How to wear black lipstick


Black lipstick is a classic style choice, but seen as a bold one. It’s a shade that effortlessly makes an impact! Familiarly known as the colour of choice for raven-lipped goths, black lipstick – matte or gloss – has also managed to creep its way into the make-up bags of many other alt-folk, including punks and kinderwhores.


These days, it’s increasingly common to see black lipstick both on faces and in the shops, and it’s a surprisingly versatile shade to wear if you know what to do with it. This handy how-to guide will talk you through my tips on how to rock the most deliciously dark of lipstick shades.


How to wear black lipstick

Step 1: scrub

To pull off such a powerful shade where any lack of coverage is starkly visible, it helps if your lips are in top condition. Use a good lip scrub (Lush cosmetics do a great variety of flavours) or a toothbrush with a bit of lip balm on the bristles to gently scrub the lips.

Step 2: moisturise

Next, apply lip balm with a finger and give it a few minutes to work its magic before you start painting your pout.

Step 3: powder

Gently brush a little loose powder over your lips to take away any excess moisture and to give the lipstick something to grab onto. This will increase your lipstick’s staying power.

Step 4: line

Take a black pencil – it can be a lip or eye pencil, the results are the same. My personal favourite is Illamasqua’s Sophie pencil. Colour the lip in. Doing this before outlining the lip gives you a better idea of where to line.

Next, draw the outline of your lip. This will give you a nice defined edge and minimise any colour-bleed. The black pencil base will also give your lipstick a good, dark foundation, so it fades less easily.

Step 5: colour

Finally, take your black lipstick of choice and apply it with a lip brush for a more precise effect, or from the tube for a more dense effect. I like Illamasqua’s Pristine, because it’s cruelty-free, richly pigmented and goes on like a dream. It has a matte finish, so if you want a gloss, try Illamasqua’s intense lipgloss in Repulse.


Best black lipstick brands?

‘Best’ is so subjective, but these are my personal favourite brands of black lipstick you may want to explore (you’ve no doubt already noted my love of Illamasqua…

  • Illamasqua (Pristine black lipstick, Sophie black pencil. Not a cheap choice, but very good)
  • OCC cosmetics
  • NYX
  • Barry M (their black lip paint is the most cost-effective of my preferred brands)