Fear No: Dark Berry Lips Four Ways Monday 19 November, 2012

Feeling a little iffy about the season’s bold, darkened berry lip? Try one of these looks—matte, glossy, ombré or stained—and you may find that one of them is your ticket to wearing this trend with confidence.

Feeling a little uneasy about the makeup statement of the season, darkened berry lips? Not to worry: With so many different versions flooding the runways, there’s certain to be a mulberry pout perfect for you. Best when supported by flawless skin and loads of mascara, the newest deep oxblood and boysenberry lip hues will certainly turn heads. “There are several ways to wear fall’s mulberry lip,” shares makeup artist Chase Aston. “It can be made fresh and flirty, quite retro or very sophisticated and polished.” Here are the top four ways to wear darkened berry lips fearlessly.


The Finish: Matte (seen at Bottega Venetta Fall 2012)

When pairing the favored lip texture of the season, matte, with a bold dark hue, the key is in the prep. Lips need to be in tip-top condition to play host to flat mattes. What does lip prep involve? An amazing lip scrub and loads of moisturization. Two favorite lip exfoliators to try: Fresh Sugar Lip Polish or Sarah Happ The Lip Scrub; each can be rubbed into lips using a circular motion, helping to slough away annoying dead skin, which tends to cause color to cling unevenly. After exfoliating lips, apply a non-greasy lip balm to give your pucker the moisture you’ll need to support a drier matte lip formula.


The Finish: Glossy (seen at Viktor & Rolf Fall 2012)

Slicking on the shine can be tricky with a deep crimson pout; darker hues can be extremely noticeable if they start to feather. One way to ensure your gloss doesn’t run amok: After applying lip gloss, retrace concealer along the outer edge of your lips. Another path to keep lip shine from unfashionably feathering: Tracing a stay-put clear lip liner around the outer edge of your lips. Try Lipstick Queen Invisible Liner, which has been recommended to me by a slew of in-the-know makeup artists.


The Finish: Ombré (seen at Nina Ricci Fall 2012)

Whereas most versions of the ombré lip we’ve seen concentrate a lighter color in the middle of the mouth, the season’s gorgeous twist on the trend centers dark boysenberry over a cherry hue. For the best result, apply the cherry tone straight from the tube for a more intense, full-coverage color, and lock the hue in place with a light dusting of translucent powder. Then, using your finger or a lip brush (take your pick), dab the boysenberry hue to the center of the lips only. Press your lips together until you achieve your desired dimensional, wine-stained effect!


The Finish: Stained (seen at Nicole Fahari Fall 2012)

An imperfect wine lip stain feels modern, and is perhaps the easiest rendition of the mulberry lip to master because, well, it’s imperfect! Though you can certainly try any number of the new lip stains on the market, Chase says it doesn’t matter what your makeup medium is as long as you use your most important tool: your fingers. “Apply the color to the center of your mouth and then soften the color outward by patting it in with your finger. Follow by puckering your lips a few times,” Aston says. “This makes the finish look more natural.”

Why you too should have no fear: I get it: Dark lips are a bold choice, and are therefore scary to wear. They act like a beacon, calling attention to a sensuous part of your body: your lips. Because of this, they take a good amount of confidence to pull off. But here’s the thing: Confidence should come quickly once you have the application and upkeep down pat. A dark lip almost always looks good when applied correctly (i.e. on lips free of flaking, peeling skin; when confined within the perimeters of the mouth and not smeared outside of the lips; when feathering is kept in check) and when refreshed throughout the day (i.e. a few hours into wearing your lip, you should be checking on it to be sure the color remains even and intense). If you can master these two ideals for the dark lip, you can hold your head up high while wearing any one of these four finishes. But that’s the other thing: Maybe you felt a dark lip wasn’t for you, but maybe, just maybe, it comes down to finding a finish that feels comfortable for your personality and your lifestyle. Try them all: I’m certain one of the dark berry lip finishes will suit you perfectly.

Which dark berry lip finish is just right for you? Tell me in the comments!

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Karie L. Frost Signature

(Images via Beauty Launchpad; graphics by Karie L. Frost/FearNoBeauty.com)


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  • Devon says:

    I think that this year I’ll be trying to move back into a matte lip, from the sheer/mildly glossy look I’ve had in the past…
    I remember being in love with the original Viva Glam because it was so deep and matte.

    Congrats on the LALM selection!


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