Let’s talk about Lipstick. It completes an outfit and is a perfect accessory. Not to mention a fabulous, bold fashion statement. Invented in France 1884, Lipstick is probably my most favourite thing ever. Nothing expresses your mood better than makeup. Feeling confident? Dark lipstick. Want to be quirky? Brightly coloured rainbow lipstick. Natural beauty? Nude lipstick. Anything goes. To be honest, I spend most of my money on it and practically own every lipstick shade and colour under the sun. Literally every colour whether it’s a natural hue or bright blue.
My most favourite lipstick of all though is definitely nude lipstick, it’s my go-to for everything and I never feel complete without it. It’s my way of pretending that I actually made an effort to not look like a scrub (difficult).
The Real Nude Issue
But, I am not here to just talk about my love for nude lipstick. The issue I want to bring to the table is bigger than that. Recently, there’s a lot of controversy going around at the moment about the term, ‘nude’. I’m not going to be talking about naked people so you may as well click off if that’s why you’re here. I’m talking about the “colour” nude. Nude is NOT just peach or ivory, it’s so much more than that. We live in a world filled with many amazing skin tones and colours from fair to beautiful dark browns, so why doesn’t our products show that? Why can’t we provide for everyone? Why do companies just reduce nude down to lighter skin tones?
The majority of nude lipsticks today are only made to fit people of a certain skin colour; usually caucasian. That in itself is already a problem as other skin tones are just as important. Many makeup brands only create extremely light pink shades for these skin tones too. Like super light. Some even too light for me and I have pale white skin! These lipsticks AREN’T NUDE!
All in all, there’s not enough variety for us. There’s not enough diversity and we are leaving out people of other wonderful skin colours. And no. Brands have to realise that making one kind of brown lipstick or slightly darker peach definitely doesn’t cover a whole skin category! It’s just simply not enough. What about our olive-skinned friends or the people with much darker skin tones? There’s not enough for them and it’s frustrating.
Many people I talk to complain saying that nude lipstick looks dreadful on them, and it’s a shame because the problem isn’t them at all. The problem is not their skin tone, it’s the fact that there’s not enough shades to cater for everyone. My favourite brand of nude lipsticks that I strongly advise are NYX’s Lip Lingerie. Not only are they perfectly affordable and long-lasting, but they also come in a vast range of nude shades perfect for all skin tones and hues. Take it from me, you are guaranteed to find the perfect nude shade for your skin. M.A.C is also wonderful for supplying nude lipsticks with a huge range perfect for different skin tones.
The problem is the exact same with concealers and foundation too. Considering its the base of your makeup and skin, it’s pretty fucking difficult to get right for all skin tones, not everyone is perfectly light or perfectly tanned. I mean, I have quite light skin and even I have spent hours in various makeup stores swatching several products from several brands. In the end, I leave with patchy hands and arms, none of which are my actual skin colour. This seems to be a universal problem and I can only imagine how frustrating it is to leave a shop with absolutely nothing because they’ve sold out/don’t have exactly what you need. People shouldn’t have to settle or think ‘close enough’ when purchasing a foundation/concealer, especially when they cost a fortune! If people are putting money in, we want results.
Next on the list, underwear. It’s the exact same problem. Whenever I go into a store, the nude category is just beige. Lots of beige. Or slightly light/slightly dark beige. To be honest, when I look at it it doesn’t even look like a skin colour. It’s more orange than anything else. It’s the same problem as before, ‘nude’ underwear is only made to suit caucasian skin tones. As if it’s not hard enough to find the correct size and most comfortable/flattering style, but not getting the most basic nude colour for you. It makes underwear shopping 10X harder than it has to be. However, brands like Marks and Spencers are making more underwear suited for varied skin colours. So we are moving forward but it’s still only just a small step. More brands need to take action like this.
Don’t forget the men!
It’s important to mention that this isn’t just a female problem. The nude concept applies just as much to the male population as it does to women. Their underwear variety also doesn’t cover enough skin tones, again, it’s mostly just for those who have lighter skin. Beige just seems to be a recurring factor here. In the end, it’s not enough to cater for everyone. Last year, there was an underwear brand by Björn Borg that released 6 extra skin-toned boxer shorts for men to add more diversity and choice. This guy definitely had the right idea for the world.
I’m not saying that these ‘nude’ lipsticks and underwear aren’t acceptable or don’t suit anyone, because they can suit people and they do. The main issue is that there should be more nude products for a wider range of skin tones. We need to realise that ‘nude’ isn’t a one-shade-suits-all deal. It’s much, much bigger than that. There needs to be more diversity, more choice and more variety for people. In both clothes, makeup and models. We need to appreciate every skin tone and colour, not just the light skin. Because in the end, nude is not just a single colour, its a multitude of wonderful skin tones and shades.