Dark lipstick has gotten something of a bad rap over the years. Yes, we'd all like to unleash our inner film noir actress or try a makeup look a little more vampy than usual every now and then, but so many lipstick formulas seem to lack the oomph to make any of that possible. Pigments you thought would be as rich as the colours on your HD TV look more like a wishy-washy watercolour painting IRL. And even if you find a bullet that delivers on pigment, you've then got the rest of the day—plus the multiple flat whites, bowls of pasta and general lip smacking that it brings with it—to contend with.
And nobody wants to sit through an afternoon of meetings with the whole office staring at those cracked, blurred and smudged lips.
So yes, dark lipstick: We'd like to wear you. But it's going to take finding the most long-lasting, hard-wearing and highly-pigmented formulas to make it worth it. And that's what we've done. We've filtered through the Byrdie beauty cupboard (we were so rigorous that you would have thought we were panning for gold) to find the best dark lipsticks going. From rich berry tones to dark brooding violets, keep scrolling to discover the nine dark lipsticks that won't let you down.
A blogger favourite, Nyx's lip cream has the texture of a moisturiser but has unbelievable colour payoff. Apply to dry lips to increase the longevity of wear.
Okay, you probably didn't think you'd be adding a blue lipstick to your collection anytime soon, but it does hold the power to make teeth look whiter and eyes look brighter. MAC's Liptensity formula contains a super-strength formula that won't travel beyond the lip line. Not convinced? Use it to transform your classic red into a deep berry shade.
3 Concept Eyes is one of our favourite Korean imports, and this creamy lipstick seems to glide on to lips like butter onto bread. This warm shade has just enough of a red hue to make it flattering on every skin tone.
Rather than a heavy layer of thick lipstick, this clever "shaker" pot applies colour the fluidity of water that stains the lips. The effect isn't as full-on, but it stays put.
We're still not over the L'Oréal x Balmain collab, and this moody violet lipstick has none of that uncomfortable cloying sensation of so many matte finish lipsticks. Plus, the pointed nib helps you to precisely trace the natural lip line for a slick, crisp edge.
This creamy liquid formula contains polymers that grip on to lips, keeping the colour in place, as well as lip-priming oils that will condition the skin and ward off any annoying cracks.
The texture of this lipstick is quite thick, so the colour goes on just as punchy as it looks in the bullet. And the Rioja wine shade is pretty versatile too: It will act as a great everyday shade on dark skin, its reddy-brown base will complement the golden hues in medium skin tones and unlike more blue-based dark lipsticks, it has enough warm so as not to completely drain a pale complexion.
Dry lips are the arch nemesis of a dark lipstick, such is their power to make the colour pigments flake and crack. Just like Burt's Bees much-loved skincare, this lipstick comes packed with nourishing ingredients like moring and raspberry seed oils.
Still not sure dark lipstick is for you? This lipstick will help you dip your toes into the trend. Okay, yes, this bullet looks scary, but don't be put off by its black appearance. It's so sheer that it actually acts more like a veil of shadow, and it will take whatever lip colour you're wearing (or even your natural lip colour) down a notch.