Hey guys! I have been itching to write this piece for a long long time due to my own personal struggle to find my best makeup match–specifically with nude lipsticks!
Although I have a special focus on writing to black girls, I want to capture a wider spectrum of women that can have the same skin tones associated with black women–as in various hues of chocolate, caramel, gold and tans. So I give these women a new name. They shall be called Women-With-A -Lotta-Yummy-Melanin-in-Their-Skin.
Ok, now that I’ve named this group appropriately it is time to get down to business!
Let me start this off with drilling this to home right now girls–if you are a girl with a considerably amount of yummy color in your skin–guess what? No matter what Revlon, Covergirl, Maybelline and more tells you–their Nude is not for you. EVER.
The terminology of “Nude” lipsticks/lip gloss–whether sheer or permanent–is NOT for you. If you fall within a certain spectrum of determined “whiteness” from pale to tanish then yes, that nude color will work on you. Most of these companies’ nude colors paired with your skin tone or mine would look like, white. silver, gold and bright pink ( in a really bad, awful, not very good way!)
I know the frustration, believe me .
You go to those pharmacy stores and grab every lip color that has has the title “nude” . You get the pinker hue for the more natural look, the tannish one hoping it will give you a holistic matching skin tone look and that special Kim Kardashian-esque shiny flesh-toned “clear” or “universal” lip look.
Then you get home. You’re giddy.
You break them all outta the bag and pour them all over your bed. You rip the plastic off the tubes. You grab your mirror and get started–you simply can’t wait til the next day to try them out!
And so, you apply….and apply….and you have a bemused look on your face.
Then you grab the next one and apply….and apply …and you are in denial.
This continues until you finally release a heavy sigh.
How can this be??? They all said “nude” yet they are not on you! You have failed in your search for the perfect nude. You literally look worse than a Bratz doll–especially with the shiny nude color!
What is one to do? The first and foremost step you Women-With-A-Lotta Yummy-Melanin-in-Their-Skin must realize is this: You. Are. DARK.
You might vary in tones and hues of brown in reality, but you are very much designated as a “dark” person . And once you come to this realization you arrive at a second realization–most name brand makeup were not made with you in mind! In fact, they never have been! For example, many years before black women were ever recognized by major makeup brands; black women would grind and mix their own personal creations to get their wearable makeup. Now those days may be of the past, but the same thinking must be applied when makeup shopping.
If you are dark and the makeup tones, specifically lip colors, were not made with you in mind then that means their nude can never be for you. Oh my, then what can you do?
Look at brown tones.
I know, I know, the brown tones are usually not in the section of “nude” looks by these name brands. In fact, they are usually at the end of the displays! You will look at it distantly and register in your mind that “brown is the last, overly dramatic and least desirable” option for you. But the exact opposite is true. Get those browns ladies. From shiny to light to dark, get them. And really take into consideration what your skin tone is in relation to those colors.
Test it on your skin like you would a foundation color. Why? Because if nude is the color of your skin, then it must have the same blending in factor as the “perfect” foundation. And while on that subject, you Women-With-A -Lotta-Yummy-Melanin-in-Their-Skin have it harder than most when finding the perfect foundation too! Most companies carry a limited range of browns that will make our skin pop. That is where professional organizations, like Sephora, come in super handy for us.
Now places like Sephora actually craft your look for you on the spot while you decide what you purchase.
Specifically ask them for a nude color makeover–as these places tend to go for a smoky eye/dramatic lip combo immediately to really “wow“ you into buying their products. I’ve found that most girls love the experience of an on-the-spot free makeover and don’t always purchase the lipsticks tried on them and instead focus on getting that foundation and amazing blendable blush and eyeshadow.
No, no ladies.
Your prime focus should be on your lipstick. Because at these places you see that when you ask for “nude” what you get is not a typical “nude” color–it’s most definitely a hue of brown. Yup. Revelation Time!
