Style Beauty

Sunday 15 September 2019

Beauty with Andrea Byrne: how to choose the right shade of nude lippy

Embrace the natural look with our expert guide to finding your perfect shade of nude lipstick

Barely there: Rosie Hungtington-Whiteley carries off nude lips with perfection.
Barely there: Rosie Hungtington-Whiteley carries off nude lips with perfection.
Nude Kate
Miracle Match
Myth from MAC

Andrea Byrne

Finding the perfect nude lipstick can be a tough task. Get it wrong and you look ill and ghostly. Succeed, and it will give great freshness and youth to the face. Rosie Huntington-Whiteley (pictured) consistently wears the look beautifully.

According to Lyndsey Cavanagh, Max Factor Make-Up Artist, anyone of any skin tone can pull off a nude lipstick. The key to getting it right is understanding your skin's undertones, which will inform what shade you choose.

"Those of you with a pink tone (cool, fair, pale skin) should opt for a nude that has a blush or dusky pink undertone to it. If your skin is of a more yellow base (warm, tanned or olive) then try a fleshy, creamy-toned beige, as your complexion is deep enough to carry it. If your complexion is quite neutral (porcelain or ivory) try a nude that has a peachy or slightly coral touch to it as this will give a warm lift to your features," she says, insisting that choosing the right formula is also crucial. Steer clear of anything too matte. Something with a sheen or gloss will bring more life to the lips.

How should we wear the rest of our make-up to complement the nude lip? Should it be warm, or should it, too, be neutral so as not to clash with our lip?

"A nude lip does allow us to add a little extra definition to our eyes and/or brows," says Lyndsey, adding, "Don't be afraid of using a touch of colour or a little extra shimmer with a sweep of liner along the upper lashes to bring the focus back to your eyes.".

Dos and Don'ts

● Because it's lacking in colour punch, the temptation with a nude is to over-apply, but try not to be too heavy-handed.

● If you're using a lip liner, make sure it's not in a shade that clashes with your lipstick. The last thing you want is visible demarcation.

● Using a lip brush gives added control and precision.

● Add a dab of clear gloss in the centre of the lips to add dimension and the illusion of volume.

● If your teeth are not snow white, Lyndsey advises avoiding any chalky pale pink shades or any frosted finishes as these can make teeth appear yellow.

● When shopping for nude lipstick, you can't always trust what you see in the tube, so swatch on the back of your hand, and hold it up to your face to ensure it doesn't wash you out.

● If you're fair or medium-skinned, avoid beige lipsticks. All skin tones should avoid anything with a grey undertone.

● Avoid frosty finishes, they're ageing.

● If you have a strong lip colour naturally, use a very thin layer of your concealer under your lipstick to tone it down and neutralise. This will also ensure your lipstick stays on longer.

● If you're still unsure what shade best suits you, ask a professional for help.

● Complement your nude lips with nude nails. 

Top tip

To ensure precise lipstick application, clean up the edges using the same concealer that you used prior to applying your lipstick. 

Nude Lipstick Toolkit

Nude Kate, €30, Charlotte Tilbury, available in Brown Thomas Dublin

A rich, nude that has the perfect amount of pigment to deliver a natural but not at all flat lip look. Suits all skin tones. A matching lip liner is also available in the range.

Miracle Match Foundation, €16.99, Max Factor, available in grocery stores and pharmacies nationwide

Nude lipstick requires a good canvas, and this foundation gives a dewy finish to the skin, whilst covering up imperfections. It lasts well too.

Myth, €20, MAC, available in selected Brown Thomas and BT2 stores nationwide

One of MAC's cult lipsticks, this is a light, milky nude, particularly lovely on darker-skinned women.

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