How To Rock (Almost) Black Lipstick

Deep, dark lipstick is something very close to my cold, black heart. I was always drawn to the look of Bohemian Paris and 1920s flappers with their stunning wine-stained pouts, which eventually carried me into a goth phase that occurred sometime back in the early-to-mid nineties.

Back in those days, Revlon’s Blackberry was my drug of choice. I literally wore it every single angst-filled day. Sometime around college I chilled out and kind of stopped wearing makeup altogether, and over the years since I’ve dealt in strawberry reds and candy pinks when it comes to lip rouge, but eventually I always circle back to vampy almost-black. And what with licorice-looking lipstick being a huge beauty trend for fall (not to mention one of the trickiest–we’ll discuss), the time has come to revisit the look.

That said, didn’t I just mention something about tricky? Sure, black lipstick looks good on Robert Smith and edgy fashion models on the runway (like here, at Rachel Roy’s last show). But just ask Rachel Weisz, who once sported the look on the red carpet, about how the illusion of cool is shattered when you smile and the contrasting teeth make you look like something out of a horror flick. Sadly, much like harem pants, true black lipstick is best left to the fashion fantasies the likes of Vogue are made of. Still, copping the look can be tempting. Chanel recently launched the already sold-out line of Les Noirs de Chanel, a trio of black-inspired lipsticks in slightly easier-to-wear shades of berry, but luckily Ricky’s NYC just debuted new shades of Mattese Elite lipsticks that are currently available (not to mention more affordable at $10 a pop). Check their website for extra deep, dark shades.

Personally, I’ve rediscovered my addiction to my old standby, Revlon Blackberry. And while I’m still willing to go full-on for the occasional cocktail party, I have discovered that by applying it, then tissuing it off, it leaves the prettiest, most wearable stain that’s more work-appropriate and, as opposed to fashion victim-y, says, “I have mastered this trend.”