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Which nude lip glosses are best?

When you’re looking to finish off a clean, fresh look, nothing is as flattering and easy to apply as a great nude lip gloss. Available in various tones, nude lip gloss adds shine and subtle color to any skin tone.

Whether you’re going for a day at the beach or creating a polished evening look, there’s a gloss for the occasion. If you’re looking for a high-quality nude lip gloss, the Laura Mercier Lip Glace Lip Gloss in Blush is the top choice.

What to know before you buy a nude lip gloss

Not all nude lip glosses are the same

The word “nude” in the name may sound like a one-hue option, but nudes come in various colors and textures. Day-friendly glosses have sheer, barely-there pigmentation, while a dramatic nude gloss for nighttime will have a thicker color that you can layer. 

Shimmer vs. plain gloss

Nudes lend themselves to a shimmer, so if you’ve always wanted to try something a bit sparkly but didn’t know where to start, a nude lip gloss is a great way to go. A glassy nude is also a great option.

Plumping gloss vs. plain

When you’re going minimal on color, a plumping agent can make lips stand out without much pigmentation. So if you’re choosing a nude lip gloss for the evening, you may want to consider one with a plumping agent to add drama to your look.

What to look for in a quality nude lip gloss


One of the benefits of lip gloss is keeping lips hydrated while adding a splash of color. While lipsticks tend to sit on the surface of the lips and can sometimes be drying, a good moisturizing gloss will also keep lips soft. If your lips tend to be on the drier side, be sure to look for a lip gloss that can do double duty as a lip moisturizer.

Flattering to your skin tone

Nudes range from pale, cool colors to warm, buttery tones. Knowing your skin tone will help you pick a flattering gloss. Lean into pinks and other cool tones if your skin has cool undertones, and go for peaches and rosier browns for warm tones.

Color saturation

Nudes run the gamut from highly saturated to sheer, nearly transparent color. For a night look with a glassy finish, look for a lip gloss with a lot of pigment. For daytime, play with sheer colors for a fun, kissable look.

How much you can expect to spend on nude lip gloss

You’ll find a world of options at your drugstore, starting at $5. For premium brands or those with bells and whistles like plumping agents, expect to pay from $20-$40.

Nude lip gloss FAQ

How do I prep my lips to make nude lip gloss stay on longer?

A. Lip gloss can feel more temporary than lipstick, and you may need to carry it with you and reapply through the day or evening. But a bit of preparation will make your gloss last longer. Start with a well-exfoliated lip, and add some lip balm about a half-hour before applying your gloss to give you the best canvas. You may also want to start with some foundation for the evening. Consider applying a setting spray if your lip gloss needs to last.

Does lip gloss expire?

A. It does. Due to its liquid consistency, it lasts less time than lipstick, about a year on average. After that, you’ll notice its consistency changing. Also, applying it directly to your lips makes it more likely to harbor bacteria. Label your glosses with the purchase date and toss them after a year.

Won’t nude lip gloss make me look washed out?

A. A good rule of thumb is to emphasize one feature, usually eyes or lips. A nude lip is a perfect option if you’re doing a heavy smoky eye. The trick to not letting it wash you out is to pick the right shade for your skin tone. If you have smaller lips, choose one with a bit of color.

What are the best nude lip glosses to buy?

Top nude lip gloss

Laura Mercier Lip Glacé Lip Gloss in Blush

Laura Mercier Lip Glace Lip Gloss in Blush

What you need to know: Laura Mercier glosses are lush and moist and have good staying power.

What you’ll love: A good amount of color makes this lip gloss a good option for day or night.

What you should consider: The scent can be strong, so if you’re sensitive to smells, be sure to test this before buying.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top nude lip gloss for the money

E.L.F. Lip Lacquer in Fantasy

E.L.F. Lip Lacquer

What you need to know: E.L.F. offers several great nude lip gloss options, and this versatile shade can add a pop of shine or a full lip of color.

What you’ll love: The vitamin E in this formula makes it extra moisturizing.

What you should consider: This lip gloss goes on thick, so it can be hard to layer over other products.

Where to buy: Sold by Ulta Beauty

Worth checking out

Best Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb Cream Color Drip Lip Cream in Fenty Glow

Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb Cream Color Drip Lip Cream in Fenty Glow

What you need to know: From Rhianna’s popular makeup line, this creamy lip gloss adds moisture and shine with highly saturated color. 

What you’ll love: The Fenty Glow shade is a universal rose nude that suits most skin tones. It’s vegan and cruelty-free and made using clean ingredients. It’s nonsticky and leaves lips looking fuller. 

What you should consider: Some buyers complain that it doesn’t last all day and they need to reapply regularly. 

Where to buy: Sold by Ulta Beauty

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Maria Andreu writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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