Unless you're blessed with a naturally coloured pout, a swipe of gloss just isn't going to cut it for day to day. A lack of lip colour can drain the face completely, making you look washed out and tired even if you've had your eight hours. The solution? Lipsticks that enhance rather than conceal your natural colour, bringing warmth to your complexion without dominating your make-up.
Not to be mistaken with nude lipstick, a natural shade should look just like your natural colour - but better. "Women are loving the polished look a natural lipstick provides while making eyes and brows the focus," says Clinique National Education Manager Melissa Elvin-Jensen.
So how do you find the right shade for your skin tone? "It's best to go just one shade darker than your natural lip," says Elvin-Jensen. Brown and beige-based lipsticks are almost universally flattering, but as a guide: "fairer complexions will be a blush pink or pink-based nude, medium tones might be more rose onto plum and darker skins will suit a deeper plum tone," Elvin-Jensen says. Try these beauties out for size:
1. Marc Jacobs Beauty New Nudes lipstick in Eat Cake, sephora.com.au
A gorgeous rosy pink, this Marc Jacobs Beauty gel lipstick has a sheer formula that imparts just enough colour and suits almost every complexion, particurlarly fair.
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2. Clinique Pop Lip Colour + Primer in Plum Pop, $40, clinique.com.au
Velvety and long-wearing, Clinique's new Pop Lip Colour + Primer does exactly what it says - provides a pop of colour and conditions at the same time. This plum hue works wonders on medium skin tones.
3. Bobbi Brown Lip Colour in Blondie Pink, $44, bobbibrown.com.au
A nude lipstick with a hint of pink, the creamy, semi-matte formula is just what you want in a natural lipstick and ensures long-lasting, full coverage.
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4. Nars lipstick in Dolce Vita, $35, mecca.com.au
Those with olive skin should opt for slightly darker tones and Nars' Dolce Vita - a dusty, plummy rose - is a fabulous place to start.
5. M.A.C. lipstick in Fresh Brew, $36, maccosmetics.com.au
This brown-based beige is said to be universally flattering and is ideal on dark skin, especially if you're after something more neutral than plum.
As with any lipstick, a perfectly primed pout is essential. Gently exfoliating lips with a dedicated soft toothbrush is key, especially in winter, and lining your lips first will ensure your colour stays put. "A natural lip will look best with a softer, creamy finish," says Elvin-Jensen.
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