The perfect everyday lipstick…it doesn’t sound like it would be THAT hard to find with there being thousands sat there waiting to be chosen, right? Wrong. Well, at least in my opinion. For years, I tried and tried to find my ‘perfect’ nude as an under-confident teen with naturally rosy lips and fair skin, insecure to the point of crippling self-awareness, trying my hardest to ‘blend in’ – literally. As I’ve grown up, I have (thankfully) developed a stop-overthinking-silly-little-things attitude, and, as I entered by 21st year, decided to finally listen to the adults around me advising that I should “make the most of my youth”. Wear what you want and live freely, in a nut shell. With that came the demise of the desire to camouflage my pigmented lips into my skin tone, and instead just wear all of the colours I like, including peaches, roses, pinks, reds – the lot. Still, having that ‘go-to’ everyday colour that you can just grab-and-go is, undoubtedly, helpful and wanted to be found by every makeup wearer out there.
Over the years I’ve built up a collection of lipsticks, and as my preference and confidence continues, the range of colours has expanded. However, there isn’t a doubt in my mind that I now have enough – even though, let’s face it, I’ll probably get more because “THEY’RE DIFFERENT”…you know what I mean, back me up here! Without rambling on anymore, I’ve collated a list and series of swatches of my favourite everyday lipsticks that I can rely on to compliment any makeup look I do. I’ve also written a description of the colour, how they compare to others and why I love each and every one. These lippies include pink nudes, brown nudes, nude pinks, peachy pinks, nude peaches and more…and yes, they’re all different (enough).
Just quickly, it’s important to remember that even though swatches give a fantastic colour comparison, especially when it comes to undertone, the lighter lipsticks will look deeper as a swatch than they will on your lips – but I will point out these ones as I write about them all!
A ‘nude’ lipstick is different for everybody, but, generally speaking, nudes are classed as those that have a ‘warm’ undertone to them. As someone with an exceptionally fair complexion, I prefer a more neutral-to-warm nude and nudes with a pink undertone, rather than those that are more orange-based.
CHARLOTTE TILBURY ‘PENELOPE PINK’
Named after Penelope Cruz, Penelope Pink is a light nude with a subtle pink undertone. This is perfect for people with fair complexions or for dabbing in the centre of the lips alongside a deeper colour to create an ‘ombre’ effect on the lip. An ombre lip, for those who don’t know, gives the lips a plump illusion. Penelope Pink is one of Charlotte’s K.I.S.S.I.N.G lipsticks, meaning it has a cream formula with a subtle shine. Despite looking fairly deep as a swatch, on my lips it slightly deeper than my skin tone, but paired with a deeper lip liner (like Dolce K by Kylie Cosmetics or Pillow Talk by Charlotte Tilbury), it looks stunning.
Honeylove is Penelope Pink’s slightly pinkier sister. They’ve got the same depth of colour, but whether you prefer one over the other is based on two things: whether you like a warm or a pinkier undertone, and whether you favour a matte or cream formula. With out fail, I will prep my lips with a lip scrub and a hydrating balm before applying a matte lipstick, which inevitably makes it more creamy anyway. Like Penelope Pink, by itself on the lips it is fairly light, but paired with a suitable deeper lip liner or used to create the ‘ombre effect’, it’s beautiful.
KYLIE COSMETICS ‘NOVA’
Nova is currently my go-to warm nude on a day-to-day basis. I love how Kylie’s traditional bullet lipsticks in the matte formula require such a small amount to achieve maximum pigmentation. The thin nature of the formula makes Nova really light-weight. Again, like Penelope Pink and Honeylove, Nova is lighter on the lips than it looks like as a swatch, but it is slightly deeper than the previous two. I personally don’t have to wear a lip liner with Nova, but if I do decide to I usually gravitate towards Pillow Talk by Charlotte Tilbury, Subculture by MAC or Dolce K by Kylie, just to name a few.
