Dark lipsticks are always in style, but they’re a particularly essential part of our fall and winter beauty lineups. Wearing deeper hues is a simple yet striking way to match the moodiness of wintry days without overhauling your entire makeup routine.
You may wonder if dark lipstick looks good on everyone, and the answer is a resounding yes. With so many colors, finishes, and formulas on the market, there’s a flattering pick (or five) for every skin tone and undertone. Here, discover four of our favorite dark lipstick shades for winter, along with some top product picks.
Dark Red Lipstick Looks
Red lipstick is a classic complexion brightener. While maraschino reds are fun and punchy for summer nights out, winter is the prime time to try a more vampy, dark lipstick look. We’re huge fans of noir reds with bluish undertones, which are especially stunning against cool-toned skin. Dark winter lipsticks like red wine, berry, and dark cherry shades are at the top of our seasonal must-have list. Hop on the bandwagon with our Smooth Whip Matte Lip Cream in Cherry Creme or Velvet Robe. The buildable, smooth formula applies like liquid lipstick and hugs like cream lipstick. Its creamy, velvety sheen will give your look an air of luxury.
When embracing an unfamiliar lip color trend, like wearing dark red lipstick, we recommend testing a few shades at home with our Virtual Try It On tool. Or, if you need more guidance on how to choose a flattering dark lipstick color, our article How to Find the Best Lip Color for Your Skin Tone has your back.
Dark Purple Lipstick Looks
We love darling pinks, but dark lipstick shades in regal purples also give off romantic flair. Rich, deep plums are colors we find ourselves running back to. The shades Never Basic, In Charge, and Shake Things Up from our Shine Loud High Shine Lip Color collection exude a flirtatious appearance with kissable shine.
Another idea to help you stand out in a gloomy winter crowd is wearing a bold violet hue—consider a dark matte lipstick for the most saturation. Hint: Our aforementioned Smooth Whip Matte Lip Cream has a gorgeous shade called Bday Frosting.
Dark Brown Lipstick Looks
The ‘90s are back in style, and dark brown lips are one of our favorite ways to pay homage to the decade. Earthy browns are surprisingly just as wearable on the lips as on the eyes, especially when customized to your skin tone. As a general rule of thumb, the darker your skin, the deeper shades of brown you can pull off.
Warm yourself up with the coziness of hot chocolate-inspired lips. Shine Loud High Shine Lip Color in Boundary Pusher is almost as sweet as the real thing. Or, experiment with modern neutrals like coffees, deep caramels, and toffee. When you crave just a touch of spice, terracotta and cinnamon shades can satisfy that need. Their orangey pigments beautifully play up the golden undertones in medium to olive skin.
If you’re brand-new to brown lips, there are a few subdued ways you can dip your toes into the trend. One is with a tinted formula, like Fat Oil Lip Drip in Scrollin or Status Update. Unlike dark lipsticks, these tinted lip oil glosses offer a less intense hint of brown color when worn over bare lips. You can also try a throwback look like brown lip liner. Trace the outline of your pout with a brown liner like our Slim Lip Pencil in Espresso or Hot Cocoa, then fill in the rest of your lips with a clear gloss, if desired. Now, don’t blame us if you’re tempted to pluck your eyebrows and get some chunky highlights.
Black Lipstick Looks
Last but certainly not least is the most daring of our dark lipstick looks. Black lips are not for the faint of heart, but hear us out! They’re ideal for mirroring the moody attitude associated with cold, gloomy days. Pick up Lip Lingerie XXL Matte Liquid Lipstick in Naughty Noir for an unapologetically inky black formula that won’t fade, crack, or transfer. The liquid lipstick also has a precise applicator to shape and line your lips, a major bonus when working with such a dark color of lipstick. For even more control, line your lips with a black liner first to keep your gothic shade from bleeding. Our pick: Line Loud Vegan Longwear Lip Liner in Evil Genius.
How To Wear Dark Lipstick Shades
Once you pick a color, you’re likely wondering how to perfect the rest of your makeup routine. Read the following tips for help.
- For dark lipstick shades like deep purple or black, we recommend keeping your eye makeup more neutral to prevent colors from clashing. Opt for soft, warm-toned eyeshadows to balance the boldness of your lips. Seeking a more glamorous vibe? You can never go wrong with a winged eyeliner look.
- Those who love dark lipsticks in reds and browns can pull off bolder eye makeup pairings. Try a smokey eye with shades of gold, bronze, or burgundy for a captivating, dramatic nighttime edge.
- No matter your dark lipstick shade, you can always dust some glitter or a shimmery eyeshadow onto your lids for a festive, party-ready look. Metallics like gold, silver, and gunmetal are just a few of our faves. A little sparkle never hurt anyone.
- We love the contrast between dewy face makeup and dark lipstick with a matte finish. To help your skin appear plump and glowy, apply a hydrating primer followed by a tinted moisturizer or illuminating foundation. Dust blush over the tip of your nose and the top of your forehead, then sweep some highlighter over the high points of your face for the ultimate sunkissed effect.
How to Make Your Dark Lipstick Look Last
Dark lipstick can be a higher maintenance trend, but the payoff is gorgeous when you properly prep, apply, and set your look. Here are our best tips on the topic:
- Smoothing and hydrating your pout ensures your dark lip color applies evenly without feathering or flaking off, especially if you favor dark matte lipstick. We advise starting your lip routine with a hydrating exfoliating scrub to create a clear canvas for the rest of your products. Follow it up with a lip primer to create a long-lasting base layer for your lipstick.
- Another essential way to prep for your dark winter lipstick is with a lip liner. They act like a barrier between your lips and the rest of your skin to prevent your lipstick from bleeding out or smudging.
- Finally, you’ll want to set your dark lipsticks with setting spray. You may think these mists are exclusive to the skin, but they can work wonders on all your makeup. Hold the spray about six inches from your lips, give them one good spray, and let dry completely.
We’d love to see you rocking your favorite dark lipstick. Tag us on Instagram @NYXCosmetics so we can swoon over your winter lip looks.