Shop My Favorite Lip Colors:
What’s the one item that always makes me feel ten times more pulled together? A fabulous, flattering lipstick.
I’m not going to lie though: finding the perfect lip shade for my skin tone hasn’t always come naturally. I grew up doing dance recitals and competition, and I’ve had to wear lipstick on stage ever since I was a 4-year-old. When I was doing competitions, our dance instructors told every girl in class to wear the same shade. It is rare that one shade of lipstick would look good on all different skin tones, and often times, the shade selected didn’t work very well for me.
I mostly avoided lipsticks in college but fell in love with them post-grad. I’ve tried dozens upon dozens of different lipstick shades over the years, and here are my top five lipsticks for dark skin tones!
Lipsticks for Dark Skin Tones:
Favorite Everyday Lip:
MAC Cosmetics Amplified Creme Lipstick in ‘Brick-O-La’
Let’s start off with my favorite easy, everyday lip: MAC’s Amplified Creme Lipstick in ‘Brick-O-La’. I’m going to be real here: a lot of pink lipsticks I’ve tried have looked insane on me, but this is hands down my favorite, subtle pink shade.
Sometimes I pair this lipstick with a darker lip liner to make it even more subtle, which would be ideal for job interviews or important meetings. It’s also creme-based, and I find the formula to be pretty hydrating. It’s a fantastic shade you can wear year-round for pretty much any occasion — I’ve even worn this shade in the evening with a more dramatic eye.
Shop the MAC Cosmetics Creme Lipstick in ‘Brick-O-La’: $18.50
Best Classic Red:
Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in ‘The Queen’
Full disclaimer: this was gifted to me as part of a PR package last year, but it quickly became one of my favorite lip colors. I even dropped it and purchased a new one immediately, because I love it so much.
I call this lipstick my ‘Year-Round Red’: it’s a great pop of color in the summer, but you can also rock it in the dead of winter as well. What I love about this shade is how timeless it is: it’s the perfect shade of red that you can rock season after season. It’s not too bright, but it will certainly turn heads for the right reasons. I also love how long-lasting this lip color is, and it applies easily for a matte lipstick.
Shop the Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in ‘The Queen’: $34.50
My First Bold Lipstick:
MAC Satin Lipstick in ‘Rebel’
I think this is the lipstick that made me fall in love with lipsticks! I read about MAC’s ‘Rebel’ lipstick on a blog a few years ago and decided to try it out in-store. I instantly fell in love. Up until that point, I never tried bold lipstick colors, but this was a great intro into the world of plum lip shades.
My friends and I joke that this lipstick is the start of our ‘Sisterhood of the Traveling Lipstick,’ because it really looks fantastic on every skin tone. Whether you’re incredibly fair, have an olive skin tone, or if you’re dark-skinned like myself, this color will look flawless on you. As soon as fall hits, I reach into my beauty cabinets for this shade!
Shop the MAC Cosmetics Satin Lipstick in ‘Rebel’: $18.50
A Red-Hot Summer Shade:
NARS Semi Matte Lipstick in ‘Heat Wave’
I borrowed this lipstick from my friend Jenn at SBScon several years ago, and as soon as we got back to D.C., I bought this lipstick for myself. As a dark-skinned woman, I was always wary of wearing bright, bold lipsticks, but this color was absolute perfection. Once I tried this shade on, I knew it was time for me to experiment with brighter lip colors for warmer months!
NARS ‘Heat Wave’ is a matte, red-orange lipstick that’s ideal for all of your summer looks. Like ‘Rebel,’ I also think this shade is flattering on a wide range of skin tones as well. You don’t need a lip liner to make this color pop: it’s very pigmented on its own!
Shop the NARS Semi Matte Lipstick in ‘Heat Wave’: $28.00
Best Fall/Winter Red:
Bobbi Brown Luxe Matte Lipstick in ‘Burnt Cherry’
Disclaimer: I did a paid Instagram project with Bobbi Brown last fall and received this lip shade, but this is a completely unbiased review!
Burnt Cherry was hands down my go-to shade last fall: it’s a gorgeous burnt, subtle shade of red that’s super versatile. I wore this shade to meetings, church, and out and about with friends. It’s not too bold, and it’s not too vampy either: it’s just right.
This color is super, long-lasting: my only complaint is that it’s a little too long lasting (I have to double cleanse to completely remove it!)
Shop the Bobbi Brown Luxe Matte Lipstick in ‘Burnt Cherry’: $37.00
What are your favorite lip colors?
Loving this lipsticks for dark skin tones feature? Take a look here for more of my beauty favorites!
Photos by Tom McGovern