I’ve written a huge amount on red lipstick in my time, so people often assume I’ll be scornful of a more restrained look. The truth is, I adore nudes and wear them a good deal more often. I’m fussy about the terminology, however: a nude should be any colour skin or lips could conceivably be, not the generic beige of a Caucasian support stocking. A muted beigey-rose is my own default daytime lipstick shade, because it goes with any eye look and is always smart and appropriate.
Poppy King Lipstick Queen’s new The Truth (£22; there’s also The Whole Truth, a peachier nude; and Nothing But The Truth, which is browner) fits that brief exactly. Unlike most modern lipstick launches, the collection has a slightly moist finish rather than a wholly matte one, making it comfy, easy to wear and a tad more flattering on older lips. I adore it.
A darker take (and equally gorgeous on white, brown and black skins) is Kate Moss for Rimmel’s Nude No 48 (£5.99), from a five-strong collection of perfect nudes with varied undertones. Again, the finish is soft and the staying power decent (Kate Moss lipsticks are so far ahead of anything in their price bracket that she’s rather running away with it. How hard can it be for the rest?).
Trish McEvoy’s new Beauty Booster in Rose (£31, out this week) is my current beloved. It’s a moist lipstick and easy-blending creme blusher in one perfectly shaped bullet, and one that fakes a healthy flush on most complexions (there’s none of the dusky cast so common in rose shades, making it as lovely on darker skins).
But nudes needn’t be realistic or demure: in a slightly paler tone than your own lips, they’re sexy. Charlotte Tilbury’s Matte Revolution in Pillow Talk (£24, previously a limited-edition sell-out, but now back for good) is among my most worn lipsticks and looks particularly good with smoky shadow and dramatic lashes. It’s one of those pale 1960s sex kitten nudes, but not one that’s so washed out that you appear either consumptive or dressed as Dusty Springfield. It also comes in a liner (£16) that matches perfectly and can be worn around almost any lipstick to define or enlarge the lips. One side of my mouth is lower than the other. I always correct it with this.
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