By Sheryl George
Updated Apr 07, 2016 @ 7:00 pm

Matte nude lips are everywhere these days—from the red carpet to your Instagram feed. Finding the perfect shade can be tricky though. “Women often pick a nude that’s too light,” says celebrity makeup artist Elaine Offers, who has worked with Julianne Moore and Blake Lively. To determine your best hue, Offers says to go no more than two shades lighter or deeper than the color found inside your lower lip. Need a little more guidance? For darker skin, look for bronze and peach-toned brown shades. If you’re fair, choose pink-based beiges. To spare you a five-hour trip to Sephora, our editors tested tons of tones so you don’t have to. Below, our picks for your pout.


Tester: Dianna Mazzone, Assistant Beauty Editor

Skin twin: Kate Bosworth

Her perfect nude: Sonia Kashuk Velvet Matte Lip Crayon in Blossomy Nude ($8;

“After a little trial and error, I discovered that slightly pink nudes are most flattering to my fair skin with pink undertones. Anything that’s remotely on the cool side falls flat. This looks a bit brown in the tube but turns out to be more of a muted rose when applied. And the formula is top-notch: The pigment glides on easily, producing an opaque look in a single swipe.”


Tester: Erin Lukas, Beauty Writer

Skin twin: Ginnifer Goodwin

Her perfect nude: Marc Jacobs Beauty Le Marc Lip Crème Lipstick in Sonic Truth ($30;

“This highly pigmented formula contains hydrating ingredients so it goes on smooth and isn’t drying like other matte lipsticks. And the slight hint of mauve complemented my fair skin with cool undertones. Best of all? One coat showed up on my lips.”


Tester: Didi Gluck, contributing editor

Skin twin: Marisa Tomei

Her perfect nude: Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipstick in Sweet Cream ($26;

“I used to think that nude meant some version of tan, but I’ve grown to consider rose shades some of my favorite nudes. This peach-tinged bullet packs a teeny, tiny rosy punch that lights up my face without going overboard, which is ideal for daytime or (thanks to a slightly creamy sheen) night.”


Tester: Marianne Mychaskiw, associate beauty editor

Skin twin: Chrissy Teigen

Her perfect nude: Too Faced’s Melted Liquified Lipstick in Melted Nude ($21;

“I collect nude lipsticks to the point that my own family threatened to call A&E’s Hoarders on me during a recent visit. I’m pretty particular over what I consider the perfect neutral. It can’t be too light, and if there’s too much pink in the formula, then it isn’t really a nude in my opinion. I’m obsessed with this Too Face shade, which flawlessly walks the line between brown and mauve. The doe-foot applicator allows me to control exactly where I place the color, and I love how it sets without making my lips feel dry.”


Tester: Sheryl George, beauty editor

Skin twin: Priyanka Chopra

Her perfect nude: Buxom Wildly Whipped Lightweight Liquid Lipstick in Instigator ($21;

“Darker complexions usually tend to have more pigmented lips. To lighten my naturally dark berry tone, I outline and fill in my lips with a peach lip liner (Sonia Kashuk’s lip definer in Natural, $8; Then I slick on the Buxom liquid lipstick, the rosy undertones warm up my caramel skin so I don’t look washed out. While some matte lipsticks can feel too drying, this mousse-like formula has some slip. It dries down to a soft velvet finish that feels comfortable to wear all day.


Tester: Lashauna Williams

Skin twin: La La Anthony

Her perfect nude: Anastasia Beverly Hills in Sepia ($20;

“For a nude lip, I usually dab a bit of concealer on my lips first, this helps my color appear even. Next, I line my lips with Lip Cheat in Foxy Brown from Charlotte Tilbury ($22; Then I fill my lips in with a liquid lipstick from Anastasia; it has a soft, brownish tint that looks beautiful against my brown complexion.”