Celebrities like Jennifer Lope, Rihanna and Kim Kardashian have finessed the beigey lip so expertly that it feels timeless and seductive — a signature. And nude lips are everywhere at the fall runway shows: Vera Wang, Altuzarra, Rodarte, Burberry, Prada.
The lure is that it seems easy. Pick a shade muted enough that reads “nude” with your complexion, bump up your eye makeup a notch.
If only it were so simple. After much personal trial and error, I settled on transparent gloss, a second best.
First, mind the pitfalls. There’s the matte nude, “which reads cadaver,” Don’t choose nude lipsticks too pasty, where “the nude doesn’t have enough contrast between the skin surrounding your mouth, and you get mannequin mouth.” Career into rose territory, he says, and you subvert the nude lip altogether.
Then, you need a creamy lipstick that has opacity. “You need the pigment to cover your own natural lip color, which is why most glosses don’t work,” he said. (After trying several brands, I’ve found I like the Nars Audacious formula, which is richly pigmented yet doesn’t settle in fine lip lines.)
Mr. Surratt, who is Adele’s makeup artist, prefers to skip the liner for a softer, more romantic look, but more important is the color selection. Fair ladies should stick with blushy, peachy hues.
“Beyoncé likes a nude lip,” so she softly outlines lips with Victoria’s Secret Makeup Lip Liner in Ginger Spice and then adds a neutral lipstick from NARS. “Gloss is only for the red carpet. We stick to lipstick for performances because it won’t get caught in her hair or move around,” she explained.