Best nude lipstick

Lip Makeup

When choosing a nude lipstick you want to consider both your skin tone and your skin’s undertone to find the most flattering shade for you.

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Which nude lipsticks are best?

Nude lipsticks are the perfect choice for days when you want a barely there makeup look. To accommodate the natural range of skin tones, nude lipsticks come in a variety of natural shades from beiges to pinks to browns. 

Matte nude lipsticks are the most popular finish, but you can also find nudes in glossy finishes as well as in liquid formulas. If you are looking for a matte finish, you can’t go wrong with Charlotte Tilbury’s Matte Revolution Lipstick in Pillow Talk.

What to know before you buy a nude lipstick


Traditional lipsticks come in a stick form, also called bullets. These solid lipstick formulas tend to be creamier than liquid lipsticks, which can be quite drying to the lips, and can come in a variety of finishes. Liquid nude lipsticks typically offer matte finishes as well as long-lasting wear. Lipstick pencils or crayons are less common but also come in nude shades.  Lip gloss formulas of nude shades are also widely available.


The finish of a nude lipstick will determine how much shine it has. Matte finishes have no shine and their opaque, flat look is the current trend when it comes to nude lipsticks. If a matte finish feels too drying for your lips, try a creamier lipstick that offers a semi-matte or satin finish, which offers a touch of shine. You can also find nude lipsticks with a high-shine finish. This finish will give your nude lip a shimmery statement, though typically less pigmented color.  


Just as there is no one-shade-fits-all when it comes to nude underwear, you want to choose a nude lipstick that works with your skin tone. Fortunately, nude lipsticks come in a range of shades, including peachy beiges, neutral beiges, soft pinks, blushes and buffs as well as browner tones. Choose a shade darker than your skin tone so it doesn’t look like you’re wearing concealer on your lips but not too dark so it looks like you’re trying to make brown lipstick a thing. 

What to look for in a quality nude lipstick 

Skin tone

You want to choose a nude lipstick according to your skin tone, which is how light or dark your skin is. If you have pale or fair skin, choose a warmer nude shade, like pink or rosy beige. Olive or medium skin tones have more versatility and can go either lighter or darker when it comes to nude shades. Deep skin tones may want to try a gloss formula in browner shades, like cinnamon, mocha, caramel or bronze. 


When choosing a nude shade that makes you look alive — and not like warmed-over death — you’ll need to consider your skin’s undertone in addition to your skin tone. Identify whether you have a cool, warm or neutral undertone. 

If you have a cool undertone, a light mocha or cool brown nude will work well with your skin’s pink undertones. If you have a warm undertone, pink or peach nudes go great with your skin’s yellow undertones. If you have a neutral undertone, common with olive skin, most nude shades will look great with your skin, including beiges. 


Lipstick can be drying, especially ones with matte finishes and liquid formulas. To avoid chapped lips and that uncomfortably chalky feeling, select a formula that’s hydrating and includes nourishing ingredients such as cocoa butter, avocado oil or vitamin E. 


Longwear formulas, which won’t “kiss off” during eating or drinking, are most commonly found in matte liquid lipsticks. Longwear nude lipsticks don’t require frequent reapplications, though they can be tricky to take off at the end of the day and may require the help of a makeup remover. 

How much you can expect to spend on a nude lipstick

Drugstore brands offer nude lipsticks for as little as $4-$8. Quality liquid and pencil nude lipsticks start at $20 and high-quality nude lipsticks, which typically offer more pigmentation and are less drying, cost between $25-$34. 

Nude lipstick FAQ

Should I use a lip liner with my nude lipstick? 

A. You can. It’s good to have some separation between your lip color and skin tone and not match your skin exactly to avoid looking like a zombie. A nude lip liner can help achieve that separation while also defining your lips. 

How do I prevent my matte nude lipstick from looking cakey? 

A. When you’re working with a flat matte finish, you want to apply a lip balm before the lipstick. This will help prevent the pigment from settling into fine lines on the lips and may add more of a natural glow to the opacity of a matte lipstick. 

What’s the best nude lipstick to buy?

Top nude lipstick

Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Pillow Talk

Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Pillow Talk

What you need to know: This iconic shade offers a brighter nude to keep you from looking sallow while you sport a nude pout. 

What you’ll love: This nude lipstick is great for people with warm skin tones. Charlotte Tilbury also offers this highly popular shade in medium featuring a deeper berry pink. The high-end matte formula is long-lasting yet hydrating, perfect for wedding wear. 

What you should consider: This premium lipstick comes at a high price point but is worth it, according to its devoted following. 

Where to buy: Sold by Sephora and Amazon

Top nude lipstick for the money

Maybelline New York SuperStay Matte Ink Un-Nude Liquid Lipstick

Maybelline New York SuperStay Matte Ink Un-Nude Liquid Lipstick

What you need to know: This drugstore liquid lipstick holds its own against designer brands with its highly pigmented, long-lasting wear. 

What you’ll love: The liquid formula comes in a variety of matte shades, from light to dark. The arrow applicator allows for precise and flawless application. The matte formula can last 16 hours and costs a fraction of the price of high-end brands.  

What you should consider: Some users find the color can kiss off while eating meals. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Ulta Beauty

Worth checking out

Ilia Color Block High Impact Lipstick in Marsala - brown nude

Ilia Color Block High Impact Lipstick in Marsala – brown nude

What you need to know: For a clean beauty selection, Ilia’s highly pigmented lipstick offers this longwear, brown nude for medium skin tones. 

What you’ll love: The lipstick formula is nourishing with a creamy finish. The Marsala shade offers a rosy, medium brown nude that’s perfect for olive-skinned complexions. The formula is nontoxic and contains apricot seed oil and mango seed butter to hydrate your lips.

What you should consider: You pay a pretty penny for the organic, nontoxic ingredients. 

Where to buy: Sold by Sephora and Amazon


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Ana Sanchez writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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