Nude lipsticks and I don't mix. Pale lipsticks tend to look horrific on me - they clash with my skin tone, settle into my lip lines and just look plain pasty. Not to mention, they make me look dead and my face devoid of colour! I'm always jealous of the girls who can pull of lovely nudes with little other makeup on. I'd resigned to the fact that I would never find the nude for me, until I stumbled across the Clarins Rouge Hydra Nude lipstick in 04 Nude Caramel.
First of all, I picked it up for only $10 on clearance at a local Terry Whites chemist which is an absolute steal for a high end lipstick! It doesn't seem to be on any of Clarins' official websites though, but I did find it on various department store sites, so I'm not sure if it's been discontinued or not. I didn't just buy it because it was cheap though, when I swatched it I thought "hey, this is a nude that would probably work for me!".
The packaging is absolutely gorgeous. Although it appears luxurious, it is a very lightweight tube with a plastic lid and a hollow metal base. The lid is translucent with an ombre effect. It also has a notch with a 'C' written on it which I thought was a cute detail.
The formula was also something I noticed straight away when I swatched it for the first time. Being named Rouge Hydra Nude, you would expect something hydrating which is what you get. The formula is very similar to other sheer lipstick/balm hybrids - Revlon Lip Butters, L'oreal Nutri-shine lipsticks, etc. but this offering is probably my favourite. It has a thin, emollient formula that isn't glossy, but isn't satin either. I think this helps it wear a little better as it's not as slippy. It feels extremely light on the lips and almost feels like nothing besides the comfort of soft feeling lips. It is slightly moisturising and doesn't cling to dry patches or settle into lines. To me, it feels very similar on the lips to the Face of Australia Glossy Lip Crayons but a bit thinner as it's not as glossy. The pigmentation is good, it's sheer but not too translucent - if that makes sense. The nude colour still shows up on my lips but doesn't look thick or like a layer of lipstick. The wear time is pretty good for a sheer lipstick, it lasts around four hours but will need touching up after eating. The lipstick does have a faint scent as well. It's sort of sweet and vanilla-ry, whilst also being lipstick-y? I really enjoy it but it doesn't linger on the lips.
Nude Caramel is a delicious sounding name and one that describes the colour pretty perfectly. The shade is a peachy-brown-nude with a depth that I would describe as being medium on the scale of nudes. For some reason I think of this as a darker, more brown version of MAC Shy Girl even though I've never swatched that lipstick. Being slightly sheer, my lip colour comes through slightly but it still blanks out the mauvey-brown shade of my lips. I'd describe it as a MLBB nude as it's not pale or concealer-y, only slightly lighter than my natural lip colour. It's very flattering on my skintone and could be worn with a no makeup makeup look to a smokey eye.
I think I've finally found the colour family of nudes that suit me! I've been wearing this a lot, and I'd say it's even become a staple shade in my collection!