When worn well, nude lipstick can enhance your natural features and make you look effortlessly polished. Whether it’s taupe, toffee or tawny – hues from the nude colour family are highly versatile and are appropriate for any occasion.
With a breadth of brands now catering for Asian skin tones, it is easier than ever to find your ideal match.
When shopping for the perfect nude – make-up artists suggest going for what you are drawn to. However, if you’re looking for some guidance, your skin tone, its undertone and your lip shade should dictate the most flattering shade.
“Skin tone is the shade of your skin and undertone refers to the natural colour that comes through from below its surface,” syas celebrity make-up artist Hannah Martin.
“Most Asians tend to have a warm, olive or golden undertone to their skin, so picking a nude that is too light can make the complexion look washed out.”
Pay attention to your natural lip shade too. Some lips are pale, while others are heavily pigmented – applying a nude that is too light can clash with your complexion.
“Those with fair skin tones can look incredible in pink or rose based nudes, whereas medium to olive complexions can pull off warmer tones of beige or peach; and rich chocolate hues can beautifully flatter deeper skin tones,” advises Martin.
We tested a batch of nude lipsticks on fair, medium and deep Asian skin tones. We were looking for formulas that were comfortable, durable and more importantly, shades that were flattering on a variety of complexions. Here are our top picks.
You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.
Nars velvet matte lip pencil
This nude ticks all the right boxes. The plush, velvety-formula glides on seamlessly and gives lips a hydrated feel, thanks to the added vitamin E. Its chunky crayon-like design makes it a breeze to use. We tried the shade “intriguing” – a warm, golden rose-toned nude, which offers excellent colour pay off, without looking flat on the lips. We believe this shade is universally flattering – it blended seamlessly with our tester’s natural lip colour, set instantly and didn’t budge for several hours. It’s the type of lip colour that is bound to find its way into your daily make-up kit.
Our perfect shade: Intriguing
Becca ultimate lip love lipstick
This collection was created to help shoppers find their perfect nude by categorising the shades according to skin undertone. With six shades for each undertone – cool, warm and neutral – it’s easy to a shade to suit you. Our tester tried the “dusk” shade, which worked wonderfully on her deep skin tone. Its subtle pink undertone delivered a warm hint of colour that didn’t look chalky. The lipstick is packed with hyaluronic acid – an ingredient that is usually found in skincare, as well as nourishing avocado and olive oils, which leaves lips feeling super soft.
Our perfect shade: Dusk
Fenty mattemoiselle plush matte lipstick
Rihanna’s beauty line was created with diversity in mind, and its lipstick range offers exactly that. This warm chestnut shade “shawty” would make the perfect everyday nude for those with medium to deep skin tones. The lipstick is housed inside a slim case, which we found easy to use. It provides a hit of intense colour and the matte formula feels comfortable and weightless. The only downside is that it needed reapplication a few times throughout the day.
Our perfect shade: Shawty
Victoria Beckham beauty bitten lip tint
Housed in a luxe tortoise-shell print packaging, this serum-like formula is applied with an easy-to-manoeuvre doe foot applicator. It stains the pout with a deep rosy hue that adapts to your lip colour and suits all skin tones. It can be dabbed on with the fingers for a sheer wash of colour, or layered on with the applicator for a more intense finish. The tint feels lightweight, luxurious and nourishing on the lips. This is down to the added hyaluronic acid and squalane – the latest plant-based, moisture-restoring ingredient used in beauty products.
Our perfect shade: Bisou
Pat McGrath Labs blitztrance lipstick
Created by influential editorial and runway make-up artist Pat McGrath, this warm rose-nude shade “skin flixx” blended well with our tester’s natural lip shade. It delivers a warm wash of colour on fair to deep skin tones. This makes the perfect evening lipstick, as the added gold and copper reflective pearl pigments leave behind an ultra intense shimmer. The creamy formula is comfortable and the added moisturising ingredients bathe the lips in moisture. We also love the luxurious packaging.
