Arguably, the easiest shade of lip colour to wear and often the foundation of every person’s lip wardrobe is a nude. As a gloss, tinted balm, or straight from the bullet, if you’re a lipstick wearer – you’ve likely got a favourite nude in your arsenal. And if you’re not a lipstick wearer, you’ve also got a favourite nude in your arsenal, that being your bona-fide nude lips. Nudes are the universal training wheels for lipstick wearers, and also a staple shade… I once saw Elle Ferguson pull out 8 different shades of nude lip colours from her purse – it was aspirational.
On a personal note, I’ve always been a little sceptical of wearing nudes, in fear of looking like a) a Kardashian/Jenner or b) post-mortem. Then we worked with BECCA on the HELENA CHRISTENSEN cover launch and in my goodie bag, I took home their just launched, Lipstick Love lipsticks. I was able to find a nude that suited me, a huge feat. taking into consideration my fair skin and red hair (it was shade Sugar, FYI). It didn’t make me look; washed-tf-out, but also didn’t make me look 50 shades of grey aka dead – and I say that with not one kinky connotation. Shall we just title this one, ‘Naked And Afraid’? Approx. 7 mins after applying, my lips were Buttery/Smooth/Not Dry, like my own can be, but better… These are the descriptives that legitimately entered my brain when I did the lippy-movey-abouty thing – c/o ingredients that aren’t found in everyday formulations: hyaluronic acid, avocado and olive oil, which is supposed to, and does keep everything looking alive and WELL while it wears.
My first beauty memory did not include a nude lip, but rather my 7-year-old face in the mirror with my mother’s red lipstick carefully (actually, messily) placed on my lips, and all of my teeth. The formula (like many lipsticks made in 1990) was rich, drying, and probably stained my lips and teeth until I was 12. Even though this very real memory is a cliché narrative, red has always been my staple, despite our rocky start. If I’m going to do a lip, it’s red. Not pink, not mauve, certainly not fuchsia. Makeup-wise, there’s nothing that makes me feel more equipped in life than a well-blotted red. The BECCA Lipstick Love shade in Crimson is what sparked the idea for this story, that shows that both red and nudes can be worn in the context of everyday life. Because everyone hangs out, one-foot-in/one-foot-out the window, no?
So here I am. Content producer, creative director, and model… BTW the Leo in me says, “Oh Haiiiiiiiiii” wearing the two lipsticks that I can proudly endorse as good intros/ol’ faithfuls on every woman’s (or man’s) lipstick journey….
Words & creative direction: Ella Jane
Photography: Brooke James