Nude colours for a darker complexion

Neutral shades for the brown-skinned beauty. 
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To all my brown-skinned beauties out there, it’s time to stop pretending that those “nude” lipsticks match our actual dark skin tones.

I, like so many other preteens, made my nervous foray into the makeup world in the cosmetics aisle at my local Walmart. I’d spend hours finding the right pressed powder in the sale section or choosing between two relatively identical face masks. 

But, the thing I love most, to the detriment of my bank account, is lipstick. Just ask my mom, who won’t stop chastising me about the row of red lipsticks — all apparently in the same shade — lined up on my dresser.  

When I’m looking for some confidence or when I’m dressed to impress, there’s nothing that works better than a hot red lip to make me feel like I can get through the day. 

But often, on an ordinary school day, I find myself searching for the perfect nude lip to play-up my casual outfit. 

Sadly, in a world where items marketed as “nude” are actually made for white people, it takes some desperate digging through racks of lipsticks to find the right nude for a brown girl like me. 

In general, look for lipsticks in browner tones that are either a couple shades darker than your skin, or a shade darker than your natural lip colour — just to add a little definition.

But to ease the burden for my brown sisters out there looking for a wearable nude lip, here are some that have worked wonders for me.

Maybelline’s ColorSensational Lipcolor: “Crazy for Coffee”

The name of this shade spoke to me on a deep level, and when I applied it, the colour was nothing short of perfect. 

Although it seems darker on the Maybelline website, it’s two or three shades darker than my tan, olive skin, with a really flattering pink undertone.This is the only lipstick I’ve ever finished completely, because its moisturizing soft finish makes it just that easy to throw on as an everyday lipstick. As an added bonus, it retails at just $8. Clearly, there’s no going wrong with this one.

Revlon Lacquer Balm: “Coy”

A lipstick that offers the perks of both a lipstick and a lip balm is a winner in my eyes (or lips).

Especially for the cold winter months where it seems your lips are always in chapped territory, the Revlon Lacquer Balm is a necessity. It can add a hint of colour, but doesn’t have the heavy feel of a lipstick. It feels like any lip balm, with a slight sheen and a moisturizing effect.

On a more relaxed day, I can wear it just as is, with one coat and some smudging. On a day when I feel a little more adventurous, I’ll wear it over a nice pink lip liner for the ideal sophisticated look.

NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil: “Walkyrie”

I rarely splurge on makeup. However, when I do it’s necessary that I’m getting a bang for my buck. This NARS pencil satisfies just that. This shade is the ideal balance between a vibrant, over-the-top pink and deep brown. It falls just a couple of shades darker than natural lip colour, but with a deeper tone and a beautiful matte finish. 

If a bold red lip is the right match for the first date, this colour is the one for round two.

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