16 best nude lipsticks for Asian skin
We’ve covered everything – from the dark chocolate Nineties vibe to just-kissed deep rose shades
When it comes to finding the perfect nude, the search can be endless. Regardless of your skin tone, getting it right can be tough. Your skin tone is the colour you’d describe your skin as: light, medium, tan or dark, for example. But your undertones are the shades that come through from under the skin’s surface, to affect your overall colour. According to experts, there are three main undertones: warm (yellow or olive), cool (red or pink) and neutral (no obvious colouring other than your base tone).
These aren’t necessarily reflective of your skin tone, people of all skin colours can have cool, warm, or neutral undertones – but it’s important to determine which category you fall under when choosing the right nude. Most Asians will have a peachy or olive undertone to their skin, which means that, if chosen badly, a chalky nude lipstick can make the complexion appear ashen and dull.
But when you do finally find it, your favourite nude will be your best friend in makeup form. It is an endlessly versatile shade; wear it with your “no-makeup makeup look” for a day at the office, or dress it up for a night out by pairing it with a dramatic eye and bronzed cheekbones to create a makeup look even Kim Kardashian would be proud of.
We scoured the market to find the perfect shades for a variety of Asian skin tones, ranging from fair to deep skin. Our top pick lines up peachy, brown and pink nudes, offering lipsticks that range from “your lips but better” to shades that your favourite Nineties supermodel would have worn.
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Chanel Le Rouge Crayon De Couleur: £31, Harrods
The formula of this lipstick surprised us, as it’s unlike any we have used before. The product comes in the form of a pencil, but as soon as it glides onto the lips, it feels as if it melts into an almost liquid-like, non-sticky texture. The result is a full, all-over coverage and rich colour pay-off, which feels extremely moisturising on the lips.
The formula sets quickly, but is non-drying and leaves the lips feeling supple and plump. We loved shade “No 1”, which really is the perfect nude. It is a universal shade, which is a mixture of warm, rosy and brown hues. If you’re in the market for a nude we recommend trying this one, which we fell in love with on first wear.
We also loved the jumbo-lip format, which does not require a sharpener thanks to its retract-and-twist tip. It’s easy to apply on the go and has excellent staying power, each application lasting up to four hours.
Our perfect shade: No 1 Nude
Burberry Lip Velvet Crush: £24, Look Fantastic
Our tester loved this product and described it as a cushion of colour for the lips. The formula wears extremely comfortably throughout the day, with no dryness or flakiness. “Honey Nude” was our favourite in terms of shade, as it perfectly fits the “your lips but better” definition of a nude lip. This shade has a neutral undertone, which makes it look extra natural on the lips.
Perhaps what makes this lip stain feel so comfortable is the cushion applicator, which ensures an even coverage all over the lips and soaks up any excess. We believe this would be the perfect neutral nude for those with medium to deep skin tones.
Our perfect shade: Honey Nude
NARS Satin Lip Pencil: £21, NARS
The first NARS product in our roundup is their satin lip pencil in “Bansar”; another favourite for darker skin tones. In terms of shade, it is a deep brown with a hint of a rosy pink undertone. Aside from the gorgeous colour, it glides on to the lips effortlessly, leaving them feeling as hydrated as they would after applying a balm.
As with all their products, NARS delivers in the high pigment of this pencil, which provides a rich colour pay-off in one application. On deeper skin, we think this is the perfect choice to complement an autumnal makeup look.
Our perfect shade: Bansar
Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipstick: £24, John Lewis
This is a brown nude with light peachy undertones, which instantly warms up the complexion. Compared to some of the other formulas we tried, this one is slightly less moisturising, however, the colour pay-off and shade are both so good that we didn’t mind applying an extra layer of lip balm underneath. In terms of finish, this lipstick sets semi-matte and it’s enriched with Charlotte’s secret ingredient – “Lipstick Tree” – which promises protection against UV damage and pollution. We recommend this shade of nude for those with fair to medium skin tones.
