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The best nude lipstick to buy in 2023

Find the best nude lipstick with our guide, from matte to glossy looks

When it comes to makeup bag staples, you simply can’t go wrong with the best nude lipstick that perfectly complements your skin tone. Whether you’re after a casual look or something altogether more dressier, our roundup and guide will help you find the best nude lipstick for you.

Of course, nude lipsticks encompass a range of different shades, with some veering towards a pinky nude to beiges, dusky browns and taupes. Truly, there is a nude lipstick shade and formulation out there for everyone, and to suit every budget.

Whether you have the fairest or darkest of skin tones, prefer a creamy and hydrating finish or a more matte option, we have put countless nude lipsticks to the test to discover which work best. Read on for our buying guide covering the key information to consider before you make a purchase, followed by our roundup of top picks.

Best nude lipstick: At a glance

How to choose the best nude lipstick for you

What do I need to consider when buying nude lipstick?

Taking your skin tone and even the undertones of your skin into consideration is particularly important in making sure that the shade of your chosen lipstick both flatters and enhances your skin and doesn’t look too light or too dark for your complexion.

While your skin tone should be somewhat easy to ascertain, it may be a little more difficult to tell what your undertones are. But these undertones can determine if you suit warmer or cooler shades of nude lipstick.

Whether you prefer gold or silver jewellery can in part help to determine your skin’s undertone. If gold suits you more, you have warmer undertones. If silver is preferential, you have cooler undertones. Consequently, if you like to wear and look good in both, you have a neutral undertone to your skin.

For warmer undertones, slightly browner or mauve coloured shades may work best, whereas those with cooler undertones may want to opt for pinker hues. The same can be said for darker and lighter skin tones. If you have darker skin, bronze and brown nudes may suit you and your skin best, while pinkier and purple-tinged nudes may work best for lighter to medium skin colours. But, as with all makeup, rules are meant to be broken: these are only a guideline to use when attempting to pick through many varied nude colours.

What formulations should I look out for?

While we’ve mostly focused on lipsticks in stick form for this list,you’ll also find liquid lipsticks, glossier formulations and balms, crayons and tints, all of which have their own merits. But if you’re after a classic nude lipstick, we find that traditional lipsticks are best for a combination of wearability and great colour options.

What is the best way to apply nude lipstick?

You can either apply the lipstick directly to your lips or you can use a lip brush to soften the look. To ensure that your nude lipstick lasts all day, we do recommend lining your lips with a similar nude-toned lip liner and potentially even using it to colour in the entirety of your lip to almost act as a primer for your lipstick.

How much should I spend?

There really is no need to spend more than £30 on a nude lipstick, with many great options coming in at around the £20 mark. That’s not to say that there aren’t any more budget friendly options. Our best value nude lipstick is just over £5 and is a great option for a vast array of skin colours.

How we test nude lipsticks

At Expert Reviews, we know that hands-on testing delivers the most complete information about a product. When testing lipsticks, we apply each of the formulas on review to natural lips – without having applied a lip primer or alternative lip product beforehand – to evaluate the overall ease of application, as well as how smoothly and evenly the lipstick adheres to the lips. We also note how well the lipstick lasts over the course of a day of wear, and whether any of the product smudges or transfers as the hours progress.

We test each nude lipstick on a variety of different skin tones, to determine the most complementary shades. We also judged each nude lipstick on whether it delivered any moisturising or hydrating benefits. Finally, we confirm whether or not the lipsticks are vegan and/or cruelty free.

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The best nude lipstick you can buy in 2023

1. Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Pillow Talk: Best all-round nude lipstick

Price when reviewed: £27 | Check price at John Lewis

There’s a reason why this is one of the most talked about lipsticks currently on the market. When it comes to a shade that almost everyone can wear, this is it. Even though it is dubbed a matte lipstick, don’t worry about it being too dry, especially if you have naturally dry lips. Its cushiony finish leaves a lovely natural sheen to the lips.

The slightly pink hue of this nude lipstick looks flattering on a whole range of skin colours and undertones. But if you are looking for something a tad deeper, check out Pillow Talk Medium, which is available in the same exact formulation.

Key details – Vegan: No; Cruelty free: Yes

2. Bobbi Brown Luxe Shine Intense Lipstick in Bare Truth: Best nude lipstick for dry lips

Price when reviewed: £35 | Check price at House of Fraser

If you suffer from dry lips, you should look out for a nourishing lipstick. We really like the richly hydrating formula of the Luxe Shine Intense Lipstick from Bobbi Brown. And as the name suggests, this leaves lips with a lovely and healthy shine to them. With hyaluronic acid and vitamin E, this lipstick is also buildable and has a lot of pigmentation to it too.

The shade featured here, Bare Truth, is a lovely combination of mauve, light pink and beige undertones to create a nude that works on the fairest of skin tones right through to darker skin.

Key details – Vegan: Yes; Cruelty free: No

Check price at House of Fraser

3. Huda Beauty Power Bullet Cream Glow in Angel: Best nude lipstick for fair skin

Price when reviewed: £24 | Check price at Boots

As pinker shades can often complement fairer skin tones, this light pink nude works particularly well on freckled complexions. The formulation of this lipstick is also impressive, working to smooth and condition lips at the same time as packing some serious pigmentation.

Even though we’re recommending this specific shade for fairer skin tones, there are also some great shades available in this range for medium and darker skin tones and they are buildable depending on how much of an impact you are looking to make.

Key details – Vegan: Yes; Cruelty free: Yes

Check price at Boots

4. Fenty Beauty Slip Shine Sheer Shiny Lipstick in Cookies & Cocoa: Best nude lipstick for dark skin

Price when reviewed: £20 | Check price at Boots

Fenty Beauty has several chocolate-y brown shades, all of which look incredible on darker skin tones, but our favourite has to be Cookies & Cocoa. With a buildable, creamy texture, this is also another great option for those who struggle with dry or cracked lips.

We love the shine that this lipstick gives to complement darker skin tones. And the fact that it is almost a combination of a lip colour, balm and shiny gloss means that it is pleasant to wear for multiple hours.

Key details – Vegan: No; Cruelty free: Yes

Check prices at Boots

5. Revolution Pro New Neutral Satin Matte Lipstick in Cashmere: Best value nude lipstick

Price when reviewed: £5.99 | Check price at LookFantastic

A great budget option, this Revolution Pro lipstick mixes satin and matte finishes to provide maximum comfort, and the soft and creamy formula blends nicely to give a natural nude look to the lips.

We’re also impressed with the quality of the tube itself, which makes it look a lot more expensive than its £5 price point: the golden leopard print design and magnetised closure really elevates this great value lipstick even further.

Key details – Vegan: Yes; Cruelty free: Yes

Check price at LookFantastic

6. Maybelline Superstay 24 Matte Ink Lipstick in Driver: Best long lasting nude lipstick

Price when reviewed: £9.99 | Check price at LookFantastic

If you’re looking for a nude lipstick that will last all day (and even all night), this matte liquid lipstick from Maybelline is a great choice. With a formulation that feels nice on the lips even after over twelve hours of wear, this light nude will also work with a range of different skin colours and undertones.

The applicator is also one of the best for making sure that the lips are covered easily within seconds. So if you don’t want your lipstick moving throughout the day or leaving a mark on your coffee cup, this is definitely one to try out.

Key details – Vegan: No; Cruelty free: No

Check price at LookFantastic

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