How to Perfect a Nude Makeup Vibe, According to a Pro Artist

There is just something about a nude makeup look—even though it's subtle, the finished look is never basic or lackluster. In fact, a makeup look starring nude hues brings out the best in our individualized facial features with little pompous circumstance. Stars such as Adele, Meghan Markle, Megan Fox, and Laura Harrier and their talented makeup artists have perfected the art of nude, and we want in. To get the insider POV on how to hone nude looks at home, we chatted with Nick Lujan, the global director of artistry and education at Kevyn Aucoin.

We know that any great makeup look starts with a well-established foundation—both literally and figuratively. That means starting with skin prep and ending with the application of complexion products like foundation and concealer. We know there are tons of products on the market. But if you keep your skin type (and Lujan's advice) in mind, you can't go wrong. Our expert recommends looking for lightweight, hydrating skincare options—think skin-plumping ingredients like hyaluronic acid and, of course, skin-loving primers that both hydrate and smooth.

Nude With a Twist


(Image credit: @isabelleikpeme)

Here's the thing: We know that nude makeup looks are typically thought to be minimal. However, adding a graphic liner to a nude base creates space to experiment with current trends.

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Go Blue


(Image credit: @daleedasoomar)

This fresh peachy look is coupled with a swipe of blue liner, but glowing skin is still at the center. To re-create subtle makeup applications, Lujan recommends opting for sheer foundation: "Stick to sheer skin tints or use a product like Sensual Skin Primer to adjust the level of coverage of your medium [to] full-coverage liquid [or] cream foundations."

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Nude With a Classic Silhouette


(Image credit: @mishti.rahman)

Adding definition to the eyes gives a nude look a barely there pop. If you look closely, there is a touch of eye shadow to define the eye area in tandem with a thin layer of black eyeliner.

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Throw It Back


(Image credit: @hungvanngo)

If you haven't stopped to watch a full tutorial by makeup artist Hung Vanngo, you're missing out. This look gives '90s nude with a hint of edge, and it is absolutely stunning.

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Sculpt It


(Image credit: @taytayjean)

We love nude looks because there is no one-size-fits-all approach, especially when selecting the right products to sculpt the eyes and face. "For eye shadows, the best recommendation I can give is to select shades that are similar to the natural shadows and highlight what you see on your skin when you stand in front of the mirror," Lujan says. "Analyze the greige (grey/beige) tones you see in the shadows being cast on your features. Those 'greige' tones are perfect for sculpting all your features, including the eye area."

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Brighten It Up


(Image credit: @anaasmood)

The subtle and fresh feeling of this is magnetic, and creating it is all about the blush and lip colors. So how do you select the best nude for your skin tone? "There are a number of ways to do this," Lujan shares. "The first is to match the color to your natural lip color. If you are looking to go even more nude, match it to the pad of your fingertips." Additionally, if you enjoy mixing hues to get your best shade, Lujan advises adding a drop concealer into your lipstick to make it blend closer with your skin tone.

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No-Makeup Makeup


(Image credit: @isabellecoheen)

You can't go wrong with a no-makeup makeup nude look on days when you're in the mood for a less-is-more approach. Opting for a gloss or blotting a touch of your go-to nude lipstick on your lips will keep the look chill.

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Cool Off


(Image credit: @hungvanngo)

If you can't tell, I'm a huge fan of Vanngo. I could watch him craft makeup looks on YouTube for hours. Here, the addition of a pop of pink on the eyes and cheeks is the ideal nude for anyone with pink, cool undertones.

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Use What You've Got


(Image credit: @brosiaaa)

Here I can't help but applaud everything from the brows to the matte lip. Of course, the great part about this look is you've probably got everything to re-create this at home. But in case you don't, I've got a few suggestions to help you pull this easy-breezy look together below.

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Real and Understated


(Image credit: @bianca__lambert)

I love makeup. However, I'm all about embracing my imperfections (most days), and that's led me to my own understated nude makeup look. A good tinted moisturizer that doesn't break me out, blush, and a touch of lip gloss that matches the color of my lips are all I need these days—even if that means my hyperpigmentation might show through because I'm not perfect and neither is my skin. I'm finally starting to be okay with that.

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Freelance Contributor