The Best Dark Lipsticks to Wear This Fall and Beyond
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It doesn't need to be fall to wear dark lipstick, but there's something about the cooler temperatures, longer evenings, and changing leaves that makes a lot of people want to break out deeper, vampier lip colors like burgundy, plum, espresso, and even pure inky black. While picking out a gorgeous dark-hued lipstick is a lot easier than say, finding your perfect neutral, the mass amount of options on the market does make it intimidating to know which ones to invest in. That's why we consulted some of the top makeup artists to come up with a comprehensive list of the best dark lipstick shades out there.
For starters, many of the makeup artists we spoke to prefer dark matte shades over dark shades with a shiny or satin finish. "It's personal preference, but I feel it looks more modern and it is easier to wear knowing it stays put," said London-based makeup artist Caroline Barnes, which is a point makeup artist Samantha Lau (who regularly works with Dua Lipa, including that major blue eye shadow moment at the Grammys) reiterates. ("As an artist, I'm drawn to the soft matte formulas for dark lips if I'm using a lipstick that has medium or full coverage — I feel it just looks better in the overall look," she added.) Still, there are also a few sheer and shiny options for those who don't like the look or feel of matte lipstick, or who want a subtler way to play around with deeper lip colors.
Another important factor when wearing dark lipstick actually has nothing to do with color at all, but rather the prep work you should do to ensure your lipstick doesn't look dry or flakey. "Prepping the lips is definitely one of the most important things before applying any lipsticks in general, but especially crucial for dark lipsticks," said Lau, who has her process down to a science. "First, I slather the lips with a hydrating lip balm. I do the rest of the makeup and when it comes time for lips, I blot off the excess lip balm (if it hasn't been absorbed into the skin already), and follow up with the Lanolips lip scrub ($17) to make sure all the dead skin is off. I then wipe off the scrub and reapply lip balm. I let that sit for a bit before blotting off the excess and then lips are ready for lipstick application."
Now that we've addressed formula and process, all that's left is perusing through these pro-recommended shades that range from makeup artist-developed brands like Charlotte Tilbury and Pat McGrath Labs to drugstore options from companies like Maybelline and Revlon, with a few indie brands like MDM Flow and Surratt Beauty thrown in the mix. Many of the colors on this list work with all skin tones, simply because of how much pigment they contain. "With bold shades you are making an impact with your look," said Barnes. "The shades which are deep and rich create a stunning contrast against any complexion."