One must-have for Hollywood stars getting glam? A nearly-naked mouth.
And while nude lips may seem too demure for a night out on the town, this neutral tone actually makes them appear plump enough to make a bold statement and easily transitions from day to night. It’s no wonder both celebrities and women looking for a no-fuss makeover are opting for this trend.
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“Beautifully bare faces with nude lips were popular on this season’s runways, which has made them wonderfully trendy among celebrities,” says beauty expert Anastasia Soare whose clientele includes Jennifer Lopez and Penelope Cruz.
"Neutral lips allow you to add more drama to your look with darker brows or heavy eyes without looking overly done, as opposed to brighter-hued lips that compete for attention. Nude lips work just as well for a fresh-faced daytime look as they do when paired with a smoky, sultry eye for night, and it’s this versatility that makes me absolutely adore this trend.”
Need inspiration to go nude tonight? We asked several beauty experts for their take on how to achieve this sought after look.
The key to rocking nude lips like a pro is prepping your pout. “Start by exfoliating the lips with a gentle scrub, like the Bite Whipped Cherry Lip Scrub,” explains Myiesha Sewell, a makeup artist for Sephora. “Then, hydrate the lips with a moisturizing primer, like Too Faced Lip Insurance Primer, which will give the illusion of full, smooth lips for color application and ensure long-lasting wear. Then, apply your perfect color with desired opacity and sheen.” For a universally flattering color, Sewell recommends a glossy neutral beige that goes on sheer, enhancing the natural color of your lips.
A nude lip color can make your lips look kissable, but the wrong shade can appear bland on your face. “Nude comes in a wide palette of shades,” says MAC Cosmetics senior artist Fatima Thomas. “The most flattering nude shades have a touch of pink or peach in them, like MAC Lipstick in Crème d’Nude. When choosing a nude lip, select a shade that has the same depth as your skin tone.”
Whether you’re attending a romantic dinner for two or cocktail hour with the girls, you want to make sure your lipstick lasts. Fortunately, a bare hue doesn’t require frequent touch-ups. “You want to avoid tones that will appear too light as this will just wash you out,” says Shana King, senior director of beauty and education for Anisa International. “Use a neutral lip liner to fill the entire lip, which helps color last longer and prevents bleeding. I also prefer to use a lip brush to apply color as I find it gives a more precise application and lets you intensify, adding more color if desired.”
Want to whiten your smile in seconds? Take a cue from Natalie Portman and whip out the skintone-inspired lipstick. “A shiny nude in a glossy and shimmery formula works to reflect the whiteness of your teeth against graying enamel, creating an illusion that teeth are shinier than they actually are,” says LeAura Luciano, a celebrity makeup artist who has worked with actresses Zoe Saldana and Amanda Seyfried. Luciano also suggests avoiding matte lipstick as this will dry out your pout, as well as too-glittery shades, which will create an unwanted tint of gray to your teeth.
With so many neutral lip tones to choose from, how do you really know which one is right for you? “Try to find one that has a pink or peach undertone as they are most natural looking,” advises Meredith Hayman, a New York-based makeup artist who insists nude lips are one of the most popular looks requested by her clients. Also, don’t be afraid to add a bit of sparkle, especially when looking to light up your night. “A gloss with a bit of gold shimmer is a beautiful finish and gives a sweet, yet subtle pop,” says Hayman.
Want to make heads turn at night? Play up another feature to complement your lips. “I particularly love a nude lip when paired with strong eye makeup, whether it be intense, sultry, smoky or just a graphic bold colored liner — it really allows the focus to be on the eyes,” says Sewell. If you want to give black eyeliner a break, try a jewel-toned hue, like actress Emma Stone.
Country crooner Taylor Swift is rarely seen without her signature red lipstick, but lately, she’s been going au natural in front of cameras — and with good reason. “Nude lips are an understated, yet very sexy option,” says King. “It leaves a little to the imagination and also pairs with the bold eye looks we are seeing this season as well.”
Want to show off a sun-kissed glow after hitting the beach this summer? Get some inspiration from actress Salma Hayek, a frequent wearer of nude lip color. Unlike other shades, nude enhances a seasonal tan, bringing out your natural glow for dimly-lit affairs.
The nude look can be perfected for a night out with a simple trick. Hayman recommends using your concealer as a base before applying a dewy lipstick with a hint of rose to avoid fading.
When it comes to wearing nude lipstick at night, don’t forget the rest of your face. “Add a healthy glow by applying a soft, neutral pink or coral blush on the apples of your cheeks,” advises Luciano. Keep the makeup minimal and let your lips do the talking!