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 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 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. Check out our 13 favorite black lipsticks, ahead.
NYX Cosmetics Butter Gloss in Blackberry Pie
NYX's Butter Gloss has a strong grip on the makeup community—and for good reason. This buttery gloss glides onto the lips without a sticky, tacky feeling. The shade Blackberry Pie is a rich black, but it's not fully pigmented, making it a great topper option when you want to transform a matte lipstick into a glossy one. Or, wear it alone when you want sheer coverage.
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 former features editor Amanda Montell).
Black Radiance Perfect Tone Lip Color in Blackout
As a brand, Black Radiance has paved the way for many an edgy color and formula over the years for Black women, and this dramatic lip color isn't an exception. It's also infused with vitamin E to give you a flake-free and moisturizing lip.
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.
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.
Makeup Forever Rouge Artist Intense Color Beautifying Lipstick in Edgy Black
If you're looking for something between a matte and a semi-matte formula, this is the pick for you. All you need is one swipe of this super black lipstick to get intense coverage and pigmentation. And even better—this intensely moisturizing option won't leave your lips dry and flaky.
Melt Cosmetics Ultra-Matte Lipstick in Bane
Okay. We feel this favorite black lipstick is warranted and 100 percent necessary based on the cheeky name alone. And if you're looking for a true black without any blue or purple undertones, this is the one to spring for. It has a vegan-friendly formulation and glides on incredibly smooth without any tugging or pulling.
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 more luxurious 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 oil locks in hydration and moisture (no flakes here) for its entire 12-hour wear—no touch-ups required.
Black Up Cosmetics Lipstick in RGE M30
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.
MAC Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour in Caviar
Liquid lipstick has lots of benefits—it can be doubled as a lip liner, it typically wears longer, and it usually has incredible pigmentation. And all three of these things can be said about the MAC Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour in Caviar. MAC promises up to eight hours of wear and an easy-to-use applicator that makes applying the lipstick incredibly easy.
Smashbox Always On Liquid Lipstick in Tar Pit
Inky black pigment plus weightless feel plus plush hydration equals this Smashbox liquid lipstick. The shade Tar Pit is another true black hue that won't transfer all over your face and teeth after a few hours. And as we all know, liquid lipsticks tend to be incredibly drying, but this one is formulated with jojoba, sunflower, and apricot kernel oil to keep your lips nice and hydrated.
About-Face Paint-It Matte Lip Color in Night Sight
From the futuristic packaging to the blackout shade, this lipstick is giving spaceship vibes in the best way possible. It's vegan, cruelty-free, and formulated without any parabens or synthetic ingredients. And the best part? It's infused with peppermint oil so you get a little plumping boost, too.
HAUS LABORATORIES Le Riot Lip Gloss in Vortex
If you're a gloss person and you're not looking for full coverage, super pigmented look, try out the Le Riot Lip Gloss in Vortex. It has an extreme-shine, mirror-like look with a sparkly finish that looks like the starry night sky. And trust that, if it has Lady Gaga's stamp of approval, it's going in the cart.