There is absolutely no way that I need more lipsticks and yet when I look at my collection, I always see gaps in my color range or ones that need reformulation so I buy more in the same shade. Nudes never seem to fail me, though. I thought I’d do a little lip swatch/lip favorites for you guys. It really helps me when I shop to have a visual reference of what the colors look like on someone else so I hope this post can help and inspire all of you.
I will be covering my favorite nude glosses, my favorite liquid lipsticks or long-wearing lipsticks, and traditional lipsticks or those with a satin formula. There are so many brands that I haven’t tried or that I just don’t reach for very often. This list is purely the lipsticks that I own and use on a regular basis.
As I am someone that tends to wear bold eye looks, my go-to is a nude lip so that I don’t overwhelm my features with intense makeup. This means that for someone like me that wears pretty bold eye makeup often, I end up wearing one of these nude lippies 2-3 times a week.
When it comes to lip gloss, I like a formula that isn’t too sticky or thick. I usually rock sheer gloss over lipstick, but if I am going with my bare lips or I want something to accent the color of lipstick I am already wearing, I choose from the favorites below.
If you don’t already know, my love for Colour Pop is kind of a big deal. Over half of my lippie collection is filled with their ultra-mattes and ultra-satins but these two glosses are in my top picks as well.
Weho is a crème finish which means the color is impressively opaque. I would describe this shade as warm with the color being a combination of peach, honey and tan. The crème finishes are my favorite of the glosses but the pigment can occasionally settle slightly into the lines of the lips so keep that in mind if you’re thinking of picking this up. Although at $6 bucks, it is so worth it.
My Jam is a metallic gloss with copper and gold sparkle and a rosy-peach pearlescent base. The shimmer doesn’t feel clumpy or chunky on the lips. When the gloss wears off the lips, little sparkles are leftover on your skin so, something to think about. This gloss is $6 dollars as well.
In general, CP glosses are great for layering and they don’t make liquid lipsticks do that chunky thing or make my lip skin peel which can randomly happen with certain lip glosses. I do like the packaging but the chrome writing all rubs off pretty quickly. I wish they would use something more long lasting because I often can’t tell colors apart and there aren’t always stickers on the bottom.
· MAC: Viva Glam V Lip Gloss
Something about the smell of MAC lip products gives me a happy, nostalgic feeling. This is my favorite MAC lip glass/gloss that I own, and unfortunately I don’t think we can get it anymore. I would describe this shade as a neutral toned taupey-brown gloss that leans slightly cool depending on skin tone, with subtle silver and champagne shimmer throughout. These glosses do tend to be a bit on the thick and sticky side, which isn’t the most comfortable to wear or layer over other lipsticks but makes it really long lasting when worn on its own. I’d still recommend grabbing this gloss if you can find it, even if it isn’t my favorite formula.
· Maybelline: Color Elixir in the shade Nude Illusion
I am not a lip product snob by any means, but I rarely peruse drugstore makeup area looking for lip products. In the past I have frequently been disappointed or uninspired. This gloss on the other hand, really changed my mind!
First of all, the packaging is adorable. I love how it is made to look like a lipstick, and the tube feels sturdy and good quality. What I don’t necessarily love is that the color of the lipstick on the outside doesn’t exactly match the product within. I would recommend they make the tube completely sheer for accuracy.
The gloss itself is comparable to the Colour Pop crème finish glosses. It is semi-opaque and has a very smooth, buttery feel. The color is also pretty similar to Weho although this one is a very peach based nude. It retails for between $7-9 bucks so not expensive at all although I’d go with Colour Pop if you don’t mind the inconvenience of having to order online and not being able to return.
