I know "the nude lip" is part of our makeup vernacular, but seriously? Does what is commonly considered a "nude lip" - especially the foundation coated mouths we've been seeing on the runways - ever look like your actual natural lip color? Didn't think so.
But, you've got to admit, a too-bright lip runs a high risk of looking hideous with that hunter green smokey eye you've been dying to try. So you need some sort of nude mouth. A gloss, perhaps. But then said nude gloss turns out to have too much brown/putty/orange in it. Or looks like mud/spilled latte/zombie mouth. You get the idea. This is an especially troublesome issue if you have any pink in your skin, as it somehow magnifies the imperfections of a subpar nude gloss.
After countless tubes tested, purchased, worn to ill effect, thrown out, given away, and tossed out car windows in fits of rage, I think I've finally found one I like. Clinique Full Potential Lips Plump & Shine in Toffee Boost. It's not really a nude, but a neutral, if you will, with a bit of a pink cast. It's sheer enough to keep from looking cakey or muddy. There's the slightest bit of shimmer to give it some dimension, it's incredibly shiny, and has peptides to keep your pout youthful and plump. And it smells like salt water taffy!
Wear it when you want to put the emphasis on your eyes without totally erasing your lips, when you're fiddling with fun eye colors like dark green and navy, or when you're doing the no-makeup-but-not-really look. And never fall victim to chalky tan lips again!