Wearing black lipstick can be a challenge for anyone. Black is a bold color and, if not applied well, can look cheap, flaky and tacky. Before you even consider wearing black lipstick, consider the occasion and why you might choose this color. You may choose black to make a statement, for an experimental fashion look or for a costume. No matter the reason, the key to wearing black lipstick is applying it properly so that it stays even and stays put.

Things You'll Need

Choosing and Applying Black Lipstick

Choose your shade of black lipstick. Many people do not like to go with a true black lipstick and instead opt for a black with a reddish or purplish hue. This can give you that dark vamp look without going overboard into costume territory. You may, however, choose to go bold with a true black which is more of a fashion risk but can give you a confident Gothic look.

Choose your brand of black lipstick. While you might be able to get away with wearing an inexpensive lip gloss or neutral color lipstick, you should not choose price over quality when buying your black lipstick. Cheap lipstick tends to flake or not show up as opaque as you need black lipstick to appear. The best brands of black lipstick are those that create the makeup used in high fashion photo shoots and runway shows or theatrical costumes. Go with a major brand whose quality you can trust like MAC, Smashbox, Urban Decay, etc.

Once you have selected you lipstick based on color and quality, you are ready to apply. Take your black lip-liner and trace the edges of your lips, making sure your lines are clean and precise. Fill in your lips gently with the lip-liner. This will hold your lipstick in place.

Take your lip brush and dab your black lipstick out of the tube. Gently apply the lipstick, using the brush. Take your time and make sure you have filled in the lip-liner completely. Be especially careful of not letting any pink from your inner lip show when you close your mouth. While you can apply black lipstick straight from the tube, this is risky as it often results in a smudgier, harder-to-control look and can run over your lip-liner. Some choose to apply from the tube anyway, since they want that harsher, heavier look.

Blot your black lipstick carefully using a tissue. Use a cotton swab dipped in makeup remover to straighten out any smudges at the edge of your lips.

Completing Your Look

These following steps are optional but can bring your whole look together. For a high shine, glamorous look, use a clear lip gloss. Apply the gloss to the middle of your bottom lip and press your lips together for a subtler shine. As there is nothing subtle about black lipstick, however, you may choose to carefully coat your full bottom and top lips with the gloss, using a cotton swab to clean up the edges. You will make a mess of your lip gloss, as the black lipstick stains the brush, so have a lip gloss solely for this purpose.

Instead of, or even in addition to, the lip gloss, you may choose to apply another colored lipstick over the black lipstick to give your lips an interesting hue. This is best achieved with a dark red or purple lipstick. This technique gives your lips a vamp look and while still bold, can soften the harshness of black lipstick and transform it into something truly glamorous.

No matter how you choose to wear black lipstick, your eyeliner is very important. While you should keep the rest of your makeup quite subtle, as the lipstick is the statement, you need strong eyeliner to balance out your face. Use a liquid eyeliner and keep the lines clean and bold. A cat-eye or other creative edging allows the face to be balanced but still allows the black to dominate your look.