Best Lipstick Color For Dark Skin

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lipsticks for dark skin

Flattering Lipstick Colors For Dark Skin

Finding the perfect lipstick is not always an easy task. There are many factors that affect how a lipstick will look on you: how well it adheres to your lips, how pigmented the lipstick is, and of course, the color of the lipstick. Many lip colors are modeled on lighter skin tones, but we all know that lipstick colors wear differently on different skin tones. So if you have darker skin, it can be difficult to predict how a color will look on you without first trying it on. Here are some tips for finding flattering lipstick shades for dark skin.

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1Common Misconceptions

A common misconception is that if you have dark skin, you should only wear darker, muted shades of lipstick. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. Yes, many burgundy, brown, and plum shades look beautiful on dark skin, but there are plenty of other shades that flatter dark skin as well. Along the same lines, another misconception is that red lipstick doesn’t look good on dark skin. On the contrary, red lipstick looks amazing on dark skin; there is a red lip for every skin tone, the key is finding the right shade of red for you, which can be tricky if you don’t know where to start.

2How To Choose A Shade

A couple of important factors to consider when choosing the right lipstick shade are your natural lip color and your skin’s undertones. The variations between skin tone, undertones, and natural lip color is what makes this process a little tricky. This is also why a lip color may not look good on you but may look great on someone with a similar skin tone. In general, if your skin has neutral undertones, choosing a lip color will be a much easier experience because a wider range of shades will look good on you. Those with warm undertones tend to look best in colors with warm, orangey undertones and those with cool undertones tend to look best in lip colors that have blue or purple undertones. But this really varies from person to person, so don’t feel obligated to follow all the “rules.” Sometimes you should just try that lip color that catches your eye; it just might be the perfect match.

3Makeup Tips For Dark Skin

A lipstick’s formula will also play a role in how it looks on you. For example, if you’re going for more of a neutral lip, a sheer lipstick formula may work, but if you’re going for a bolder, richer color, matte lipsticks tend to work better, especially if you have naturally dark lips. The pigment quality also makes a big difference; always try to stick with highly pigmented lipsticks. Whenever possible, try on the lipstick before you buy it. Stores like Sephora and MAC have tester samples and disposable applicators available for your convenience. Reading reviews and looking at swatches can also be helpful. Cocoa Swatches is a great site that showcases lip colors (and all kinds of makeup) on dark skin.

4Liquid Lipstick vs. Solid

When it comes to finding highly pigmented lipsticks, liquid lipsticks may be your best bet. They often provide rich color and dry to a matte finish. Liquid lipsticks are also less prone to smudging and the color tends to last longer than many solid lipsticks. However, one of the biggest cons is that liquid lipsticks can be drying. Traditional solid lipsticks often come in creamier, more moisturizing formulas and they are easier to apply. Many solid lipsticks also have long-lasting formulas that look and feel great on the lips. 

5Prep Your Lips

It doesn’t matter how good the quality and color is, a lipstick won’t look great unless it’s applied properly. For the best results, exfoliate your lips beforehand to get rid of any dead skin which can make even the best lipstick look patchy and cakey on your lips. It’s also a good idea to apply a lip balm or a moisturizing lip primer first. This will help the color adhere to your lips better, prevent your lips from drying out, and help make the lipstick last longer. If you use a lip liner, match it to the color of your lipstick or opt for a neutral lip liner that matches your natural lip color. Here are 15 lipstick shades that look great on dark skin.

6MAC – Ruby Woo

Ruby Woo is one of the most iconic MAC lipsticks ever. It is praised for its ability to look amazing on just about everyone, regardless of skin tone. If you want a classic red lip, Ruby Woo is a nearly foolproof choice. The color is highly pigmented and vibrant and the smooth formula helps keep your lips hydrated.

7IMAN Luxury Moisturizing Lipstick – Jaguar

Having spent years modeling, Iman was all too familiar with the limited selection of makeup available for darker skin tones. For that reason, IMAN Cosmetics is designed for women with a variety of often underrepresented skin tones. Pretty much all of the shades in the IMAN collection look flattering dark skin, but Jaguar is especially popular. It’s a deep, rich brown that is the perfect shade for fall and winter.

