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How to Make Dark Lipstick Look Good

How to Make Dark Lipstick Look Good

If you feel like wearing dark lipstick is not a smooth ride, then you may be one simple tip away from a flawless application. Depending on your skin tone, dark lipstick can look either like a nude or like a very dramatic lip option. In both cases, finding the perfect finish and color as well as application technique is key! Take a look at our tips and then scroll through our color suggestions to make dark lipstick look flawless on you.

How to wear dark lipstick

As for all things makeup, there are no rules—but that doesn’t mean that a few tips won’t help to improve the result. Check our insights and boost your lipstick application. 

When should you wear dark lipstick

This one is easy: anytime! Anyway, we’ll try to be more detailed with the answer. If you have a medium to deep complexion, then a dark lipstick tends to look natural on you: and you should find it easy to pick it as a go-to lip color. If you have fair to medium skin, then you may find dark lipstick more intimidating and save it for a special look. 

Keep in mind that your style is going to influence your moods with lipstick: for bolder styles, it should be easier to combine a highly contrasting lipstick and use it every day, when compared with those with an understated style—that may save a bold lip for a special occasion. 

Why may dark lipstick look bad

Now it’s time for some troubleshooting. Let’s just clear the air and say that the problem is not you—it’s him. If dark lipstick is not looking good on you, remember that dark lipstick is high maintenance: you’ll need to re-apply more often than you’d need to for other shades, as it loses its charm once it starts to fade. In addition, dark lipstick on a fair to medium complexion may pull other dark shadows on your skin if you use minimal to no makeup. Here’s the catch—dark lipsticks tend to look better when you wear a full face of makeup. With a perfected canvas, especially when you perfect your complexion with foundation and concealer, is when your dark lipstick thrives.

How to apply dark lipstick

Let’s start by listing our options: you may opt for gliding the lipstick straight on your lips, or you may like to use a lip brush for a precise application, or, alternatively, starting by applying a lip liner before you go in with your dark lipstick. There’s no right or wrong, but the application technique will affect the result.

If you glide the lipstick directly on the lips you’ll have a rich impact of color payoff, layering coat over coat each time you slide the lipstick. This allows for a quick and even application, with maybe a little too much product that may go to teeth and bleed on the lip contours. You may also opt for gliding a small amount of lipstick directly on the lips and then use your fingers to blend it on the lip—this should allow for a soft finish and natural result and is the way to wear dark lipstick casually. 

If you use your lip brush, you should find it easier to control the amount of product applied, as well as easier to shape the lip contours. The result should look even and the lips fully pigmented without extra product sitting on the top of the lips. 

If you line your lips first, you’ll have perfect control of the lip shape while enhancing the lasting power of the product. You’ll be mapping out the lip contour and then you’d only need to finish the application with a small amount of lipstick.

How to get dark lipstick to not look patchy

Some dark lipstick may look patchy upon application—especially the mattes—and that’s probably not the look you’re going for. On your end, there are a few things you can do: instead of applying it straight to the lips, you may try to use a lip brush to work it evenly over the lips. You may also want to warm the tip of the bullet on the back of your hand first, and then try to apply it straight on the lips. A third option would be to apply a small amount on the center of the lips, and then use the finger to work it on the entire lip. Try these tips and it should be no more patchiness!

Best dark lipstick

Dark lipstick may look natural on you, or you may wear it to create a makeup statement—everything is allowed as long as you’re having fun. But not all dark lipsticks look the same; we have a list of different-looking dark lipsticks so you can choose the shade to agree with your preferences. 

Shiseido ModernMatte Powder Lipstick 522 Velvet Rope

Dark red

Let’s start with a shade that should look flattering for all. The shade is so stunning that you can’t go wrong with it. This full-coverage matte dark lipstick presents with a hue of red that’s as deep as you need to make it look mysterious. As for the formula, it is ultra-thin and comfortable, delivering hydration while coating your lips with color. Inspired by Tokyo’s vibrant nightlife, here’s another Shiseido product you need to try.


Estée Lauder Pure Color Envy Matte Sculpting Lipstick 549 Dilemma

Dark brown

Lightweight and comfortable, this is the lipstick that will please your lips while delivering the matte result you’ve been looking for. The packaging looks and feels special, combining an incredible formula with deluxe packaging. This cool shade of brown looks bold and strong, creating a unique look every time you feel like rocking it. 


Flormar HD Weightless Matte Lipstick 12 Cool Purple

Dark purple

Sliding from mattes to semi-mattes, this formula gives you the best of both worlds. It gives you a matte effect while keeping a sheer radiance, creating a natural finish that pairs beautifully with a striking color such as this dark purple. The application feels creamy and effortless, and the shade will magically suit every look and preference. This is the dark lipstick you’ve wanted for your makeup kit!


Clinique Almost Lipstick 06 Black Honey

Natural dark lipstick

Do you want to use dark lipstick while somehow keeping a natural-looking pout? Here’s Clinique providing you with an irresistible answer. This lipstick looks as dark as it comes, but you’ll see how sheer it glides once you kiss your lips with the melting texture. It feels weightless and hydrating, moisturizing like a balm, and lovely-looking like lipstick. Fairly recognized as a chameleon-like lipstick, this ever-trending dark lipstick is what to need to have pretty and comfortable lips on all occasions. 


Dr. Hauschka Lipstick 14 Caralluma

Dark nude

Here’s a shade that makes for an impossible request: to look nudish for all skin tones. This unique color won’t look overly dramatic on fair skin while blending uniformly on a dark complexion. The satin finish adds to the trick: it looks like a naturally hydrated lip. The unique combination of mineral pigments and medicinal plant extract brings the results even further. Each application contributes to healthy-looking lips!


NYX Pro Makeup Suede Matte Lipstick Cold Brew

Chocolate brown lipstick

Now it’s time to shop for edible shades! This irresistible chocolaty brown in a velvet matte finish is going to revolutionize any look. Hydrating and smooth looking, it embellishes your lips with a lovely color that is hard to find! Non-drying and smooth, the formula glides easily on the lips to make sure you create an even layer of tempting color on your lips.


Flormar Deluxe Cashmere Lipstick Stylo DC26 Festive Burgundy

Dark burgundy

You just can’t go wrong with burgundy lipstick: especially with this dark one! Suitable for all occasions, this shade looks sophisticated and levels up with any style. The formula is comfortable and easy to apply, with a lovely semi-matte finish that feels hydrating all day. Pair it with a nude eye or with a party look. You’ll see how it always rises to the occasion.



If you’d like to give your dark lipstick a break, take a look at our suggestions of pink lipsticks! We promise the right pink is waiting for you over there.


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