How To: Rock A Dark Lip

I don’t have to get into how a dark lip is ‘in’ for this season, because at one point or another we’ve all wanted to flawlessly sport a dark like just like the celebs. Along with orange lip shades, these dark colours that resemble something Nia Long would have worn in Soul Food are having a real moment! You’ve probably constantly seen that ‘dark lips are for fall’, but it is now summer. It is warm and lovely and we will be wearing dark lipstick.

Start with a flawless base: Ensure that your foundation is done properly, i.e. you’ve picked a formula that not only works with your skin tone but also with your skin type. Apply it using a stipple brush, a buffing brush, a beauty blending sponge or even a triangular disposable sponge (dampen it before applying your foundation).

Add some luminizer: Foundation can sometimes make your face look flat – almost too matte or unnatural. This is why you add some luminizer, it’ll give you a natural glow. Mix it in with your foundation, or add a little to the top of your cheekbones – or do both! If you’re not into liquids, then use a powder illuminating product – Milani’s Baked Blush in Bellissimo Bronze would be great for this look.

Play up your eyes: If you must use eye shadow, you can in fact do a smokey eye – but it should be one that’s subtle (brown with a hint of black) and also very well blended. Or if you’re not feeling too bold, simply apply a neutral brown shade in the crease. Want to forego the eye shadow altogether? Do some winged liner, or just lightly line your inner rim.

MAC Eyeshadow in Mulch

MAC Cosmetics eye shadow in Mulch is a velvet finish, so even though it has shimmer it won’t look chalky upon application

Finish off with some blush: Apply your powder foundation or translucent powder using a big fluffy powder brush to get your flawless finish, and then add some blush to give your face some life. Go for one that’s not too bright (read: not hot pink or bright red shades), opt for something matte that compliments your skin tone – if you must use something shimmery or a new blush shade, a light hand is all you need.

NYX Powder Blush in Desert Rose

NYX Powder Blush in Desert Rose looks natural even though it’s a matte finish with a tiny hint of shimmer – great for NC45 skin tones!

The Dark Lip: At this point you would have applied your lip balm minutes prior when you began doing your makeup to give it enough time to really sink into your lips (remember to scrub off any dead skin or flakes with an old toothbrush whenever you plan to wear lipstick).


  1. Line with a lip liner that matches the lipstick you’ve chosen; for Revlon’s Black Cherry and other maroon or plum shades, I recommend using MAC’s lip liner in Currant. Currant also works well with Milani’s Color Statement Lipstick in both Black Cherry and Sangria, as well as MAC’s satin lipsticks in Rebel and Cyber.
  2. Apply one coat of lipstick and blot. Now let’s clear something up, by ‘blot’ I don’t mean you want to look like you just walked off the set of the 80’s movie The Breakfast Club – we’re doing a different type of blotting here in 2014. So just apply one coat of lipstick, then take one square of tissue and place it over your lips. Lightly tap your powder brush over this square of tissue that’s on your lips, then apply another coat of lipstick.
  3. Clean up the edges with a tiny bit of concealer on a flat, stiff concealer brush or an eye definer brush to get clean, sharp edges.

Top: Revlon Black Cherry lipstick is a creme finish Middle: Black Cherry slightly sheered out Bottom: MAC’s Currant lip liner

  • If you’re on the fairer side just remember to add the luminizer and blush to perk your face up.
  • If you’re a medium beige or olive skin tone, this is where your yellow undertone is going to help you out – it’s a bit easier for you to pull off dark shades, work your Black Cherry with a neutral shadow or some winged liner.
  • Darker divas this is for you! I love how Black Cherry looks on darker skin tones, probably even more than on my own skin tone. If you’re anywhere between Zoe Saldana’s complexion and that of Lupita N’yongo, simply pair your dark lip shade with some nice flirty lashes and a light sweep of brick red blush.
Black Cherry is a deep maroon shade. It's the perfect combination of red with a tiny hint of brown. The best part is, when it rubs off or dries down, you'll be left with the prettiest berry stained lips

Black Cherry is a deep red shade that almost looks maroon. It’s the perfect combination of red with a tiny hint of brown. The best part is, when it rubs off or dries down, you’ll be left with the prettiest berry stained lips

I chose this lipstick because it’s easily accessible regardless of your location – Revlon is a brand that is available in most, if not all places that sell cosmetics. Also because I think their lipsticks are comparable to those made by MAC or any other high end brand; for about 9CDN (before HST) this is a great buy!

Black Cherry applies very smoothly because it's a creme finish, as opposed to a matte finish

Black Cherry applies very smoothly because it’s a creme finish, as opposed to a matte finish

I hope this post helped you realize that you can in fact wear lipstick without looking washed out, and it doesn’t have to necessarily be Rebel by MAC.

Did you remember to read up on my previous posts? I’ve edited this in such a way that each link opens in a new tab (how lovely!)

A stippling brush is a great multipurpose product to invest in

A stippling brush is a great multipurpose product to invest in


Tal 🙂


7 thoughts on “How To: Rock A Dark Lip

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