Just like any other lipstick lover, I always keep a hearty rotation of both high-end and affordable nude shades in my collection. Though I don't mind spending a few extra bucks for a great product, I do enjoy the convenience of picking up a drugstore lipstick on the fly. But for black women especially, buying and wearing "nude" shades can be tricky because the options for women of color have historically been limited in the mainstream.
There are dozens of "nude" lipstick options on the beauty aisle, but how many of them actually complement deeper skin tones? It was time to see for myself, so I tried five of the top-rated drugstore nudes, and here are the results.
Sandstorm is a creamy light brown neutral that swiped on with minimal effort. Although it had a super matte finish, the color was still rich and pigmented once it dried down.
I unsurprisingly liked the way it looked on my skin — this will definitely be a new go-to nude in my collection.
This chocolate nude was a brown girl's dream. The lipstick's hue is rich and deep in color, and it served as a great complement to my warm undertones.
If you’re into lipstick formulas that are super matte, you need this in your life. It saturated my lips in pure matte edginess.
This nude lip shade had a slight orange hue, which looked bomb as hell with my undertones.
This is now officially one of my favorite drugstore lipsticks. The coverage and the formula is amazing, end of story.
This shade appeared nude in its tube, but definitely appears pink once applied.
Perhaps this shade would be more nude on a darker skin tone, but on me it's a bit too pink. I think it looks good, don't get me wrong, but I wouldn't call this a "nude" on me.
That being said, I could definitely add a liner to tone down the pink and enhance this shade.
I was anxious to give this shade a try because its undertones are cooler than the lipsticks I usually go for. I wasn't sure it would compliment my complexion.
Turns out, I liked this shade a lot, despite its gray undertones that made me fear potential ashiness. I also adore the light cocoa finish. It's also hydrating and long-lasting.
Unfortunately, most of these colors didn't appear to be anywhere near "nude" on my skin, but I was still surprised by how complementary all five lipsticks were on me. I get why they're so highly recommended for deeper skin tones.
As a woman of color, I think it's important — necessary, even — to try things out to see how they wear on your skin. This nude lipstick challenge is absolute proof of that.
And that's why IMAN Nude is the winner of this challenge.
IMAN's hydrating nude, thanks to its undertones and deep hue, was the only shade in the lineup I could truly consider a nude shade, despite how much I enjoyed the other four. But hey, that's just my skin — any one of these other shades might do the same for you.
The real point here, however, is this: Beauty brands aren't providing nearly enough options for people with deep skin tones. Point blank.