Every now and then, you want to switch your neutral lip color for something a bit bolder. Dark lip colors are a huge trend this year, but how dark do you dare to go? Even black is back, and instead of looking goth like it did in the 90s, now it looks super-stylish. Although you might think that wearing such dark statement lips is a bit OTT for daywear, the truth is you can pull them off - you just have to know how to keep them looking fresh instead of like you're practicing for your Halloween costume.
Think dark lipsticks aren't for you? Rest assured, there's a perfect dark lippie for everyone - you just have to broaden your horizons a bit and know the right way to go dark. There are many different dark and interesting shades on the color spectrum, such as brick red if you don't want to commit to chocolate or charcoal. How you wear a dark lipstick also makes a huge difference in how stylish (or not) it looks. Choosing a glossy finish can take maroon to new stylish heights, for example, while an ombre berry is a trendy way to mix up a flat purple-reddish color that feels like too much for you. Here are 20 dark lipstick colors to try and how to wear them for maximum effect, day or night.
20 Maroon: Keep It Glossy
Wearing dark lipstick can have two negative consequences. First, it can make your lips look smaller, and second, it can look a bit dry after many hours of wear. While choosing a creamy lipstick is always a good thing to keep your lips moisturized and soft, you're probably still going to want to use lip liner to get photoshoot-ready lips.
A good way to have your dark lipstick and enjoy it without it becoming dry is to apply lots of lip gloss on top of it once you've put it on.
Your best bet is to choose a lip gloss in the same shade as your lipstick. This not only helps your lips to look beautiful and pouty, but it ensures that when your lipstick fades later in the day you won't be left with dry, cracked lips. Gloss helps your lipstick to fade in a nicer way, leaving behind a just-bitten lip stain, which is much more attractive than seeing blotches of color left behind on your wine glass and none on your lips. So, when choosing a gorgeous lip color like maroon that elevates a standard red lipstick, always pack a gloss in your bag so you can swipe on the style.
19 Berry: Try It In Ombre
Berry lips are beautiful. If you have a dark berry lip color in your collection, hold onto it because the sumptuous berry shades always stay in style. But that doesn't mean they have to be boring. Instead of wearing a flat berry lip color, give it an upgrade by following the ombre lip trend. This trend is basically when your lip color gently changes from one shade to another. So, as can be seen on the recent Vogue cover, Rihanna's gorgeous dark lipstick starts on the outer parts of her lips and then becomes lighter towards the center. It looks much more visually appealing than if she had one color all over her pouty lips. To get the ombre look, you want it to look stylish instead of weird. Avoid combining two lip colors that are too different from each other. As reported by Style Craze, you should choose one color that's your main lip color and then choose a second color that's either lighter or darker than your first color. They should be similar in hue, as this makes them much easier to blend. Keeping a slightly lighter color on the inner parts of your lips is also clever because that's where lipstick tends to fade first.
18 Green: Choose Jewel Tones
Green lipstick might sound a little OTT, especially if you want to wear it during the day, but it can really look amazing. While you might find some neon green shades to play around with, those can be too dramatic or harsh on your skin. The key when going green is to choose a richer jewel tone that gives you a much more sophisticated appearance. Green is really a color that should be darker to be chicer, so don't be afraid to take a walk on the dark side!
It's also a good idea to keep your jewel green lips in a matte shade as anything too glossy might be a bit much.
You're wearing such a vibrant shade that you don't need gloss or glitter to make it shine - it's already shining enough as it is! By keeping your green lip matte, this also allows you to wear shimmery eyes without causing a clash. Green lipsticks aren't always easy to find in jewel colors, but there's one that's worth splurging on: Fenty Beauty's Mattemoiselle Midnight Wasabi lipstick. It's long-lasting and feels like petals on your lips, proving that dark lipstick doesn't have to be hard or dry.
