We've heard women say it a million times before, "I can't pull off the dark lipstick trend." But we're here to prove that, yes, you really can. We sat down with celebrity makeup artist Kayleen McAdams, who translated the vampy lips we admire in editorials for the average woman. No matter the size of your lips or the color of your complexion, you can easily work this dark lipstick look for beginners without ending up too goth or grunge. Just click through for the step-by-step tutorial.
"With dark lipstick it's hard to make sure they go on evenly so you want to make sure you do a scrub or lip balm first." The next step to mastering the dark lip trend is selecting the right shade.
If you have a full pout, feel free to reach for the dark Bordeaux and wine shades like ck one color Shine Lipstick in Naughty  ($16). However, McAdams suggests using a lighter plum or berry shade for smaller lips and do a sheer, glossy finish.
Next, apply a deeper lip liner like Soft Defining Lip Pencil in Mistress  ($13) around the edges to build more intense color. McAdams also says to add liner last if you want to add a little more volume and shape to your lips.
McAdams likes to start with the lipstick in order to get an idea of the color tones and balance the rest of the face around it — even if it's just a rough draft. "It's almost like sketching something out before you draw," she said. "Start with your focal point, and build the rest around that."
For cheeks, McAdams used the same lipstick as cream blush. Just swatch on your hand to apply with your fingers. "I like to keep those same mauve tones."
And don't just limit the cheek color to your apples. "If you're exercising, your whole face is flushed, so I like to put the tiny bit of excess on the high points of the skin [under brows, along the nose, and on the chin] to give it that rosy glow."
When it comes to filling in brows, McAdams has a great personal tip: "When I do my own brows, I step back from the mirror and look at the whole picture." She likes to fill in her brows and then compare the shape. "Know when to use your magnifying mirror and when not to," she says.
Feel free to skip eye shadow and mascara altogether. McAdams recommends pairing a bold lip with an equally bold brow and minimal face.
Another alternative is to add a metallic highlight for shadow like Gloss Eye Color in Ultra  ($17), focusing on the inner corners and the center of the eye. Then, blend.
If you can't leave your eye a blank slate, amp up the lashes with ck one color Mascara  ($18). And falsies are welcome, too.
The finished look is easy to wear out or even to the office.