While we love a good nude lip color any day of the week, there’s something about dark lipstick that makes us feel bold, beautiful, and confident—especially when the temperatures drop and our leather jackets come out to play. If you’re new to wearing dark lipsticks, they may be daunting. But have no fear, there’s truly a dark lipstick shade for every skin tone–from deep red lip colors to funky blues and rich browns. If you have a deeper skin tone, we know it can be harder to find shades options—luckily, many brands are expanding their lipstick shades to include various undertones, so it’s (finally) easier to find something that feels 100% you.
Ready to find your perfect dark lipstick? Something to keep in mind: “When selecting a dark lipstick, those with deeper tones have to be careful to avoid selecting a shade that may show-up as gray,” says Naseeha Khan, co-founder of CTZN Cosmetics. “This is largely affected by the undertones of a shade. It's important to find complementary bold shades that amplify and bring out your skin's natural undertones, that give just enough pop.” Whether you’re ultra-fair, deep, or somewhere in between, figuring out your undertone can help find a color you’ll love.
Khan likes to identify undertones by doing the "vein test." Look at the veins on your wrist. If you have blue or purple veins, you most likely have cool undertones. Those with blueish-green veins have neutral undertones and people with green veins have warm undertones. Khan loves deep maroon and burgundy hues and blue-based reds for deep skin tones, while light skin tones always look amazing in blue-toned reds.
When selecting a deep purple lipstick, red-based purples are ideal for dark skin tones, while cool purples look gorgeous against fair skin. A ‘90-style cool brown hue complements fair skin, while warm fudge tones and caramels complement deeper skin tones. Deeper oranges with red-tones also complement warmer deeper skin tones and light-to-medium skin looks amazing in cool oranges. What did we tell you about options? They never end and we’re all better for it.
Continue reading below for our 22 favorite dark lipstick shades.
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For a deep red that’s truly full-coverage (so you don’t even need a lip liner!), ABSOLUTE NEW YORK's Matte Stick in NFA52 Dark Red fits the bill. It goes on creamy and dries matte so it won’t leave lips dry and flaky. Ipsters can’t get enough of the lip color, saying the “pigment is simply lovely” and it stays all day.
CIATÉ LONDON’s Liquid Velvet Matte Lipstick proves matte liquid lipstick doesn’t have to be drying. This hydrating lip color contains hyaluronic acid to lock in moisture. The muted berry Pin Up shade looks incredible on all skin tones. One Ipster says she “loves the feel of the lipstick” and it “goes on amazingly well.” Another says she “gets compliments about the shade all the time.”
When it comes to universally-flattering soft, rose shades, NATURE'S CARTEL’s Lip Stick in Gin and Platonic can’t be beat. It’s vegan and cruelty-free and non-drying. You won’t believe a hydrating lip color has this much pigment. Ipsters agree. “The color is exactly what I like and wear on a regular basis,” says one fan.
NATURE'S CARTEL’s Lip Stick also comes in this brown-mauve shade shade in 90’s Nostalgia, which couldn’t be more on-trend in 2021. Layer it on bare lips or add brown lip liner first to increase the lipstick’s staying power. “It's such a nice lipstick,” says one Ipster. “The brand is obviously really nice and it's an awesome color.”
Makeup guru Huda Kattan created this lightweight liquid lipstick because she wanted to feel like she was wearing nothing at all. The hydrating formula also contains antioxidants to nourish and protect lips from damage. The peachy-nude shade is a beautiful natural option. Ipsters say this is “awesome color that lasts.”
Those who prefer a liquid lipstick that stays a bit creamy and doesn’t fully dry down will love HUDA BEAUTY’s Demi Matte Cream Liquid Lipstick, especially in the deep brown Revolutionnaire shade. Not only is it a perfect dark lipstick but it also contains a little bit of menthol for visibly plumper lips. “Absolutely in love with the color,” says one Ipster. “The lipstick is very smooth.”
Not only does LOTTIE LONDON’s Slay All Day Liquid Lipstick feel moisturizing on the lips, but the color lasts through coffee (and kisses). The warm terracotta shade gives off the perfect cold-weather vibes, while the velvet formula feels comfortable all day. This lip color has major fans. One says: “I have never used a lip shade with this texture before. It's crazy—in a good way. It stays on long enough for my liking without feeling like a glue stick.”
HUDA BEAUTY’s Demi Matte Cream Liquid Lipstick also comes in this perfect mid-pink with the same hydrating formula. One Ipster says her fave beauty products are liquid lipstick. “This Huda lippie went on very nicely and lasted a long time,” she says. Though the color was a little dark for her, she blotted the pigment and added a lip gloss on top to add shine. Genius.
