From my late teens to my 20s, as my penchant for beauty started to develop, there was one brand that became my go-to for pretty much all things makeup: MAC. From its iconic Studio Fix Fluid Foundation with a sweep of a Mineralize Skinfinish for my base to a bright flush of colour on my cheeks courtesy of Fever Powder Blush, so many of my staple products were from there. Understandably though, as I started to work in the beauty industry, my product selections widened, and my daily makeup routine begrudgingly had to diversify. However, there's one thing that's never deviated from MAC in all this time, and that's my favourite nude lip combo. Why? Because MAC makes some of the best nude lipsticks in the industry.
As a dark-skinned woman, the term "nude" often boxes us out. The "perfect nude" is usually beigy or tan and gives concealer-lips vibes on our rich skin tones. Luckily though, when it comes to lipsticks, MAC has always had us covered. Keep scrolling to see what the ride-or-die nude lip duo that I'm wearing here is.
For me, the deep brown of Chestnut meshed with the brownish-rose hue of Whirl is just the perfect combination for melanin-rich skin. I'm absolutely convinced that it works for all deep skin tones by just adjusting the ratio of liner to lipstick.
Both textures are very matte, which is perfect for mask wearing, as they don’t transfer much at all. However, if you prefer a glossy finish, I like to dab a bit of MAC Lipglass on top for a juicy finish that doesn’t change the colours underneath. I love the '90s vibe of this finish so much. It harks back to early Aaliyah, Brandy in Moesha, the queen Naomi Campbell’s late '90s red carpet moments—it's so classic.
But this kind of nude pairing isn't for everyone. I decided to ask an expert for advice on finding the ultimate nude lipstick and liner combination. "There are a couple of ways to find the perfect nude lipstick and liner pairing," says Charlene Williams, MAC senior pro team artist. "If you want to create an ombré look, you will need a darker outline and a lighter colour in the centre. For this, choose a lighter shade and a lip pencil that is several shades darker." Just like my favourite '90s-inspired nude duo.
"If you prefer more of a natural nude lip pairing, then I would recommend going for a pencil that is similar to the lipstick of your choice," explains Williams. "Sticking with MAC Lip Pencil in Chestnut, you could pair it with MAC Lipstick in Consensual. For an exact match, you could choose MAC Lipstick in Whirl and MAC Lip Pencil in Whirl."
Keep scrolling to shop the best MAC nude lipsticks and lip liners for dark skin:
This is a deep brown without a hint of red, so it's great for the base of a dark nude lip.
A brown-toned rose, this pairs so well with Chestnut liner for a '90s lip look.
A lighter brown, this is good for a tan-to-rich skin tone. The base is more golden than Chestnut.
If you shy away from matte, lustre finishes will be your vibe. This peachy-toned nude is a suit-all shade, especially because of the glossy finish—the warm hue gives off a spring/summer vibe.
A pinky nude that works for dark skin and doesn’t look ashy. This is a true lip colour, so it’s perfect to use to even out lip tone.
The satin finish of this makes it easy to blend, and the pinky-brown hue is a match for medium-deep skin tones.
As the name suggests, this is a red-hued brown—perfect for deep skin tones or anyone seeking a more dramatic lip liner look.
This brown is perfect for deeper skin tones. It’s a true, intense brown with a reddish undertone that's pretty flattering on everyone.
A muted plum-brown with a hint of peach that would work perfectly paired with Verve.
This one is a touch darker than Spirit. It's in the same colour family but is slightly more plum.
This might look like a basic brown, but it's a rich caramel tone that looks so good on.
This brown will give a '90s nude on medium-to-deep skin tones. Pair with Hover for a matchy-matchy look or Chestnut for an ombré effect.