As much as I adore red lips and given my enormous collection of reds and bright lip colours, I can't just throw one on without feeling slightly uncomfortable and a bit too...obvious.
I've really got to be in the mood to carry off a bright or red lip.
Tom Ford Ultra Shine Lipgloss 'Naked'
Although marketed as a gloss, these glosses (or at least the two I own) are more like liquid lipsticks. Very pigmented and non sticky unlike most glosses. This is a beige nude shot through with the most delicate gold shimmer. Love this alone or over a nude lipstick. Subtle scent of vanilla. Yum. Lasts fairly well given it's a gloss.
Dolce & Gabbana 'Mandorla'
This is one of my most favourite nude lips and holds joint first place for colour, texture and finish. Creamy, delicious and the most perfect pink toned nude. Has the softest floral scent that I actually really enjoy - but if you are sensitive to or steer clear of scented lipsticks this one is not for you as it does linger on the lips. Doesn't dry out my lips or settle into lines. Lasts well.
Tom Ford Blush 'Nude'
This is the other lipstick that holds the crown for 'Most Favourite Nude' along with D&G Mandorla. If I could only ever own/use two nude lipsticks it would be these two.
Another luxuriously creamy pink toned nude - there's actually not much difference in colour to Mandorla. Has the usual yummy vanilla scent that the Tom Ford lip products have. Moisturising and incredibly comfortable to wear. Lasts fairly well.
YSL Rouge Volupte 2 - 'Sensual Silk'
This is one of the most beautiful colours and formulas yet sadly has too many negative aspects for it to be an absolute-must-buy. An unbelievably creamy beige-nude, this feels like you are sliding moisturiser on to your lips. This is both a blessing and a curse. Feels gorgeous on yet has absolutely zero staying power and needs to be reapplied every time you breathe/speak/move. OK, maybe that's a slight exaggeration. But don't expect this to last through food, drink or even past an hour. The case however is so luxurious you won't mind whipping this one out and reapplying.
Also has a very strong floral scent that most YSL lip products tend to have and it does linger and tend to stick in the back of your throat if you apply a lot. Not pleasant but the colour and texture of the lipstick make me love it regardless.
MAC 'A Perfect Day'
An unusual choice and possibly a slightly annoying one for blog readers - this one is sadly a limited edition colour and is no longer for sale. Part of the MAC Naturally collection I cannot understand why this is LE. Of all the nudes that MAC are famous for (myth, creme d'nude, honeylove, blankety, fleshpot, hue) this is far superior. A pinky-beige cremesheen, this has good staying power and is just on the dry side of comfortable. It can feel a bit dry on the lips but not bad enough to make me not want to wear it. Has the usual MAC vanilla-y scent. I wish this was permanent - definitely one to look out for in blog sales etc if you want a nude MAC lipstick but can't find anything suitable in the line.
NARS Honolulu Honey
This is one I don't wear all that often but had to include because this is my 'holiday nude' and gets a fair amount of wear when I am tanned. A honeybeige-nude, this looks better on darker, more tanned skin. On my normal NC20ish skin, this can look a little odd and pulls too brown. BUT put this on NC30+ and it looks amazing - definitely one for holiday time and even fake tan time! This one will be part of my holiday make up bag. Francois Nars has been reported to say this is one of his most used products in his line and Kim Kardashian is reportedly a fan. Comfortable to wear with very good staying power. NARS lipsticks often have a strange scent and this is no exception, however it is fairly inoffensive and doesn't linger once applied.
After photographing the lip and arm swatches I did contemplate removing this from the lineup. This lipstick is without a doubt 'My lips but better'. In fact, this is the exact same shade as my natural lip colour. So, not technically a nude on me but could be on others. This is more of a sheer pinky colour - a possible good nude for cooler skin tones?
Cruising is fairly sheer and as such lasts an average amount of time. Glossy and comfortable to wear with the same scent as described above.
Chanel Rouge Coco Shine 'Evasion'
Another one I did consider removing as it isn't a true 'nude'. Chanel's Evasion is a sheer peachy-pink and I suppose could be loosely described as a nude. On my lips it looks like a sheer wash of juicy peach tinged with pink. I love the Rouge Coco Shines - they are comfortable, glossy and have average staying power. They do however have the Chanel floral scent that does linger/stick in the throat - steer clear if you aren't keen on scents/tastes in your lipstick.
NARS Velvet Matte Pencil 'Belle De Jour'
Recently featured in a FOTD, NARS Belle De Jour is a lovely beige nude with a matte finish. Matte is something I tend to steer clear of in lip products due to the likelihood of them being drying, however, Belle De Jour mnages to feel creamy and comfortable on the lips whilst retaining it's matte finish. The lasting power is good and there is no discernible scent which makes it a good one for anybody who is sensitive to smells/tastes in their lip products.
YSL Rouge Pur Couture 6 - Rose 'Bergamasque'
This is a strange one, because in the tube and in swatches it appears much more nude than it does on my lips. On my lips it pulls quite pink. This is definitely more of a mid-tone nude and probably the best option if you want a nude that isn't too pale.
Unlike the Rouge Volupte, this has great staying power yet remains creamy and comfortable on the lips. Does still have a floral scent but not as strong as the voluptes... If only the packaging was as gorgeous!
Swatches in order as listed above - L-R: Tom Ford Naked, D&G Mandorla, Tom Ford Blush Nude, YSL Rouge Volupte 2 Sensual Silk, MAC a perfect day, NARS Honolulu Honey, NARS Cruising, Chanel Evasion, NARS Velvet Matte Belle De Jour, YSL Rouge Pur Couture 6 Rose Bergamasque.
So there we have some of my favourite nudes. I still have several on my 'to try list' such as NARS Barbarella, Estee Lauder Crystal Nude, Illamasqua Test and but can you recommend some of your favourites?