Remember that deep berry shade we spoke about earlier? NOYAH Natural Lipstick in Currant News is dark lipstick goals. The vitamin B- and shea butter-enriched formula plumps and hydrates and the finish is a pretty semi-matte. One Ipster was surprised at how much she liked the dark color. “I would have never thought to try this shade of color on my lips but I love the way it looks,” she says.
Lipstick queen Huda Kattan created this HUDA BEAUTY demi-matte lipstick with a satin finish to provide tons of pigment with a non-drying feel. It also contains what the brand calls Maxi-lip, which supports natural collagen for a plumping effect. The burgundy Bawse shade is gorgeous all year round. “This shade is a bit darker than I have tried before but I love Huda’s formula and the color is beautiful,” said a big fan.
Some shades look great on all skin tones and CONTEXT SKIN’s Matte Lipstick in Say Love is just that. The flattering mid-pink, rosey color features a comfortable creamy formula with vitamins, antioxidants and botanical oils you’ll want to wear every day. Ipsters agree saying the “color is elegant and texture is not heavy.”
HUDA BEAUTY’s hydrating Demi Matte Cream Liquid Lipstick also comes in this mid-brown shade called She-EO. The formula doesn’t fully dry down so it feels comfortable on the lips and the hint of menthol gives lips a plumping effect. Ipsters are loving the everyday dark neutral color calling it “beautiful” and saying it “stayed on all night.”
Carmel isn’t just a delicious treat, it’s also this natural-looking dark lipstick shade by BELLÁPIERRE COSMETICS Mineral Lipstick in Incognito. The longwearing formula is surprisingly creamy thanks to the all-natural waxes and mineral pigments. “This shade is really cute and I'm impressed at how well it covers my dark lips,” says one fan.
DOSE OF COLORS has the dark red lipstick of our dreams in this Brick shade. The smooth liquid lip applies as a cream, but then dries to a matte finish that never feels dry and cakey. Plus, it’s vegan and cruelty-free. What more could you ask for? One Ipster said it “goes perfectly with her skin tone and stays on really well and is comfortable.”
Mauve lipstick goes with a variety of makeup looks. TARTE’s Tarteist Quick Dry Matte Lip Paint in Festival is a cool-toned hue in an ultra-matte—but never dry—formula. If your lips are dry from colder temperature, prep lips with lip balm for an even more comfortable feel. One Ipster has a great tip, saying: “The shade is definitely dark and more for nighttime, but stays on well and doesn't leave a dried out looking ring on the outline of your lips if you put a lip balm or clear lip gloss on it.”
Those who prefer their deep purple lipsticks on the dark side will fall for BELLE EN ARGENT’s Auteur Matte Lip Color in Light and Angles. Though it has a matte finish, it’s hydrating thanks to jojoba and argan oils. Mix it with a lip balm for an easy lip stain. “It went on smooth and stayed for a long time,” said one Ipster. “I wouldn't usually go for a shade this dark, but it looked surprisingly cool!”
Another deep purple option is this pretty plum shade in Plum Queen by DOSE OF COLORS. The full-coverage formula delivers rich pigment in one swipe and the ultra-matte finish stays put. “Love this shade and the quality of it,” says Ipsters.
This classic blue-red lipstick is the glam upgrade your makeup bag needed. MORPHE’s Mega Matte Lipstick in Dominate has a matte finish that’s never drying. One Ipster says, “This color is amazing, and it lasts a long time. I only had to touch it up once in the 8 hours I wore it.”
Speaking of glam, SMASHBOX COSMETICS’s Always On Liquid Lipstick in Miss Conduct is the sultry deep red you’ve been looking for. The smudge-proof formula dries matte but stays moisturizing thanks to the built-in primer oil. No lip balm needed! Ipsters say it “dries super fast, goes on matte and is such a rich shade.”
Sometimes you don’t want or need your lipsticks to dry down matte. ORYZA’s Lipstick in Opus stays on all day but continues feeling creamy. This is thanks to the healthy oils, vitamins, and essential fatty acids, as well as oryza sativa (or rice germ oil). Ipsters love the hydrating berry hue and say it’s a “beautiful deep shade and a very nice lipstick formula.”
Add a little mauve to your classic berry and you have COUGAR BEAUTY PRODUCTS’ 24 Hour Liquid Lipstick in Mulberry. This comfortable-matte formula dries super fast so there’s no smudging and the shade gives us such ‘90s vibes. “I cannot even put into words how obsessed I am with this lipstick,” says one Ipster. “I wear it constantly and get so many compliments.”
This deep mauve shade flatters all skin tones and is surprisingly wearable for everyday. CONTEXT SKIN’s Matte Lipstick in Sweet Emotion is formulated with vitamins, antioxidants, and botanical oils so it feels incredible. Plus, there’s full-coverage pigment in one swipe. “Such a perfect shade and super smooth,” says Ipsters. “It’s a must buy.”
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