NUDE LIPSTICKS: Alternatives To... Y'know!

by - July 04, 2019

I feel like there have probably been a lot of these types of posts in the past few weeks since all of the controversy started with Jaclyn Cosmetics and the... dubious condition of a lot of the lipsticks that customers received. Admittedly, I was pretty interested to watch the bonfire myself. But really, the more I thought about it, I really wanted to go into my collection and share some of my personal favorite nude lipsticks on a spectrum from very, very light to deeper and richer. I don't really want to comment on anything to do with the JC launch or any of the issues, but I did want to show you guys some of my absolute favorite nude bullet lipsticks.

Keep reading for more!

So when I was looking through my collection for nude lipsticks to feature - only one of them was purchased for this post and I'll explain why when I get to it - I made a couple of rules for myself to narrow down the options. Because there was the obvious focus on alternatives to JC, I wanted to stick only to bullet lipsticks with a creamy, comfortable formula. I also wanted very shade to be visibly different on as wide a spectrum as I was able to do from my collection to give some real variety. And finally, I decided not to be married to any specific finish as long as the lipstick met the other critieria. So, let's get into it!

Please note that I struggled a little bit with my lighting when I was taking the lip swatch photos and it washed out both my skin and the lipstick shades a little bit, so for a more true to colour impression of the shades I would use the arm swatch photos. The lip swatches do really give a good impression of the coverage and finish of the lipsticks though!

Rimmel London Lasting Finish by Kate Moss - Shade 42
If I'm being honest, this is sort of a forgotten shade in my collection and not one that I'm likely to reach for these days because I just don't really like a very pale nude lip the way I used to. That being said, I've always really, really loved the Rimmel Lasting Finish by Kate lipsticks because they have a gorgeous, creamy formula that really does wear really comfortably and evenly on the lips with a ton of pigmentation. If you're in the market for a fairly easy to work with pale nude, this really could be a great option!

Tin Feather Lipstick - Velour
I pretty much fell instantly in love with this lipstick from natural indie brand Tin Feather as soon as I saw it in store and my love has definitely endured. This is a really, really wearable nude lip for me, with a perfect balance of pink and beige to give a real my lips but better kind of look to the lips. It's a classic creamy finish and super comfortable on the lips. I honestly don't have a single bad thing to say about this lipstick and I know it's one that a LOT of people would fall in love with if they tried it out.

NARS Sheer Lipstick - Dolce Vita
I almost didn't include this lipstick in this post because it is quite sheer and really just gives a kiss of colour to the lips, but it's such a stunning lipstick that's so easy to reach for that I just couldn't leave it out. If you prefer a sheer wash of colour with a creamy, almost balmy feel there really is nothing I've ever tried that lives up to this. It also, as you can see in the swatch photo, gives a smooth, plumped look to the lips without really adding the weight of a gloss.

Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Very Victoria*
There was no way that I could do a nude lips post and not include what is arguably my favorite high end/luxury lipstick ever. This lipstick is super creamy in texture and has a nice, natural matte finish that looks really, really pretty on the lips while also feeling really comfortable. It's also, I think, a near perfect nude shade for fair to light skin because it has that kind of rosy caramel tone that's really easy to wear and flattering.

Milani Color Statement Lipstick in Matte Naked
Speaking of lipstick favorites, this shade is probably my most recommended, most worn, and most loved in my entire collection. It's similar in both feel on the lips as well as appearance to the Charlotte Tilbury but this shade has a more mauve tone to it that I also think is really, really flattering and easy to wear on my skin tone. This is by far, in my opinion, the best single bullet lipstick in the entire drugstore. 

Essence Velvet Matte Lipstick in Donuts Go Nut
So this is the only shade that I actually picked up specifically for this post and it's because I was actually going to include one of their Matt Matt Matt lipsticks in this post, thinking it had just been repackaged until I realized that the shade I was going to recommend didn't actually exist anymore. But let me tell you, I'm so glad that I grabbed this one because it's a really pretty shade. Moving away from pinky tones, this shifts into a peachy caramel nude that I think would suit a really wide variety of skin tones. It also has a really creamy, smooth matte finish that isn't at all dry. Gonna have to try out more of these...