ANASTASIA BEVERLY HILLS ‘HONEY’
Honey looks exactly how it does as a swatch on the lips. It’s the deepest of the nudes I own and feel comfortable wearing at full opacity – however, it can be applied in small amounts to achieve a less pigmented version of the shade, which is really pretty. Honey has quite a neutral-warm undertone making it suitable for people with fair skin as well. It’s got quite a dry matte formula, so it is essential you prep your lips well.
Cherish is my friend Rachel’s favourite lipstick ever. It’s got a satin formula, meaning it is slightly creamy with the richness that a matte lipstick gives in pigmentation. Cherish is lighter in tone and slightly warmer than honey, but with a subtle warm-pink undertone rather than orange, making it flattering on so many skin tones and amazing for the centre of an ombre lip for deeper skin tones.
CHARLOTTE TILBURY ‘SUPER CINDY’
Super Cindy, named after Cindy Crawford, is one of Charlotte’s matte revolution lipsticks – all of which have a stunning light-weight formula that gives the lips a healthy, cushioning look and feel, as well as the subtlest of sheens. It works brilliantly with Charlotte’s Pink Venus lip liner, as well as with Pillow Talk, also by Charlotte, to name a couple. Super Cindy is a great spring-summer time shade.
MAC ‘MULL IT OVER’
Mull It Over is the first of MAC’s Powder Kiss formulas that is listed here. I’ve already spoken enthusiastically about Powder Kiss in previous blogposts, but that is not going to stop me from saying it all again! It is by far one of my favourites – if not my absolute favourite – lipstick formula by MAC as it is hydrating, yet matte, yet comfortable, yet not creamy. Whoever designed this formula needs a makeup medal.
Buying and wearing pink lipsticks (and any lipstick with a pink undertone) is my forte. At this point, I feel as though I’m an expect (I’m flattering myself, I know) when it comes to knowing exactly which pink lipstick is needed to complement and tie together a makeup look. Pink-toned everyday lipsticks equate to my comfort zone and I, unsurprisingly, have a collection of many (and I mean many) that have solidly become favourites. Unlike the nude swatches, all the pink swatches look slightly lighter on the lips than they do on my swatches (maybe excluding Roseland) as on the lips you’re applying the lipstick to a pigmented background whereas my arm is very fair.
One of the lightest shades I own, Blankety has a cream formula and a distinctive cool, mauve undertone while maintaining warmth. This pairs brilliantly with Charlotte Tilbury’s Pillow Talk and Iconic Nude lip liners, as well as Dolce K and Bare by Kylie Cosmetics. Paired with the above liners or used to create an ombre lip, it’s a shade I continue to love to wear time and time again.
ANASTASIA BEVERLY HILLS ‘SOFT TOUCH’
Compared to some of the other pinks in this collection, Soft Touch definitely has more of a warm, nude vibe to it, but if it was included alongside the other nude lipsticks you would immediately see it being distinctively out of place with its ‘stronger’ pink undertone. Like Honey, Soft Touch has a drier matte formula compared to the others, so a good and hydrating lip prep is in order to wear this to its best capability. Paired with Charlotte Tilbury’s Pillow Talk or Iconic Nude liners, or Subculture or Stripdown by MAC – to name a few – Soft Touch can be made to suit your skin tone and preferences perfectly.
KYLIE COSMETICS ‘AUGUST’
August is Nova’s fraternal pinkier twin. The depth of colour is borderline identical, but Nova is warm toned, whereas August is definitely pink with subtle warm nude undertones. It is one of my go-to lipsticks to wear everyday as it suits a variety of eyeshadow looks. The thin, light-weight matte formula makes it great for maintaining hydrated, healthy looking lips without having the glossy, creamy shine when I just not in the mood for it.
CHARLOTTE TILBURY ‘DANCE FLOOR PRINCESS’
One of Charlotte’s K.I.S.S.I.N.G lipsticks, Dance Floor Princess has a cream-to-gloss nature to it. Slightly deeper than August, Dance Floor Princess is similar in tone, if not slightly peachier. It’s still fairly light in colour on the lips and I love to pair it with Charlotte’s Pillow Talk lip liner, as well as Subculture by MAC and Bare by Kylie Cosmetics. Really, any neutral to pink nude lip liner will go well with this shade.
