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Pucker shades: how to achieve the perfect nude lipstick look

Hani Sidow: experiment to see how you can get the most out of your favourite colours.
Hani Sidow: experiment to see how you can get the most out of your favourite colours. Photograph: Hani Sidow for the Guardian

Finding the right shade of nude lipstick can be tricky, especially if you have a deeper complexion. It might be a case of ignoring the pinks in favour of the browns. So spend a little bit of time understanding the different tones and how they work with your complexion and you should soon be able to master the nude lips look.

Here are a few different nudes that I find work well for my skin tone (colours shown in the order they are listed below):

Find which tone works for you
Find which tone works for you Photograph: Hani Sidow for the Guardian

E.l.f. Cosmetics Blushing Brown (via Superdrug, £4.50) – a warm brown tone with a satin finish, perfect for a really natural look.

Kat Von D Lolita ll (via Debenhams, £17) – a deeper, warm-toned pink with a super matte finish.

Huda Beauty Trendsetter (via Selfridges, £18) – a peachy tone with a matte finish that works amazingly with a deep brown lip liner.

Buxom Cosmetics Instigator (via Debenhams, £15) – mauve tone liquid lipstick with a creamy matte finish.

Nip+Fab Marshmallow (via Superdrug, £7.95) – a pure liquid lipstick with a pale pink tone, great for an ombré look when mixed with a brown lip liner.

MAC Cosmetics Chestnut lip liner (via MAC Cosmetics) – pure brown lip liner with a cool tone that is perfect as a match for every nude lipstick.

Once you find out which tones work for you, play about with the products and experiment to see how you can get the most out of each colour. Here is how I do it:

Step one

First, prime your lips.
First, prime your lips. Photograph: Hani Sidow for the Guardian

Priming your lips before applying anything else is essential if you want a longer-lasting colour. My favourite is Inglot Cosmetics lip primer (via Inglot, £9), as it moisturises my lips so they still feel soft and creamy even with a matte lipstick.

Step two

A deep-brown lip liner works well with nude shades.
A deep-brown lip liner works well with nude shades. Photograph: Hani Sidow for the Guardian

A step often skipped is applying lip liner. However, a deep-brown lip liner works wonders when paired with any nude shade of lipstick for deeper skin tones, as it creates natural shadows that allow the lip colour to blend into your skin without any harsh differences. Even for fair or light complexions, a lip liner that is a shade darker will allow the lip colour to blend more effortlessly. I love the MAC cosmetics lip liner in the Chestnut shade (via Mac Cosmetics, £13), as it is a cool-toned deep brown, giving perfect definition.

Step three

Blend your lipstick outwards from the centre.
Blend your lipstick outwards from the centre. Photograph: Hani Sidow for the Guardian

Complete your look by applying your favourite shade of nude lipstick in the centre of your lips and blending it out into your lip liner. This will give the illusion of a natural shadow and highlight on your lips that blends to your skin complexion a lot better. My favourite shade of nude for everyday is the Buxom Cosmetics wildly whipped liquid lipstick in the colour Instigator (via Debenhams, £15). This is a mauve-toned pink that looks near-nude on deeper skin complexions while also adding a subtle hint of colour.

It’s always good to try different colours and don’t feel as if you should stick to one shade; everyone will have various shades – from chestnut to peachy – that can work as nudes. Just explore and see which tones suit your complexion best.

This article titled "Pucker shades: how to achieve the perfect nude lipstick look" was written by Hani Sidow, for The Guardian on Wednesday 11 October 2017 05.01am

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