Find the Best Dark Lip for Your Skin Tone

Emily Rekstis
Dark Lip


A dark lip is the perfect type of lip color to rock during these moody fall months. It gives you a little bit of an edge when the bright scenery begins to fade into deep neutral tones. Plus, who doesn’t love pairing a deep, dark lip with the blacks that inevitably come with a fall wardrobe? However, there are certain colors and undertones that work best depending on your skin tone. If you’re looking to find out which dark lip colors are best for you, we’ve got you covered.

We talked to makeup artist and creator of Back To Beauty School, Brittany Gharing, on how to get the best dark lipsticks according to your skin tone. With her favorite dark lipstick options found in the NARS Audacious collection, Gharing gives us exact colors, along with other useful tips to help you achieve a perfectly flawless dark lip for you.

Fair Skin Tone:
If you have fair skin coloring, Gharing recommends looking for lip colors with a purple base to it. “A merlot or cabernet-type coloring will give you a vamp, ‘Games of Thrones’ or Renaissance look.” To get this coloring, try Urban Decay’s Revolution lipstick in Venom or Vegan.

MORE: Easy Smokey Eye Makeup: 3 Different Ways to Get the Look

Olive Skin Tone:
Go for a deep burgundy or mahogany color if you’re blessed with a gorgeous olive skin tone. Hence, a brownish red base is key for this coloring. Leslie, which is described as “cherrywood,” is great from the NARS collection. Also, MAC’s Diva makes for another great option in a burgundy color.

Medium/Bronze Skin Tone:
A deep plum is gorgeous against any medium, bronzy skin. We love Empress in Hourglass Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick and Plum Scene in Smashbox’s Be Legendary Lipstick collection.

To really make the dark lip pop, Gharing suggests making sure your foundation provides full, clean coverage. You want to avoid any redness that could take away from the ‘bam’ effect of the lip. Also, when you experience dry lips over the colder months, a glossy finish can hide that chapped surface of your lip.

As for lip liner, Gharing says not to worry about lining the entire lip. “Just use the pencil to add more shape or fullness.”

Dark Skin Tone:
Gharing likes to use berry colors for those with a darker coloring. Some great berry lipstick colors are Burberry Lip Velvet in Bright Poppy or Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Volupte in Forbidden. To add a little extra dimension, Gharing suggests dabbing just a little bit of black eye shadow onto the center of the lip. It’ll give it a nice little pop against your dark coloring.