Trend on Trial – Gothic Lips

November 5th, 2015

November 5th, 2015

High-fashion and editorial looks are some of our favourite things.  If you’re anything like us, you’ll see an incredible look and go diving into your  kit with one thought on your mind:  ‘I want to do that!’  In this edition of Trend on Trial, Warpaint goes gothic, recreating the blackened lip looks that featured on the catwalk and mysterious editorials using the normal contents of your kit.  The darker sister to the wine-stained lips we featured recently, the gothic lip trend can easily stumble into Halloween territory – here are our tips on how to nail the look.

Our biggest advice would be to try to avoid using a flat, pure-black shade.  Unless you’re using it as a base for decoration, such as interesting texture, there’s a reason why there are so many near-black shades.  Pure black leeches life from the skin, and can be difficult to pull off even for edgy editorials. We’d advise black shades tinged with another colour – be it red, purple, blue, green, you name it.  Avoiding a flat black shade will make the look appear more natural, more wearable.  One of the most wearable shades we’ve seen is Pristine from Illamasqua (£19.50), for if you’re determined to try a pure black.


Create your ideal near-black shade by blending a true black – something like MAC Lipmix in Black (£14.50), or OCC Lip Tar in Tarred (£12.50) – over a deep merlot shade to intensify it and deepen it to your own specifications.  Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Black Cherry (£7.99) would make a great base as it is already quite dark, while the red-purple shade keeps it interesting.

LipTar RevlonBlackCherry

Keep the complexion warm, creamy and soft; nothing saps colour from the skin as quickly as an ultra-dark lip.  Avoid overly warm bronzers though, as they will clash too strongly.  Instead try tawny or natural peachy blushers to keep colour in the cheeks without appearing overpowering.  Now that NYX is available in Boots and Selfridges, we’d recommend trying out their Taupe Blush (£6), which works well as a sculpting shade on paler skintones, or the shade Natural.  For mid to deeper skin tones, try Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush ($28 – also available from QVC here in the UK) in Exposed or Charisma.

NYX Taupe Tarte

You can keep the rest of the look quite simple, with a subtle hairstyle as well, to keep the lip the centrepiece of the look.  Leave hair slicked back, straight or natural to keep the look more relaxed rather than costume.  Alternatively, play against the dark lip with pastel tones for an unexpected subversion.

A good lip liner will be your best friend with a dark lip look.  We like the newly extended shades of Rimmel Exaggerate Lip Liners (£3.99; the colour Ultimate would work with a lot of looks), but if you’re struggling to find a pencil dark enough then try a black eyeliner pencil to help define.  When blotting, switch your usual tissue for a paper towel to avoid the more fragile tissue fibres adhering to your lip look and leaving an awkward white cast over the lips.

There are great colours from both ends of the price spectrum, whether you’re a make-up student or believe in investing in premium formulas.  Starting at the top end, Tom Ford lipstick (£38) in Bruised Plum is a stunning dark purple shade, gorgeous either alone or layered into a deeper tone.  Ford’s lipsticks have hordes of fans all around the world, ready to testify how pigmented and smooth they are.


If your budget doesn’t stretch to Tom Ford (understandable!) then Topshop’s In Depth lipstick (£8) achieves a similar look at a much lower price point.  It might not apply quite as smoothly or evenly as Bruised Plum, but the colour is on-point and would work well on camera.


If you’re heading across the pond to the US (or happy to pay the Sephora postage) then we recommend checking out some of their lip offerings.  Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipsticks ($20) are one of the best liquid lipstick formulas on the market – matte in finish, pigmented but surprisingly comfortable.  Damned is a luscious black cherry shade, but we also like the deep red of Vampira for a more subtle approach to the trend.KatVD



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By Deborah Murtha

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