How to Wear Dark Lipsticks and Lipglosses


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dark lipsticks lipglossesI still remember the first lipstick I ever bought – it was Lakme’s Chestnut Matte and it was a dull, dark brown. Being dark-skinned, I always thought I could only wear dark colours and the matte shades appeared even darker than their crème or glossy counterparts. But as time went on, I realized just how washed out & dull my skin looked next to the drab matte shades & decided to experiment a little.

Which brings us to Rule Number One: Anyone can carry off a dark shade – just steer clear of a finish that is matte. Crème and glossy are your best bets, but you can even try a shimmery or frosted finish. A sheer finish is a good option as it gives your lips a light wash of colour that can be very feminine and flattering. Matte shades can make your lips look thin & pinched, so unless you have a generously full mouth, this is not for you.

One important fact to remember when wearing dark lipsticks is that they’re rather unforgiving when it comes to the state of your lips. If your lips are chapped or cracked, the pigment will settle in the lines and cracks, highlighting and emphasizing them. Wanting to avoid this state of affairs bring us to Rule Number Two: Exfoliate, exfoliate, EXFOLIATE! There are some very expensive lip exfoliants on the market from brands like Tarte, Smashbox and Beauticontrol, but you can make an inexpensive lip-smoother with only the stuff you have at home. Just liberally slather on your favourite lip balm and then sprinkle a couple of pinches of sugar on your lips. Gently rub your lips with your fingers in small circles & then just rinse off the sugar. Try this at night before going to bed and you’ll wake up with luscious, smooth lips. If you’re in a hurry, you can just brush your lips with a dry toothbrush & then moisturize as well. One of my favourite pick-me-ups is filling a little 10mL roller-ball bottle with pure Vitamin E oil and swiping a dab of it onto my lips at night.

dark lipsticksAnd finally, when choosing a dark lipstick, you have 3 main options –plum/purple, brown and deep red. And so Rule Number 3 states that you know whether you’re warm or cool-toned so you can pick a colour that looks good with your undertones. Plums and purples look best on cool skin tones, brown looks best on warm skin tones & a true deep-red is neutral and will look good on anyone. Based on whether you want a lot of colour or a light wash, you can pick either a lipstick or a lip gloss.

I’ve included 3 examples of my favourite dark lip colours. Estee Lauder’s Wild grape is a glossy deep plum that can be applied as sheer or as deep as you want. It’s been tried on by all the women in my family and it suits several different skin tones. Unfortunately it has been discontinued but dark lipsticksyou can find it on eBay or other online beauty stores. It originally cost $22 (about Rs. 990) but can be had for as little as $14 (Rs. 630). Hard Candy’s Night Out is the perfect deep red that I found after years of searching for a true red that had no hints of pink or purple in it. It has a crème finish that makes your lips look velvety and makes for a perfect dressy, going-out shade. The best thing about it is that it can be found at Walmart for $6 (about Rs. 270)! And finally Kat Von D’s Homegirl is a highly pigmented lip gloss that gives a beautiful, moisturizing plum sheen to the lips. Even though it’s a gloss, it the most highly pigmented of the three & needs to be worn carefully. It’s available at Sephora – in stores for $18 (Rs. 810) but online it’s on 50% off sale. I’ve swatched the three shades on my arm, to give you an idea of how they go on.

So that’s it for my first post! Stay tuned for my next missive on Essentials to Get Your Dad/Friend/Husband/Chachi/Daadi to Buy You on Their Next Trip to the States!

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How to Wear Dark Lipsticks and Lipglosses

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31 thoughts on “How to Wear Dark Lipsticks and Lipglosses

  1. Excellent article, Swapricot. 🙂 I am not too confortable wearing darker shades of lipsticks but one in a while I do manage to. 😀 😀 Thanks for the tips and i always forget to exfoliate my lips. :shame:

    1. even i forget it often rati..but even if i manage to do it by evening my lips go back to their normal chapped state!!i would love to try matte lipsticks but i dont have the courage bcoz of this :reallypissed:

      1. you dont use lip balms? My lips get super chapped only in winters but since i keep applying lip balm every once in a while my lips stay in decent condition. I dont exfoliate my lips as much as I should. :(( It really helps.

  2. Very nice post Swapricot 🙂 I love to wear dark shades!! 😀 😀 😀 ..and I agree with the rule to exfoliate your lips..I exfoliate my lips daily before going to sleep. I have have the toothbrush that has this tongue cleaner at the back of its head. I don’t use it for that purpose, but it works excellently for lips exfoliation.. 🙂 🙂 Now I’ve finally got rid of chapped lips!! :yahoo: :yahoo: :yahoo: :yahoo: :yahoo:

    1. Lol – it’s actually Swapna. I have a good friend in horticulture who likes giving her friends “fruit” nicknames so she took ‘Swapna’ & ‘apricot’ & smushed them together!

      1. actually thats what i thought too..that your name sounds so similar to apricot..but didn’t write here..thinking if it was original name then it would look rude na!! 😛 :))..nice name btw!! 😀

  3. You guys are the best! I’ve never written for a blog before & so was really nervous! Thank you for all the positivity! You’ve inspired me to write more!! & thank you Rati for giving me this opportunity! This is so much fun!

  4. nice post Swapricot! Or Swapna 🙂 I like dark shades especially deep reds but sometimes I get comments that I’m too ‘young’ to be wearing shades like that :idk: Thanks for the exfoliation tip, I always forget to exfoliate my lips.

  5. I remember ‘Chestnut Matte’ as well. I was in my undergrad at the time and thought I looked so hip in it. I also remember going through this phase where I thought the browner the lipstick, the better I will look. NOT! I shudder to look back at my photos from that time. 🙂
    Your post also took me back to my very first lipstick. Lakme had this shade called ‘Forever Brown’. Lovely golden brown shade, if I can remember correctly.

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