17 Plum: Dare To Match It To Your Eye Shadow
Remember the old makeup rule: if your lips are in a bold color, your eyes should be subtle, and vice versa? Yeah, it's true but forget about it sometimes! If you're going to rock a sublime plum color on your lips, like Priyanka Chopra, dare to match it with plum eyeshadow. This might seem like too much in one makeup look, but it really works. The key is to add a bit of a shimmer eyeshadow to your lids while keeping your lips matte. This slight contrast works to create a smoldering look. Best of all, you really don't need much else so this is an easy makeup look to achieve. Go easy on the eyeliner and mascara, and keep your blush in a softer hue so that you don't look like a giant plum. A good rule of thumb when wearing blush and a plum color on the rest of your face is to choose products that are in the same formula. So, if your eyeshadow is matte and powder, choose a blush that's also matte and powder instead of cream. This keeps everything on the same page, creating a cohesive and ultrachic look that you can definitely wear every day.
16 Blue: Make It Metallic
Blue is a color that's been creating lots of buzz lately. It's cropped up in hair with mermaid highlights and denim-inspired dyes. It's also become hot when it comes to makeup. Blue lipstick might seem crazy, but it can be so beautiful if you do it right.
Although the Smurf-blue tones we've seen on celebrities like Kylie Jenner might feel like something that only famous people can get away with, you can enjoy dark blue lipstick and tone it down enough for daily wear.
Although it might sound counterintuitive, making it metallic blue instead of matte blue is actually a great way to do that! When blue is glossy and shimmery, it looks much more appealing than if it's caked on and dry, which is what can happen with dark lip colors. And, as with green shades, the darker your lipstick the better! This turns it into more of a neutral-like shade than something too colorful. When wearing blue on your lips, make sure the rest of your face is minimal. Your lips need to be the star of the show! The last, and most important, thing you need when wearing blue lipstick is confidence. Dare to wear something that others are too skittish to try - be bold and trust that you look gorgeous!
15 Brick: Wear It With Shimmer Eye Makeup
If you love red lipstick but you've been wearing it for ages and are honestly a bit bored with it, it's time for a bit of an upgrade. Going slightly darker by choosing a red lipstick color that's got brown in it, is a nice way to experiment with darker lip colors while giving your pout more depth. People will be looking at your lips wondering, "Is it red? Is it brown?" This brick-like shade is mysterious and gorgeous! Best of all, it can work with lots of different skin tones. To make it have maximum effect, combine it with shimmery eye makeup in copper or rose gold. This warms it up nicely and gives it a softer appearance on which it can shine. With its reddish tones, the dark brick lipstick color can work beautifully on days at the office or nights at those hot parties. It channels colors of fall while being cool enough for long summer days. Since it's so versatile, this color is sure to become a lip staple in your makeup box. So, if you're not keen on going to the darkest side of the vampy lipstick spectrum, brick is the color for you.
14 Dark Neutral: Choose A Creamy Product
Neutral lipstick colors are everywhere. The Kardashians are probably to blame for that trend - every time you look at a picture of Kim Kardashian, she's wearing a gorgeous neutral lip color that you can't help but wish you could get for yourself. FYI: Pop Sugar has reported that the star's neutral lip color is usually created with a blend of different lipsticks. Although neutral lip colors are classic and very versatile, sometimes you want a little more oomph in your lipstick, right? That's where this alternative to a neutral lip comes into the picture. Although you might not think of it as a dark lipstick, it's definitely a darker take on the neutral. What's so great about it is that it's almost violet but with brown undertones, which give it a unique appearance. Its matte texture comes alive when teamed up with shimmer eyeshadow and radiant skin.
When choosing a darker neutral lip color, make sure your lips are well hydrated and that the lip color is in a creamy, liquid consistency to prevent it from becoming dry and highlighting the lines in your lips.
You want a smooth, velvety texture. Try Jouer Long-Wear Lip Creme Liquid Lipstick in Terra that gives you a burst of mysterious color in a trendy neutral shade.
