Goth Lipstick Is Wearable, We Swear

Blame it on Halloween, or chalk it up to Fashion Month being top of mind, but dark "goth" lips are having a moment or five.

They're striking, sultry, and, yeah, a little bit come-hither-meets-don't-mess-with-me. But contrary to any preconceived notions you might have about this look, you don't have to be hardcore, emo, tortured, or whatever other subversive qualities seem applicable here. Honestly, you just have to own it (and maybe invest in a good lip liner).

Just ask the gaggle of celebrities who have ditched the classic red for something a little darker — we're looking at you, Beyoncé, Miranda Kerr, Claire Danes, Rooney Mara, et al. And if the A-list set doesn't mean much to you in the way of motivation, then let the runways be your guide. Vera Wang, Tom Ford, Zac Posen, and Mulberry are among the designers to push this sultry lipstick to the forefront.

Of course, just like its red shade relative, there is an art to wearing darker hues on your lips. You can't just swipe on some black or purple lipstick and call it day. That would be called Halloween, and this beauty trend runs a lot deeper than just one night a year.

Aside from exfoliating your lips (this should be mandatory for all dark lipstick wearers) and abstaining from too much makeup application elsewhere, the most important thing to do is to figure out which dark shade is best for you. My advice? Simple. Go to your favorite beauty counter/store/boutique and do some old-fashioned research. You won't know what works — or looks absolutely horrible — until you try it on.

Nars has a velvet matte lip pencil in the shade, Train Bleu, that can double as a lip liner, but doesn't tend to wipe off on your teeth. A definite plus for those who are prone to "lipstick teeth." Tom Ford, master of all things sexy, got it just right with a deeply saturated color called Black Orchid. MAC offers a mid-tone shade called Rebel that does a particularly good job of giving you that "gothic lite" look. And NYX makes a glossy lipstick in the color, Medusa, that is not for the faint of heart.

NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Train Bleu, $27, Nordstrom; MAC Lipstick in Rebel, $17.50, Nordstrom; NYX Extra Creamy Round Lipstick in Medusa, $4, NYX

Once you've found your darker counterpart, all that's left to do is get inspired. And scrolling down this page a little bit further should do just that. Not so scary after all, eh?

(Yes, this is me. Purple lipstick is my jam.)

Have a go-to dark lipstick to share? Tweet me!

Image: Columbia Pictures, narcissist/Instagram, catdeeley/Instagram, intothegloss/Instagram, emilywweiss/Instagram, and mirandakerr/Instagram