8Coloured Raine – Tootsie

Coloured Raine was founded in 2013 and has quickly made a name for itself in the cosmetics arena. The company’s lipsticks are especially popular, offering a range of brilliant shades. Coloured Raine’s Tootsie lip paint is a deep brown color with hints of red and it looks amazing on dark skin tones.

9MAC – Heroine

MAC Heroine is another gorgeous shade that looks amazing on dark skin. The vibrant purple color makes brown skin tones pop and the creamy formula feels comfortable on the lips. This lipstick is the perfect shade of purple: not too bright but not too dark.

10NARS – Train Bleu

NARS has a great selection of lip colors in several different formulas. Their velvet lip pencil doubles as a liner and a lipstick. The formula is lightweight and the color goes on smoothly. The only con is that the lip pencil can feel a little dry on your lips, but that can easily be fixed with a little lip balm. Train Bleu is a gorgeous aubergine shade that looks amazing on dark skin tones.

11NYX – Duchess

Duchess is a brownish-pink shade by NYX Cosmetics. This shade can be hit or miss depending on your exact skin tone and undertones, but it’s a great nude shade on many dark skin tones. The velvet matte formula goes on smoothly and keeps lips moisturized.

12Colourpop – More Better

Colourpop is a newer brand that is slowly giving bigger, high-end makeup companies a run for their money. Colourpop offers several shades of liquid lipsticks for only $6 each. But don’t let the price tag fool you: these lipsticks are long-lasting and highly pigmented. More Better is a gorgeous shade of pink that’s not too light and not too bright. Best of all, More Better looks great on many dark skin tones.

13MAC – Diva

Diva is another popular MAC shade that looks great on all skin tones. The color is a rich burgundy that leans more towards red than brown but has a nice balance. It’s not dark enough to create a “vampy” look but it’s dark enough to be a great shade for fall and winter.

14Fenty Beauty – Stunna Lip Paint

Rihanna shook up the beauty world with the release of Stunna Lip Paint. Her makeup line, Fenty Beauty, was an immediate hit when it launched in 2017, offering one of the widest ranges of foundation shades available, living up to its tagline: beauty for all. Likewise, Stunna Lip Paint’s liquid formula dries to a vibrant, matte color that truly looks amazing on every skin tone. Ruby Woo, you’ve got some competition!

15Colourpop – Panda

Colourpop’s Panda liquid lipstick is a gorgeous shade of violet. Like the brand’s other liquid lipstick formulas, it dries to a long-lasting matte finish. Like most liquid lipsticks, it can be drying; for best results, prep your lips with a lip balm or lip primer before applying.

16Anastasia Beverly Hills – Requiem

Anastasia Beverly Hills has a great selection of liquid lipsticks. Requiem is a gorgeous metallic teal color that looks great on many skin tones, especially dark skin tones. It may not be ideal for an everyday look, but if you want to make a statement, this color is a great choice.

17Milani Color Statement – Tease

Drugstore lipstick shades can be the hardest to gauge because unlike makeup counters at department stores and stores like Sephora, you can’t test them out before you buy. However, there are many drugstore lipsticks that offer great long-lasting color at extremely affordable prices. Milani’s Color Statement line offers a range of vibrant colors in a creamy, moisturizing matte formula. Tease is a gorgeous purple shade that looks amazing on many dark skin tones.

18Coloured Raine – Kiss Me

Kiss Me is a great shade for those looking for a bold, head-turning color. It’s a rich, vibrant shade of purple that looks amazing on dark skin. This is the perfect lippie for the cooler months when you want to bring a pop of deep color to cold, grey days.

19Maybelline Orange Shot Liquid Lipstick

It can be difficult to find a flattering orange lipstick, no matter what your skin tone may be. But Maybelline’s Orange Shot Liquid Lipstick gets it just right. It’s a slightly cooler orange that looks amazing against brown skin. The color is vibrant, but not too bright, and the formula is long-lasting.

20NYX – Maison

NYX Lipstick in Maison is a beautiful shade of brown that looks amazing on many dark skin tones. Its smooth formula goes on effortlessly and its matte finish is highly pigmented and creamy. The rich brown color helps you go from day to night seamlessly.