13 Blackcurrant: Warm Up Black With A Bit Of Red Or Plum
Black lips might be a little too 90s goth for you, but there are ways to update them a little bit if you're not into going bat-black. A good idea is to choose a black lipstick that's got undertones of red, plum, or purple. This softens the look slightly while giving you more than a flat black color, and it's especially good if you have thin lips as a jet-black color will make them appear smaller. While you might be thinking, "Where will I find a black lipstick with color undertones?", don't worry about it. You can mix some of your own lipstick colors with a chic black shade you purchase at the drugstore. To make it look like you've merely swiped on one color, apply the dark color to soft, moisturized lips. Then add some dabs of a lighter shade on top. This will help to make the black lipstick more velvety, too. It's also much better than first applying the lighter color to your lips because that will just give you an outline of lighter color that will look strange. You might also want to add a lick of lipgloss to finish off as this will keep the look fresh and stylish.
12 Burgundy: Invest In Lip Liner
Another great way to give your red lips a darker edge is to choose a burgundy lipstick color. This is gorgeous, especially when it's shiny, and it works well with lots of skin tones. However, to make it as attractive as possible, first line your lips with a burgundy lip liner. Choose a creamy pencil product that makes it easier to draw around your lips. Then, put on your lipstick. You could also choose a pencil in a slightly darker shade than your lipstick to give you different levels of color. Not quite the same as the ombre look, this works well to add some definition to your lips.
The use of lipliner highlights the attractive Cupid's bow of your lips and can also help to increase your pout size, so you don't have to worry about your lips looking too thin under a heavy shade.
As reported by Cosmopolitan, before applying a dark lipstick shade like burgundy, make sure you have got rid of any redness in your face because the lipstick will just highlight it. So, treat any spots or red patches with a good concealer. This creates a nice foundation for your burgundy lipstick to really pop!
11 Dark Olive: Keep The Rest Of Your Face Bare
So, we've talked about how green lipstick looks great in dark jewel tones, but there's another tone of green that you shouldn't rule out when you want a stylish appearance: olive! It's become a hot color in fashion and it's a really interesting way to embrace darker lip colors. Olive lip color might seem high-maintenance or difficult to pull off, but you just need to make sure it's the star of the show. Keep the rest of your face as bare as possible, such as with pale colors on your eyes. You also want to be sure that your skin's radiant to accentuate the olive green shade, so whip out those highlighters and apply them to the highest points of your face: your eyebrow bones, your cheekbones, and jawline. This illuminates the olive really beautifully, making it look stylish and feminine. A dab or two of gold shimmer can also be used on the olive green lipstick if you don't want something too dark, and you can do this with a bit of sparkly eyeshadow applied to the center of your bottom lip. Done. Who said such a mysterious color as olive green on your lips had to be a mission?
10 Rich Violet: Add Some Sparkle
When you think of dark lipstick, you probably think of chocolate, black, and wine red shades. But a purple shade, such as rich violet, can also be considered a dark color! See, there really is a way for everyone to wear darker tones of lipstick. However, bear in mind that choosing violet shades for your lips can be tricky. If you're very pale, violet can wash you out. Go for something warmer, like a violet with a bit of wine red in it. Likewise, if you have a darker skin tone, a pale violet can make it look like you've applied chalk to your lips. Choose a darker shade, like plum, instead. When wearing violet, you want a product that's creamy and richly pigmented.
A good general tip for wearing violet and purple shades on your lips is to add some shimmer to them.
This can be achieved in the form of a glittery lipgloss coated on top of the lipstick, or with some powder lipstick in a gold color. This not only helps to plump up your lips while looking trendy, but it serves to neutralize the violet a bit so you don't feel like you're a children's cartoon figure when you leave the house.
9 Dark Pink: Only Apply It On The Bottom Lip
Another color you might think of as being bright and colorful instead of dark is pink, but there are lots of darker pink shades of lipstick out there that can be pretty bold. If you're not really into dark pink colors because they're OTT, then try this tip that was seen on the Nicole Miller 2017 fall/winter runway show: models were spotted wearing a dark lipstick color that was smudged on the bottom lip only. As you can see in the above picture, the lipstick wasn't applied precisely but rather just dabbed on. By doing this, you can create a stained lip effect, which is a nice way to show off some bold color on your lips without the hassle of using lipliner and being a perfectionist about it. This look actually works with all dark colors, even chocolate, and black tones, as it's a clever way to keep the look low-maintenance while experimenting with darker lip colors in small doses. Best of all, if you prefer to accentuate your eye makeup, such as by wearing lots of eyeliner or smokey eyeshadow, then low-dose dark lip color works beautifully without making your lips clash with your eyes. Perfect.
