Dark lipstick is the latest '90s trend to make a resurgence, and they're popping up everywhere, from the runway to the red carpet. Vera Wang sent many black garments down her fall 2013 runway paired with a goth bordeaux lip by Clé de Peau Beauté, while the models at Zac Posen's fall runway sported rich, velvety wine lips by M•A•C Cosmetics. Meanwhile, stunning celebs of every skin tone from Beyonce to Claire Danes have swapped out their signature red lipsticks for deep burgundy and nearly-black shades.
This bold look certainly turns heads at glam events or on the catwalk, but how is the everyday woman supposed to take on this dramatic trend? Can women rock oxblood lips to board meetings, or should the style be reserved for Saturday nights? And do goth lips require an entire wardrobe overhaul? We spoke with M•A•C Cosmetics Senior Artist Caitlin Callahan to get the scoop on the dark lips trend.
"A dark lip is a powerful, impactful look, with genuine retro appeal," Callahan told Yahoo Shine exclusively. "In the '90s, we partnered our dark lips with everything but the kitchen sink: full coverage matte foundation, false lashes, [bold] eyes and cheeks. What makes a dark lip modern is keeping everything else healthy-looking and natural." If you're comfortable wearing Vamp nail polish, Callahan says you can try dark lips, as they're the makeup equivalent of a short dark fingernail. "If applied well and maintained, it can look elegant in the appropriate setting," she says. Perhaps they are best reserved for a night out, and not the office-only you yourself will know best. "Much like a red lip, there is always a time and place-and outfit," says Callahan. "[Just] be sure to take the time to apply precisely. These aren't lips you just throw on in the car!"
Read on for Callahan's top five tips on nailing the goth look in the most flattering way possible.
1. Take a cue from your favorite celebs
If you're worried about finding the right look, search for photos of your famous lookalike and imitate their style. "Rihanna has been sporting this look for a while," says Callahan. "She makes it modern by lightening her brows and wearing minimal makeup on her other features. Katy Perry, Dita Von Teese, and Beyoncé have also been known to rock a dark lip once and again."
2. Select a complementary lip color
"Dark lips look most natural on deep skin tones," says Callahan. "The lighter the skin, the more dramatic the look. Decide how much of a statement you want to make and choose the shade accordingly." For a more severe look on darker skin tones, Calahan suggesting adding a gloss or frost on top of your lip color.
3. Use a pencil
You thought lip pencils died in the '90s too, huh? Well, Callahan says these steady applicators are necessary to ensure a symmetrical application, especially since dark tones are less forgiving. (Think, for example, of how much easier it is to apply nude nail polish than dark lipstick since mistakes are less evident.) For added longevity, apply lipstick with a brush, which will press the pigment into the lip.
4. Keep the rest of your makeup simple
Forgo the deliberately pale goth face, or an overly done look for a prettier take on the trend. Since your lips clearly doing the talking, Callahan suggests just two additional steps complete the look: bronzed skin and curled, slightly darkened lashes. She also says to be mindful of your skin texture. The goth look was very chalky, and that's something you'll want to avoid. "If you choose a dark matte lip, keep the skin dewy and healthy," says Callahan. "Shiny lips demand more of an eggshell, semi-matte skin."
5. Try a stain or a balmfor a less intense look
"Apply with your finger and rub into the lip. That way, your natural lip tone will show through and feel more natural. On smaller lips, try a more transparent dark lip-something too opaque can make lips look thin."
For more on the hottest makeup trends, check out the video below.