May 19, 2019 at 02:00PM by CWC
Take a look around the lingerie section in any department store, and you’ll notice that most of the bras and undies that get labeled as “nude” are all pretty much the same shade of pale beige. The same goes for nude-colored shoes, nude-colored nail polishes, and until recently, nude-colored lipstick. But if you take one look around the actual world, you’ll quickly notice that the majority of the population isn’t a single shade of beige. Which means that traditionally, a whole lot of people have been alienated from buying nude products that work for their skin tones. Taking it at its name, “nude” lipstick should be the color of the lip when there’s nothing else on it…rather than a single, (not)catch-all hue.
And that’s why it’s exciting that CTZN Cosmetics, a brand-new UK-based cosmetics line has a whopping 25 different shades of nude lipsticks…which is pretty substantial. “The problem is how ‘nude’ is currently defined in the beauty industry—it’s implied that nude is the color beige, when in fact nude is subjective to your unique skin tone,” says Naseesha Khan, co-founder of CTZN Cosmetics. “CTZN Cosmetics is redefining ‘nude’ by offering 25 shades of lipsticks and lip glosses to represent people of all skin tones and backgrounds.”
So within the brand, you’ll find “nudes” that encompass everything from warm peach to taupey brown, soft burgundy, pure plum, and plenty of others. Each stick is double-sided with a lipstick and lip gloss that cost $25.
The brand—which was founded by two Pakistani sisters—wanted to bring attention to the lack of cultural awareness and diversity in the beauty industry. But they want to do it in more ways than through their cosmetics. “Beyond beautiful products, we plan on using our platform to enhance cultural awareness through our content,” says Aleena Khan, co-founder of the brand. “We want to use beauty as a power tool, starting with our blog Of the World, where you can watch a CulTutorial and learn about someone’s culture while watching their beauty routine.”
Also, a tool on their website gives you a quick, three-step process to match you to your perfect nude lip shade, and also allows you to see how each hue looks on the seven different skin tones. “We want to be as transparent as possible with our online shoppers and show that one shade does not always suit every skin tone and lip tone,” says Khan. Here’s hoping other cosmetics brands will follow suit.
Here’s why one of our editors doesn’t wear makeup (hint: it’s because of available shade ranges). And here’s how to find your foundation shade at the drugstore, according to a makeup artist.