Can Black Lipstick Become the LBD of Lipwear?

Yes, yes it can.

If you’re a woman who has in any capacity been exposed to women’s lifestyle magazines or “Sex and the City” (if you clicked on this article I’m going to guess yes and yes), then you’re probably familiar with the concept of the “LBD” (or, “Little Black Dress”).  The virtues of the LBD are espoused frequently, almost to the point of cliché (okay, definitely to the point of cliché): the LBD is universally flattering, versatile, and a staple that every woman needs to have in her wardrobe.

Bearing that definition of the LBD in mind (the traditional and versatile nature of it), it would be bold to argue that something as divisive and out there as black lipstick could become the LBD of lipwear.

Well, I’m nothing if not bold.

I understand that the idea of black lipstick might take some warming up to. At first brush, black lipstick might conjure up images of diseased people, or worse, those scene kids that are constantly hanging out at the mall but somehow still manage to look down on you (like I’m just here to buy some sandals I’m not the one who hangs out at the mall all day stop looking at me like you’re better than me).

But if you really think about it, by which I mean look at pictures like this of Rihanna absolutely slaying the black lipstick look, you’ll realize that black lipstick is not just wearable, but actually really beautiful. Not convinced? Look at Kylie Jenner, Troian Bellisario, Lorde,  and Beyonce, all killing it in black lipstick.

We’ve pretty much decided that black is the most versatile color for everything in our lives: cars, shoes, eyeliner, and god knows our wardrobes are all bursting with different shades of black. So why have we decided that in this one area, black is inappropriate?

Just think of all the possibilities that a black lip provides. You can play with way more colorful eyeliner while keeping your lips neutral (hey, black is a neutral, it’s just a cool neutral). You can go with a glossy black lip and match your favorite patent leather pumps. And think how white your teeth will look when the frame is black? It’s simple color theory, people.

If you want to give the black lipstick look a try, which you do, here’s how to do it:

Make sure your lips are flake-free

Some people scrub their lips with a clean, dry toothbrush, or use a lip scrub to get all those dry skin cells off. Whenever you’re wearing lipstick, but particularly when you’re wearing a dark color (and it doesn’t get darker than black), it’s good to make sure you’re starting with a clean, well-moisturized base.

Fill in your lips with a lip primer (like this one).

It may seem like an unnecessary step now, but when your black lipstick stays on through glass of wine number 3 (or, 4, or 5, no one’s judging) you’ll be thankful you primed it.

Line and fill in your lips in a deep, dark shade

It doesn’t actually have to be a black lip liner, but it does have to be dark. It can actually be cool to layer your black lipstick over a deep red or berry colored liner. Try this one, or this one (or this if you just want a straight-up black liner).

Top it off with the black lipstick of your choice.

Some great options include this one from Kat Von D (also the studded case will make you feel punk rock every time you put it on), this Givenchy one for a fancy black lip, or this classic black from Makeup Forever


That’s all it takes to rock black lipstick. Seriously, it’s all a matter of confidence. Now go out there and pout your sleek black lips at those scene kids. They’ll never know what him them.