Bending the Budget: Nude Lipsticks

In Bending the Budget, we explore both high-end and budget-friendly beauty products you can use to achieve the same goal. They might not necessarily be dupes, but rather recommendations based on what I like about both products, or what they claim to accomplish.

As I’m trying to incorporate more color into my summer eye makeup, nude lipstick has been a staple part of my makeup looks. In fact, a perfect nude lipstick in a makeup collection is like the little black dress of a woman’s wardrobe. It’s essential, versatile, and simply: a must-have. Since you will undoubtedly get a ton of use out of your go-to neutral lippy, you have a little room to splurge, knowing you’ll get your money’s worth.

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For Fairer Skin Tones:

Splurge: Bite Beauty Luminous Creme Lipstick in Salut | Save: e.l.f Moisturizing Lipstick in Party in the Buff
With lighter skin tones, you want to choose neutral lipsticks that lean a bit pink so that you’re not completely washed out. These two beiges have pink undertones with a smooth, creamy finish.

For Medium Skin Tones:

Splurge: theBalm Balm Girls Lipstick in Mai Billsbepaid | Save: Maybelline ColorSensational Buffs Stormy Sahara
In my opinion, medium skin tones can choose from the largest variety of neutral lip shades. Stormy Sahara is a muted apricot shade, while Mai Billsbepaid is mauve— different, but both very versatile for a range of skin tones. In fact, Mai Billsbepaid is almost the exact same color as my lips, while Stormy Sahara gives me a bit more warmth for when my makeup look calls for that.

For Dark Skin Tones:

Splurge: MAC Lipstick in O | Save: Rimmel London Show off Lip Lacquer in Galaxy
Plummy browns always look great on ladies with deeper skin tones. The Show Off Lip Lacquer is a liquid lipstick with very subtle golden shimmer. MAC’s O has a richer, red undertone with more noticeable golden shimmer and opaque application.

No matter what your shade, you can choose light, medium, or dark neutral lips to compliment a plethora of different looks. These are the shades that will never go out of style, so even if you splurge, you can keep a clear conscious.


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  1. Great picks! I love a good nude lipstick. Though everyone has their own perfect nude of course. Mine is from Smashbox, the Be Legendary Lipstick in Honey.

  2. All of these products look awesome, definitely shows that quality exists in all price ranges 🙂

  3. I love posts like this that give me permission to buy more lippies. But, but, I’ll — USE them, I swear! They’re versatile! *whine* LOL!

  4. I might try that one from Maybelline. I’ve been looking for a truly nude lipstick for a while and most have an undertone that doesn’t match.

    1. I seem to remember you wanting something that would blank out your lips though, right? Maybelline has another called Blushing Beige that would work better for that, since Stormy Sahara is more on the apricot side– depending on your skin tone!

      1. Yes, I am. Thank you for the suggestion! I’ll take a look at what shades there are the next time I go to Target.

  5. Great post!! I will definitely be picking up at least the ELF one and possibly the BITE!

  6. I love all of your choices! I just tried a nude lippie that I had high hopes for and it ended up corpsing me out!

  7. Thanks for the price comparisons and advice on how to pick the right lipstick for your skin tone!

  8. Love this post. Great beauty dupes and budget friendly picks. Love how you broke it down by skin tone,. I totally need that Rimmel shade. Great post!

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