We’ve been noticing something really strange on the red carpet this spring–starlets and A-listers alike have been digging out their darkest lipstick. Forget about pretty berry, bright pinks, and cool corals (spring trends, all). It’s all about goth, 90s, Courtney Love-circa-the-Hole-era wine pouts. And here’s a secret: We like it.
The Met Gala was a veritable sea of dark mouths: Camilla Belle, Kate Bosworth, Lana Del Rey, Jessica Alba, and Rachel Zoe all looked incredible in the color. Then this week Jennifer Lopez pulled out the look on the red carpet for a premiere of What To Expect When You’re Expecting. Surely it will show up at Cannes, too.
We’re going to blame/thank Pat McGrath for this one–she painted black cherry puckers on the models for the spring 2012 Balenciaga runway show (McGrath layered CoverGirl Queen lipstick in “Fine Wine” over LipPerfection lipstick in “Euphoria”) and the look really stood out among the sea of nude faces that have been the norm on catwalks the last few seasons. And stars–or their stylists–have taken note.
We asked MAC Senior Artist Keri Blair to help navigate these murky lip waters in a modern and elegant way. Just like when you choose a red lip color, pay attention to your skin tone. If you’re fair, look at pinky berry tones (like MACs “Rebel”). And if you’re a bit more golden or olive try a shade like Dubbonet, which is a creamier brick red color. (For something similar, check out Camilla Belle’s look, above). So how to do it without looking like Drew Barrymore circa 1995? (Not that there was anything wrong with that. Look!)
Blair said, “It’s all about the texture and precision in application. Use creamy luxe textures.” You should start by applying the product straight from the tube onto the lips, then use a brush to perfect the edges. She also recommended keeping skin simple but polished and curling your lashes to give a flirty edge.
And for heaven’s sake, don’t wear a baby doll dress and Doc Martens with this lip.
Click through to see our modern lipstick picks.