My search for the perfect nude lipstick continues. And when I say nude, I mean the kind of shade that almost blanks out the lips, not that “my lips but better” kind of shade that’s a pale, caramel-beige neutral. “My lips but better” shades are easy to find – there’s usually a good one in every big lipstick range. Take Chanel’s Adrienne, for example, in the Rouge Coco line-up (read post and see pics here); a chic, smart type of lipstick that flatters and shines and brings an element of polish to any makeup look.
No, when I say nude, I mean that nearly-the-same-as-your-skin lipstick shade that is so very simple to get drastically wrong. Too pale against your skin and it looks like concealer; too orange in tone and it’s hideous, making your teeth yellow and face pallid. Go matte and it’s instantly edgy, editorial, but you need a hell of a lot of Twiggy-style eye makeup up to pull it off and as soon as you open your mouth to speak, your tongue and the inside of your lips look rudely red and (for me, at least) the whole thing can look quite vulgar. Go too shiny and suddenly you have these monstrous, oversized skin-sausages stuck to your lower face.
So nude lipstick: it’s a tricky old business. I can demonstrate this with two shades from Bobbi Brown, one of which doesn’t suit me at all (in my opinion) and the other, a creamy nude with a hint of sheen, I love so much it has been promptly stashed in my permanent makeup kit and labelled “a winner”. Here’s the one I’m not sold on, the Creamy Matte Lip Color in “Pale Beach”:
Not hideous on me, by any means; in fact as I stare at it again and again, I don’t mind it whatsoever – it’s quite “high summer” and beachy. But it’s very peachy-orange and there’s something just a little off about the tone against my skin. Compare it, if you will, to Bobbi Brown’s Creamy Lip Color in the new “Pale Beige” shade, which is spot-on, colour-wise, and has just the right amount of shine and sumptuousness to make it flattering and easy to wear:
Without the orangey undertones, I feel that the rest of my skin suddenly looks cleaner and more even-toned. The lips are pale – paler than their usual colour – but they don’t look chalky or deathly. Everything just feels right. I’d add that this particular lipstick texture, the Creamy Lip Color, is incredibly beautiful and comfortable to wear; juicy but not sticky, long-lasting but not drying. I’d also add that Bobbi Brown is Queen when it comes to natural and nude-y makeup, with loads of options to suit all skin tones. Well worth spending a few spare minutes at a counter, finding a good match…
You can find the Bobbi Brown Creamy Lip Color and Matte Lip Color at counters nationwide and online at House of Fraser here – lipsticks cost £19.50. I’m wearing the same face makeup as I was in Saturday’s “natural bronzed” post, you can find details here.