How to look amazing in the nude

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How to look amazing in the nude

One of the most influential beauty trends for winter is also one of the trickiest. Get neutral lips right and they look understatedly chic; get them wrong and you look washed out and underdone. We asked make-up artist and beautyheaven member Yolanda Lukowski how to make naked lips work on everyone…

States of undress

Not all ‘nudes’ are created equal. Some are neutrals, designed to impart an earthy colour that downplays the natural tint of your lips; others are fleshier tones, meant to complement the colour of your naked mouth. “Running the gamut from mocha and beige to dusky rose and even sheer berry, this understated palette can seem complex, but everyone can go nude,” insists make-up artist Yolanda Lukowski. “You just have to find the right hue for you.” The secret is to start with your skin tone: 

Fair skin

“Be careful here,” advises Yolanda. “Fair skin needs a touch of colour to avoid looking like a zombie. My favourite nude is Prada Shielding Balm in No 4 [$85 for set of eight], a slight, sheer hint of red that looks really natural. Too beige a colour will just wash a fair complexion out.” 
Buys to try:  
MAC Lipstick in Spirit (muted pink/beige brown), $34
Benefit Silky Finish Lipstick in Skinny Dip (nude pink), $30

Golden skin

“These lucky girls can wear most nude/beige shades,” explains Yolanda. But there are rules: “Watch that the beige is not too grey. Go for a warmer tone, like caramel, instead.”
Buys to try:
Rimmel London Rich Moisture Lipstick in Dreamy (creamy nude), $12.95
Australis Colour Max Lipstick in Caramel Caress (subtle caramel), $9.95
Cargo Cosmetics Plant Love Botanical Lipstick in Mariska (warm nude cream), $32

Olive skin

“This complexion can wear almost any nude/beige shade, but it doesn’t have to have that morbid fear of the grey beige,” says Yolanda. “With an olive skin, this colour can actually appear flattering!”
Buys to try:
MAC Lipstick in Frou (muted beige with silvery aspect), $34
L’Oreal Paris Star Secrets lipstick in Aishwarya Rai (beige), $22.50
Nars Lipstick in Tanganyka (neutral plum brown), $49

Dark skin

“Stick with a rich brown tone,” advises Yolanda. “Think chocolatey beige or luscious coffee colours.”
Buys to try:
Avon Color Trend Lipstick in Cappuccino and Café au Lait (coffee colours), $7.99 each
Gorgeous Cosmetics Lipstick in Choc Frost (chocolate), $30
Benefit Silky Finish Lipstick on Hold It! (deep raisin cream), $30

Yellow-toned skin

“A nice latte or mocha colour will suit a slightly yellow-based skin wonderfully,” Yolanda instructs.
Buys to try:
Proof Cosmetics Lipstick in Micro Latte (light latte brown), $35
Maybelline New York Moisture Extreme Lipstick in Mocha Ice , $12.95

Finishing touches

“A semi-matte finish is the hottest look for this winter,” advises Yolanda. 

To give your matte lipstick a dewier effect, try blending the colour with a little eye cream on the back of your hand before applying it with a brush. If you can’t stand to part with gloss altogether, trade in super shiny slicks for the less reflective look of balm.

Pale & interesting 

Striking the right balance with your eyes is the key to stopping beige, earthy and flesh-toned lips from looking boring. “A neutral lip always looks sexily sophisticated with a classic smoky eye and lashings of mascara,” says Yolanda. But remember: smoky eyes don’t have to be charcoal or black. Smudgy shades of burnished bronze, caramel and French grey also smoulder beautifully.

Smokiness too dramatic for the occasion? Just trace black liner around your eyes for definition, lacquer your lashes with jet mascara and keep the rest of your eyelid bare, says Yolanda.
Buys to try:
Rimmel London Magnif’eyes mascara, $15.95

Cheeks are also crucial to nailing the naked look. While blush should be kept at a minimum, cooler neutral tones of beige and brown can drain colour from the face, so a little colour is essential. “Brighten up your face with some pretty peach blush on the apples of your cheeks,” says Yolanda.
Buys to try:
Australis Blush in Peachy, $9.95
Clinique Blushing Blush Powder Blush in Innocent Peach or Sunset Glow, $49
Gorgeous Colour Pro Blush in Peach Glow, $30

More notes on going nude

* Backstage make-up artists often apply concealer or foundation to models’ lips to strip them of colour before they apply gloss. It looks hot on the catwalk, but, on the sidewalk, you’ll probably just look ill.

* Just because your colour is understated, don’t think no one will notice your lips. Make sure they’re soft, supple and smooth at all times by exfoliating them regularly. Try: The Lip Scrub by Sara Happ ($29.95).

– Tracey Withers

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