Neutral (but not nude) Lips

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I’ve heard from so many of your that you are trying to find (or have found) your “your lips but better” shade for the perfect neutral lip color. I’ve discovered a few of my favorites, varying from a mauve tone to a pink tone.


Of all of these, Syrup (by Mac) is probably my favorite. I like Pink in the Afternoon (by Revlon) for more of a pink shade. Coquette and Pink Quartz are darker/mauve-ier than I typically wear, so it’s a little bit of a stretch for me to wear those. But I’ve found I’m drawn to those shades for the fall.
And now begins the “how do you pose your lips for a lipstick focused photo” photos. Probably my best looks of all time. Just focus on the lips, ok? 


Are you a wearer of bold colors? Or do you stick to the neutrals? 

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Comments (66)

  1. Posted November 15, 2012

    I am a bold lip wearer, but I love lip stains. I think that Revlon Just Bitten lip stains are my favorite. For a my lips but better product, I am a fan of Red Dalia by Burts Bees. I love MAC, but it always seems to dry my lips out.

  2. Deva says
    Posted November 15, 2012

    I found my natural-but-not in a lipstick compact I got from a friend many moons ago. It’s a MAC Viva Glam color that I love and goes so far toward keeping me from looking super pale.

    I need to replace it!

    • Kate says
      Posted November 15, 2012

      I used to LOVE a Viva Glam color from Mac too. 🙂

  3. Carissa says
    Posted November 15, 2012

    Thanks so much for sharing your neutral lipstick fav’s!!! I love to find out what other people are wearing! The colors you have shown are very pretty…..I’m going shopping!! Hope you have a great day!

    • Kate says
      Posted November 15, 2012

      Thank you! You too!

  4. Summer says
    Posted November 15, 2012

    Do you have a link to the Mac Sugar online? I’m not finding it on their website…love the color!

    • Anonymous says
      Posted November 15, 2012

      me either!

    • Marissa says
      Posted November 15, 2012

      I think it’s Syrup cause she talked about that one last week.

  5. Lauren says
    Posted November 15, 2012

    I tend to keep my lip colors very neutrals, but I’m trying to become more adventurous! All of these shades are beautiful, but I was instantly drawn to Pink in the Afternoon.

    Lauren
    Fizz and Frosting

  6. Emily says
    Posted November 15, 2012

    I love the Revlon one on you! So pretty! I just recently purchased the elf studio matte lip color in natural and really love it.

  7. Laura says
    Posted November 15, 2012

    I recently invested in a Dior Lip Glow that supposedly changes its color according to your lips…it always looks great on me! Only downside is it’s $30 a tube.

    http://www.sephora.com/dior-addict-lip-glow-P236816?skuId=1162650

    –Laura
    http://caffeinatedpinkaholic.blogspot.com

  8. Rebecca says
    Posted November 15, 2012

    I love Pink in the Afternoon. It’s one (of the many) lipsticks I keep in my desk drawer. It goes with everything!

  9. Posted November 15, 2012

    I need to get better at wearing lipsticks…pretty colors!

  10. Posted November 15, 2012

    I haven’t seen anything on this blog that you DON’T look good in…whether it be colors of lip stick to the stylish outfits you post. I love it all! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  11. Dani says
    Posted November 15, 2012

    I finally had a Mac rep that picked out the perfect neutral for me – Syrup. I have honestly never had any lipstick that looked right on me. There is something about my colouring that is just….odd with lipstick. But Syrup is perfect! Neutral but better, as you say.

  12. Posted November 15, 2012

    Beautiful and natural colours! We love them!

    http://sialsiquiero.wordpress.com/

  13. Alissa says
    Posted November 15, 2012

    This really helps me in trying to find a good nearly nude!

  14. Anonymous says
    Posted November 15, 2012

    What blush are you wearing?? I am going to go get some new pink lipstick today but need some help in the blush department. Thanks!!!

  15. Posted November 15, 2012

    I usually don’t wear lipstick and if I do, I put it on once in the a.m. and that’s it. But reading your blogs and seeing how pretty it looks, I am going to try and wear it more often. Really does change your look.

  16. Posted November 15, 2012

    I love my bolds but lately I reach for my Shanghai Spice by MAC. Great picks, thanks so much for sharing with us.

  17. Posted November 15, 2012

    What lip liner do you wear??

    • Kate says
      Posted November 15, 2012

      none! I’ve never really worn it–haven’t found much of a need for it!

  18. Kristen Biloki says
    Posted November 15, 2012

    I love the pink in the afternoon on you!!

