The Best Dark Lip Colors for Summer
Summer's arrival often serves as a prompt to lighten things up. When talking about our wardrobes, this usually means lighter fabrics and colors—your pinks, whites, yellows, light browns, and so forth all come into heavy rotation. In many cases, you want your makeup—especially your lip color—to play off of that summer color palette, too. That's why so many of us choose one shade of pink or berry lipstick for the warmer months and put away our collection of dark lip colors until fall and winter return.
But the fact that we've stored away our dark shades of clothing during the summer doesn't mean that we need to stop wearing those bold, dark lip colors we love. Did you really spend the time browsing (and all that cash) to neglect your favorite lipsticks for an entire summer? We believe that a dark lip can complement your favorite floral dress, a playfully bright swimsuit, and the casual t-shirt and jeans just as well as it does your attire in cooler weather. If you're still unconvinced that dark lip colors have a place in your summer makeup bag, take it from a pro: Kathy Jeung, a makeup artist with Forward Artists, shows us why we don't have to wait for the arrival of fall to wear our favorite dark lipstick, gloss, or tint. Whether you're looking for a deep red, purple, or brown hue that's traditional, quirky, or luxurious, Jeung can point you in the right direction. Here are her picks for the best dark shades to flaunt in the summer sun.
Inviting you to make a statement, and wear it boldly, the NARS Powermatte collection is described as a highly pigmented liquid lipstick that gives full coverage and lasts all day. "This liquid lip color gives bulletproof saturated matte color and its unique pointed applicator enables perfect sharp detail," says Jeung.
NARS Powermatte in "Rock with You," $26,
According to our expert, the satin matte lip colors from Tom Ford are lightweight, making it a great option when considering dark shades. "[It's a moisture matte formula that gives lips a high pigment plumped look," says Jeung. Bonus: you won't feel like you have to cake on the lip color when applying, given a single stroke promises full-coverage.
Tom Ford Lip Color Satin Matte in "Baby Boy," $55,
Choosing lipstick can sometimes mean decoding an extensive list of product details but for those seeking the simple, this weightless and velvety lipstick from is the perfect go-to if you want a "traditional lipstick with a full coverage powder-soft finish," according to Jeung.
Shiseido ModernMatte Powder Lipstick in "Majo 523," $26,
Described by Jeung as a "concentrated matte liquid lip color with a puff applicator," this option offers light-to-intense coverage and an application that's seamlessly smooth. The formula itself is creamy and powder-like, and the puff applicator "gives a soft blurred effect," she says.
Chanel Rouge Allure Liquid Powder Matte Lip Color in "Avant-Gardiste," $30,
Some lipsticks can be heavy but the liquid lipstick from Huda is lightweight and silky. In addition to being hydrating, this product also last for hours and is transfer-free. Huda's Liquid Lipstick "gives super opaque coverage in a myriad of shades," says Jeung, who also notes that there's a range of dark colors to choose from.
Huda Beauty Liquid Lipstick in Heartbreaker, Huda Beauty Liquid Lipstick in "Famous," $20,
Everyone needs a lipstick that's familiar and reliable, and what's probably the most well-known of this bunch, MAC's Matte Lipstick is as consistent as it gets. "This classic lipstick formula never goes out of fashion—tried and true colors I always reach for," Jeung notes. Flattering on any skin tone, the iconic collection delivers in color and satisfaction.
MAC Cosmetics Matte Lipstick in "Antique Velvet," $18.50,
Tom Ford is the gift that keeps on giving when it comes to options. Made to "sculpt, contour and define," this lip sculptor applies smoothly and provides a long-lasting, deep color. Jeung notes the beveled tip pencil that "can just line the lips or be used all over to give soft matte lip color like a lipstick."
Tom Ford Lip Sculptor in "Subvert 17," $46,
For the slightly more adventurous, Jeung defines Poutsicle as a "luscious shine in fun deep colors."
Fenty Beauty Poutsicle Juicy Satin Lipstick in "Go Deep," $20,
Lipstick that skips or drags when applying is sure to leave you with less than stellar results. Despite being matte, Huda's Power Bullet Lipstick—which comes in 19 shades including three metallic options—is easy to apply and results in a gorgeous finish.
Huda Beauty Power Bullet in "Ladies Night," $25,
If you're truly looking for some serious dark hues, look no further than the Matte Trance Lipsticks. With three collections of lipsticks to choose from, Jeung says the Vicious Venom Collection has "the best collection of dark colors in a super matte formula."
Pat McGrath Labs Matte Trance Lipsticks in "Deep Void," $38,
If you're looking for less matte and more shine, this light, glossy lip stain is the perfect fit. "I love this uniquely non-drying lip stain, a hybrid in that it has versatility depending on is how it's applied: it can be glossy or blotted to have a softer, less shiny look," Jeung says.
MAC Cosmetics Versicolour Varnish Lip Stain in "Serial Stain 114," $22,
"If you want to try a myriad of dark colors, Urban Decay has it, and in a variety of formulas," says Jeung. With 135 shades in total, you're sure to find a dark hue that fits your style without stripping moisture from your lips. "These cream formulas give you rich dark colors with moisture and shine," she adds.
Urban Decay Vice Cream Lipsticks in "Nighthawk," $19,