How to Wear Dark Lipstick Like a Pro

model with subtle face makeup and dark fuschia lipstick

image: Imaxtree

Rich shades of oxblood and deep plum can add dimension to lips and make a statement, but it is one of the tougher makeup looks to pull off. And unless you’re Rihanna or Lorde, rocking the bold lip also requires total confidence. Luckily, Make Up For Ever Pro and Media Educator Jessie Powers gave us some tips on how to wear dark lipstick properly and avoid looking borderline goth. “Wearing dark lipstick is on-trend but can be an intimidating look to try for a variety of reasons. Women often feel the look is too severe or that a dark shade looks dated or overdone. Those are understandable concerns but there are several tips that will help you sport dramatic dark lips without fear,” explains Powers. If you’re thinking of going dark, here are seven must-know tips.

  1. It is a must to use a lip liner when wearing dark colors, it has a twofold purpose. Filling in the entire lip with liner creates a good base for lip color that won’t run. Dark colors contrast with the surrounding skin, so a liner is also essential for creating a crisp, clean edge. Also, don’t apply your liner after your lip color. It may glide on easily but it won’t do anything to prevent running.
  2. Choose a lipstick that has a matte or opaque cream finish to make the dark color look clean and deliberate. Transparent finishes tend to fade quickly, look patchy and give the appearance of a messy application.
  3. To avoid looking overdone, balance out your entire makeup look. Dark lips look best with groomed, well-defined brows, minimal eye makeup and soft cheeks. Let your lips be the statement and focus of the look.
  4. If your dark lip is washing out the rest of your face, sweep on some extra blush or bronzer to brighten up your complexion.
  5. To keep dark lips looking perfect, dab on a little bit of your foundation powder around the edge of your lips. Use a small flat shadow brush or cotton swab for precise application.
  6. It’s good to branch out and try a variety of different colors to find the one that is most flattering. Pink-based lipsticks complement fair skintones, while a blue-based option is best for medium skintones and makes teeth look whiter.
  7. Consider maintenance: Use a straw for beverages to prevent lipstick from wearing off in the center of the lip. Also, be careful of applying lip gloss over a dark lip if you are concerned about longevity. Lip gloss tends to break down lip color rather quickly.