Throw off your beauty shackles and embrace a look that’s a little vamp, a little daring and a whole lotta sexy. Here’s how to wear a dark lip with style and confidence this fall.
Succulent plum, brick red or chocolate brown? Take your pick. Deep, dark lipsticks are the beauty products to covet right now-and you can wear them no matter your age, skin tone or Netflix show preference. If you like the look, wear it! All you need to do is give yourself permission.
1. Pick a hue, any (dark) hue
Women tend to look best in cool makeup shades if they have cool-toned skin, and warm shades if they have warm-toned skin. Not sure what your tone is? If you have blue veins in your wrists and look good in silver jewellery, you have a cool skin tone (like Downton Abbey‘s Michelle Dockery, shown here) and should choose a lipstick that has a cool, blue undertone. If you have green veins in your wrists and look good in gold jewellery, choose lipsticks with orange, yellow or gold undertones. (Some women have a neutral skin tone and can wear any colour.)
2. Prep the canvas before you wear a dark lip
Hands down, the most important steps of your dark lip application happen before you even reach for the lipstick tube. That’s because dark lipstick can bleed, fade or look bumpy if you haven’t first primed your canvas. Start by exfoliating to ensure your lips feel soft and supple. Petrovic recommends mixing Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant with sugar for a homemade scrub , or sloughing off dead skin with a granular cleanser.
Next, apply your foundation and take it over the lip line. “I find this is a really great way to set a clear slate,” says Petrovic.
Finally, smooth a lip primer onto your lips, working it into the grooves until the finish is dry and matte, not shiny or creamy. The primer will help anchor your lip pencil and lipstick and prevent feathering and fading.
3. Fall in line
For most women, a neatly lined lip is the most polished look, and it can even make your lips appear fuller . Use a liner that matches your lipstick to trace your cupid’s bow, then follow along the edge of your lip line to the corners, drawing slightly above the edge instead of directly on it. “It’s very, very subtle,” says Petrovic. “But it will emphasize the curvature of the lips.” You can also fill in your entire lip with pencil to make your lipstick last longer.
4. Lipstick app
Since many women apply lipstick in a rush or on the go , Petrovic recommends smoothing on colour directly from the tube, then working it in with a lipstick brush. “The creaminess of the lipstick will feel great when you get it right into the grooves,” she says. “You’ll feel the hydration and the staying power is even longer.”
5. The rest of your makeup
According to Petrovic, “You want a complete-but very natural-eye look to balance out the dark lip.” For most women, that means a well-groomed brow, pale eye shadow and mascara. She also recommends keeping the skin clean and matte with foundation, concealer and a light blush. If you’re optically challenged, now is a great time to break out dark-rimmed glasses. The strong frames on the upper part of the face will complement a bold lip on the lower half.