8 Grey: Add Some Blue
Grey lipstick might sound a bit weird. Why would you want your rosy lips to look dull, right? Well, grey lips have become trendy. They're considered a neutral lip color shade, but you'll see that many grey lipstick products out there are infused with other colors to give them more personality. As reported by Bustle, a grey lipstick that was seen on Willow Smith contained quite a bit of blue in it, and the site explained that such a color can be worn by everyone and it looks especially good with a yellow eyeshadow. That's if you're feeling especially bold.
To get a blue-grey lip color, simply mix some blue lipstick with grey lipstick to create a more unique and mysterious color that's not too dark or too light.
It gives your look an edge and people will definitely ask you where you got your fancy lip color from. Mixing some blue with a grey lip color is a good tip for avoiding a grey lipstick that's too pasty or chalk-like. It also gives your lips more layers of color without a dark shade of grey that can be a bit dull on its own. It's a great way to achieve dark and bright lipstick in one go!
7 Navy Blue: Keep Your Lips Hydrated
There's soft grey-blue lip color and then there's strong navy blue. Wow, talk about taking things to another level! A rich navy blue color on your lips can be quite exquisite so don't rule it out too quickly. Not only is it daring and bold, but it works with the blue craze that's happening at the moment, while also being jewel-toned enough to make you want to wear it for longer than one season. Yup, it ticks all the right boxes. Just make sure your lips are soft and hydrated with a good lip balm before you swipe on the navy color to prevent any flakes from ruining its smooth consistency. Although a navy lipstick like what Olivia Palermo and Beyoncé have been spotted wearing might seem a little too harsh for the daytime, you can get away with it if you keep the look subtle. Bear in mind you're going to be under artificial lighting at the office, so avoid layering your lipstick too much. Instead, it's a good idea to smudge it a bit to create a blurry effect that isn't too strong. Save the layering and defined lip liner for nights out when you want to let loose and have fun.
6 Charcoal: Add Color To Your Look In The Form Of Accessories
Now we're onto the big guns: black lipstick. It was a hit in the 90s but reserved for people who wanted gothic makeup. It's coming back now, but with a totally different look. You don't have to wear goth makeup to pull off a gorgeous and sleek black lipstick. It can be chic and stylish, as can be seen in how Rihanna pulls it off. To make black lipstick look good on you, it's not so much about what you do with the lipstick itself that matters, but rather what you do with the rest of your look.
If you keep the rest of your face subtle, such as by applying light shades of color on your eyes and cheeks, you create a soft look that balances the hard black color on your lips beautifully.
The contrast is what's so striking. You can also achieve good contrast when wearing black lipstick with how you wear your fashion items, such as earrings and hair accessories. By keeping them soft and delicate, such as by choosing a floral headband, you temper the black lipstick while still allowing it to make a statement. Only, instead of its statement being "I'm a goth girl", it's "I'm super chic."
5 Dark Red: Choose A Red That Works With Your Skin Tone
When choosing a red lipstick color, you really need to make sure you opt for the right one that complements your features. The wrong red lipstick can make your teeth look yellow, your face look washed out, and your lipstick way too harsh. While a dark red lipstick is always a stylish statement to make, and it's perfect for day or night, you don't want it to take too much of the spotlight away from the rest of your face. It's therefore very important to take your skin tone into account when shopping for the perfect dark red. According to InStyle, if you have a fair complexion you should choose a red color that's got a bit of orange in it. A slightly more berry color will work well if you have a medium-to-light complexion, the site continues, while a richer wine shade of red will work with darker skin tones. When shopping for the perfect red lipstick, always try a sample in good lighting so you can see it properly and remember to smile so you can check out how it makes your teeth look - the right red for your complexion will make your teeth look brighter instead of yellow or dull.
