Favorites Roundup

Favorite Neutral Lip Colors

November 29, 2017

Today’s post is one by popular request. It seems many of you love neutral lip colors as much as I do and it’s a topic you babes would like to see recommendations or swatches for. I’m a huge fan of nude and subtle-toned (nude) pink lips but finding good options in either category that doesn’t wash out my complexion can often times be tricky, so I totally understand the pain of finding a good one. Fortunately there are a number of shades that exist that work for my pigmented lips and medium skin. While testing for new lip colors is always ongoing, I wanted to share some of my tried and true favorites along with some new discoveries. Many of you want to know what I think are the best on the market but I have to say that it all depends on various factors, i.e.; your finish preference, color preference, formula type, coverage and of course, your skin tone as well as its undertone has a major say in how a lip color will ultimately look on you. When thinking neutral, nude instantly springs to mind and virtually everyone has a different definition of the term “nude” – there is a wide realm of various iterations including beige nudes, pink nudes, flesh nudes, peach nudes, brown nudes, etc. Depending on skin tone, undertone and lip tone, you may find that certain neutrals or nudes work better for you than it does on others and vice versa. I’ve split mine into formula categories below:

Favorite sheer formulas

  • Nars Lipstick in Crusing is a soft, nude pink and sheer coverage cream. It has a transparent quality that allows the natural lip color to shine through but gives the lips enough of a visible tint to where it looks like you’re wearing something with a nice, subtle glossy sheen. If you’re looking for the medium to full coverage answer to Cruising, I highly recommend the shade Barbara.
  • Tom Ford Boys & Girls Lip Color in Carine (full details here) is a high-impact sheer color that is easy to wear and feels amazing on the lips. The color is a warm, light beige and can pull a bit light depending on your skin tone (mine is medium), so you may need to either layer with a lip liner or gloss on top to tweak the color if you don’t like the initial finish. This is a perfect nude sheer lipstick for those who are not ready for full-on color coverage or simply for those who enjoy a natural look.

Swatched on the arm

Swatched on the lips. For skin tone reference, I am not wearing any foundation and am completely barefaced here. My skin tone is medium with pink undertones. The swatches below feature one coat of color.

Favorite classic formulas

  • Tom Ford Lip Color in All Mine, Bad Lieutenant, Naked Ambition and Spiced Honey (full details here) is my holy grail neutral lip formula. See linked review for in-depth review.
  • Tom Ford Ultra-Rich Lip Color in Revolve Around Me is the most flawless nude peachy beige shade I own. It’s a wearable beige cream that doesn’t wash out my complexion, lasts long and feels good on the lips. This is my second tube since the initial launch and has a permanent reservation on my holy grail list. Tom Ford can do no wrong.
  • Tom Ford Boys & Girls Lip Color in Austin, Bradley and Graham (full details here) are always a favorite. The Boys & Girls collection ranks in my top 3 of worthy luxury splurges. The formulas have either a matte, high-shine, satin or metallic finish, texture is smooth ranging from sheer to full coverage.
  • MAC x Nicki Minaj Lipstick in The Pinkprint and Nicki’s Nude (full details here) had to be added to my favorites list even though it is a limited edition range. A general rule of thumb for me is to not become attached to limited edition offerings but I simply cannot resist the colors – they wear really well and I have been very impressed with the smooth texture and level of coverage with these. Over the years a few MAC lipsticks have been hit or miss for me formula-wise, but each of these has fully opaque color payoff and have a lightweight, creamy texture that adheres well to the lips lasting for well over five hours.
  • Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipstick in Honeycomb is a full coverage, super creamy lipstick. For years I’ve been searching to find that perfect nude and the shade Honeycomb hit almost all the checkmarks. My second favorite color from the Amuse Bouche Lipstick collection is Meringue, a gorgeous soft pinkish nude.
  • Hourglass GIRL Lip Stylo (full details here) in Believer and Dreamer are classified as lip crayons but features the color intensity of a lipstick. These are holy grail lip products that I recommend for anyone to give a try.

Swatched on the arm

Swatched on the lips. For skin tone reference, I am not wearing any foundation and am completely barefaced here. My skin tone is medium with pink undertones. The swatches below feature one coat of color.

Favorite lip gloss formulas

  • My most-used lip glosses are the Nars Velvet Lip Glides in Stripped, Unlaced and Suck (full details here). The Velvet Lip Glide formula marries the comfortable lightweight cloak of a lip gloss and the finish of a lipstick. The Velvet Lip Glides are highly saturated, richly pigmented lip colors that provide ultimate hydration and long-lasting wear. They have a smooth, non-sticky consistency with a weightless feel that glides product effortlessly onto the lips achieving strong color coverage in just a few swipes. Their finish is described as a “semi-matte”, but on initial swipe they maintain a creamy sheen until about hour 3 where the finish develops into a velvety one instead.
  • Bite Beauty Prismatic Pearl Crème Lip Gloss in Champagne (full details here) is a warm, light to medium bronzy gold with subtle orange undertones and has fine golden and pearl shimmer. This is a gloss I turn to if I want a more modern look. It has semi- opaque coverage with a lightweight texture that is comfortable to wear without any grittiness from the shimmer particles. Champagne is such a gorgeous metallic color and adds a beautiful shine to the lips that is easy to apply, not to mention hydrating. On its own the color is stunning, but I personally love to wear it as a topper in combination with the Bite Beauty Lip Pencil in #036 and Cashew Multistick, as seen in this post.
  • Marc Jacobs Beauty Enamored Hi-Shine Lip Lacquer in Skin Deep (full details here) is a warm light to medium nude beige with subtle peach undertones. The Enamored Hi-Shine Lip Lacquers are high impact glosses that act more like a liquid lipstick than a gloss. These deliver maximum color with sheer to medium coverage and a brilliant shine that contributes to an optical plumping look. There is a subtle sweet minty scent to the glosses that feels quite cooling on the lips but is not tingly whatsoever.

Swatched on the arm

Swatched on the lips. For skin tone reference, I am not wearing any foundation and am completely barefaced here. My skin tone is medium with pink undertones. The swatches below feature one coat of color.

Favorite liquid lipstick formulas

  • Another Marc Jacobs Beauty favorite are the Le Marc Liquid Lip Crèmes (full details here). The color Fawn Over Me is a gorgeous peachy nude that perfectly accentuates my complexion. Often times peach-toned lipsticks do not specifically flatter me so when I find one that does I will wear it to no end. This formula is one of the only liquid lipstick formulas I can tolerate as it has an extremely creamy texture that does not settle into my lip lines like most liquid lipstick formulas do.
  • A newly discovered liquid lip favorite is the MAC Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour Metallics in the color Softly Rockin’ (full details here). This is hands down one of the best matte formulas because it has a luminous, metallic matte finish that brings dimension to the lips, and is also hydrating so it won’t dry out the lips. The formula is really quite good and I love how comfortable they feel on the lips. They have a lightweight feel and wear like silk throughout their impeccable wear time.

Swatched on the arm

Swatched on the lips. For skin tone reference, I am not wearing any foundation and am completely barefaced here. My skin tone is medium with pink undertones. The swatches below feature one coat of color.

And that wraps up my favorite neutral lip colors and formulas.I hope you find the details and swatches I provided helpful in order to perhaps help you find your next favorite neutral. If I was forced to pick a number one, I would definitely say it’s All Mine by Tom Ford. It’s literally the ultimate nude and it flatters my complexion gorgeously. I’m always looking for the next best thing in nudes and subtle pinks so if you have any recommendations of course I’d love to hear them!

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