Our perfect shade: Hepburn Honey
Bobbi Brown Luxe Lip Colour: £28, John Lewis
A close runner up for the Best Buy, Bobbi Brown’s “Bare Pink” is the most comfortable of all the traditional lipsticks our testers trialled when searching for the perfect nude. Not only that, this shade was also the perfect peachy-toned nude for her medium skin. While the name suggests a pink undertone, on our tester’s skin this appeared more peachy-beige. As a result, she found herself reaching for this product every time she wore a dark eye or bronzed makeup look. The lipstick sets in the same way that it applies – to a moisturised, creamy finish that we fell in love with.
Our perfect shade: Bare Pink
NARS Powermatte Lip Pigment: £23, Cult Beauty
The Powermatte collection is a range of “liquefied pigment” lipsticks, which means they feel weightless on the lips while being extremely pigmented. This product is a super-thin liquid, with a consistency that is not dissimilar to water. Out of all the liquid lipsticks and stains we tried, this was one of the most comfortable; once applied it dries to a semi-matte finish which does not settle into any cracks in the lips or break up during wear.
We chose the colour “Get it On”, a warm-toned nude for medium skin. If you’re after a peachy-brown Kardashian nude, this is the one for you. We also loved the doe-foot applicator, which is narrow with a rounded point and makes a precise application easily achievable.
Our perfect shade: Get it On
Kevyn Aucoin The Matte Lip Colour: £27, Space NK
While the formula of this lipstick is not drying, it is incredibly matte, to the point that it’s easier to dab this on to the lips rather than swipe to apply. While this may not feel like the creamiest of lipsticks, we loved the way it looked when it was dabbed on, giving a flushed, just-been-kissed look to the lips. This method of application also made our lips appear slightly plumped, which is always a bonus. The shade “Infinite” is a deep rosy nude that looks like a natural hue on those with deep skin tones.
Our perfect shade: Infinite
Laura Mercier Crème Smooth Lip Colour: £22, Space NK
As the name suggests, this lipstick is creamy and delivers a satin finish that made our pout appear perfectly plumped and moisturised. The texture is extremely softening, which might be down to the oils infused in the formula. The standout shade for our tester was “Crushed Pecan”, which we believe would work for all skin tones ranging from fair to deep. It is a brown nude, with a warm red undertone that is naturally present in many Asian women’s lips.
Our perfect shade: Crushed Pecan
YSL Tautage Couture Matte Stain: £29, Look Fantastic
This product feels weightless on the lips but delivers a rich colour pay-off. True to its name, this is more of a stain than a lipstick; it is extremely pigmented and non-drying. We loved the shade ”Singular Taupe” for deeper skin tones – it has rich mauve and brown undertones that create a “your lips but better” nude. We also really liked the applicator of this lip product – the straight edge allows for precise application on the lips and the flatness of the applicator allows the user to easily spread the formula.
Our perfect shade: (23) Singular Taupe
Laura Geller Baked Sculpting Lipstick: £14.40, Debenhams
This lipstick from Laura Geller was the creamiest formula out of all the ones we tried. It offers full pigment coverage while feeling extremely moisturising on the lips. We chose the shade “Tribeca Tan”, a peachy nude that complements olive skin perfectly and has rich, coppery orange undertones. As for application, the shape of the bullet is rounded to perfectly mimic the shape of the lips, which means it applies effortlessly.
Our perfect shade: Tribeca Tan
Laura Mercier Velour Extreme Matte Lipstick: £22, Space NK
This is a perfect chocolate brown shade with warm undertones. These lipsticks weren’t the most mattifying we tried, but they are incredibly comfortable and non-drying on the lips, with extremely high coverage. For those with darker skin tones, choose the shade “Fierce” for your Nineties “It Girl” warm nude. For medium skin, the colour pay-off is a tad browner and complements olive skins well.
