If you love the thought of adding a little edge to your beauty routine, this month’s edition of Beauty Queen is for you. Dark lipstick stains have been appearing on the lips of fashionistas for months now. While the look isn’t entirely new to the beauty scene, it is a refreshing style that is perfect for the gloomy fall/winter months.
As with many trends, our first glimpse of the dark lips look came from the catwalk. In February 2009, Jason Wu and Charlotte Ronson both sent models down the catwalk sporting berry-stained lips. No doubt inspired, singers Lily Allen and Rihanna and model Agyness Deyn have all been seen out and about in an eggplant-purple shade of lipstick. The look has also been seen in the print world; Dazed & Confused featured Leighton Meester, posing for an editorial in a slick shade of black lipstick.
Several makeup artists have seen this look come to the forefront of fashion. “Dramatic, dark and rich lipstick is a look that has been rolling in and out of fashion since the 1920s and it reappears every few seasons,” says makeup artist James Vincent, whose clients include Liv Tyler and Bijou Phillips. “It is back with a vampy vengeance this season and is a reaction to too many months of nudes, camels and natural lip colors.”
The first step to getting this look is to make sure it suits your skin tone. “If you have a cool skin tone, choosing a blue-based berry or burgundy will be better suited, while warmer skin tones should stick to red-based purples and raspberries,” says James. “Black is a bold statement but you must to be aware of what it can do to your complexion and teeth. Blue-based black lipsticks or glosses will make your teeth and eyes appear whiter.”
Bearing this in mind, we spoke to Nicole Bryl, who has done the red-carpet makeup of Hilary Rhoda and Molly Sims. “The best way to achieve this look is by using a non-greasy lip balm to hydrate your lips. Then, pencil in the color with a black or dark purple eyeliner.”
Nicole suggests combining black and purple waterproof eyeliner together, or using a black and chocolate brown for a different hue. “The waterproof eyeliner/lip balm combo ensures that this intense lip color will not bleed and slide all over your face. Also, when using a lip pencil you have more control over where the color goes, enabling you to create whichever shape you desire. If you want, you can then add a clear gloss over it.”
James recommends using lipsticks from MAC, Urban Decay, Dior, YSL and Three Custom Color (who will customize a color just for you). He suggests using the ground-breaking Lip Tar by Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics, as it is vegan and cruelty-free. Finally, James loves Armour Beauty’s Femme Fatale Lip Gloss.
Nicole recommends priming your lips with a non-oily lip balm like L’Occitane Organic Shea Butter. Then, use a freshly sharpened waterproof lip pencil to apply your color. Finally, use MAC’s Clear Lip Glass Lip Gloss to add high gloss and drama to your look.
As for the rest of your look, James recommends keeping it toned down. “With so much drama on the lips, keep eye makeup to a minimum; apply sheer color on the lid from crease to lash. A little liner and a liberal amount of mascara give balance and complete the look.”