If you’ve been paying attention to the most recent round of fashion shows, you’ve probably noticed a renewed interest in all things gothic, a trend that’s moved beyond all-black clothes and worked its way into models’ hair and makeup. At least three major labels at Fall 2016 Fashion Week—including Rodarte, Marc Jacobs and Rihanna x Fenty—showcased legitimate black lipstick, a choice that might seen unapproachable (or too “I’m a brooding high-school kid) for most of us not walking the runway, but it’s not as crazy as it sounds.
According to celebrity makeup artist Spencer Barnes, who’s worked with everyone from Nina Dobrev to Julianne Hough and Hilary Duff, the secret lies in application. “Pairing [black lipstick] with soft eyes, or radiant skin, or pastel-toned hair could all work,” he told us. “Just be aware that you may need to apply black liquid liner with a slight flick on the top lid paired with well-defined brows to finesse the balance of the lip’s intensity. The luster you select will also help tell a story, be it matte, velvety, creamy, glossy, glitter or even ombré.”
Though the runway usually serves up beauty looks that are the opposite of wearable, we’ve seen It-girls like Lorde, Rihanna, Beyoncé and Miley Cyrus sporting black lipstick, as well as models and street style stars during Fashion Month.
If you’re not exactly sold on heading out with matte black lips, try mixing inky lip color with a bit of gloss or balm, which instantly softens the shade, making it less intense and more vampy than straight-up goth.
Above, we highlighted our favorite 10 black lipsticks right now, with options ranging from light glosses to matte charcoals and even one with silver glitter flicks. Fun!