Bite Amuse Bouche Lipstick in Pepper
If there's one formula that, based on the description of JC, I think would be similar it's probably the Amuse Bouche lipsticks from BITE - another one of my all time favorite lipstick formulas. Packed with nourishing ingredients, these lipsticks have a really creamy, lush look and feel on the lips in really satured, stunning colours. One of my favorite shades is Pepper, which is a beautiful mid toned mauve nude shade that I think would be really stunning on a lot of different skin tones. (Remember, check out the arm swatches for a more accurate look at the colour.)

Urban Decay Vice Lipstick - Backtalk
I almost didn't include this shade because, to me, it doesn't really scream nude, but I did notice that with the JC lipsticks there were definitely a couple of shades that looked a little bit more pink, so I went with it. And this really is a gorgeous mauve shade that would likely tick the box for nude for some people based on the tone and depth of it. I'd put this in the my lips but pinker category, super easy to wear but not really a neutral. I also really like the Comfort Matte formula from Urban Decay, which is distinctly creamier and really comfortable to wear but still with a good cling to the lips. 

Milani Color Statement Lipstick in Matte Beauty
One of very, very few browny nudes in my collection, Matte Beauty is an absolute stunner. It's like a really warm cocoa shade with those kind of burnt undertones that's just an absolute dream in the fall. I also think this is one of those shades that will work for a lot of different skin tones and also give a pretty different vibe depending on the depth of your skin. I've already swooned over the Milani Color Statement matte formula enough, so I'll just say... if you haven't tried them yet, the two shades I've featured in this post are a GREAT place to start if you're into nudes. 

BITE Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipstick in Nori
By far the deepest nude in my collection, Nori is a sort of reddish chocolate shade. Or a chocolatey red. For me, this isn't the easiest shade to wear and I don't reach for it often, but I absolutely had to include it because I feel like it's an absolute must try for deeper skin tones. Or if you're looking for a vampier shade that isn't too dark or too red. Again, the lip swatch isn't doing much justice to this shade so I would recommend taking a look at the arm swatches. Like I said, I think this formula is the one that sounds the closest as far as texture of what was intended from the JC lipsticks and I would personally call it a must try.

Left To Right: 1. Rimmel Shade 42, 2. Tin Feather Velour, 3. NARS Dolce Vita, 4. Charlotte Tilbury Very Victoria, 5.  Milani Matte Naked, 6. Essence Donuts Go Nut, 7. BITE Pepper, 8. Urban Decay Backtalk, 9. Milani Matte Beauty, 10. BITE Nori.

Like I said, the arm swatches are definitely more true to colour - I need to get my lighting for lip swatches figured out - and give a really good look at how each shade really is different. I think "Nude" means a lot of different things to different people when it comes to makeup, depending on their tastes, perceptions and skin tones, so I think we really have to account for that when talking about products. 

Honestly, I feel like there really is an amazing nude or neutral lipstick out there for absolutely everyone - and I don't think nude has to mean cancelling out your lips or just using a shade that matches them the best. There are a lot of different types of nudes that can add or compliment different looks in different ways.

More importantly, though, there's so many great options for alternatives to the Jaclyn Hill mess out there and I suspect that every beauty blogger I know would put together an entirely different and entirely amazing list of nude lipstick options if they dug into their own collections, at all different price points with amazing formulas! In fact, if I had included other lipstick formats, this post would have probably included double the number of products with an even wider spectrum. Basically what I'm saying is... there's a lot of great options out there to suit everyone's taste, skin tone, and finish preferences and we can definitely skip the contaminated ones. 

I really hope this was helpful - especially because my lips are still raw and tender from the lip swatches! If you have any nude lipstick recommendations you think I'd like, I'd love to hear about them in the comments!

Thanks for reading!

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