Trying out black lipstick can seem intimidating. You attempt to apply carefully, but end up with a smear of heavy costume makeup that leaves a ring of green-tinted skin around your mouth when you try to clean up the lines. But black lipstick doesn't have to be a shot in the dark. Everybody looks good in black, and the same is true when it comes to your pout. Whether you're a dark lipstick veteran or just trying it out for Halloween, here’s everything you need to know about buying, applying, and working black lipstick.
Many shades of black
If you're not ready to take the plunge into pitch black, opt for an off-black or slighty sheer shade. These are also great options for women with thinner lips. The balmy texture will soften the contrast between your lips and your skin, giving them fullness.
Women with very full lips may also prefer an almost-black shade. Matte black can make your lips appear flat, but adding dimension by opting for a glossy, satin, or metallic black can bring light to your face. Try patting eye shadow with a hint of shimmer into the center of your lips for a brightening effect.
Paint it black
Prep your lips by exfoliating them with a toothbrush or scrub, being sure to slough off all dry patches that the dark lipstick could cling to and enhance. Follow with a heavy balm, and let it set into your lips before applying liner.
Dark colors are prone to bleeding and feathering. Avoid this by investing in a universal lip liner or a black one. Opt for a dark red liner or even a cool color for more dimension or an ombré effect. After lining, fill in your lips for longer wear and fewer applications later on.
Apply lipstick on taut (not pursed or relaxed) lips to avoid having to fill in cracks. Blot and apply translucent setting powder to seal the lipstick. Then, add a few more dabs of your lipstick.
Sharpen the edges with a bit of lip liner and concealer if necessary. Finish by removing excess lipstick from your inner lips using your finger, and make sure none got on your teeth.
Give yourself a swipe of blush or bronzer to make sure your lipstick doesn't wash you out (unless that's the look you're going for).
Still not sure which shade of black is for you? Click through for all the best celeb dark lipstick inspo, and the products you need to get the look.