What do Mindy Kaling, Emma Stone, and Rooney Mara all have in common? Well, for one — these starlets love their dark lipsticks. Looks like the red carpet lip has been dethroned by its vampy successor. There is no doubt that dark lippies are having a moment, but you might be wondering: how do I tackle a dark lip myself? No need to fret, because there are seven essential hacks to mastering the come-hither lip look of your dreams.
If the infamous Lip Kit by Kylie Jenner haven't tempted you already, then consider adding a dark lipstick to your collection, pronto. The beauty of wearing a romantic berry or a dusty sienna is in its versatility. That's right: dark lipsticks can be dressed down or up depending on the occasion. Soon, you won't have to worry about whether which shade is more AM-appropriate or what tube to don for your girls' night out — hear me out, but your holy grail color will be suitable for both scenarios.
Because these hues are especially intense, you'll want to tread carefully when it comes to application. While it may be tempting to hop into your nearest Sephora and snag whatever lippie catches your eye, the beauty world just doesn't operate that way. You'll have to deal with the technicalities first: color, prepping, shaping, all the works. Luckily enough, there are a multitude of how-tos when it comes tackling somber shades.
Take a lesson in dark lipsticks and try out these seven hacks that will change the way you pucker-up.
1. Know Your Colors
Color is crucial. The spectrum of dark lipsticks is endless, so it is vital that you know which shade works best on your skintone. Just because Kylie can rock the Dolce K doesn't mean it can always translate to the same on your own smooch. Makeup artist Sandy Linter told Cosmo that light-eyed gals should stick to pink-based burgundy hues, while a brown-based burgundy will compliment dark eyes. Looking for a sweet spot? Linter recommends a blue-based burgundy that will illuminate no matter the eye color.
2. Moisturize, Moisturize
Fresh Sugar Advanced Therapy Lip Treatment, $26, sephora.com
Despite its velvety facade, vampy lipsticks can be quite drying compared to lighter hues. Watch out for matte formulas — while they'll plump up your pout, they can also zap moisture and leave cracked, peeling lips in its wake (to quote Joseph Conrad: "the horror, the horror"). The number one way to combat against this offender is to moisturize pre-application — think your trusty lip balm or coconut oil to prep and prime.
3. Simplicity Rules
From a smoldering wine red to deep aubergine, dark lippies essentially talk drama. The key to playing with intensity is to remember the balance — if your lips are the main act, keep it tame on top. Save the falsies and smokey eyes for a dainty lip instead. Celebrity makeup pro Lisa Eldridge suggests working with your natural skin tone for a clean look. It's best to maintain glossy and shimmery textures to the minimum, then top with a touch of blush. If you must delve into your eyeshadow palette, stick to neutral bronzed tones — absolutely nothing too flashy that may clash with your lip hue.
4. Line It Up
Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Lip Pencil, $20, sephora.com
Painting your smackers in bold shades requires patience. Get lipstick happy and you might end up with the goth clown aesthetic, or go too little and sport an awkward two-toned combo. This isn't the Hunger Games arena — take your time and outline your lips with a nude pencil for a precise shape. This will prevent any color bleeding and perfect that pout in no time.
5. Exfoliation Matters
Every masterpiece begins as a blank canvas, and in the beauty universe, this equates to a polished pair of lips. Before you pick up your lippie, make sure to exfoliate and eradicate any flaky skin. Cosmopolitan has concocted just the weapon: apply a clear balm, then run a disposable mascara wand to shed unwanted particles.
6. Make It Matte
Is your trusty crimson lipstick a tad too shiny? Have no fear — you can transform it into matte mode by lightly patting a matching blush powder on top. Going from sparkling to subdued has never been easier, and not to mention, dark shades work best under matte conditions.
7. Brush Away
BITE Beauty Lip Brush, $20, sephora.com
According to ELLE, utilizing a lip brush will yield even lipstick coverage. Skip this tool and that just may result in a streaky, dry mess — a definite no-no when it comes to sporting such dark hues. It's all in the control here.
Images: Courtesy Brands