Best nude liquid lipsticks for brown girls

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From L-R. Colourpop Chi, Jeffree Star Celebrity Skin, Dose of Colours Truffle, TheBalm Committed, Coloured Raine Mars, Kat Von D Lolita 2, NYX SMLC in Cannes, TheBalm Charming, Kat Von D Lolita, Jouer Noisette, TheBalm Trustworthy

This is probably one of the topics I get asked about the most… I love a good nude lip. But if you’re anything beyond NC25 you may have noticed that a lot of ‘nudes’ look straight up baby pink or like you have concealer on your lips circa 2009. That would be because they are often made for lighter skin tones. That’s a whole other debate, and I won’t get into it other than to quickly say that I’m glad more brands are catering for women of colour these days! Anyway, the trick to finding the ‘perfect nude‘ is to look at the undertone of it. Nudes with brown undertones tend to be fairly flattering on brown skin, though they’re often a little dark so channel that 90s vibe. If you want a straight up nude, go for something warm/neutral/orange based. Anything pink/cool based like lighter nudes won’t flatter medium/tan/dark skin very well. Of course, this is all dependent on individual preferences. There’s a lot about your lips that will influence how a shade looks on you including natural lip pigmentation, dryness and size.

Why Liquid Lipsticks?

I pretty much ONLY wear liquid lipsticks now. I have a lot of them, last count was 40 odd?! Crazy I know. But it’s because a few years ago, before there was the plethora of liquid lipstick (LL) choice, I really really struggled with lipstick. I have naturally pretty pigmented lips and no bullet lipstick could cover the pigmentation properly and stay true to the colour and finish that was promised. Trust me, I tried all of them. Everyone used to swear by the MAC matte bullets but seriously, they stayed on my lips for a hot 2.5 minutes before disappearing into thin air. Then, years and years ago we were on holiday in Abu Dhabi, and I went in to Sephora and bought a Sephora Cream Lip Stain. These were one of the first ‘liquid lipsticks’ out there, and they weren’t even marketed as that back then. I realised that I could wear it and it would stay put on my lips for hours! I had a super dark vampy colour and I loved it but I didn’t get anymore of those. The current formulation of LLs across the board are far superior. So not long after, I discovered Stila’s Stay All Day LLs. And I told everyone and their mother (including my own mother). Seriously, I bought loads of colours for myself, I bought more to give to people as gifts, I just had to let people know about this lipstick advancement! Word spread quickly, and soon enough all my friends and family were walking round with their Stila LLs in their bags. I maintain to this day that the Stila formula is one of the best and it was one of the originals, so if you want to start somewhere then Stila is a great brand. It’s also easily accessible in the UK, online or in M&S. You’ll notice that Stila hasn’t found its way on to this list.. The colour selection is somewhat disappointing. And the ‘nude’ shade of the bunch – Dolce, is not the best. It’s patchy and weirdly glittery and I just don’t like it. Patina, on the other hand, is a nice rosy shade but I wouldn’t class it as nude. It’s a light mauve. It looks VERY different on different skin tones but it doesn’t look bad on any at all. It used to always be sold out but I think the Patina hype has died down a little now! I remember when I got it a couple of years ago, I was on the waiting list for ages and as soon as it came out it had sold out within the afternoon! Ah, those were the days.

Anyway, lets move on to the nudes.

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Colourpop, Chi$6 (£4.63)

This was part of the Karrueche ColourPop collection a few months ago. It’s a neutral nude, perfect for medium-tan skin tones that won’t pull grey or pink. The formula is pretty good and it’s not expensive.

  • Pigmentation – 8/10
  • Texture – 7/10
  • Longevity – 7/10
  • Price – 9/10
  • Overall – 8/10

Jeffree Star, Celebrity Skin, £14 (Keep checking back for stock updates)

Controversy aside, JS are known for having one of the best LL formulas. I obviously had to test this out, so as soon as Cocktail Cosmetics got a restock of popular shades I was all over it. It’s one of the lighter nudes on this list but it’s warm based and will work for light-medium skin no problem. Tan skin might struggle as it’ll pull a little grey/pink and might blend in too much, but dark tones should be able to pull it off as a lighter nude. It’s pretty thin, and it can go on a little streaky so needs a couple of coats but tbh, that’s common with all lighter LL shades. I think it’s due to the type of white pigment. It wears off fairly inoffensively and doesn’t tend to crumble which is always good. I’m not sure I’d consider it the best formula out there but it’s a solid effort and it’s a decent price.

  • Pigmentation – 6/10
  • Texture – 7/10
  • Longevity – 7/10
  • Price – 8/10
  • Overall – 7/10

Dose of Colours, Truffle, £14.50

This one is almost always sold out but I’m particularly grateful to beautybay for stocking dose of colours as a brand anyway. This is another brand that supposedly has the best LL formula and again, I have to disagree. Whilst this performs better than some others on the list, the moussey texture lets it down more than expected. It wears away and looks a bit silly in the centre of the lips even if you don’t eat anything oily. I would put this down to the shade but I have another one from DoC, called Berry Me and that one is even worse! It literally peels off. This one isn’t as bad. It’s very comfortable and easy to reapply once you’ve put it on so its longevity is not a huge deal if you’re prepared to carry it around with you all day. The packaging is cute and sophisticated also. It’s a pink based nude and it’ll work for light – medium skin. Any darker and you’ll be wearing a lovely shade of pink, as opposed to nude.

