With just a little effort, near-naked lips can go from day to night and even take a few years off
While some people search out the latest trends, there will always be others opting for the timeless looks that have held up season to season. A nude pout is one of the latter—popping up on runways and red carpets time after time. “The nude lip is such an iconic and season-less look, much like the classic red lip,” says Giorgio Armani Beauty makeup artist Tim Quinn, who’s had Uma Thurman, Victoria Beckham, Gwen Stefani and Glenn Close in his chair. “Nude works so well on almost any woman at every age; I think there is a ‘forever young’ element to its appeal. And much like a smoky eye, nude lips can vary from person to person.”
To wit, at this fall’s Emmys, the naked lip look popped up celebrities both light and dark. Quinn says skin tone to a large extent dictates the shade you’ll want to wear. “It works well when it is close to your natural lip color and complements your natural skin tone,” he adds. “I usually go for a peach-toned nude for pale skin tones, while beiges work well on medium skin, and a darker complexion [goes] with a more cocoa-nude with brown undertones.” Kerry Washington, for example, wore a perfect shade for her coloring (Dior’s Rouge Dior Lipcolor in Angelique Beige), while someone like Emily VanCamp would be best flattered by something like Lipstick Queen’s sheer Saint Bare Nude lipstick.
But it takes more than just color coordinating to wind up with that perfectly bare pout. “I like to use a bit of concealer along the lip line,” says Quinn. “I also find it works well to use a lip brush to add a bit of coordinating gloss (try Gloss D’Armani in 102) to the lipstick—blending together and applying in one step.” For day to day, a formula that imparts a little shine, like Giorgio Armani Rouge D’Armani’s new peachy 111 lipstick, is perfect, while for nighttime wear, matte is preferred paired with a shimmery eye. And, to finish it off, “a touch of shimmer or concealer at the bow [of the lips] adds dimension and brightens the look,” says Quinn. Whenever it’s worn—and at whatever age—“the nude lip suggests an approachable, youthful, not-too-serious approach to glamour.” That’s never a bad thing.