Another most asked question that I wanted to address on the blog is on nude lipsticks for pigmented / uneven toned lips. The latest one is from Anitha.

"I was looking into your nude lipstick recommendation for medium skin tone. Well I think I fall into medium skin tone however my lips(especially upper lip) is so pigmented that I was not sure what kind of nude lipstick will suit me.

Can you please advise good ways to get rid of the pigmentation(which of course takes time), a quick and easy way in which I could wear nude lipsticks, and well what kind of nude colour will suit my pigmented lips."

I have a similar problem - my upper lip is darker than my lower and the outline of my lips are a bit darker too. So, boy do I have a few tricks up my sleeve or what !

Few things to help-

1. Don't Care

I try not to care much about the excess pigment - a doctor told me its a characteristic of Indian skin along with darkened joints like knees and elbows. So I just roll with it.

2. Not Sheer But Color

Find products that are not very sheer so they give enough even color to overcome the difference in pigmentation. If you are looking for lip gloss try the long staying ones - they tend to have more color. Below are some lipstick shades that have worked well for me in the past. A few are bit darker and a few a bit lighter than my idea of nude.

Julie Hewett - Biba
Smashbox - Flawless, Captivating
Revlon Matte - Cocoa Craving
Smashbox Lip pencil - Amaretto
Lipstick Queen Saint Lipstick - Natural
Smashbox Lip Techs - Nude, Peony, Maple
LORAC Nude Scene
Becca - Vendella
Urban Decay - Jail bait, Naked
Loreal Color Riche - Silk

3. Lip Liners Are The Best Nudes

Some of the best nude products come as lip liners. They are creamy , very dense pigmentation and mostly cheaper than other products. You can top them off with a clear lip gloss and they are good to go ! Some nude / natural lip liners I like are

Julie Hewett - Nude Noir lip liner
MAC - Spice
Estee Lauder - Spice
Milani - Most natural
Urban Decay - Paranoid, Wallflower
Pur Minerals - Cerite
Jouer Lip Definer - Bois De Rose, Naturel

4. Mask It

If you want to wear really light nude shades its a good idea to mask the pigmentation. Use a foundation matching your skin tone or one closer to the color of your lips. Using a very light one only makes it look ashy. Or use a corrector like Bobbi brown corrector in peach / dark peach (Thanks JC !) all over your lips and blend a bit into the area around your lips. Now pat with some translucent powder. Give it a minute then apply the lipstick of your choice.

5. Its All About SPF

Use SPF on our lips to keep them from getting darker. Several brand make lip balms with SPF - chapstick, Jouer, Fresh. Use them regularly.
Or just avoid the sun - period. Like I do .
I have avoided sun as much as possible and I have seen a marked decrease in my lip pigment level.

6. Old Ain't Gold - Or So I'm Told

Don't use lipsticks that are very old - they are suppose to make lips darker. I am not sure how scientific this is but this is mom's advice and we all know mom is always right.

7. Best Follow Instruction

Some face masks / serums come with instruction to not use them around lip area - best to look for those instructions and follow them.

8. My Lips But Better

Unless you are comfortable with a high contrast in color between your skin and lips, try not to go for very light nude shades. For beginners or folks looking for it to look natural stick with shades that are closest to your lip color or the color inside you mouth (gum).

One blanket statement that may or may not apply is - the darker your natural lip color, the darker your nude lipstick will be.

9. Shimmer Makes Everything Better

Another easy to wear nude color is to go for shades with a hint of shimmer in them. The shimmer helps
-tone down the contrast between the nude lip color and skin
-the way shimmer reflects light will take attention away from uneven pigmentation & the fact that the creamy lip is hiding something underneath.
- tone down the density of the lipstick.
Julie Hewett Nude Noir is a good choice. As an alternative you can also add a shimmery clear gloss on top.

10. Hi Doc

If the darkness bothers you a lot or it feels unnatural or has appeared suddenly - pay a visit to the doc / dermatologist. They might have some new info, like your skin not liking a particular ingredient or have new medical products to help overcome the darkness. Some might even give it a name like peri - oral dermatitis and have just the right treatment for it !

Unnecessary Information

I know y'all know and understand this but sometimes I get this urge to state a few obvious facts like...

My idea of nude can be totally different from yours ( at least as far as lip color goes). Just like skin tones, lips have weird undertones of mauve, pink, red, brown - you name it. So again what suits me as a nude will suit a few others and will be so far away from the target for many others. But the tips still can easily apply to everybody. Its the product recommendations that can / will vary.

Hence ( I love using hence ) it will be of great help if y'all help the rest of us out and mention a few nude lipsticks you love. Somebody will love you for it...

Indian Girl


Anonymous said... @ June 23, 2010 at 2:59 AM

thank u!!!i have extremley pigmented lips. its 5 time darker than my skin color but i just dont knw what to do with it though. really hard to find lipstick that look good because of the annoying pigmentation.

preeti said... @ June 23, 2010 at 4:47 AM

thank you so much!!!! i really loved this post! i dint know you too have the issue of pigmented lips with the outline of the lips a little darker than the rest of the lips...your lips look sooooooo pretty and even toned in your swatches!!! thank you! really appreciate the post...

Wanderlust said... @ June 23, 2010 at 2:07 PM

Characteristic of Indian skin??? :(.. how unfair for us.

S. Carvalho said... @ July 6, 2010 at 11:39 PM

Ooh thanks for this post. I recently bought Revlon Cocoa Craving and it works well for a nude lip so I thought I'd share my 2 other favourites.

One is the Rimmel 1000 kisses lipliner in Wild Clover, which is what I use to match the "border" pigmentation of my lower lip to the rest of it. I rarely use the same item for a long time and I've been using this for years.

The other is Revlon Creme Gloss in Sassy Mauve, pigmented and glossy, works great for darker lip colours.

For reference I think I'm about NC42.

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