Tips to carrying off dark lipstick on different skin tone

How to wear shades of dark lipsticks to match your looks

By Hana O.
Tips to carrying off dark lipstick on different skin tone

What color shades are considered dark lipsticks

Those who have tried wearing dark lipstick know full-well the boost of confidence and boldness that it brings. For those who haven’t worked with this lip color, it is high time to give it a try because it will become a staple in your makeup kit.


Black lipstick was first recorded in Egypt, a long time ago in 4000 BC. You can imagine the iconic Cleopatra and her green eyeshadow and bold makeup. This, along with blue-black lipstick, henna on their feet, and blue and gold accents on their skin, such as on their chest, were some of the norms that Egyptian women had that portrayed their acceptance of color and beauty.

Black or dark lips continued to reappear throughout history, and in today’s age, it is here to stay. Whether you’re feeling “vampy,” gothic or merely wanting to look extra glamorous, dark lipstick is the way to go.


What shades exactly are considered to be dark? Believe it or not, there are shades of pink that is deemed to be dark. As long as there is a dark undertone to the shade, it is considered dark. This includes brown, dark red or burgundy, the purple family, plum colors, hues of blue, and of course, black.

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Daring dark lipstick looks from celebrities

When it comes to daring dark lipsticks, we want to get some inspiration and motivation from influencers and celebrities. They try it out, it looks great, and it makes us assured that we might be able to pull it off as well.

1. Rosie Huntington-Whiteley

@patrickta/ Instagram

Rosie HW is best known for her gorgeous catwalk down Victoria’s Secret fashion shows. She is a certified Victoria’s Secret angel who has also touched on other things such as acting for movies. With a profession that is always under the spotlight, Rosie’s look needs to always be on point and what better way to exude confidence than bold dark lips.


It’s not easy to add shine to dark lips, but she pulls it off amazingly. Her dark maroon lips are the first thing you see in the picture. She pairs it with natural brushed up brows, a light shimmery eye shadow and minimal blush on the checks.


Based on the Instagram post by professional makeup artist Patrick Ta, the picture was a collaboration with Rose Inc, a site that is also owned by Ms. Rosie HW herself. It gets the hottest makeup, skin care, hair, and body care products and showcases them in their site along with tutorials and other posts about beauty. It could be seen in the comments how much everyone adored her lips and were asking what product she was using. Hopefully, we get a reply soon.

2. Kylie Jenner

Source: @kyliejenner/ Instagram

When it comes to searching for inspiration for bold lips, perhaps Kylie is the best source to go to since she practically trademarked the “perfect pout.” Just look at the definition and high pigmentation of the dark bronze lipstick she is using. It goes perfectly on her olive skin.


Once again, the rest of her face is kept simple with defined eyebrows, some eyeshadow and light blush.


Her gorgeous lips have one of her recent releases called KKW X Kylie Lip Set which contains four colors: Double Trouble (red chestnut), Twinning (rosy terracotta), Soul Sister (brick red) and Main Bae (bronzed copper). She used Double Trouble and Main Bae to achieve this look. Another successful glossy dark lips look.

Price: $42.00

KKW X KYLIE Lip Set | Kylie Cosmetics by Kylie Jenner

3. Kate Bosworth

Source: @katebosworth/ Instagram

Kate Bosworth’s look might not be daring per se in this image but keeping everything elegant then pairing it with a dark red lipstick is a bold move. She agrees that she looks fantastic and “effortlessly pulled together” while thanking her artists for collaborating.


Kate is known for her perfectly pale complexion which many believe does not work well with dark lip shades. She’s proven many wrong on this assumption. It’s all about using the right hue when it comes to dark lippies.

4. Arden Cho

Source: @arden_cho/ Instagram

Just look at the confidence oozing from Arden. This American actress, singer, and model is definitely proving that Asian skin can complement dark lips. Born to Korean-American parents, Arden has her Asian descent on the strong side. Then she takes it up a notch by looking like the boss in the image.


Even though she’s wearing a mustard floral dress, she looks like a boss you do not want to mess with. The brown lips accentuate the whole look while giving a gorgeous contrast to her fair skin.

5. Rihanna

Source: @badgalriri/ Instagram

Leave it to “Riri” to make black lips look amazing and a totally normal look to have. Heck, she can even go to the supermarket with this.


With her darker skin tone, the black lips provides makes her complexion glow. Her jet-black wavy hair didn’t end up clashing with her lips but further completed the look.


For those who want to give this a try, here’s a great black lipstick available on the market.

Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipstick

Price: $26.00

Amuse Bouche Lipstick - Bite Beauty | Sephora

Tips on how to wear dark lipsticks

Now that we’ve proven that anyone and everyone can look amazing with dark lips let’s get down to the details of the how to apply them perfectly and which shades are best for the different skin tones and lip shapes.

For different skin tones

Light skin tone

Women with light skin tones are advised to get dark lipsticks that have bluish deep purple undertones. These complement the pale skin effectively. An example would be Urban Decay’s Vice Lipstick in Blackmail which is basically a deep berry wine color.

Price: $19.00

Vice Lipstick - Urban Decay | Sephora

Olive or medium skin tone

For those of you who are blessed with glowing skin, taupe, chocolate and redcurrant tones complement the bronze skin beautifully. Purple or plum lipstick, like this MAC Lipstick in Cyber, is another shade that women love.

Price: $24.96 : MAC Satin Lipstick Cyber 3G : Beauty

Dark skin tone

Darker skin tones also look nice with plum shades as well as those with white-yellowish warm undertones. Go for those with extra shine and shimmer like this L’Oreal Paris Color Riche Gold Obsession in Plum Gold that combines the dark shade of plum with a gold hue.


Tips for dark lippies

Dark lipstick is not for the faint of heart and must be worn with the right attitude. Remember to be bold and feel the glam! Another thing to consider when choosing to go for dark lips is your OOTD. Because the lips are already attention-grabbing, go for simpler chic minimalist outfits.


As we’ve learned with the celebrities above, when wearing dark lip shades, we must keep the rest of our face light and neutral. We do not want to look like a can of paint spilled on our faces now, do we?


Lastly, most dark lippies come in a matte finish which can leave the lips quite dry. Therefore, do not forget to exfoliate, hydrate and moisturize beforehand! For those who like using gloss, feel free to top of your matte lipstick with some.

For thin lips

Ladies with thin lips fret not because dark lipstick looks good not only on all skin complexions but also on all lip sizes. With just a bit more tweaking, you can achieve a full pout as well.


What you will need is a dark liner, dark lipstick that is ideally a shade lighter than the liner, and a lipstick of a lighter shade or gloss.



1. Apply the dark lip liner going a little bit above your top lip line and a little below your lower lip. Make sure not to overdo it. Lightly shade the edges so that it blends.

2. Fill in the rest of the lips with your dark lipstick.

3. For a complete and blended look, go over the whole lips with a lippie of a lighter color or some gloss then smack away.

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There are indeed those days when we need an extra jolt of confidence, or we have the itch to look extra glamorous because we have the power to do so. One way to achieve that is by simply swiping on some dark lipstick! Wear it to work, to do errands or for a night out and look stunning every time.