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In the wake of the classic red lip craze, you may crave a subtler statement of femininity. A beautifully nude, matte lip can be stunning when done correctly. Use it as a foil for a smoky eye at night or a sheer, glowing face for day. The best thing about the nude, matte lip is that it looks just as pretty with floaty spring florals as it does with earth-toned fall tweeds. So choose your hue and conquer the crimson-lipped competition with the ultimate understatement.
Choose the right shade. While nude, matte lips can be incredibly chic, choosing the wrong shade can take you from wow to washed-out in an instant. Experiment with different tones and shades until you find the one that makes your entire face look complete. For fair girls this will probably be a shade with a hint of rose or pink; warm-toned girls should stick with a caramel or tea color no more than two shades lighter than your real lips. Dark-skinned girls can try a mocha or chocolate with just a hint of rose or red.
Prepare your lips. Nothing ruins this look faster than applying a matte lipstick onto dry or flaky lips. If your lips are really dry, use a lip scrub to even the playing field. Gently work a pea-sized amount in small circles on your lips, let it sit a moment and wipe off with a warm, wet cloth. Follow with a balm or salve. Even if your lips are in good condition, you'll still want to apply a creamy balm or salve to lips so they will take the lip color evenly. Let sit for a moment and then blot the excess balm onto the back of your hand or a tissue.
Apply color. Now that your lips are smooth and supple, apply your lipstick straight from the tube or with a lip brush for a more precise line. Try not to use more than two coats, as this can create a chalky effect. If you end up with too much lipstick, simply swipe your lips with your middle finger or blot them on a single-ply sheet of tissue.
You can use a lip liner before you apply matte nude lipstick to make it last longer. If you use lip liner, the two products must be an identical shade to prevent an unflattering line around the edge of the lip. If you don't have a good match, skip it.