· Too Faced: Lip Injection Glossy in Milkshake & Spice Girl
Remember how I was saying I don’t like thick and sticky glosses? Well, these are thicker and stickier than I’d like but I tolerate it because they are plumping glosses. I use them on my lips every morning while I do the rest of my makeup and sometimes during the day with whatever makeup look I’m rocking. As far as the plumping effect, it feels like a mild sting. The same amount of sensation you’d get from laying a somewhat hot towel over your skin. The plumping effect is natural but definitely noticeable and makes the lips look very pink. I have noticed since using this that my lips are softer, more full, less pigmented and less peel-y over time.
Milkshake is very nude and looks very milky and warm peach toned in the tube. It applies sheer yet slightly golden in undertone on the lips. I received a mini of this shade in my Sephora PLAY! box and haven’t stopped using it since! I loved it so much that I picked up the full size in Spice Girl.
Spice Girl is described as a pink nude and that is very true. It is sheer with rose tones and warm brown sprinkled in. I feel that this color is kind of like a your-lips-but-better shade, at least in terms of my natural lip color. This is great worn over a lip liner or on its own but it can break up liquid lipsticks once in a while.
In liquid lipsticks my first requirement is that they are virtually transfer-proof. I don’t care if it compromises comfort—I’d much rather have something that I can put on and wear all day than something I have to worry about transferring onto my teeth or wearing off when I eat. Secondly, pigmentation and finish are equally important to each other. Being brown-skinned, I feel that matte lipsticks are so flattering against my skintone so when I grab for a liquid lipstick I want something really matte. And I like a lipstick that goes on with full pigmentation. Nothing takes more time than having to apply a lipstick and let it dry only to add another layer for full pigmentation. We will get more into that a little bit later.
In general I am not a huge fan of Lime Crime products. There has been a lot of controversy regarding their brand and their liquid lipstick products are especially unreliable. Even so, I have about 5-6 of their products and these two are the only nude shades I own from LC. To be honest, I do struggle with the formula a bit but I will get into that below.
Buffy is a muted brown lipstick with grey and rosy pink undertones. It reads more grey on darker skintones which is good for those of us that like pale, 90’s nude lip colors. The LC formula is very thin and watery. With this shade it can be a bit streaky and needs to be built up although I will say in Buffy’s defense that it can be layered while it is still wet and you don’t have to wait for it to dry. I always layer my liquid lipsticks over lip balm (just plain ol’ regular chapstick) but be careful about the balm you choose because it can break up the lipstick sometimes. I wear Buffy with a darker brown lip liner usually rocking the ombre lipstick look.
Shroom I would describe as an orange based brown reminiscent of camel and suede. This color is basically my skintone in a tube, so if I am going for a super nude no-lipstick look, I will rock this by itself, sometimes with gloss over top. This formula is very problematic. Sometimes it is flaky, other times its creamy, sometimes it breaks up other times it is long lasting…but when it works it looks great. I often mix it with a regular creamy lipstick or a satin finish lipstick from CP. I especially like it under CP Weho.
I know you’re probably like, “again with more Colour Pop?!” but sorry guys, I can’t help it. The first launch of the Ultra Mattes were a bit rough. There were some formulation issues that have since been addressed in their newer shades but Limbo and Beeper, although they’re OG ultra-mattes, are awesome and look great on a variety of skintones.
Beeper is a very pinky-nude. It’s like that spiced rose color that everyone fell back in love with from the 90’s. The formula is pretty creamy, 95% matte and long-wearing although I always layer over a lip balm for added comfort. If you’re darker than me, try layering with a darker lip liner. If you find that it doesn’t dry down 100% just blot it on a napkin or the back of your hand and it goes matte instantly.
Limbo is literally melted hot fudge for my lips color wise. It is a super chocolatey brown and it dries down completely matte. I 100% recommend this color for literally any skintone. Browns are nudes too you guys!
Speed Dial is probably the most unique nude I featured in this post. It is a warm terra cotta that reads semi-nude on my skintone because layered over my lips, it mutes the peach tones in the lipstick. This is a shade I usually have in my purse because it layers well over any lipstick and is an everyday spring shade for me. I would say it is hard to pull off; probably better for people with a lighter skintone than me.
