Nude lipstick is the quintessential bridal color for good reason: It's subtle, it's natural, and it's low maintenance. The tricky part, however, is ensuring you find the right shade, otherwise you can end up looking washed out. Instead of trying to base your lipstick color off of your undertone, there's a lesser-known way to find the perfect shade, according to makeup artist Jenny Patinkin, author of Lazy Perfection. "It's hard for most women to gauge their undertone—it's actually a pretty complex question. And I think your best, most flattering natural nude lip color has less to do with the color of your complexion as it does with the color of the inside of your lower lip," Patinkin says. "There's a lot of blood flow and circulation inside of the mouth, so when you pull your lower lip forward, the color you see inside is the color you should use to find a nude lipstick—you can't miss."
Once you've got the nude lipstick, Patinkin says to balance it with the rest of your makeup so you look radiant and lively. "I like to coordinate a nude lip with the blush so they're in the same color family, and then wear 30 percent more blush than you would normally," Patinkin says. "I always tell my brides who are doing their own makeup that when you're wearing a nude lip for your wedding day, you want to wear more blush than you would regularly—it's important to have a pop of color on your face."
Some of Patinkin's favorite nude lip and cheek combinations are: Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Boy and Charlotte Tilbury Blush in First Love, Trish McEvoy Nude Pink and Ilia Cream Blush in Tenderly, and MAC Lipstick in Taupe and Glossier Cloud Paint Blush in Dusk. It's not just about choosing the right color combo, though. Patinkin warns to be careful about the lipstick finish you're choosing, too. "I love satin or cream finishes, but not matte," she says. "It can make your lips look dry, and it will stand out in your wedding pictures as a trend. If you want to wear a long-wear liquid lipstick, go ahead, but I would add a hint of something on top, like a gloss or a balm."
And one last myth Patinkin would like to dispel? Don't counteract that natural blood flow—which makes you look lively—by prepping with concealer underneath your lipstick, she says. "It's a technique that works for photo shoots if you want to fight the tone of your natural lip, but not in real life—I don't think you should fight nature." Instead, use a nude lip pencil for long-lasting coverage. Patinkin's favorites are from Edward Bess and Charlotte Tilbury. "If you put one all over your lips, when your lipstick wears off, you'll still have color from the lip pencil."