStyle.com
Skin tone: Fair to medium skin with pink undertones
Favorite neutral lip: Tom Ford Spanish Pink, $50; nordstrom.com
"Tom Ford's Spanish Pink is my go-to nude. I love that it's totally neutral but still has enough pink in it not to wash me out. The formula is so creamy and hydrating but still lasts all day."