Name: L’Oreal Colour Riche Lipstick in Fairest Nude
Date of Purchase: Summer 2012
Notes: A white lady complaining about a dearth of cool-toned nude lipsticks will not, and definitely should not, get much pity. Nonetheless: why are there so few cool-toned nude lipsticks pale enough for me? I’m not even the coolest of cool-toned pale people, yet almost all the nude lipsticks I’ve tried have pulled too peachy-warm.
I’ve found one exception so far: L’Oreal’s Fairest Nude, a gift from my mother, who has been loyal to L’Oreal lipstick since I can remember. It’s the perfect color for me: definitely nude instead of MLBB, but with cool mauve undertones. Here it is in all its cheap ’80s-tastic glory, next to my other L’Oreal lipstick, True Red:
The cool-toned skin of my inner arm makes Fairest Nude look warmer and browner by comparison:
But on my face, it’s the perfect nude: slightly darker than my skintone, but light and opaque enough to mute my pigmented lips.
Why the B, then? Because Fairest Nude is the cruelest of all nude lipsticks: a perfect color in a terrible formula. It’s drying and uncomfortable on the lips, but I could tolerate even that if it weren’t for the revolting smell. L’Oreal lipsticks have an oppressive synthetic floral scent that can’t quite disguise the metallic and chemical undertones. You can even taste the scent when you’re wearing the lipstick, and it will not fade. I tried to deodorize Fairest Nude by leaving it open for several days on my dresser, but all it did was scent the air around it.
Like any good lipstick addict, I’ve tried to find a dupe, but with no luck so far. I heard good things about MAC Blankety, but found it to be too brown for my complexion. I had high hopes for Maybelline’s new line of nude lipsticks, the Buffs, but most of them are too warm or dark for me; the one I bought, Nude Lust, is close to Fairest Nude but a little browner.
Here’s Fairest Nude swatched next to my other two nude lipsticks. Left to right, warm to cool: Revlon Soft Nude, Maybelline Nude Lust, and Fairest Nude.
The search continues, though I wear nude lipstick infrequently enough that I don’t mind putting on Fairest Nude when I have to. I love reds and berries and fuchsias so much that anything more muted just feels like a waste of real estate. But if you know of any dupes, high-end or drugstore, I wouldn’t say no to hearing about them.