Lipstick for Women of Color - What “Nude” Really Means

What “Nude” Really Means

Google the term 'nude lipstick'. Not surprisingly, shades of pale pinks and opaque creams modeled on white skin flood the screen. Scroll down, and you'll find deeper shades of beige but still swatched on light faces. Sprinkled among the images are pictures of three or four melanin models as if to say, "See, we didn't forget about ya." But the problem is, they did. The problem is the color nude is subjective and certainly not one-shade-fits-all. Nude lipstick for women of color, specifically dark skin, is particularly difficult to find, but why?


Nude, to women of color, means rich shades of chocolate, mahogany, bronzed browns, and sultry pinks. Most beauty brands skip the countless shades between toasted almond and black; yet, produce 20 different tan tones. We created Essentials by Edwina to fill that void. We want every woman of color to have access to lipstick shades that make them feel confident and beautiful. Check out our tips for rocking the perfect nude.

The Base

Every nude lip should start with a liner. A lip liner acts as a base to transition your natural lip color to the lipstick shade. Liner also helps your lipstick last longer. Think of it as a primer for your lips. Essentials by Edwina Legacy Lip Liner in Chestnut Dreams is the perfect warm shade that will compliment any lip color. Medium skin tones can pair it with Congo for a gorgeous ombre effect or with Egypt for the perfect cocoa pout.


The Shade

When choosing your nude, take into consideration your undertone. Is it warm, grey, or golden? Knowing your undertones will help you narrow down the range of shades that will enhance your complexion. Ghana, a creamy nugget brown, is stunning on olive undertones. While Liberia, our deepest chocolate shade, is perfect for reds or warmer undertones. 

As we begin Black History Month, we want to recognize the many shades of black women, not just this month but every day. For decades black women complexion products were not considered a priority. Not because black women didn’t wear makeup, but because brands just didn’t see us. 2021 is where the diversity resides! We see you, and we celebrate you, your complexion, and, of course, your nudes.



Born out of the desire to provide diverse and healthy solutions for women, Essentials By Edwina is a vegan, cruelty-free makeup collection for the everyday woman. Founder Edwina Kulego launched her first collection in partnership with Celfie Cosmetics in 2017. All of our lipsticks are vegan, cruelty-free, and paraben-free. Enriched with Vitamin E for your comfort. Click here to shop.

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published