4 Bright Purple: Wear A Bold Nail Color For Extra Va-Voom
How gorgeous is this dark purple shade? Not only is it dark, but it's super-vibrant! When wearing this shade, expect many compliments and also dare to step out of your comfort zone. Instead of making this shade the main attraction in your look, highlight other colors that will play off it nicely. That doesn't mean you should go OTT with colorful makeup on the rest of your face. It's always best to avoid too much and keep your eye makeup subtle. But what about your nails? Now's not the time to rock a neutral manicure. Instead, opt for something bright and fruity, like a gorgeous red-orange shade that will look amazing against the bright purple on your lips. It's sort of like color-blocking for your makeup and creates a big style statement.
A note on keeping the rest of your makeup subtle: this doesn't mean you can't try some of the pretty makeup trends, but you should keep them to a minimum.
For example, yellow blush is causing a storm at the moment and it can look really pretty when worn with purple lips. The key is to swipe it on in small amounts to highlight your cheekbones without going OTT.
3 Chocolate Brown: A Warm Tone Is Best
Wearing brown lipstick isn't always easy. For starters, it's sometimes hard to find the right shade. While earthy tones can look pretty flattering on most people, sometimes they're not dark enough to give you a more dramatic appearance. A chocolate shade of lipstick is a nice way to embrace dark lipstick, but you might want to mix it in with a bit of pink or red to create a slightly warmer hue if you feel you need it. This makes it easier to wear to a variety of places while complementing the rest of your look. That's important to do when choosing a dark lipstick because your overall look has to bring out the best of your features. Add warmth to your chocolate brown lipstick by paying careful attention to the rest of your makeup. First, apply the chocolate lipstick and then use other makeup on your face to play off it. Great color picks for your eyes include earthy tones, such as copper, orange, pink, and tawny shades, as these work well to make the brown lipstick slightly softer without missing out on its lovely drama. There's no doubt about it: a chocolate lipstick is something everyone who loves wearing makeup should experiment with at least once.
2 Eggplant: Match It To Your Skin's Undertone
You might love plum lip colors, but what about eggplant? This darker, richer tone is perfect for experimenting with a more badass shade. Always pair an eggplant lipstick with a matching lip liner to make it even more dramatic and sumptuous. You might also want to choose a waterproof lip liner to give you extra protection against color fade when you eat and drink.
The most important thing to do when choosing an eggplant lip color, though, is to match it to your skin's undertone.
This is the undercurrent of color that rests below your skin. It's either cool or warm. To find out what your skin's undertone is, look at the veins on your wrist. If they're mostly blue, you have a cool undertone. If they're green, you have a warm undertone. Choosing an eggplant lip color that works with this undertone will make it more flattering for you. So, if you have a cool undertone, choose an eggplant color that has a bit of blue in it, or add some silver sparkle in the form of lip gloss. If you have a warm undertone, choose a color that has more red or pink in it to warm it up. A gold gloss is a luxurious way to add some sparkle.
1 Raisin: Choose A Long-Lasting Liquid Lip Color
When wearing a beautiful lipstick in a raisin shade, you're really embracing your dark side. To keep the look luxurious instead of too dark and hard, pay attention to the lipstick consistency. Should you opt for something creamy, matte, glossy, or liquid? The most important thing is to avoid any lipstick that feels too hard and dry when you apply it. Touch it with your fingers and if it's like chalk, give it a miss because it will just dry out your lips and make the lipstick look harsh on your skin. The best way to wear a raisin color on your lips is to choose a liquid lipstick. This can be matte or shiny, but either way, a liquid lip color will help to create a smooth finish on your lips that's easier to maintain and touch up as the day goes by. So, while the raisin lip looks high-maintenance, it really doesn't have to be! A great product to try is Gothic Plum Matte Liquid Lipstick by Aromi. It's almost black with dark plum tones in it, but it has a silky-smooth feeling after application that makes your lips look polished and radiant. Dark lipstick that feels nourishing? That's where beauty's at!