If you look up the word ‘nude’ in most dictionaries, the colour nude is described as being ‘of a pinkish-beige colour’ Hmmm. As the world is not one race or one colour why does it have this definition?
For anyone not a pinkish-beige colour this definition also translates to products defined as nude or flesh toned. Getting nude shoes, underwear, clothes and makeup to match a wide spectrum of skin hues has always been a problem. What should be staples in any girl’s (or boy’s) wardrobe or make up arsenal simply hasn’t been the case for people with darker skins. Nude diversity and inclusion seems to be missing in mainstream companies. In the last few years however, this has been changing.
Christian Louboutin became the first luxury brand to increase its nude colour range on its ballet flats and heels. A great statement at the higher end of the market and a nod to other designer brands and the rest of the market to take note.
Lancôme recently increased their foundation range and have a new campaign ‘My shade, my power’ with 40 shades of liquid foundation, numbered, to suit all skin tones.
Lancôme – My shade my power
Colour Pop, a US beauty brand, recently launched a contour stick in 12 shades but chose to name the three darkest colours ‘Yikes’, ‘Dume’ and ‘Typo’. The negative associations of these names caused a social media outcry which forced the company to issue a swift apology and they are now reviewing these product names. How did all the people involved in the production of this line think is was OK to give these names to the colours for dark skin tones? One step forward two steps back – sigh.
The lack of nude diversity has led to some new independent companies entering the arena to redress the balance. Here are a few for you to check out:
Nunude – A UK company selling swimwear, gymwear, loungewear and underwear in 5 shades of nude. This was the only company I could find offering nude tracksuits and socks which I never considered in nude colours before but they look good. What I absolutely love about this company is that in a recent catwalk show they showcased diverse models – different ethniticies, body shapes and models with disabilities. Clearly inclusive and representative of the real world this was a great affirmation for the ‘normal’ majority. You can find them at – http://www.nu-nude.com
Nunude – Fashion show catwalk.
BeingU – A UK lingerie brand selling 5 shades nude underwear. What’s good about this brand is their size diversity too – they go up to an H cup and also produce a snap on backless bra. You can find them at – http://www.beingu.me.
The New Nudz – An American lingerie brand selling bras, bikini bottoms and thongs in 10 shades of nude. They use mesh fabrics for their line which gives their products a very feminine look. I like that they have named their nudes after celebrities with the same skin tone, eg Alek and Lupita after the model Alek Wek and the actress Lupita Nyongo. You can find them at – http://www.thenewnudes.com
Nubian Skin – A UK based lingerie and hosiery brand selling bras up to a G cup with matching knickers, sleepwear and hosiery in 4 shades of nude. This is the only one of the new nude brands who have gems and lace on some of their underwear. A luxury looking nude that’s really pretty and feminine. They match their nude shades with popular foundations as a guide. You can find them at – http://www.nubianskin.com
Kahmune – A UK company selling shoes and sandals in 10 shades of nude. The nude shades are named after capital cities in various countries which gives you the personality of the colour. They produce classic open toed heeled sandals and pointed toe pumps. They match their shoes to popular foundation shades for reference. You can find them at – http://www.kahmune.com
Nude Sole – A shoe brand initially launching with 4 shades of nude shoes and hoping to expand in the near future. They say they will offer a wide range of sizes, heel heights and shoe widths. Due to launch in Spring 2017 – You can find them at http://www.nudesoles.com
Shades of Mia Mina – A UK based clothing brand with 6 shades of skirts, tops and dresses. For those looking for nude colours as outerwear. You can find them at – http://www.shadesofmiamina.com
Now that the world is waking up to nude diversity I hope this translates to all other flesh tone products like prosthetics, hearing aids and plasters for example. I know when my mother had a mastectomy she was provided with a pinkish-beige prosthetic breast – it’s distressing enough to have lost your breast but to be given a prosthetic one that is the colour of a different race is not great – I don’t know if things have changed now. I know I have only seen silicone breast enhancers, otherwise known as chicken fillets, in this same colour.
So, if you have a printed dictionary, it will most likely have the nude colour definition as ‘of a pinkish-beige colour’. There have been ongoing campaigns, some headed by Nunude, to change this. SOME on-line dictionaries have only recently updated this definition to ‘a colour of clothing or make up resembling that of the wearer’s skin’. After all, we are in 2017.
With more interracial relationships, skin tones become more diverse with each generation so it makes economic sense for companies who produce nude products to get on board quickly.
There are some great names for the new nude products on the block – from Rio to Café au Lait, but if I were to name my skin tone I would say it is cinnamon brown – just like my blog name 🙂
What are your thoughts on nude colour products?
© Elise – Cinnamon & Brown