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How to Wear Dark Lipstick

If you’re considering going dark, first things first: you should pick a shade that best complements your skin tone. Makeup is all about experimentation, but you want to make sure that the color is flattering and adds to your overall ensemble. So, what exactly does that look like?

Fair skin tones:

The lighter the skin, the more dramatic the darker color will appear. Lisa Owens, a Detroit-area makeup artist and licensed aesthetician, says that it’s important to look at how the color will complement your complexion. “With fair skin, you can get away with blues (berry shades) and light burgundy shades that go nicely with pink undertones in the complexion,” she says.

To avoid an overpowering color, we recommend starting off with a subtle transition into the deep-berry-colored and mauve lipsticks. Try Maybelline’s Moisture Sensational Lip color in Dazzling Plum ($7.49) or Vincent Longo’s Wet Pearl Lipstick in Pearl Berry ($23).

Kelsey Pomeroy, a sophomore at Ohio State, says she likes how dark colors stand out on her complexion. “I love wearing dark lipstick because it really pops against my pale skin,” she says. “My favorite shade is the Sephora Cream Lip Stain in Endless Purple ($13), which goes on like a liquid and dries to a pretty matte plum.”

If you’re feeling even more daring, you can take the next step into deep burgundy lipsticks. You never know what you will be comfortable with and what will look good on you until you give the new shade a test drive. Bite Beauty’s High Pigment Matte Pencil in Bramble – black current ($24) and MAC’s Pro Longwear Lipcreme in Faithfully Yours ($18) are great options for those who are looking to experiment.

Medium skin tones:

According to Owens, there’s a lot of freedom of shades when you have medium skin, but lipsticks with warm bases work wonders. Dark purple, wine and burgundy shades are a must! Trust us: JLo will have nothing on you. Try L’Oreal Paris’ Colour Riche Lipcolour in Raisin Rapture ($5.95) or Lancôme’s Color Design Sensational Effects Lipcolor in Pretty Burgundy ($22).

Dark skin tones:

Get ready to go dark. You can pull off a wide variety of colors, from deep burgundy and wine to even brown and pure black shades. Owens says that lipsticks with a warm, orange base pair nicely with a dark complexion. But there’s nothing wrong with going outside of your comfort zone, so go a little wild! Try Revlon’s Super Lustrous Lipstick in Black Cherry ($4.99) or even Lancôme Paris’ Rouge in Love in Fiery Attitude ($26).

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