How to Apply Dark Lipstick

In the wintertime, we all get the urge to try a dark lipstick color. Dark lip colors make us feel bold and daring, but they can also make us feel embarrassed if the color gets smudged on our teeth or was drawn outside the lines. Just like red wine, dark red lipsticks can be hard to clean up. You want to make sure you’ve followed the right steps to setting up your lip color.

I just received a black lip liner by Tarte (you can’t get any more intense than that), so I’ve tested these steps! They are full-proof.


  1. Exfoliate: Use a lip exfoliant like the classic Sugar Lip Polish by Fresh or the less expensive e.l.f. Lip Exfoliator to create a smooth canvas for your lip color.
  2. Moisturize: You don’t want to apply a dark lipstick to dry, flaky lips. Dark lipsticks can be more drying than your lighter lipsticks and glosses. Choose a heavier moisturizer over your slippery lip balm to create a barrier between your lips and the lipstick, so that the finish of your lippie is affected.
  3. Line: To stop your vampy color from bleeding outside the lip line, trace the outline of your lips with a lip liner. You can use the same color liner as your lipstick, or a universal/nude liner.
  4. Fill in: Many people don’t know that you should fill your lips with your lip liner, too. Lip liner is more long-wearing than lipstick, so this will keep your lippie looking fresh longer.
  5. Apply Lipstick: Apply your lipstick color of choice to taut lips (as opposed to relaxed). You want the color to be applied in every crease, so that the color is even when you smile.9meyjpkekx4-shamim-nakhai
  6. Blot, then reapply: Take tissue paper to blot your lips, then reapply. This will ensure your lips are sealed!
  7. Clean up the edges with liner: Use your liner to straighten, or curve, out any mistakes.
  8. Protect your teeth: To avoid the embarrassing lipstick on your teeth thing, take your pointer finger and rest it in-between your lips. When you take it out, the lipstick that you see on your finger would have been what would’ve ended up on your teeth! Crisis averted.
  9. Add color to your cheeks! Sweep a blush or bronzer on your cheeks to give your skin a healthy dose of color. Wearing dark lip colors draws all the attention to your lips, and can make your complexion look dull or pale.


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