This excellent post was brought to you by M.A.C Cosmetics.
If a red lipstick is the makeup equivalent of fashion’s little black dress, then nude lip colour is your go-to pair of denim jeans. Chic, understated and a must-have—for both special occasions and every day wear—a perfect nude lip colour is ultra versatile, says M.A.C Cosmetics global pro artist Nicole Thompson. “You can really play up the rest of your makeup and not feel overdone. It can look super sexy with a giant flicked liner and lashes, look elegant with a tawny smoky eye and bold brows, and look eye-catching with plenty of peach blush and a pink eye makeup,” she explains.
We’ve always relied on M.A.C Cosmetics for their vast lipstick range, and now, the brand has extended the existing shade range of nude lip colours to an incredibly diverse collection Strip Down, which is comprised of 36 shades in an array of various textures including matte, satin, crème and gloss. “Everyone is catered for, no matter their skin type, tone or texture,” says Thompson. “A new nude lipstick wardrobe awaits…”
With everyone catered for, finding your perfect shade—or shades—falls to you, and how you’re looking to wear it. “You really can play with all shades and tones of the neutral lip spectrum no matter your skin tone, it’s all about what catches your eye,” says Thompson. “Think of your nude lip muse, and collect imagery of your favourite looks—just like when we take a photo into our hairdresser of the look we want, we should do the same when we are trying to find a beauty look. Remember, there’s a big difference between a Kylie Jenner taupe matte nude lip, and a high shine caramel nude lip like J.Lo,” she adds. “Take your pictures to a makeup artist at the M.A.C Cosmetics counter—they can discuss it with you and try it out in real life to make sure it’s what you want.”
When it comes to selecting a shade, there are a few things to consider. Think about the texture you are looking for—do you prefer a matte, crème or gloss? And what will you be wearing with it? “Sometimes it’s great to match the tone of your nude lipstick in with the colours in your outfit to keep it consistent and sleek,” says Thompson. “For example, if you’re wearing an amazing pair of brown leather boots, perhaps opt for a nude tone with depth, like M.A.C Cosmetics Lipstick in Whirl. If you have peach or pink moments in your outfit, your may want to bring this tone into the lip colour by choosing the shade Modesty or Smoked Almond. Or, if you’re wearing a super-rich chocolate coloured smoky eye, you might want a lighter lip colour in contrast—try Love You Back Lipstick.”
Then, you have to get the application right.
PREP FIRST: “There’s nothing worse than a nude lipstick applied on top of dry lips,” says Thompson. “Give your lips a quick conditioning scrub to get rid of any flaky skin and plump up that pout.”
APPLY A PRIMER: “I don’t know anyone who enjoys reapplying their lip colour multiple times during the day—I much prefer a two-second step in the beginning of my makeup routine to hold it in place for longer. Go over your lips with MAC Prep + Prime Lip Primer first—this guy is like a magnet for lip colour; it smoothes the skin texture and stops the colour bleeding.”
START WITH A BLANK CANVAS: “You want to soften the natural pink tone in your lips so you can see the colour you are applying,” explains Thompson. “Take a little of your foundation or concealer lightly over your lips to even out the skin around the edges. Your nude lip will look much more crisp and polished.”
ADD A POWDER: “I love to very lightly powder over the lips before applying the lipstick to help the colour stick—this little trick will ensure a super clean and precise application that will last the distance,” she says.
TURN TO LIP LINER: “I can always tell when a lip liner hasn’t been used,” explains Thompson. “The colour will be good but not great—the texture nice, but it won’t pop on the complexion. A lip liner will give your lightly coloured lips an edge, and it will help sculpt the perfect lip shape for you.” Choose a liner that is one or two shades deeper than the colour your lipstick, and lightly apply after the first coat of lipstick: “this will help you blend the pencil into the lipstick and not look too harsh. Tap the edges with your finger once applied to soften and blend.”