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Best dark lipstick

Which dark lipstick is best? 

Vampy, mysterious, dramatic, glamorous — dark lips are always a surefire way to turn heads. Neither drugstore brands nor high-end designers shy away from offering rich, bold shades with unexpected depths. Don't be afraid to experiment with dark lip colors like eggplant, wine, chocolate or even black, as you may be surprised by how flattering they look. Here are some of the best dark lipsticks you can find at any price point.

How to pick a dark lipstick

Whether you're looking for a deep, rich red, a dark burgundy or even pure black lipstick, knowing what undertones to look for will help you pick a flattering shade. If you have cool undertones, lipsticks that lean purple or blue will be the best fit. For warm undertones, look for lipsticks with orange or bronze hues.

How to wear dark lipstick

Prep your lips for longer-wearing lip color by giving them a gentle scrub with a damp washcloth or a lip exfoliator. Lip scrubs help remove flakes and dead skin, creating a smooth surface for your lipstick to sit on. If you have drier skin, or if your lips tend to feel uncomfortable wearing liquid lipstick, apply a lip balm and blot away any excess to lock in moisture.

To apply dark lipstick evenly, you may prefer to use a lip brush to pick up color from the bullet instead of trying to apply it directly. Outline your lips with the brush's narrow tip, then brush on the lipstick using short strokes for controlled coverage.

Best dark lipstick

Best dark lipstick

Dior Rouge Dior Refillable Lipstick

What you need to know: Available in a range of finishes and shades, this nourishing lipstick lasts up to 16 hours.

What you’ll love: It's formulated with nourishing natural ingredients like red peony, pomegranate extract and shea butter. Dark shades include a satin-finish burgundy (869 Sophisticated Satin), matte plum (975 Opera Matte) and deep brick red (951 Cabaret Matte). Refills can be ordered to reuse the outer case and reduce waste.

What you should consider: The lipstick has added fragrance. Some users found the matte-finish formula drying.

Where to buy: Sold by Sephora

Best dark lipstick for the money

Sephora Collection #LIPSTORIES Lipstick in 33 Wanderlust

What you need to know: One swipe of this richly pigmented lipstick delivers dramatic dark berry with a satin finish.

What you’ll love: Its creamy texture makes it easy to apply and comfy to wear. Plus, its packaging incorporates eco-friendly cardboard components.

What you should consider: The bullet is so soft that it can be prone to breakage. Some users need to use a lip liner with this lipstick.

Where to buy: Sold by Sephora

Also consider

NARS Velvet Matte Lipstick Pencil in Train Bleu

What you need to know: The convenient pencil format of this lipstick delivers rich yet lightweight color in a dark eggplant shade.

What you’ll love: The formula glides on soft and smooth. It's comfortable to wear and can also be used as a base color or lip liner.

What you should consider: The pencil can be difficult to keep sharp, even with the brand's recommended sharpener. Application can be blotchy and may require frequent reapplication.

Where to buy: Sold by Sephora and Macy's

Best dark liquid lipstick

Best dark liquid lipstick

KVD Beauty Everlasting Longwear Liquid Lipstick

What you need to know: This cult-hit liquid lipstick comes in 19 pigmented shades.

What you’ll love: It's formulated with vitamin E and a coconut oil derivative to help keep lips feeling comfortably hydrated. Popular dark shades include Vampira (deep burgundy), Exorcism (dark blackberry) and Witches (black).

What you should consider: Application can be patchy. Some colors don't dry down as well as others.

Where to buy: Sold by Sephora and Ulta

Best dark liquid lipstick for the money

Maybelline SuperStay Matte Ink Liquid Lipstick

What you need to know: This lightweight liquid lipstick is famously pigmented and long-wearing.

What you’ll love: The formula is available in more than 50 shades, including Composer (a dark chocolate brown), Believer (a dark fuchsia) and Thrill Seeker (black). It lasts for hours and resists transferring.

What you should consider: Some users note inconsistencies between the online product photos and the true product color. The formula can be challenging to remove.

Where to buy: Sold by Ulta and Amazon

Also consider

Fenty Stunna Lip Paint Longwear Fluid Lip Color in Underdawg

What you need to know: This long-wearing black-cherry shade flatters a wide range of skin tones.

What you’ll love: The matte formula is easy to apply thanks to the doe-foot applicator. Once it dries down, it lasts for hours without transferring, feathering or bleeding.

What you should consider: It can take a long time to dry down. The formula doesn't have a very long shelf life compared to some liquid lipsticks.

Where to buy: Sold by Sephora and Ulta

Best hydrating dark lipstick

Best hydrating dark lipstick

Rare Beauty Lip Souffle Matte Cream Lipstick in Transform

What you need to know: This deep wine shade has a lightweight, whipped texture that dries down to a non-drying matte finish.

What you’ll love: The unique texture feels velvety and comfortable compared to most liquid lipsticks. It's formulated with Vitamin E and an assortment of nourishing botanicals. This lipstick is vegan and cruelty-free.

What you should consider: Color may require a few layers to achieve the desired level of opacity. It's not as transfer-proof as some liquid lipsticks.

Where to buy: Sold by Sephora

Best hydrating dark lipstick for the money

Urban Decay Vice Hydrating Lipstick

What you need to know: Urban Decay's best-selling Vice lipsticks get a hydrating makeover with this aloe-infused formula.

What you’ll love: It comes in 35 shades in satin (like Iced Americano, a deep brown) and matte finishes (like Hex, a dark red). The vegan, cruelty-free formula also includes avocado oil for comfortable, moisturizing wear.

What you should consider: Some users still experienced drying lips with this formula.

Where to buy: Sold by Sephora, Ulta and Macy's


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Laura Duerr writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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