Our perfect shade: Skin Flixx
Bobbi Brown luxe shine intense lipstick
This warm chocolate brown hue is suitable for medium to deep skin tones. Infused with hyaluronic acid and vitamin E, we like how moisturising this formula is. It has a creamy texture that applies beautifully and imparts a super shiny, sensuous finish on the lips. It is also strongly pigmented, but still allows the lips’ natural texture to shine through.
Our perfect shade: Bold Honey
Nudestix magnetic lip plush paint
This recently launched collection is perfect for those that like a natural finish from their lip colour. The weightless formula has a pleasant velvety texture that melts into the lips. The colour pay off is potent and we found the formula to be non-drying and fairly long wearing. This nude shade “Tahiti hottie” would work on fair to medium skin tones. It comes with a doe-tipped applicator, but try blotting it on with the fingers, which gives a soft, diffused look on the pout.
Our perfect shade: Tahiti hottie
Huda liquid matte lipstick
Created by social media sensation Huda Kattan, this liquid formula is ultra-pigmented, without being cakey. While this goes on glossy, it dries down to an almost opaque finish after a few seconds. We found the formula to be smudge-proof, non-drying and the most long lasting out of all the lipsticks we tried. It remained in tact from breakfast to cocktails, with minimal touch ups. This pinky-beige is the perfect everyday nude that will flatter the majority of Asian skin tones.
Our perfect shade: Bombshell
Nyx lip lingerie push up long lasting lipstick
The “lip lingerie” collection from Nyx contains 12 nude shades, so there’s something for everyone. This lipstick comes in retractable crayon form, with a handy sharpener attached to the cap. We like the pointy tip, which allows you to line the lip border and fill in the pout for a more polished finish. We tried “push up” – a matte, brown-pink, which we think would suit all skin tones, ranging from fair to deep. It is densely pigmented, so you get the full intensity of colour in one swipe. It also delivers a cool, tingling sensation on the lips, which is said to provide a plumping effect.
Our perfect shade: Push up
MAC matte lipstick
“Kinda sexy” is a warm nude with a hint of peach that is especially flattering on medium skin tones. It’s the perfect shade for those who want an alternative to brown-based nudes and it looks stunning when paired with a smokey eye. The formula is incredibly matte and can tug on the lips if you haven’t prepped them before application. If you’re prone to dry lips, we recommend layering on a lip balm first in order to prevent the colour from settling into lip creases.
Our perfect shade: Kinda sexy
Gucci rouge a levres satin lipstick
Gucci’s debut lipstick range has been flying off the shelves since its launch last year. There’s an impressive 58 shades in the collection – ranging from vibrant reds to subdued nudes that come encased in covetable, vintage-style gold packaging. We tried “the painted veil” – a pigment-rich rose gold that blends perfectly with fair and medium skin tones. The light and creamy formula glides on smoothly and feels like a nourishing lip balm, but it does wear off fairly quickly. The lipstick is also perfumed with notes of violet, which can be off-putting if you’re not a fragrance fan.
Our perfect shade: The painted veil
Charlotte Tilbury matte revolution
This new addition to Charlotte Tilbury’s signature pillow talk range is warmer than the original nude, making it ideal for medium to deep skin tones. This warm berry-pink offers a flattering soft matte finish that brightens up the complexion and feels comfortable. Our tester was impressed with the buildable and durable texture – one coat added a flush of colour and enhanced her natural lip tone, while two coats delivered a deeper hue.
Our perfect shade: Pillow talk medium
The verdict: Best nude lipsticks for Asian skin
Nars’ velvet matte lip pencil has everything you could ask for in a lipstick, its versatile shade instantly warms up all skin tones. We also love the creamy, high-shine finish of the Bobbi Brown’s lipstick in “bold honey”, which looks super-chic against deep skin tones. For a purse-friendly option, look to Nyx’s long lasting lipstick.
IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.
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