Crowdsourcing: How Do You Make Dark Lipstick Look Good?

My general rule for lipstick is “it should probably be red. Like cherries in the snow. Except not cherry colored that is too dark.” 

But I was at the HSN Launch of the Forsaken Beauty Collection, which is inspired by True Blood, and, unsurprisingly, all of the colors were… vampire colors. That is to say, dark. They were very dark. Though if I were a vampire I think having to live in the dark would make me love artificially bright shades all the more for the contrast, but I think we can all see where they were going with this.

So I ended up trying out their lipstick, which is approximately 7 shades darker than the kind I normally wear.

And let’s be honest, I probably can’t wear this again. I sort of don’t think I can pull it off in most social situations? I think it’s maybe a little too intimidating? But – if I were going to – how do you wear really dark lipstick? Do you just wear all black and actually pretend to be a vampire? I’m not going to lie, that sounds kind of fun.

Or do you try to lighten up the rest of you wardrobe with a lot of pale colors and cat prints? I can’t do cat prints. I’m going to get that out of the way right now. And I’m not putting my hair up in pigtails to make this seem less scary, because that would be terrifying. Although, again, I can see upsides to being terrifying.

But really, there must be a way to make dark lipstick colors work in daily life. What is that way?

And if you love this lipstick shade, the Forsaken Beauty collection comes out August 9th.

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    • Maggie

      I can’t pull off dark (or even bright) lipstick, but this looks great, i would just say avoid wearing all black

    • Lo

      Pick a shade that suits you. That’s pretty much it for makeup, clothes, hair colour, etc. You have pale skin and dark hair/eyes, so a lot of strong reds will look good on you. I’m kinda mousey, so I have to pick something that doesn’t make me look jaundiced or dead. Blue-toned reds look good with my skintone, as long as they’re not too harsh.

    • samwise

      you look good exactly like that, that is pulling it off

    • alexandra


      I think the trick is not to wear anything else that’s vampy. Also go easy on the makeup: mascara is all you need in the eye area, and other than that just your normal foundation and brow pencil or whatever. I think you’ve pretty much got it down. Blot it a couple more times if you’re too intimidated.

      • alexandra

        also that top is really cute

    • Alle C

      Wear light coloured clothes. Go easy on the eye makeup. Make sure your skin is flawless (ie, wear concealer). Keep your hair kind of…loose, I guess? Nothing too slicked back or severe.

      And yeah, make sure it’s the right shade for your face. That’s the second-most important part. The MOST important thing is to know that you look like a babe, that it’s probably just your own perception throwing off your game, and nobody is sitting around being like “Look at that girl’s lipstick” unless they are very, very sad people.

    • Fabel

      You seem to be pulling it off gorgeously! For real, that top/dress, maybe? is perfect, your hair is styled simply (so you don’t look overdone at all, if you were worried about that!) & the rest of your makeup is great.

    • lucygoosey74

      Oh my gosh, you look fabulous in dark lipstick! I’m a little jealous, I can’t pull off that look at all.

    • Renee

      I know how you feel. Every time I try dark lipstick I cannot stop staring. It looks so weird and face distorting on me. But it looks good on you, so I think it is just how we see ourselves that makes it look weird. If you don’t feel good in it, it may not be worth it. But also I think dark lipstick can look too serious/severe. So I do agree with wearing lighter colored clothing, as well as more light and flowy vs. clean lines and structure, to help balance the look.

      Personally I just prefer sheer tinted lip balms, which give just a hint of color while keeping my lips from getting chapped.

    • Lemona

      Anybody else have the problem of not being able to pull off anything *except* dark lipstick?

      My lips are naturally a dark pink, so I can wear red lipstick, but I think bright lipsticks look weird on me, and I can’t get anything to actually make my lips look light (bright/youthful/girlish) pink.

    • Sharon

      Well first of all, that color is awesome on you. I have kind of a similar complexion/ feelings about dark lipstick, but I have one that I love that’s deep bloodiness like that one.
      I tend to rub the tip of my finger on the lipstick and kind of press it gently onto my lips, then blot it with a tissue and do it again, blurring the edges of my lips with my finger. That way, it’s a bit more of a stain–lasts forever and isn’t too harsh. Makes you look like you’ve been violently making out with someone. As far as what to wear with it, I love a darker lip with clean lines, or sometimes I’ll go really 90s teen witch and wear it with a square-neck top and cutoffs. Whatever floats your boat!

    • Sam

      1) Cherries in the Snow is an amazing Revlon color; not sure if you meant to reference that, but it worked!
      2) For somebody with your complexion, I would normally apply just a teeny bit of liquid liner in black or nearly black, two coats of mascara only on the top lashes, brow filler, and sheer cream blush in a coordinating shade.
      3) Never wear anything pink with dark scarlet lipstick. Wearing white brightens up everything and makes it look less mall goth, more sophisticated daredevil.
      4) Put a really thin layer of your shade of powder over your lips before applying and make sure you use something to fill in any wrinkles (not that I see any on your lips) so it’ll look fresh and not dry or severe.

      I’m a huge fan on dark lipsticks on everybody, especially in the summer when people are less willing to do it. :)

    • evan

      There’s an exclusive pre-order of the Forsaken perfume available on HSN’s Facebook page on 8/8, plus some steamy videos on there now: Looks like he’s hungry!