How To Pull Off Black Lipstick All Year Long

It may be spring, but the lip shade of the moment has nothing to do with timid neutrals or tulip pinks. It's edgier, more daring, and totally unexpected. Black lipstick is back, in a big way.

We saw the moody hue at some major shows this season (see: Marc Jacobs and Dior), and we predict it will soon be making its shadowy way to the streets as well. We understand the dark color can be a bit intimidating — unless you're RiRi, who's proven that black lips are appropriate for both the front row and the great outdoors.

To help inspire you, and to get you out of that makeup comfort zone, we've tapped experts from Dior and NARS for some tips and tricks for pulling off this hauntingly beautiful look.
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Start With A Clean Slate
Before even picking up a tube of black lipstick, Dior celeb makeup artist Sabrina Bedrani says to first prep your canvas — a.k.a., your lips. A shade this dark demands precise application. "I always recommend scrubbing your lips first. Then, use a lipliner to shape your lips and keep the color from bleeding," she tells us.

Bedrani also recommends picking up some tools to help achieve maximum intensity. "Apply the lipstick with a brush for more precision, blot [to soak up the oils], loosely powder over a tissue, and reapply."

Fresh Sugar Lip Polish, $24, available at Sephora.
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Go Matte Or Go Home
As far as formulas go, Dior celeb makeup artist Daniel Martin says to veer away from creamy formulas for a more standout look. "For more impact, go matte or demi-matte," he says. "It pairs well with radiant skin."

ColourPop Bull Chic, $5, available at ColourPop.
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Interchangeable Products
Jake Broullard, NARS' lead makeup artist, recommends going down a more unconventional path. "I really love using products designed for eyes on the lips for this new trend," he tells us.

He notes that François Nars and the NARS team actually used a combination of NARS eyeliners and Velvet Shadow Sticks backstage at Marc Jacobs this season. In fact, he used the Minorque Kohliner to touch up Kendall Jenner's lips right before she hit the runway.

NARS Kohliner in Minorque, $25, available at Sephora.
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Get Your Lip Gloss Poppin'
To help prevent the color from looking too inky or flat, Bedrani recommends applying a little gloss to your pout. Just "keep it on the center of the lips to avoid feathering," she advises.

Bobbi Brown Crystal Lip Gloss, $22, available at Bobbi Brown.
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Playing It Safe
For those who are intrigued by the black lipstick trend, but aren't quite ready to dive right in, Bedrani suggests inching your way there with a deep-berry hue. "A deep burgundy or purple, depending on your skin tone, might be less intimidating," she says.

Dior's Addict Lipstick in Black Tie is a good, baby steps choice. It comes out semi-sheer on first application, but can be layered for a more vampy look.

Dior Addict Lipstick in Black Tie, $35, available at Sephora.
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Minimal Is Better
An almost bare face is key to pulling off this color, says every single one of our experts. Too much makeup elsewhere may come off as costume-y. Martin advises keeping the rest of your face fresh, adding only a bit of definition to your brows and lashes.

Diorshow Mascara, $27.50, available at Sephora.
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Keep it Simple
But it still helps to add a little warmth, since black lipstick can suck the life out of your complexion, says Broullard. "Wearing a black lipstick is a bit gothic, but to make it look modern and romantic, it's important to balance the entire look," he says. "You can do this by warming up the cheeks and eyes with a soft bronze shade."

He says sweeping on a combo product like NARS' Craving Dual-Intensity Blush on the eyes and cheeks will warm up — but not overwhelm — the face. "Black lipstick is a statement and should remain the focus of your look," he says.

NARS Dual-Intensity Blush, $45, available at NARS.
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