When the summer comes to an end and the colder months descend upon us, we often find ourselves opting for darker shades in both our wardrobe and our makeup choices. Out goes the peach, pink, and coral lipsticks, and in comes the vampy shades of plum, oxblood, and burgundy. These sultry colors are no longer reserved for goths and those who like to experiment with their makeup. So, why not inject some edge into your daily lipstick rotation by rocking a dark lip color this season? Just like with lighter lipstick shades, not all dark hues are created the same—you have to find one that best suits your skin tone.
Don’t be afraid to give these dark shades a try. Follow this guide to easing into the dark lipstick trend and then full-on embracing it.
How to Ease Yourself into the Dark Lipstick Trend
If you’re looking for a way to dip your toe into the dark lippie trend, we don’t blame you. These moody hues are definitely not for the faint of heart. Get over of your fear by easing yourself into the idea of eventually wearing a dark lipstick by opting for a glossy balm or lip gloss to start.
Option 1: a glossy balm
L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Glossy Balms come in eight pretty colors—including a few dark hues, like Petite Plum. This glossy balm helps to smooth and condition the lips and offers high-pigmented shine.
How to apply it: Apply the glossy balm starting in the center of your upper lip. Work from the center to outer edges of your lips, following the contour of your mouth. Then, glide the balm across your entire bottom lip.
Option 2: a shiny lip gloss
If you’re too timid to rock the full-on look, another alternative to a dark lipstick is a lip gloss. The L’Oréal Paris Infallible 8 HR Plumping Gloss in Plumping Brown is a good option if you want to try out a dark hue. This lip gloss provides long-lasting color and shine. Plus, it has the bonus of making your pout look plumper.
How to Find the Right Dark Lipstick for Your Skin Tone
Decided that you are actually ready to take a walk on the dark side? Here’s how to find the best dark lipsticks for your skin tone:
If you have…fair skin
Opt for: rich berry tones
The reason why: Contrary to what you might think, dark lipsticks look amazing on fair skin. Many people shy away from using these vampy hues because they’re afraid of the lipstick acting as major contrast against their skin. The first thing you have to do is figure out what your complexion undertones are. If you have cool undertones, opt for lipsticks that have a blue base, like a dark berry hue. On the other hand, if you have warm undertones, go for something that has a yellow base to it. And lastly, if you have no idea what your tone is or if you have a neutral tone, reach for a lipstick that has a slightly brown base to it. Overall, follow this rule: Stick to lipsticks that are in the berry family, like raspberry or blackberry. Avoid any shades that have too much brown in them because that could make your complexion look muddy rather than vampy.
Product pick: L’Oréal Paris Infallible Le Rouge in Bold Bordeaux
The L’Oréal Paris Infallible Le Rouge lipsticks are formulated to deliver long-lasting bold and luscious color. It’s formulated with hydrating Vitamin E to help keep your lips moisturized.
If you have…light to medium skin
Opt for: reddish brown and plums
The reason why: Those of you with light to medium-tan skin tones usually have neutral or warm undertones. This means you have more of a variety to choose from when it comes to dark lipsticks. While you can totally pull off a high-impact color like violet, you can also stick to a safer option like a deep red, depending on your mood. You can opt for a dark lipstick that is in the reddish-brown or plum color palette for a daring look that truly delivers. To really make your lip color pop against your skin, make sure you wear foundation, as any redness on your face can distract away from your dark lip color’s moment to shine.
Product pick: L’Oréal Paris Infallible Lip Paint in Sultry Sangria
Want to make a bold lip color statement without having to worry about smudging? Then try the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Lip Paints. Available in 14 shades, this lipstick has a designer applicator that precisely diffuses vibrant color to lips for high impact. (Bonus: It’s waterproof!) Can you say score?
How to apply it: Outline your lips using the applicator tip and fill in.
If you have…olive skin
Opt for: deep maroons
The reason why: If you have a tan or olive complexion, brown-based lipsticks are the most flattering for your skin tone. Your best bet is to stick to a deep maroon hue, but you can also experiment with mulberry and dark plum as well.
This dark lipstick comes in a whopping 45 different shades. It’s formulated with Omega 3, vitamin E, and argan oil to help condition lips.
If you have…deep skin
Opt for: deep purples and blue-based reds
The reason why: For those who have a deeper skin tone, opt for deep colors like purple and dark chocolate brown. These bold colors will really pop against your skin. Again, your undertones still matter when choosing a shade. If you have a warmer undertone, stick to more of a brown hue, while if you have cool undertones, go for blue-based purples and reds. Pro tip: You can dab a bit of lip balm over the lipstick if it gets dry during the day.
Containing eight shades, this lip palette lets you use your imagination to create just about any look can think of. Want to contour? You can! Want to create an ombre effect? You can do that, too! For someone with a deep skin tone, try shade #7, which is a deep purple hue. To give your pout more dimension, use black eye shadow. Yep, you heard that right. Dab a little bit of black eye shadow onto the center of your lip to make the color really pop against your skin.
The Right Way to Apply Dark Lipstick
Before swiping on a dark lipstick, here are a few steps you should follow to keep your color looking its best throughout the day.
Step 1: Exfoliate your lips. Before you apply a dark lipstick, make sure your lips are prepared. Start by exfoliating your lips.
Step 2: Swipe on lip primer. Create an even canvas for your lipstick. Applying a lip primer can help ensure smooth lipstick application and long-lasting color.
Step 3: Apply a neutral concealer to your lips to create a clean working space. Doing this will make sure that you get the best color payoff.
Step 4: Next, line your lips with a liner that matches the lipstick color you decided to use. You can also use an invisible liner if you don’t find one that’s the right shade. Either way, a lip liner will help define your pucker.
Step 5: Apply the dark lipstick. If you want more accuracy, you can work the color in with a lip brush.
Step 6: If you’ve gotten some color around the edges of your lip, clean it up with a cotton swab and makeup remover. Another way you can cover up mistakes is by applying a little concealer around the lips.
Step 7: Apply a matte gloss over your lips. This step is optional, but if you want to seal in the color, feel free to add a gloss on top of your lipstick. And now you’re good to go!