Foolproof Nude Lips That Won’t Disappear (The Technique I Use On Most Of My Brides)

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Clinique-tenderheartPhoto Credit Vafa-Coffman Photography

Hey there!  You may not know this about me, especially if you are new here (hi and welcome!), but I’m a makeup artist.  While I’ve certainly done my fair share of dramatic looks, most of the time I’m doing weddings.  Often, the goal is simply to enhance the brides’ best features – to make her look like the best version of herself.  And I’ve found that for most brides it’s all about the eyes….but the lips still need to be defined.

The best nude lips actually come from a combination of liner + gloss.  Liner defines your lips and helps the gloss last.  It prevents lip color from creeping up into fine lines around your lips.  Gloss leaves a shiny finish that’s more forgiving than a matte and is easy to reapply (no mirror necessary for perfect application).

Keep reading to see the foolproof combination on 75% of my brides.

Most Foolproof Combination

Photo Credit Vafa-Coffman Photography

Clinique Long Last Glosswear in Tenderheart + Estee Lauder Lip Liner in Tawny

Clinique’s Long Last Glosswear in Tenderheart is the nude gloss I use on 75% of my brides (and on the two pictured above).  It looks good on just about everyone and is that perfect neutral shade:  not too brown, not too pink.  It’s a little bit darker than a true nude so it’s the perfect color for evening or for when you’re being photographed.  This gloss complements smokey eyes without competing with them.  Plus the formula really is long-lasting and shiny. Bonus.

Here are two more of my favorite combinations.

Best True Nude

Clinique Pop Lacquer Lip Colour + Primer in Nude Pop & BareMinerals Gen Nude Under Over Lip Liner in Borderline

If you’re looking to nail the nude lip trend with more of a true nude, Clinique’s Nude Pop is perfect. The color is lighter than Clinique’s Tenderheart but it won’t wash out your face like some other lighter nudes.  The formula is like a gloss/lipstick hybrid: it applies like a gloss (you only need the tiniest bit) but has more pigment like a lipstick and is long-wearing.

Best Pink Nudelorac-duchess-3

LORAC Alter Ego Lip Gloss & Liner in Duchess

If you have fair skin a pink nude looks best.  LORAC’s Duchess isn’t too bright or too dark.  The gloss formula is highly pigmented rather than sheer and works perfectly with the liner for a pretty pink wash of color.  Plus it smells awesome.  It’s moisturizing and feels good on your lips.


Bobbi Brown Lip Pencil in Pale Mauve & Laura Mercier Lip Parfait Creamy Colour Balm in Amaretto Swirl

This combination looked absolutely gorgeous on Joanna Spicer when I came across her video on YouTube.  I ordered it immediately and did NOT like it on myself.  The pale mauve was way too light for me and looked like I was erasing my lips.  The Laura Mercier Colour Balm (although not the best color for me) was an awesome formula.  It was smooth and moisturizing without a ton of shine if you’d prefer a less glossy finish.

What about you guys?  Do you have a favorite neutral/nude lip color?  Let me know in the comments!  For more makeup tips and tricks like this, check out our Beauty section!




About Author

Meet Scotti, the contributor with our most-loved beauty advice. When Scotti's not giving us the scoop on the latest products and techniques she's dishing out some of TME's most loved looks. It's not easy to look so cute in the U.P. of Michigan (i.e. crazy cold and snow) but she always makes it happen.

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  1. Thank you for the Lorac rec! Regular nudes always look like I have no lips, so the pinky-nude sounds like just the ticket. Could you post a video on how you put on the liner though? I don’t know how to do it and make it look natural. Thanks – I looooove your makeup tips!

  2. Ooh, I love these! Thank you! I especially appreciated the tip about trying something with a little more pink in it, for us with fair skin. I think that would work better for me. Like Janie, I actually wanted to ask you about applying the liner too! Do you usually apply all over the lip, like starting with the outline and filling in, or do you just do the outline? I usually feel like filling it in a bit gives the glass something to hold too. Not sure though! Thanks!

  3. Bite Beauty Multistick in Brioche. I have a fair complexion, blue eyes and dark blonde hair. This lipstick is creamy and long lasting and not a cakey matte. Can be used on cheeks and eyes too! A perfect neutral. I often wear this when working out

  4. I love MAC lipstick in Modesty. I have natural pigment in my lips that I want to downplay sometimes to give me a more nude look and this color is perfect. It gives me the perfect color without washing me out. It has a hint of shine and super easy to reapply without a mirror. Tenderheart sounds great too. Going to give it a try!!

  5. It looks great on pretty much everybody and is that flawless nonpartisan shade: not very cocoa, not very pink. It’s a smidgen darker than a genuine bare so it’s the ideal shading for night or for when you’re being captured.

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