Splurge vs Save: Universally flattering nude lipstick picks

Such a tricky color nude is, because it’s NOT just one color. There are as many nude shades as there are skin tones. Nude is technically the color of your lips if you’re not wearing any lipstick - in other words, a my-lips-but-better (MLBB) color. But as I explore lipstick universe, I observed that makeup enthusiasts distinguish nude lipsticks from MLBBs as a muted and slightly paler iteration - a beigey color with a hint of pink, peach, coral, or a straight up skin tone color with no undertone at all.

Before sharing our picks, I want to highlight an important tip when experimenting with nude lipsticks: don’t limit yourself to rules! There is so much more to finding your shade than how pale or deep your skin tone is. The lipstick’s undertone is a huge factor to consider in finding your perfect shade.

Images via @jamieandniks

Images via @jamieandniks

Take this for example: it’s considered a no-no to wear a shade that’s lighter or the same color as your skin tone, but look at my girl crush Nikki in these photos. She’s rocking them pale nude lips!

Now, without further ado, here are our nude lipstick recommendations.

Image via thebeautylookbook.com

Image via thebeautylookbook.com

NARS Audacious (P1,650). The NARS Audacious line took the makeup world by storm late 2014. I can’t recommend just one shade from this whole line of lipsticks with a total of 40 shades, and at least 10 nude colors to choose from. Almost everyone can probably find their nude in this selection. My personal favorites are Barbara, Vanessa, and Julie - a rosey beige, mauve pink, and peachy nude, respectively. These lipsticks are ultra-creamy and are as opaque as they can get. A little bit of warning: if you’re a matte lipstick lover, you might find the need to blot the lipstick because it can feel a little too wet in our tropical weather.

Left: In The Flesh | Right: Bare It All  Image via stealing-beauty.com

Left: In The Flesh | Right: Bare It All

Image via stealing-beauty.com

Wet ‘n Wild Megalast (P399). A dirt cheap alternative to NARS Audacious are the Wet ‘n Wild Megalast lipsticks. Again, same with NARS Audacious, I can’t recommend just one shade from this line. Some of the brand’s nude lipsticks—Bare It All, Just Peachy, and In The Flesh--have become cult favorites among lipstick lovers.

Bobbi Brown Luxe Lip Color in Almost Bare. Liz describes this as a peachy pink nude with a strong brown base. At first look, I thought it seemed similar to Revlon Smoked Peach, but from the images I saw online, the latter is leaning more tangerine than peach. I find this color rather unique, and if you have a medium warm skin tone, this could be the nude of your dreams, too.

As with the two previous lipstick lines, Bobbi Brown Almost Bare is also creamy and opaque. Without eating and drinking, it stays a good three hours with very minimal fading.

Pink Sugar HD Lipstick in Naked (P299). The closest drugstore alternative I could find, but still not quite the same as Almost Bare, is the Pink Sugar HD Lipstick in Naked. It is also a peachy brown nude. It doesn't have as much of a brown tone though, making it look a lot less smokey peach. In its own right, Naked still deserves to be on this list because it’s relatively comfortable to wear and not lacking in pigment.

There you have it! I hope at least one of these could be your holy grail nude lipstick. We’re mostly likely doing a Part 2, so keep your eyes peeled!