The Best Nude Lipstick Isn't Even A Lipstick

Photo by JP Yim/Getty Images

Ask any brown or Black girl, and she'll tell you that all nudes aren't created equal. She'll probably give you a heart-wrenching tale of swatching no less than 10 lipsticks on her forearm — or maybe a series of nail polishes on a single fingernail — only to find that the brown, tan, or beige tone just doesn't work. OK, OK... maybe "heart-wrenching" is a touch dramatic, but that doesn't make it any less irritating. Thankfully, makeup artist Francelle Daly clued TZR in on the perfect nude lipstick for everyone: concealer.

Yes, you heard right. Backstage at 3.1 Phillip Lim's spring 2019 fashion show, Daly played off of the show's nomadic theme by giving the models a look inspired by a "sun-kissed wanderer," she says. No gleaming highlight or neon-lipstick here: the models wore brushed-up brows, flushed cheeks, a hint of mascara, and matte lips. Though NARS' selection of lipsticks is exceptional (models of every skin tones all wore the same vibrant red, Powermatte Lip Pigment in Don't Stop at Rodarte's show), Daly had plenty of reason to opt for the Soft Matte Complete Concealer, which comes in 16 shades.

"It doesn't have any shimmer in it," she explains to The Zoe Report. "And you're really able to feather it on. Plus, a little goes a long way."

To prep, she used a little bit of lip balm before applying. I spotted Rosebud Perfume Co.'s Rosebud Salve and Vaseline Lip Therapy in some kits. "If you put the concealer on dry skin, then it might look dry, of course," she notes.

Khalea Underwood

"With the balm, a little goes a long way here, too. But I'd rather use moisturizer to give a little humectant quality to the lips," she says.

Next comes the actual application. Instead of using a concealer brush — or her fingers, like we've been seeing this week — she used an eyeshadow brush to buff it on.

"With the shadow brush, you're lightly washing the lips," she says, while spreading the concealer over her models' mouths. "To where it almost looks like a brown lipstick."

For the models with lighter skin, Daly used Soft Matte in two shades darker than their actual skin tones. "You don't want to match the lips," she says. "Sometimes, that can end up being more of a pink tone."

But for the darker models, she actually went a shade lighter for contrast. "When you're darker, you have a monochromatic lip already," Daly notes. "So with the girls [with deep skin tones], we actually went a shade lighter to give that same enhancement to the lips."

JP Yim/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Another handy hack from Daly? Use a shadow brush to also apply your mascara, instead of the wand. "You're able to really get in there and control the formula," she reveals, while demonstrating. "You can even get on your waterline for an 'invisible mascara' look that I've been seeing."

And there you have it: easy ways to look like a nomad, without leaving the comfort of your vanity.