drugstore lipsticks
photo: Revelist/Kala Riggins

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. 

My first pick was NYX Cosmetics Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick in Sandstorm ($7, Ulta), one of my favorite drugstore picks of all time.

nyx sandstorm
photo: Ulta

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.

NYX Lipstick
photo: Kala Riggins

I unsurprisingly liked the way it looked on my skin — this will definitely be a new go-to nude in my collection.

NYX matte lipstick
photo: Kala Riggins

Next, I tried drugstore household favorite Maybelline Color Sensational Powder Matte Lipstick in Carnal Brown ($8, Maybelline).

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.

drugstore lipstick
photo: Revelist/Kala Riggins

If you’re into lipstick formulas that are super matte, you need this in your life. It saturated my lips in pure matte edginess.

maybelline lipstick
photo: Kala Riggins

Next up: Luxury Moisturizing Lipstick in IMAN Nude ($10, IMAN Cosmetics). IMAN is a black-owned brand that specializes in makeup for women of color. Naturally, I expected this lippie to deliver. 

This nude lip shade had a slight orange hue, which looked bomb as hell with my undertones.

iman cosmetics lipstick
photo: Kala Riggins

This is now officially one of my favorite drugstore lipsticks. The coverage and the formula is amazing, end of story.

Iman nude lipstick
photo: Kala Riggins

Then I reached for Wet N Wild MegaLast Lip Color in Bare It All ($3, Walmart).

megalast lip color
photo: Walmart

This shade appeared nude in its tube, but definitely appears pink once applied.

wet n wild lipstick
photo: Kala Riggins

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. 

wet n wild lipstick
photo: Kala Riggins

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That being said, I could definitely add a liner to tone down the pink and enhance this shade.

Lastly, I tried L'Oréal Paris Colour Riche Matte Lip Color in Matte-itude ($6, Target), which was one of the highest recommendations for black women across the internet.

l'oreal lipstick
photo: Target

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. 

loreal nude lipstick
photo: Kala Riggins

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.

loreal nude lipstick
photo: Kala Riggins

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.

lipstick swatch
photo: Revelist/ Kala Riggins

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 nude
photo: Kala Riggins

>> Click to buy

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.