· Tarte: Matte Lip Paint in Fortune
In my experience this particular shade is a bit streaky but long lasting and pretty transfer proof. It is described as basic brown but it isn’t rich chocolate like Limbo. This is more of a muted, Swiss chocolate shade. They’re $20 bucks which is pretty standard for a lip product. I hope Tarte expands the color range because they are lacking in diversity.
SATIN / BULLET LIPSTICKS
I may most frequently wear liquid lipsticks but there will always be a special place in my heart for the classic lipstick in a bullet tube. I prefer lipsticks that are as close to matte as possible (retro matte Ruby Woo level but more comfy) but when I want to wear satins I prefer to wear satin in nude.
Hollywood Blvd is one of CP’s lippie stix but it is the updated matte X formula meaning that it is much closer to matte than a satin finish. Still, there is a subtle sheen to this shade firmly putting it in the satin finish category. This color is like the satin version of Tarte’s fortune with more golden and yellow undertones. From what I’ve seen, this color can look odd on very pale skintones or those with very pink skin.
Point Zero is the CP ultra-satin formula. It is a liquid lipstick that goes on really soft and creamy, is fully pigmented and long-lasting as well. It reads quite satin, even after blotting, although it can be blotted down to appear more matte. This shade is a Kathleen Lights collaboration. The color itself is a very grey taupe brown with warm undertones, like wet cement. The satins have a very fluffy lip brush which makes getting a precise line a bit difficult but on the plus side, it feels very creamy on the lips! Totally recommend this color.
I can’t think of MAC without thinking of this lipstick. Actually, I can’t think of lipstick without thinking of MAC. I grew up always watching my mother use MAC lip products and I used to imagine I’d use the exact same things when I grew up. We all know the mild, vanilla fragrance that (despite being someone that doesn’t really like vanilla) has defined what a lipstick should smell like. MAC may have a lot of replication within their products, but at least they’ve got variety.
Velvet Teddy is the perfect combination of a warm nude brown, baby doll pink and rose pink. It is probably my favorite lipstick of all time. On me it looks like a cool toned pink with brown undertones but in a very wearable shade (even though I always wear it with a brown lip liner). If you’re looking for a good everyday, work appropriate lip shade, this is it.
Pander Me I believe is discontinued but it is pretty close to MAC Taupe. I will put a link to Dupe That where they have some dupes for it. The shade itself is terra cotta brown but not super saturated. The finish is semi-matte, so a subtle satin. This looks wonderful on brown skin and bronzed skintones. I think I will start wearing it more often because I am falling more in love with it as I write about it.
So Select has been compared to Whirl but it is not like it at all. Whirl is definitely brown with spicy plum and mauve layered in. So Select is very much a sugarplum shade with some muted mauve tones as well. It can pull somewhat brown on certain skintones but I would say it isn’t brown at all. I like this color because it is easy for anyone to wear. It can be worn any season, any event and even with little to no makeup. In essence, it’s an effortless color.
Mehr is very similar to So Select and I almost didn’t include it in this post. It has got the same tone as So Select but is lighter in shade, so it appears more pink. To me these spicy mauve/berry colors are so sexy on the lips. It’s classically feminine, super wearable and flirty without being obnoxious.
On one hand I can’t believe I had so many favorite nudes lol. On the other, it is making me realize that over 50% of my lipsticks are not being worn! Keep in mind that I have on pretty basic makeup and no lip liner, so the lipsticks look way better in real life than in these photo swatches.
These are lip colors that literally always make their way into my purse and stay there because they are just that good. Did any of your go-to’s make my list? I am probably going to make this a series because I own just as many pink lip shades as I do nudes, if not more. And once you do pink you’ve gotta do red and purple…so may as well, right? Btw if you see me trying to buy any more lipsticks, please stop me! I deserve a spanking for owning so many that don’t get used but what can I say, I’m just a sucker for the nudes.
Until next time,