It's true that many theories about psychology and color are misleading and erroneously suggest that our reactions to color are absolute, and promote very specific emotions. But really, the impact colors have on us is mediated by a range of factors including experience, culture, context, and personal preference. And as with any type of adornment, a lip color communicates a lot about us and the way we choose to interact with the world. (See my post about it here.) There are some days I want a color that communicates a down-to-earth, yet sophisticated vibe, and nudes usually do the trick. But I've always had difficulty matching nudes to my yellow undertones. Many of the nudes I've tried make me look washed out, or are too powdery, and I have had a hard time knowing what tones to look for. But when a friend of mine had on the perfect shade of nude that looked like it might work on me, my hunt was revived and I set out to find the right one. That color my friend had on was "Infinitely Likeable" by Mac. And just my luck, when I went looking for it, it was discontinued (ugh! Don't you just hate when that happens?) But of course, the search must go on, and I finally found three shades I thought would work along with a coordinating lip liner. They are Nars Bahama, Hour Glass Femme Nude, Mac Half N Half Amplified, and Mac Spice.
During my hunt, I surprisingly learned a few things about nude lipstick I didn't know. For one, you don't want a "nude, nude" lipstick. That is, you don't want a shade that matches your skin exactly because then it looks just like concealer. To get that fresh faced look, you're nudes should have pink or rose undertones to brighten you up.
Another eye opener was learning the difference between nudes and naturals. Unlike nude shades, natural is designed to resemble the shade of your lip. It makes perfect sense, but was something I hadn't really thought of before. The Nars Bahama (shown above) is a natural and not the nude I was looking for, but I liked it a lot.
Choice number 2, the Hour Glass Femme Nude, looked really pretty in the package, but when I put it on, it had a white, powdery undertone that looked a little too garish. It' wasn't at all what I was going for so I immediately crossed it off my list.
Thankfully, the Mac Amplified (shown above) hit the spot just right. It had the pinkish, rose tints I was looking for and blended well with my yellow undertones. I was also set on finding a lip pencil that worked with most nudes, and I choose a deeper color to give my lips some dimension. Of course, I wouldn't have known to choose any of it had I not had help at the counter, so it's always a good idea to ask questions.