  19. Posted November 15, 2012

    Thanks for this post. I was inspired by your post on how to wear red lipsticks, but never took the plunge. I feel like I look like a clown in bold colors, so I tend to stick to more neutral lip colors. My faves are Clinique’s Baby Baby and my very favorite is Clinique’s Bamboo Pink. I love the light brownish-pink colors, that they are sheer, go on smooth and feel silky on my lips.

  20. Lynn says
    Posted November 15, 2012

    I have thin lips, plus I’m getting older, so I stick to more “nude” shades. I have trouble finding the right shades though.

  21. Posted November 15, 2012

    i LOVE the pink in the afternoon color on you! that’s gorgeous!

  22. Posted November 15, 2012

    I tend to stick to neutrals, but every now and then I get the courage to pop on a brighter color. I think a great neutral for winter in Mac Syrup!

    http://www.gildedsunflower.com

  23. Anonymous says
    Posted November 15, 2012

    I just discovered Chanel’s Boy shade…..I really love that.

  24. Sarah says
    Posted November 15, 2012

    Sugar looks the most natural of course. I want to try it! Thanks for the suggestion.

  25. Arielle says
    Posted November 15, 2012

    I think the Stila and Revlon look fantastic on you!

  26. Chali says
    Posted November 15, 2012

    These are so pretty! I have a question though, my natural lip color is pretty red/dark, so anything but clear lip gloss looks DARK on me! And I’m not a huge lipstick person… I like doing more with eye shadow ;o) Any suggestions on how to neutralize my natural lip color so I can wear the pretty neutral lipsticks?! :o) Thanks!

    • Posted November 15, 2012

      Have you tried applying foundation and very light powder to your lips first? I do this every day as part of my makeup routine (I just do my entire face, lips included) and I find it gives my lips a neutral base to start from plus it holds my lip color in place because it gets rid of any oils or moisture that may make my lip color come off quickly. Good luck!

  27. Posted November 15, 2012

    Hue by MAC is my favorite pinky neutral!

  28. Posted November 15, 2012

    You look the best in Coquette.

  29. Posted November 15, 2012

    Oh, I’m a lover of bold plum/wine colors, mostly in the winter, and peachy pinks in the summer. My latest fave: Too Faced’s Divine Wine and Stiletto Red. Ethne

  30. Amy Sue says
    Posted November 15, 2012

    Have you ever tried the Dior Addict Lip Glow?? It’s the one that reacts with your lip color. I’ve been wanting to try it.

  31. Posted November 15, 2012

    I looked up “Sugar” on MAC’s website and can’t find it. Is it a limited edition or is the name wrong? I love the color on you and would go pick it up today if I had more info….

  32. Hailey says
    Posted November 15, 2012

    i think pink in the afternoon is my fav! but they all look good!

  33. Natalie says
    Posted November 15, 2012

    If you’re less of a lipstick gal and more into a tinted balm, I love Loreal’s Color Riche Balm in Nourishing Nude. Great neutral!

  34. Sandra says
    Posted November 15, 2012

    Have you looked into the Nyx brand at all? They have FANTASTIC colors (pale neutrals to dark plums to bright pinks) and are really affordable ($4-5). You can find them at Ulta. To answer your question though, I like experimenting. I have punchy pinks to barely there nudes. What I haven’t been able to pull off yet are straight reds…

  35. Amber says
    Posted November 15, 2012

    I think I’m allergic to lip products. It seems that when I wear most lipsticks/glosses/and even some chapsticks, my lips get a swollen feeling and are really dry/chapish for a day or two after wearing the product. I can’t even tell you how many I’ve tried. I don’t know what exactly I could be allergic to in there, but do you have any recommendations of brands that don’t have as many ingredients?

    • Missy F says
      Posted November 15, 2012

      Have you tried burts bees? They have some very pretty neutral shades in various formulas (from gloss to tinted balm etc…) I actually use this brands baby line on my eczema/allergy prone toddler & have had great luck ; )

    • Anonymous says
      Posted November 15, 2012

      @amber…omg i have the same problem and thought i was the only one! its so weird…mine get swollen and then almost like broken out sores if i dont get hydrocortisone cream on soon enough. the only things im able to use is aquaphor healing ointment (love it but its not a lip color obviously lol) and ive been able to wear the maybelline brand lipstain as long as i dont wear it for more than a couple days in a row. but i recently found “pure illumination” lip gloss…it only has like 4 natural ingredients and so far ive been wearing it everyday with no trouble. i sell it in my salon but im sure its online too. good luck! hope this helps… ive wasted so much $ on stuff that doesnt work but i just want to have color on my lips lol 🙂

    • Amber says
      Posted November 16, 2012

      Thank you! I’ll give the Burts Bees and Pure Illumination a try!