  • Pigmentation – 8/10
  • Texture – 7/10
  • Longevity – 7/10
  • Price – 9/10
  • Overall – 8/10

TheBalm, Committed, £13.50

A warm, pinky nude that is comfortable, smells great, easy to get hold of (online or in Superdrug stores), lasts for ages and wears away fairly inoffensively. It’s perfect for lighter – medium skin. Anything beyond NC42 will find it pink.

  • Pigmentation – 9/10
  • Texture – 8/10
  • Longevity – 9/10
  • Price – 9/10
  • Overall – 9/10

Coloured Raine, Mars, £15

This one is a dusty rose, it’s not really brown based but it’s the Stila Patina shade for brown girls and the formula is excellent. It’s a good price and is very flattering. This is a ‘go to’ daily shade for me.

  • Pigmentation – 9/10
  • Texture – 9/10
  • Longevity – 9/10
  • Price – 8/10
  • Overall – 9/10

Kat Von D, Lolita 2, $20 (£15.48)

I bought this as part of the Lolita duo released on Sephora website last year. I’d always wanted KVD Lolita and the chance to grab both of these shades was too good to miss. It’s a travel sized tube so it’s a bit on the tiny side but you can get it in full sized. I heard KVD was launching in Debenhams this September so hopefully her LLs come with her! It’s a terracotta nude. Orange based nudes are VERY flattering for asian medium skin in particular so I always get lots of compliments when I wear this. The KVD formula can be a little drying but pop a lip balm on beforehand to moisturise if you suffer from dry lips.

  • Pigmentation – 9/10
  • Texture – 9/10
  • Longevity – 9/10
  • Price – 8/10
  • Overall – 9/10

NYX SMLC, Cannes, £5.50

This takes a while to dry down fully, it’s pretty similar to Charming from TheBalm in terms of colour when dry but it takes about half an hour to dry and mattify. That’s great if you know you can’t eat or drink for half an hour! It’s a nice, daily colour that wears off subtly. It’s very affordable so NYX SMLC are a great place to try out different colours.

  • Pigmentation – 7/10
  • Texture – 8/10
  • Longevity – 6/10
  • Price – 9/10
  • Overall – 7/10

TheBalm, Charming, £13.50

This is one of my all time favourites. It’s a deep mauve shade as opposed to a nude but it complements my skin tone really nicely. It’s a trendy shade too – it channels major popular colourpop/girlactik vibes. The formula, as described above, is excellent. It’s one of the few lipsticks that I have a backup of incase it ever goes missing!

  • Pigmentation – 9/10
  • Texture – 9/10
  • Longevity – 9/10
  • Price – 8/10
  • Overall – 9.5/10

Kat Von D, Lolita, $20 (£15.48)

Although I have this in the mini size as part of the kit, I also have it in full sized because it’s so perfect. It’s a browny, dusty rose that looks different on everyone (not to mention the fact that there have been three versions of the same shade), but i think this is the one here to stay. It evens out my lip pigmentation so it looks like I have none and is just a very flattering, comfortable lipstick.

  • Pigmentation – 9/10
  • Texture – 9/10
  • Longevity – 9/10
  • Price – 8/10
  • Overall – 9/10

Jouer, Noisette, £15

My favourite nude of all time. The formula is great, it smells nice, it’s easy to carry. It’s a lovely warm medium brown with neutral undertones and not a hint of pink. It dries almost immediately and lasts for ages. Although the Jouer brand is very good, Cassis which is a purple mauve shade slightly underperformed compared to Noisette, so not all the colours across the brand are perfect unfortunately 😦

  • Pigmentation – 9/10
  • Texture – 10/10
  • Longevity – 10/10
  • Price – 8/10
  • Overall – 10/10

TheBalm, Trustworthy, £13.50

This is one of the newer shades from TheBalm. It’s a spicy reddy brown and is actually the liquid lipstick version of Spice Lipliner from Mac. **Cue mad rush to buy it**. TheBalm is very consistent with its formula across the shades and this one is as excellent as the other two on this list.

  • Pigmentation – 9/10
  • Texture – 9/10
  • Longevity – 9/10
  • Price – 8/10
  • Overall – 9.5/10

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From L-R.  TheBalm Trustworthy, Jouer Noisette, Kat Von D LolitaTheBalm CharmingNYX SMLC in CannesKat Von D Lolita 2, TheBalm CommittedColoured Raine Mars, Dose of Colours TruffleJeffree Star Celebrity SkinColourpop Chi

4 thoughts on “Best nude liquid lipsticks for brown girls

  1. Hey Huma,

    I, like you have crossed over to the LL world. They not only stay on for longer but are easy to apply too lol. I have yet to try The Balm’s liquid lipsticks. However, I was quite disappointed with Kat Von D’s Lolita (1 & 2 both) it hardly stayed on my lips. A cup of tea and its all blotchy and disappears. I am so glad sephora has increased their number of shades for the liquid lip stains. 🙂

    Like

    • Oh no! I think it’s a little on the thin, drying side but it stays even for me. She deffo reformulates regularly though so maybe you got a bad batch? Hopefully you find something that works! TheBalm is amazing x

      Like

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