CHARLOTTE TILBURY ‘PILLOW TALK’
As I’ve already mentioned this iconic shade in the lip liner form a gazillion times already in this post, of course, the lipstick made it into the favourites list too. It’s a given – the matte, yet cushioning Pillow Talk lipstick is one of the most popular your-lips-but-better colours out there. If you don’t have it, you should. It’s a staple, a holy grail product – a product that signifies that you are a makeup lover.
MAC ‘VIVA GLAM II’
This shade looks a lot more ‘grey’ in the tube than it does as a swatch or on the lips. In reality, Viva Glam II is one of the nicest cooler mauve-toned ‘nudes’ I’ve used. The subtle warm pink undertones, accompanied with a gentle neutral brown undertone, makes Viva Glam II flattering on the skin, and gives a your-lips-but-better vibe but one that is more on the muted side compared to Pillow Talk. It lives in my handbag along with a few other shades – which immediately puts it into the ‘it must be good’ category.
CHARLOTTE TILBURY ‘VERY VICTORIA’
Very Victoria looks fairly brown in the tube, but on the lips gives a stunning pinky-mauve neutral nude look. A lot of people say that Very Victoria is “too dark” for them for an everyday lipstick, but even as someone who has fair skin, I completely disagree. Everyone has there preferences, and that’s the beauty of the makeup industry – there are so many choices to suit everybody’s wants and needs. However, I have to say, I’d recommend this shade time and time again.
MAC ‘VELVET TEDDY’
Velvet Teddy is one of MAC’s classic matte lipsticks and is known for looking (actually quite drastically) different from person to person. On me it is a mid-tone neutral nude with a pink undertone. If you want to see it on me, have a look at my How To Wear Mustard-Toned Eyeshadow blogpost. As it is a matte, and MAC’s standard matte lipsticks are quite drying, I always prep my lips with a good scrub and balm before applying the lipstick. It’s a lot warmer than Very Victoria, the latter of which has a definite mauve base.
THIS IS NOT A TRADITIONAL LIPSTICK. The Velvet Lip Glide formula looks like a gloss, with the pigmentation of a lipstick, with NO STICKINESS AT ALL. It melts into lips and can be worn as a tint with a healthy shine or with full ocacity, and it does not emphasise any texture or settle into fine lines. Swing is a your-lips-but-better colour with a subtle warmth to it. It’s a pinky nude and one that lives in my makeup bag at all times.
Faux is where we start to delve into the rosy tones of everyday lipsticks – it has a satin formula, giving it a subtle shine and cushioning feel with the pigmentation of a matte. Faux has a gentle warm undertone to it, allowing it to complement warm tone eyeshadows beautifully. It’s amazing – that’s all I can really say about it!
Brave, like Velvet Teddy, is one of MAC’s most popular shades. With a satin formula, it’s slightly deeper than Faux and has significantly less warmth to it. Whether you prefer Brave or Faux depends on your preferences on the undertones of your lipsticks. If you want something more subdue, pick Faux, if you want something more rosy and pink, pick Brave.
Another one of the Velvet Lip Glide’s by Nars, Roseland is Swing’s pink sister. They both have the same depth of tone, but Roseland allows you to have an option that will complement any mauve or rose tone eye look you do. I honestly could not recommend this formula enough.
MAC ‘STAY CURIOUS’
I debated whether or not to include Stay Curious on this list because when you first look at the shade in the tube it definitely does not look like an ‘everday’ colour. However, MAC’s Powder Kiss formula makes the lipstick highly pigmented, and the tiniest amount can go a long way to create a sheered out version of the colour, which looks stunning for a sunny spring or summer day. The swatch looks more intense than you can make it look on the lips because I wanted to show the undertone of the shade properly.