Title - How to Wear Nude Colors Wisely

No longer designated to staple classics like pants and trenches, khaki, stone and ecru along with modern day fleshy pinks and champagne cremes, are making their way as the it color for sophisticated day and edgy evening wear.

A bevy of glamorous starlets rocked the look at this year’s Oscars ceremony. I always say you can gauge the strength of an upcoming color trend by how many stars begin wearing it during the winter award season- looks like this one’s a keeper!

Yet anyone who loves these sexy pale tones can tell you, it’s not always easy getting it right. Depending on your hair, eye and skin color certain pales will flatter while others have you looking all washed up. So before you spend one pale penny, make sure to test-drive a few different shades in the dressing room to determine which one is your personal best. (Preferably in a mirror with the best day-lighting possible, please).

Keep in mind that the layering and the varying of textures can make these colors the most exciting. The starlet’s dresses above all have a sparkly finish. That’s why they all look so fantastic in monochromatic versions of these shades. A shimmer effect (like a metallic) is the best bet to keeping nudes from going ‘drab’ when not surrounded by other colors.

Otherwise it’s best to balance out nude colors with like (other nudes) or unlike (bright or saturated) colors.

Notice how the girl on the left has on a pinker- tone nude, the grayish/silver shirt, rosy makeup and darker khaki shorts balances out her coloring.

While the girl on the right’s beautiful darker skin tone is super pretty in a nude that has a peachier finish. Her gold jewelry, pure white jeans and coral colored makeup balance her out. Neither look washed out- right!.

If you do find yourself feeling a bit ‘drained’ in a nude top or bottom you already own and love (guilty as charged) simply adding a dash of a color you know you look great in can help… thank goodness scarves, statement necklaces and chunky earrings are so in fashion right now as they can be a lifesaver in cases like this.

Or consider buying a new ‘nude’ (perhaps one with a shimmery finish) to layer with it…. this may help breath some new life into that existing piece that is hanging in your closet and just dying to be worn!

Styling these pale shades within a color-filled outfit is a savvy way to transition this summer trend into fall. Paired with icy pastels or blue jean and classic neutrals like gray, black and navy- pale pieces can continue to be a fresh addition in your wardrobe.

Nude inspired faces are also on trend and were seen on this year’s runways. Slightly stained lips and cheeks looks oh-so fresh. Again let your coloring help you to decide which shades are best for you.

For day, fair complexions tend to look prettiest in pink. Adding a heavy lined lid and a dusting of a shimmery high lightening powder takes this almost ‘nude’ face into evening. Darker skin basks in the glow of sheer orange and corals- how cute are her freckles peeking through her light handed makeup!

While at night a frosty, iridescent shimmer is my absolute favorite for everyone! Notice her practically nude eyelashes- yes, this is a trend too (and a very modern one at that!)

While at night a frosty, iridescent shimmer is my absolute favorite for everyone! Notice her practically nude eyelashes- yes, this is a trend too (and a very modern one at that!)

You may noticed that all three model’s cheekbones are clearly defined and appear to be almost the same color as their lips. This to me is key- as it gives you the freedom to wear a nude inspired face with light, bright and dark colors clothes.

Some good tricks of the trade.. Kevyn Aucoin’s flesh toned lip pencil ($24), sculpting powder ($42- it’s the one mega-makeup-artist Pat McGrath used on the runway this season) and liquid Cyber Gloss ($27) for a sheer colored lip with a little added sparkle-are all safe bets.

Nude colored sandals and heels are a must for anyone wanting to elongate their legs this season. The same rules apply so pick a shade that best compliments your legs natural coloring. Oh Pucci, why do you taunt me so?

Now what’s on my list to update on the cheap? A nude lip pencil and a nude lip color for sure. I will be trying that sculpting powder, would love to say a nude colored exotic skin clutch and a satin-y and sexy pale hued Grecian wrap dress and a… oh who am I kidding-it’s just so not happening! So realistically I’m liking:

A new tote- the color and shape of this one from The Gap ( $34.50) is super cute and I think would make an unexpected foil to the brighter shades that already exist in my summer wardrobe.

A pair of nude sandals are worth every penny because they can multitask throughout my daytime wardrobe. It’s hard to see in this pix but the cording on the platform is jute with a metallic silver threading- so I’m guessing they have a nice little sparkle in the sun!

And most definitely- nude colored nail polish for my tootsies like this lovely shade ‘Cocoa’ from Creative Nail Design- I’m in love with the idea of nude colored nails and this opaque version from CND is sure to be one of the hottest colors of the season- plus at less than $10 bucks a bottle it’s by far the easiest (and budget friendliest) ways to be colorfully on trend all year long!

Feature Image Credit Khaled Ghareeb on Unsplash

Read Time: 4 min
author avatar
Kate Smith
Kate Smith is an optimistic, expressive, artist, designer, writer and color fanatic. With her warm and witty style, Kate teaches you to clearly see, understand and be inspired by color. Then she guides you step-by-step to develop your own unique color sense-ability and achieve results you never dreamed possible.
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  • Judith says:

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    • Kate Smith says:

      Thanks for your kind compliment, Judith!

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