  36. Posted November 15, 2012

    These colors are so pretty on your skin tone! I have similar skin tone to you so I’m thankful for your sharing 🙂 Do you line your lips for these colors? Also, do you feel like some colors make your teeth look yellower than others? I don’t think yours do in your pictures, but I always feel like mine do so I am afraid of lip color!

  37. Anonymous says
    Posted November 15, 2012

    Try Guava Stain by Clinique—and oldie but a great neutral mauvey color

  38. Heidi says
    Posted November 15, 2012

    I generally like more neutral lip colors, although I tend to wear bolder, darker neutral colors in the fall/winter (like Mary Kay Creme lipstick in Shell or Maple). It helps to give my complexion a little more color in the winter months.

  39. Debbie says
    Posted November 15, 2012

    I LOVE the revlon color!! I must have it now lol

  40. Posted November 15, 2012

    I just bought MAC Syrup, and I love it but I don’t usually wear lipstick because it tends to bleed outside the lines of my lips (even light colors.) Your lipstick always looks so perfect, and you said you don’t even wear lipliner. Any tips or suggestions to keep it in place?

    • Anonymous says
      Posted November 15, 2012

      have you ever heard of the make up line called mirabella? they sell a lipliner that, for lack of better word, is “clear”. it looks white in the stick but it smooths over lines around the lips and just makes lipcolor look nicer. plus goes with all colors then. i dont know if other brands have something similar but im just familiar with that one. 🙂

    • Anonymous says
      Posted November 15, 2012

      have you ever heard of the make up line called mirabella? they sell a lipliner that, for lack of better word, is “clear”. it looks white in the stick but it smooths over lines around the lips and just makes lipcolor look nicer. plus goes with all colors then. i dont know if other brands have something similar but im just familiar with that one. 🙂

  41. Posted November 15, 2012

    Your makeup always looks so pretty. Syrup is one of my favorite lipsticks and actually matches my natural lip color almost exactly. I tend to prefer neutral pinks, but I do also like berry colors as well.

  42. Rubiiee says
    Posted November 16, 2012

    I love the Revlon one!

    <3 Rubiiee

  43. Posted November 16, 2012

    I never wear lipstick but I love the look of it. I think I might have to give it a try. I really like the mac one!

  44. Miranda says
    Posted November 16, 2012

    You look amazing Kate. That’s for sure…
    I have a question – hopefully you will answer it. What kind of camera do you use ? I have noticed that all your photos for your blog is amazing, clear, bright and so on.
    Is it just the camera or do you perhaps also photo edit it before posting on the blog ? If so which program can you recommend?
    I’m sorry that this comments is not more specific for your post, but I hope it’s okay that I ask you these questions.
    Please keep on blogging. I love reading them 🙂
    Best regards Miranda

    • Kate says
      Posted November 17, 2012

      check my faq page! 🙂

  45. Natalie says
    Posted November 16, 2012

    I have two go to lipsticks that I wear that are “my lips but better” shade. The first is one several ladies have already mentioned above in the MAC Viva Glam line; mine is Viva Glam V (love the lipstick in this AND lipglass). The second go to lipstick I wear is Nars Dolce Vida which is a creamy darker pink color that makes my lips pop. So fun!

  46. Posted November 17, 2012

    I just found my perfect shade! Its L’Oreal Gilded Pink. Its the exact shade of my lips, but with a hint of gold shimmer! So it is the epitome of my lips but better!

  47. Gigisez says
    Posted November 17, 2012

    These pink toned colors look so pretty and natural on you! I am a redhead w/green eyes & have peaches and cream toned skin (golden undertone) and pinks just clash! Any suggestions for a “warmer” nude lip that isn’t beige or putty colors? That Walking Dead pale brown is not a good look on me!

  48. SH says
    Posted November 20, 2012

    I LOVE the first two shades!! And I love the expressions haha.

    thehartungs.blogspot.ca

  49. Posted November 23, 2012

    What blush are you wearing in these pictures? It goes so well with the lipsticks and is the perfect flush!

  50. TraceyN says
    Posted November 25, 2012

    I absolutely love the Syrup and Coquette, thank you for sharing. I’ve been looking for just the right neutral colors.

  51. Megan says
    Posted December 5, 2012

    Going to have to buy the pink in the afternoon now! Thanks for this post it’s exactly what I needed! I’ve recently been using Burt’s Bees tinted lip balm in Hibiscus and its great!

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