We think this shade is particularly versatile; our tester also used this as a base to amplify other nude lipsticks. We loved the pencil applicator of this product, which makes it easy to apply on the go, and the twist bottom means it is fuss-free as no sharpener is required.
Our perfect shade: Fierce
Dior Rouge Dior Lipstick: £29.50, John Lewis
Rouge Dior is a satin finish lipstick that makes lips appear plump and hydrated. The formula is extremely moisturising, which Dior attributes to the lipstick being enriched with sea fennel, an ingredient thought to have anti-ageing properties – due to its high concentration of chlorogenic acid, which helps fight the effects of free radicals on the skin. Our favourite shade in this range was “Rose Montaigne”, a classic pink nude, which is flattering on all skin tones, from fair to deep.
Our perfect shade: Rose Montaigne
Lipstick Queen Nothing but the Nudes: £22, Space NK
This range from Lipstick Queen is a selection of nude lipsticks to complement all skin tones. Although they weren’t the most pigmented of all the lipsticks we tried, they deliver just the right amount of coverage to make the lip colour look extremely natural. The formula also has no white pigment, which means it won’t look chalky or wash out the face as some nudes do. The lipstick is formulated with natural oils, waxes and vitamin E, which is evident in the moisturising effect of the product on the lips. We loved the colour “The Truth”, a pretty pink nude with a satin-sheen finish.
Our perfect shade: The Truth
Hourglass Confession Ultra Slim High Intensity Refillable Lipstick: £31, John Lewis
Hourglass’s lipstick is a thick creamy nude, which feels luxurious on the lips. It’s extremely slim compared to the other lipsticks we tried, meaning you do get less product than in a traditional lipstick (the Ultra Slim has 0.9g of product compared to the standard 3g). That said, the slimline shape makes applying the lipstick a dream, as you can perfectly follow the shape of your lips without smudging or over-applying.
Hourglass’s lipsticks are refillable, which we loved as it means less plastic waste. In terms of the shade, we chose “One Day” as it is the most universal of all the colours. It is a balance of warm, brown and pink undertones which come together to create an extremely flattering nude, which warms the complexion. We believe people of all skin tones could use this shade and fall in love with it.
Our perfect shade: One Day
Huda Beauty Liquid Matte: £18, Cult Beauty
Huda Beauty took Instagram by storm with its range of liquid lipsticks, which deliver high pigment in a water-thin liquid formula. The shade “Venus” is a deep taupe brown with a touch of warmth, which means it complements deep skin. What sets Huda Beauty’s lipsticks apart is their industrial-strength staying power – our tester struggled to take this one off her lips at the end of the day, only melting it away with an oil-based cleanser. If you’re worried about your lipstick bleeding or wearing badly throughout the day, this is the formula for you.
Our perfect shade: Venus
Zoeva Pure Velours Lips: £9.99, Cult Beauty
For fair-to-medium skin tones, we love Zoeva’s Pure Velours liquid lipstick in the shade “Clear Message”. It’s a medium-pink nude that we believe would look good on all skin tones, but especially flattering for those with a fair-to-medium skin. This gave an intense colour on first application and set to a velvety matte finish. We found that this made our lips look supple and hydrated, which could be down to the vitamin E in its formula. The brand also prides itself on being cruelty-free and 100 per cent free of all animal-derived ingredients, so will be the perfect choice for vegans.
Perfect shade: Clear Message
The Verdict: Best nude lipsticks for Asian skin
For a versatile nude that will take you from a long day at work to a night out, we recommend Chanel Le Rouge Crayon De Couleur in shade No 1, which our tester believes will work for everyone, from fair to deep skin.
Coming in a close second is Bobbi Brown’s “Bare Pink” for the creaminess of its formula and its rich, peachy-beige colour, which instantly warms the skin. For deeper skin, we found ourselves often reaching for Laura Mercier’s Velour Extreme Matte in the shade Fierce, a chocolate brown that perfectly complements warm-toned makeup looks as we move into autumn.
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