Black lipstick: How to wear it, where to buy it | Hello Pretty Bird! - A beauty and not-so-glamorous lifestyle blog

09 October, 2013

Black lipstick: How to wear it, where to buy it

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Hello everybody... how has your autumn been going so far? I can't believe we're already almost a third of the way through October. Time flies when you're doing... stuff. October is one of my favorite months of the year because it's usually when a little bit of chill starts to creep into the air, and of course because of Halloween!

I've always been a fan of bold and costumey makeup regardless of the season, but Halloween is special because you can wear pretty much anything in public without people thinking you're insane. And October is also special because in my mind it's sort of the unofficial "Black Lipstick Month", AKA the time when these bad boys show up in the drugstores and supermarkets:

I'm going to be honest: Fantasy Makers black lipstick is certainly alright for occasional costume or photo-taking purposes, but it doesn't have the best longevity. So what's a gal (or guy) to do when they want to sport a bold black lip all day (or night) long and this is the only thing they can find in their local drugstore? Why, turn to the internet of course!

Today I'll be sharing some general tips for applying black lipstick, as well as a list of a few black lipstick shades from popular brands and where to buy them online. Whether it's for a Halloween costume or just a spooky day in July, it helps to know where to buy the stuff!

A few tips for successful application:
  1. First and foremost, line your freaking lips. I'm serious. Black lipstick smudges and feathers like a mofo, so you're going to want to keep it in check. Obviously black lipliner is not something you're bound to find at your local mom-n-pop drugstore, but a black eyeliner pencil will work just fine. Try to choose one on the dryer side, because anything too soft or gel-like will smudge and leave you looking like you were gnawing on a box of charcoal pencils.
  2. Make sure your lips are well-exfoliated first. Sounds sort of like a no-brainer, but really, smearing black paint on your mouth is going to make it the focal point of your face and black lipstick will cling noticeably to any dry spots you may have.
  3. Formulas that are more matte have a tendency to last longer, but you probably already knew that. To help super-slidey lipsticks last longer, try this trick: Apply your lipstick, gently place a one-ply tissue over your lips, and dust on some translucent setting powder over the tissue. The powder will help set the lipstick and the tissue will act as a sort of "filter" to keep the powder from changing the texture of your lipstick too much.

And now for a list of brands and where to buy. Please keep in mind that I'm in the USA so this list is USA-centric... if you know where to buy any of these brands in your country, please do share in the comments!

Brand: Illamasqua
Shade name: Pristine
Price: $24.00
Size: 0.14 oz

Where to buy: Sephora
Notes: Matte finish.

Brand: Barry M
Shade name: Lip Paint - Black (LP37)
Price: £4.49
Size: ???

Where to buy: The BarryM website, eBay
Notes: Not sure about the finish on this one. Barry M is UK-based and does ship to the USA, though their international shipping rates are a bit steep. Hence the suggestion to check out eBay as well.

Brand: Portland Black Lipstick Company
Shade name: Black
Price: $10.00
Size: 0.15 oz

Where to buy: Portland Black Lipstick Company website
Notes: Indie company. This lipstick comes in a lip balm-style container. They also sell samples for $1 if you want to test out some of their different colors. Seems extremely opaque from swatches I have seen online.

Brand: Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics (OCC)
Shade name: Tarred
Price: $18.00
Size: 0.33 oz

Where to buy: Sephora, OCC website
Notes: From the matte range. This is a liquid and must be applied carefully. Follow the instructions so your lips don't end up a mess!

Brand: Make Up Forever
Shade name: Rouge Artist Intense - Satin Black (50)
Price: $20.00
Size: 0.12 oz

Where to buy: Sephora
Notes: Satin finish.

Brand: Manic Panic
Shade name: Raven
Price: $14.99
Size: ???

Where to buy: Manic Panic website
Notes: Matte finish. Love the packaging!

... and of course if you're really in a pinch, you can apply black eyeliner to the entirety of your lips and coat them with gloss. That's what I used to do in high school anyway, haha.

If you know of any brands and shades I haven't listed here, feel free to suggest them in the comments!

Have you ever worn black lipstick? Do you think it could pull it off outside of a costume-wearing scenario?


  1. Timely post. I occasionally wear it, but it's too much effort to keep on. I constantly worry about touch ups. Reds can fade out, but faded black looks really tacky. x.x I've been meaning to try the Portland Black Lipstick Company black. It looks awesome.

    1. Very true. Faded black = the gnawing on charcoal pencils look. I just ordered a few samples from Portland Black Lipstick Co., will try to swatch 'em!

    2. I keep thinking of trying this for a costume, but I'm scared to do it :P

  2. I never thought of buying a black lipstick before, but I think it's a great color for the Halloween <3

    1. You should try it! Even if it's just for Halloween. :)