If you can’t afford the pricey department store makeups and pharmacy makeup is your haven, always go for the browns first. Ignore, I repeat, ignore the displays that say “nude “ or “natural” because sweetie , it’s simply not for you!
I want to mention Shabbos Makeup for a second.
It is makeup made specifically for holding up all the way through Shabbat meals with no re-application necessary. It is for those who are sticklers for not applying makeup on Shabbat due to religious observance interpretations. When Shabbos Makeup first took center stage in Frummie Land it was a time before real permanent makeup was a widespread thing in pharmacy type makeups.
When I came fresh outta seminary I, like other girls from my year really were hard core into doing everything 100% religious by the Frummie Book. So I also only believed in using specifically Shabbos Makeup on Shabbat. But the more that I and girls of similar skin tones to me used it, the more I realized how ridiculous and clown-like we looked. We didn’t understand it at first. We always used the darkest foundation shade available in the Shabbos Makeup lineup. We used the so-called nude or natural looking lipsticks. Yet we did not look as amazing as we should have like our lighter skinned friends.
At that age I was pretty new to the makeup world and didn’t understand at all what I was playing with . It took many years to understand why it did not work out for us. Just because a foundation in the Shabbos Makeup selection was the darkest doesn’t mean it suited us.
Because Shabbos Makeup, like the start of the makeup empire many years ago, was not created with us in mind. We were trying to fit into a niche that didn’t exist for our skin tones. Even today I see women wearing makeup that doesn’t suit them without realizing that something is wrong because they, like I did, wear the darkest shade available in Shabbos Makeup and the nude lip colors provided to them. Ladies, it has to stop.
Without getting into red and yellow undertones in combination with dark skin tones I want to suggest that you all see an expert first that has actual experience with working with Women-With-A-Lotta-Yummy-Melanin-in-Their-Skin. If they have never worked with anyone that looks like you; you will leave that appointment looking like a fool. Don’t let the abuse of your beauty continue. Take your makeup look into your own hands!
Here is a brief list for you ladies of affordable browns that will look amazing as our nude lip colors. Also, some nudes listed here can work for more than one skin tone type:
For the Dark to Deep Brown Colors Nude Lip Color Looks:
NYX: Terra Cotta Extra Creamy Round Lipstick
Covergirl: Mocha Queen Collection
Revlon: Caramel Glace Super Lustrous Lipstick
Revlon: Coffee Bean Super Lustrous Lipstick
For the Caramel to Medium Brown Nude Lip Color Looks:
NYX : Cannes Matte Lip Cream
NYX: Terra Cotta Extra Creamy Round Lipstick
Maybelline : Totally Toffee Color Sensational Lip Color
Bobbi Brown: Uber Beige Rich Lip Color Collection
Milani ( a makeup brand made specifically for black women) -Nude Cream Lip Color
Wet n’ Wild — Bare it All Megalast Lip Stick
For the Light Brown to Tan Nude Lip Color Looks:
Covergirl Queen Collection Spicy Seduction
NYX : Maison Lip Color
NYX : Cannes Matte Lip Cream
NYX: Heredes Extra Creamy Round Lipstick
For the real “Universal” Nude Lip Color Looks:
Bobbi Brown: Cocoa & Chocolate Lipstick
Revlon : Hazelnut Colorburst Lipstick
Maybelline : Bean There Color Sensational Lipstick
Remember ladies–your undertones whether yellow or red will have an impact on the way this nude color looks on you. In general though, these colors can compensate for your undertones. Make sure to see a professional , like Sephora, to educate yourself more on these specifics. I hope that with this piece you are one step closer to finding the nude that is really for you!
Bye for now! Until next time, make sure to get some Sugar and Spice in your life!
Elisheva is a Brooklyn born, Brooklyn bred Modern Orthodox J.A.A.P. (Jewish African American Princess). Her greatest passions are fashion and dance. She hopes that one day dance and fashion can truly heal the world.