The Essential Dos and Don’ts of Wearing Dark Lipstick

Come winter, it’s time to swap those paler shades for darker colors. But, before you make the switch, school yourself in the dos and don’ts.

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Do pick a shade that’s more of a wine or berry tone.

According to celebrity makeup artist and The Glam app co-founder Joey Maalouf, the best way to find that perfect shade of darker lipstick is try them on and test them out. “Berry colors with purple undertones tend to look great on most skin tones,” he says.


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Don’t go so dark that you end up looking too severe.

The whole point of this look is to pull off a darker lip, but you don't want to go too dark. Avoid black shades and anything that looks too theatrical or costumey

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Do keep the rest of your makeup pretty simple.

According to Poppy King, founder of Lipstick Queen, the key to pulling off dark lipstick is to make sure that the rest of your makeup is kept pretty simple. “Soften out the rest of your makeup and avoid heavy eyeliner so that you look fresh rather than heavy." Darker lips command center stage and often can’t compete with a full face of super dramatic makeup. 


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Don’t wear a color that makes you look aged and older than you are.

King says to stick with sheer dark lipsticks rather than opaque ones. “The benefits of an opaque formula are that it’s more long-lasting and more of a statement than a sheer color,” she says. You’ll also want to make sure that your lips aren’t dry in the least bit—use a good lip scrub like Bite Beauty Whipped Cherry Lip Scrub ($18). Maalouf says that adding a touch of gloss over dark lipstick creates a more youthful look.


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Do wear lip liner for a clean edge.

Dark lipstick can look messy and is known to smear, smudge and budge. But, lip liner helps to eliminate that. “With a dark lip, I always use lip liner to keep the color in place and make the edges more precise,” says Maalouf.