Tuesday, September 22, 2009

How to Wear Dark Lipstick

Fall is here and that means trading in your light, shiny lipgloss for a deeper, richer, dark lipstick. But pulling off the dark lip look can be tricky. If done wrong, darker shades can make thin lips look thinner. If the color feathers or is not applied flawlessly, it will look sloppy.

Here are some hints to help:
  • Focus on your lips only. If you try to pull off a dark lip with a dramatic eye, you're going to look a little clownish. Avoid this by making your eyes look very natural with minimal shadow, just a touch of liner, and mascara. Also ease off the blush. Rosy cheeks and almost black lips could make you look silly.
  • Be sure to pick your shade well. Consider your complexion and the undertones in your skin. And don't forget, dark lipstick doesn't have to be black.
  • Exfoliate your lips. This is easy to do and requires no special products. When you brush your teeth, just gently brush your lips as well. This will remove dead skin cells and soften your lips. Dot on a little lip balm or moisturizer for added protection.
  • Consider a lip primer. Again, don't buy anything special: just put some concealer or foundation on your lips. This will help to neutralize your lips' natural color and may help prevent against feathering. If you want a special product, try for something with silicone in it so the darker color has something to cling to.
  • Line your lips. Try using a small lip brush and your dark shade to line your lips. I'm not a fan of using lip pencils for this, and you probably know why. Just think of the first image that pops into your mind when I say "lip liner." I rest my case! Next fill in the rest of your lips using your lipstick and the lip brush. Using a brush will give you better control and should result in a more precise look.
I've been trying out a few shades from Mattese Elite, one that's a deep raisin shade and one that's a vibrant (though dark) pink. Unlike some deeply pigmented lipsticks, this brand made my lips feel soft and moist--not cakey and dry. If you're looking for a dark shade, you might want to check them out (plus at just $10 a tube, they're pretty budget friendly!).

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