Nicole Keen
Nicole Keen

I Found the Best Nude Lipsticks for Non-Nude Lovers

Nude lipsticks have never really been my jam (aside from a brief flirtation with brownish hues around 1994—shout out to Maybelline New York’s Toasted Almond). In fact, I’m a life-long member of the Never Nude club. I just don’t feel like myself when I’m not wearing a vibrant hue like red, orange or hot pink on my lips. But apparently I’m behind the times because a recent study by the NPD Group in the U.S. revealed that nude and brown lippies are outselling their pink and red counterparts. Say what?! I decided to find out what all the fuss was about, and see if I could be lured over to the light side.


I road-tested tons of different neutral shades before settling on a handful that I like, and I learned a bit about my own beauty habits along the way. I realized that the reason I love red (or pink or orange) lipstick so much is because it takes minimal effort. I don’t have to put much thought into the rest of my face because my lips make such a big impact. On the other hand, nude lipsticks make me feel washed out unless I step up my beauty game in other areas: a little bit of mascara and brow gel and a pop of blush keeps me from looking bland. Here are five nude lipsticks for all you non-nude lovers (like me) out there:

Best Application: Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lipcolor in Forever


Because of the liquid formula and light hue, this lippy glides on like a breeze and you don’t have to worry about making mistakes. It has the easy application and wearability of a lip gloss but the colour saturation of a lipstick.

Best Throwback Shade: Maybelline New York Colorsensational Matte Lipstick in Nude Nuance


Although this lipstick has “nude” in its name, it was darker than I expected, but I’m into it. It actually reminded me a bit of my old flame, the aforementioned “Toasted Almond,” and I’ll definitely be putting it into rotation this fall.

Best Splurge: Shiseido Rouge Rouge Lipstick in Hushed Tones


At $35, this lipstick doesn’t come cheap, but it’s absolutely worth every penny. The buttery formula instantly moisturizes your lips so you don’t have to worry about every crevice on your lips standing out. Plus, it’s the perfect pinky-neutral hue for fair ladies like myself and has a nice mod vibe (I feel like Brigitte Bardot would be a fan).

Best Staying Power: NYX Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick in Sandstorm


Once you slick on this liquid lippy, it’s there for good (or at least a good long while). It also has a super-cool finish—it starts out shiny but dries down to a modern, suede-like texture. If you’re looking for a true neutral shade (with a grey undertone), this one is definitely a winner.

Best Everyday Option: Quo Lipstick in Gossip Session


This lipstick is pretty, pinky and creamy: Basically a winning combo for regular wear. I found this hue especially flattering to my complexion, and I’m obsessed with the packaging (pink houndstooth…I mean, c’mon?!).