Full disclaimer: I don't wear black lipstick often. However, that doesn't mean I don't try black lipsticks on for size whenever a dramatic, new formula comes sweeping across my desk. In fact, I find them 100% intriguing, and if there's a formula that doesn't seem to cake, flake, or fade within the first few minutes (or hours) of wear, well, that's something worth talking about. (Black lipsticks are notoriously finicky and prone to the likes of dehydration and scales.)
After all, we've given odes to lipstick shades like nude and matte brown (yes, really), so why not black? Drama aplenty, head-turning pigment, bewitching appeal—true, black lipsticks may not be for the faint of heart, but that doesn't mean certain formulas (9 in particular) haven't stolen our hearts. Plus, we've heard rumblings that many of you are curious about the shade that veers a tad taboo within the makeup industry and could be considered the black sheep of the lipstick family. Therefore, we thought it was only fair to gather the research, reviews, and editor favorites to put together a roundup of 9 arresting black lipsticks to inspire your inner witch 365 days a year. Our verdict? We dare you.
1. Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Witches
Considering this fan-favorite lipstick formula comes in a fantastic array of shades (over 45 to be exact), it's no wonder that there's also a supremely witchy iteration aptly named, you guessed it, "Witches." Pigment payoff is major, and it's specifically designed to last an entire day sans flaking thanks to ingredients like vitamin E and sunflower seed.
2. Manic Panic Lethal Lipstick in Nosferatu
Richly opaque with a smooth, velvety finish, this beloved matte black lipstick is great for dishing a lethal dose of edge to any makeup look. (Plus, it comes highly recommended by features editor Amanda Montell.)
3. Urban Decay Vice Lipstick in Perversion
As a brand, Urban Decay has paved the way for many an edgy color and formula over the years, and this dramatic lip color isn't an exception. And since no one looks good in black if the end result ends in flakes, this sleekly packaged lipstick bullet also infuses things like the brand's signature Pigment Infusion System, a creamy butter blend, and pout-loving superfoods like aloe vera, jojoba, and avocado.
4. NYX Cosmetics Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick in Alien
Considered by some reviewers to be "the gateway drug of black lipsticks" this liquid formula from NYX is not only appealing in price but also super wearable if you're new to the whole black lip thing. It's creamy upon first touch, softly wears to a matte finish, and is cruelty-free to boot.
5. Gucci Rouge à Lèvres Satin in Crystal Black
Calling anyone and everyone opposed to matte finishes, this one is for you. Incomparably luxurious, the formula for this black lipstick by Gucci is intensely saturated with color but strategically melts into your lips for a barely-there feel. Then the creamy formula settles to a softer look of satin while maintaining its punch of pigment.
6. Dior Rouge Dior Ultra Rouge Lipstick in Ultra Night
On the other hand, if you're mentally prepared for a bit more of an investment and live for the je ne sais quoi of something Dior tucked in your purse, Byrdie senior editor Hallie Gould pitches this luxe matte iteration by the brand. Another perk: It promises 12 long hours of enduring wear.
7. Lipstick Queen Black Lace Rabbit
Okay. We feel this favorite black lipstick is warranted and 100% necessary based on the cheeky name alone, but where it delivers in character, it also delivers in its formulation. Byrdie managing editor Lindsey Metrus's pick, this comparably sheer lippie not only boasts a softer color payoff (preferred by some), but it also features subtle gold flecks of the shimmer. Which, supposedly, were added to mimic a bewitching candlelit glow—on your pout. And to add fuel to the fire, like any great black accessory, it's meant to be layered.
8. Sephora Collection Cream Lip Stain Lipstick in Night Bird
We love Sephora's collection of creamy lip stains for their fair price and for the formula that feels about five times of said fair price. Not to mention that the color range is off the charts as well. Therefore, it's not surprising that the line also has its own iteration of a show-stopping black lipstick hauntingly titled Night Bird. Silky upon application, the signature formula is one of the smoothest and featherlight we've tried. Also, avocado locks in hydration and moisture (no flakes here) for its entire 12-hour wear—no touch-ups required.
9. Black Up Cosmetics Lipstick in RGE M30
Last, but certainly not least, if you're worried about black lipstick having a gray (aka ashy) undertone, we highly recommend trying this pick first. Since black Up totally gets women of color and how to make colors pop on darker skin tones, we can assure you that they put a little TLC into creating this black shade. Not to mention, the color sits comfortably on your pout without cracking or creasing. Sounds like a win-win in our books.