Nude Color: A Guide to Its History, Color Meaning, and Uses

Nude colors refer to shades of human skin. The word “nude” is derived from the French word for “naked.”

Nude is a versatile color with unique shades, properties, and applications. Nude’s corresponding hex code is #E3BC92. Although, no single universally accepted nude color exists because the exact hue depends on an individual’s skin tone.

Nude Color

History of Nude Color

Using colors resembling human skin tones is traced back to ancient civilizations such as Egypt, Greece, and Rome. In their artwork, these cultures used shades of beige and brown to depict the human form in a realistic way.

During the Renaissance, artists like Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo used nude colors to depict flesh tones. In the Victorian era, modesty and conservatism led to the popularity of lighter, demure shades like beige and pale pink.

The early 20th Century saw the emergence of nude-colored undergarments designed to match different skin tones. During the Civil Rights Movement in the mid-20th Century, discussions promoted more inclusive nude color ranges to accommodate diverse populations.

Today, there is a growing awareness of the need for a more inclusive, diverse representation in fashion, beauty, and design. Most brands now offer diverse nude shades for various ethnicities and skin tones.

The Psychological & Emotional Associations of Nude

Nude colors evoke various psychological and emotional responses depending on the context, culture, and individual perception.

Shades of nude are often seen as simple, uncluttered, and minimalist, evoking a sense of calmness and tranquility. These shades are also considered classic and timeless, infusing designs with elegance and sophistication.

Being neutral, nude colors signify balance, impartiality, and neutrality. Nude colors also challenge gender stereotypes by promoting gender neutrality and equality.

Nude shades with warm undertones convey warmth, comfort, and coziness. Their likeness to human skin tones promotes an aura of authenticity, natural beauty, and wellness.

Shades of Nude Color


Beige is a popular nude shade resembling a pale, neutral, and muted tone. It carries undertones of warm and cool colors such as yellow, pink, or gray.

Light Brown

Light brown is characterized by its resemblance to the natural skin tones of individuals with fair to medium complexions. It embodies a warm, earthy hue, featuring a mixture of brown and subtle hints of yellow or orange undertones.

Pale Pink

Pale pink is a delicate, subtle hue resembling the lighter tones of individuals with fair or rosy complexions. The shade incorporates a soft, muted pink with hints of beige, resulting in a gentle and feminine appearance.


Mocha is a shade of nude color that draws inspiration from the rich, roasted color of coffee beans. It’s warm, earthy, and medium-brown, with hints of red or chocolatey undertones.


Taupe is a muted, versatile hue combining gray and brown elements. It leans towards the cooler side of the spectrum, with undertones varying from lavender to hints of green or pink.

Colors That Go With Nude Color

Nude and Analogous Colors

The analogous colors for the color nude are #E39A9C and #D3E39A. The former is a soft, muted pink with warm undertones, while the latter is a light, muted green.

ShadeHex CodeCMYK Color Code (%)RGB Color Code
Nude#E3BC920, 17, 36, 11227, 188, 146
Ruddy pink#E39A9C0, 32, 3, 11227, 154, 156
Light green#D3E39A7, 00, 32, 11211, 227, 154

Nude and Monochromatic Colors

Monochromatic shades of nude refer to a color scheme consisting of various tones and shades of the color nude.

ShadeHex CodeCMYK Color Code (%)RGB Color Code
Nude#E3BC9A0, 17, 32, 11227, 188, 154
Light nude#F4E4D60, 7, 12, 4244, 228, 214
Champagne#F7E7CE2, 6, 16, 0247, 231, 206
Caffè Latte#A67B5B23, 43, 62, 16166, 123, 91
Dark nude#25170A0, 38, 73, 8537, 23, 10

Nude and Triadic Colors

Triadic colors of nude are bright lavender and light green cyan.

ShadeHex CodeCMYK Color Code (%)RGB Color Code
Nude#E3BC9A0, 17, 32, 11227, 188, 154
Bright lavender#BC9AE317, 32, 0, 11188, 154, 227
Light green cyan#9AE3BC32, 0, 17, 11154, 227, 188

Uses and Applications of Nude ColorNude Color in Nature & Art

  • Camouflage. Certain animals and insects developed nude or skin-toned colors for camouflage, aiding in predator evasion or prey capture. Some flowers and plants have flesh-toned petals to attract pollinators and camouflage leaves and stems.
  • Portraiture. In classical and contemporary art, artists use nude colors to depict human flesh tones.
  • Sculpture. Sculptors may use nude or flesh-toned colors to simulate skin texture and tone when creating figurative sculptures.

Nude Color in Contemporary Culture

  • Fashion. Nude-colored clothing, shoes, and accessories are popular for their versatility. These items complement various styles and outfits, creating a timeless and elegant look.
  • Interior design. Neutral nude colors are used in home decor to create calming and neutral environments. They serve as a backdrop for decorative elements and allow for easy customization.
  • Lingerie. Lingerie that’s nude blends with the wearer’s skin tone, providing a discreet and seamless look under clothing.
  • Cosmetics. Nude shades are common in makeup, including foundation, lipsticks, eyeshadows, and nail polish.
  • Branding and marketing. Some brands use nude colors in their logos, packaging, and advertising to convey values like elegance, simplicity, and timelessness.