Don’t try to change it

Enhance the natural features you have been blessed with 

Gone are the days where there was no such thing as ‘nude’ makeup for women of colour.

Back then, creating this look simply meant no foundation, just powder and a lump of Vaseline smudged across the lips.

The reality of the matter was that this was the only way black women could achieve a ‘nude’ look as there wasn’t enough variety of shades.

As fashion brands are becoming more inclusive, it seems the beauty industry is following suit.

Providing a variety of shades other than the usual ‘light’, ‘medium’ and ‘dark’, high-end brands including Giorgio Armani, Lancôme and Estée Lauder recently introduced a variety of nuances that fall in between the above and therefore catering to women of colour.

According to Giselle La Pompe-Moore beauty coordinator at Stylist Magazine, the definition of a nude shade is, therefore, a personal one.

“Nude lipsticks, in particular, go with the idea of seeing ‘your lips but better’ that can’t be achieved without paying attention to undertones and different nuances in our skin,” she explained.

Never before has it been easier for women of colour to find their foundation shade, which sometimes only requires none to a mix of two different shades, whereas previously, it’d require not buying a foundation at all because they weren’t produced in such dark tones.

Also often having to mix different lipstick shades in order to achieve the perfect shade of nude, the beauty coordinator believes that it is the experimental process of makeup, which makes it all fun.

“Finding a nude lipstick is trial and error and for darker skin, it isn’t always the soft pink hue in the range, I’ve had to expand my idea of what ‘nude’ is and to personalise it,” Pompe-Moore adds.

Defining ‘nude’ for women of colour as an ongoing debate rather than a trend,  Stylist’s beauty coordinator believes that more beauty brands are being held accountable by consumers in campaign images.

“We want to be included and we want to see ourselves represented. The only way we’ll see change is if we keep talking about it,” she said.

Finding a nude lipstick is trial and error and for darker skin, it isn’t always the soft pink hue in the range.


Hosannah Gul
   Hosannah Jønsson // Image courtesy of Hosannah Jønsson

“Nude makeup means a lot to me. Because I’m not a makeup girl, I don’t know how to apply a gorgeous full face makeup. The other thing is that I don’t like bright colours when it comes to clothing or makeup. So for me, it is very important that I’m able to find a good foundation that matches my skin tone and some good nude eyeshadow shades.”

Yasmin Adan // Image courtesy of YA

“I love using nude eyeshadows since I feel like it enhances your natural features while matching a subtle everyday look. When it comes to nude lipstick, I sometimes find it a struggle to find a colour which matches my skin tone. I’ve found a few that I can use which are my go to nudes: Double Dare by Kat Von D. and Taupe by MAC.”

Jacqueline Adjei // Image courtesy of JA

“Nude makeup to me is a natural look with colours that match the skin it’s on. As a woman of colour, a nude look would embody earthy colours, from different shades of brown and lipsticks that match our natural lip colour. This isn’t exactly easy to find unfortunately and especially not for me as I live in Australia, where not many beauty stores stock branded/luxury makeup brands that have a variety in their colours, whether it is lipsticks or foundations, it’s there, but the variety is limited.”

Jennifer Phillips // Image courtesy of JP.

“It can be very difficult for women of colour to find the perfect nude lipstick sometimes. Like myself, I have tried so many times to find a good nude lipstick, which won’t look too harsh on me – and I still haven’t found it yet, so I make my own ‘nude’ lipstick and by doing it, I sometimes mix two/three different lipsticks/lipglosses to get the perfect shade that matches my skin.”


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