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 (10 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 10 arresting black lipsticks to inspire your inner witch 365 days a year.
Our verdict? We dare you. Keep reading for 10 of the best black lipsticks to knock 'em dead.
Considering this fan-favorite lipstick formula comes in a fantastic array of shades (42 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.
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.)
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.
Considered by some reviewers to be "the gateway drug of black lipsticks" this plushly formulated pick from Nyx is not only appealing in price but also a tad less intense (and wearable!) if you're new to the whole black lip thing. It's creamy upon first touch, softly wears to a satin matte finish, and is cruelty-free to boot.
Calling anyone and everyone opposed to matte finishes, this one is for you. Incomparably luxurious, the formula for this black lipstick by MAC is intensely saturated with color but strategically created with an ultra-cool gel base that melts into your lips upon the first seconds of contact. Eventually, it fades to a softer look of satin while maintaining its punch of pigment.
We get it. The allure of spending more than $10 on a black lipstick you might not be wearing every day isn't the greatest. But if you'd like to try the look on for size without sacrificing a chunk of week's pay, this moisturizing $3 option from E.l.f. Cosmetics comes highly recommended. Plus, it's cruelty-free, vegan, and enriched with nourishing ingredients like shea and vitamins A, C, and E.
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.
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.
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 showstopping 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.
Last, but certainly not least, reviewers feel Winky Lux's witchy pick in Voodoo (great name) is hands down one of the best black lipsticks on the market. In addition, to being paraben-, gluten-, and cruelty-free, it also feels lightweight on the lips, gifts your pucker with lush and lasting pigment, and even has super-secret ingredient for a little bit of X factor: natural vanilla.