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A Makeup Artist’s Guide to the Best Nude Lipsticks for Dark Skin

Last Updated

Oct 18, 2021

Picture this: You’re getting ready for a night out when you reach into your makeup bag to find a lipstick that perfectly matches the fabulous makeup look you’ve just applied. While some occasions call for a bold lip color that makes a statement, there are other times when the best lip color is no color at all. In those cases, all you need is the perfect nude to accentuate the natural tone of your lips.  

The problem? Like many other beauty and apparel products, lipsticks, glosses, and stains marketed as “nude” aren’t always inclusive to those with deeper skin tones. Brown girls everywhere know the struggle of being excited for a brand new nude, only to be disappointed when we realize that it makes us look ashy or washed out.  

To help you master the look, I reached out to influencer-favorite makeup artist Krysta Medley for her go-to tips to achieve the perfect nude lip on darker skin tones—plus, the best lip products to add to your kit.

How Do You Know if You’re Choosing the Right Shade for Your Skin Tone?

“A great way to ensure you’re buying the right shade of nude, whether you’re shopping online or in-person, is to look at the undertones,” says Medley. “You can ensure a close match by bringing along your favorite foundation and comparing the undertones in it to determine any similarities. If the nude lip looks like it could blend well with your foundation, then it’s probably a great fit.”

Krysta’s Favorite Nude Lipsticks for Dark Skin

How Do You Wear Nude Lipstick When Your Lips Are Two-Toned?

“For women with two-toned lips, I suggest first using a lip pencil to fill in your lips, which will help balance their tone before you apply your lip color,” says Medley. “If you don’t have the perfect lip pencil to do this, another excellent technique is using a dab of concealer or foundation over your lips prior to applying your lip color to help create an even base.”

Krysta’s Favorite Nude Lipsticks for Dark Skin

How Do You Prevent Lips From Looking Ashy?

“The key to avoiding ashy-looking lips is to pay special attention to the undertones and depth of the lip shade,” says Medley. “Similar to finding the perfect foundation, you want to make sure that your nude lip color isn’t too light for your complexion, or else it’ll lead to that ashy look. If your nude lip is too light, color correct it by layering on a lip pencil or a gloss in a deeper shade.”

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