Makeup Artists Say These Are the Best Drugstore Lipsticks for Dark Skin Tones

I distinctly remember being a preteen and perusing the drugstore beauty aisle with my mom. My love for makeup started beyond my preteen years with products like royal-blue mascara and jet-black eyeliner. But at one point in my youth, I got lovestruck by lipstick and felt the urge to own one in every shade. However, a quick glance at the limited shades available at my local drugstore made me realize that the quest to find a lipstick that'd look good on my dark skin tone would not be easy.

After examining the shade descriptions and packaging of potential options, which were few and far in between, I finally settled on Revlon Black Cherry ($5). It's a deep wine-colored red with brown undertones. I walked out of the store praying it'd look good on me since all the other shades didn't look suitable for my skin tone in the slightest. Unfortunately, this was the reality for many women of color when searching for drugstore lipstick options. The majority of shades available in drugstores were not flattering for a myriad of dark skin tones—especially nude lipsticks, which were a problematic category beauty brands mistakenly thought was one-shade-fits-all for quite some time.

Fortunately, more and more beauty brands have recently expanded their shade ranges to include colors to complement all complexions. Recently, shade expansion to promote inclusivity has been prioritized more than ever before. Finally. If you've yet to find a drugstore dupe for a shade you've been eyeing, consider this article your golden ticket. I reached out to two celebrity makeup artists I admire to share the best drugstore lipsticks for dark skin tones. Mali Thomas, known on Instagram as Mali Magic, a beauty educator and celebrity makeup artist to Justine Skye, Chimamanda Adichie, and more, and Keita Moore, who has a roster of A-list clients like NeNe Leakes, Fantasia Barrino, Dascha Polanco, and Eva Marcille, share their all-time favorite drugstore lipsticks for women of color.

Moore laid out a rule of thumb all women of color should follow when searching for lipstick: "Whether you want to go with a bold lipstick or a more neutral shade, keep in mind the undertone in your skin, the color of your lips, and what you're wearing to determine which shade will look best on you. When you're shopping for nude lipsticks, look at the brown tint in your lips. The lipstick you choose should mimic that tint. Once you find the perfect nude, you can rub any coral or pink nude on top to give a nice tint. Also, one of the biggest misconceptions I've always heard is that women of color can't wear bright lip colors. Hashtag not true. Women of color actually have the advantage of wearing more colors because of the rich, warm pigments in their skin tone. Any lip color, no matter how bright it is, will look amazing as long as it's paired with the perfect lip liner—usually deep brown or plum liners will do the trick."