Smouldering Lips

Other than nineties chokers, dark lipstick can be the centerpiece of any outfit you have, if you want to try the nineties trend this fall. Which is also so very nice for your budget. All over DC, I found deep sapphire, plum, glowing emerald and other clever colors, which are almost better than so many savage shades of burgundy.

And this time around, you can get away with being a little glossy, or you can keep your lips looking velvety soft with this year’s matte lipstick trend extending on into the fall. And then, there’s the magic of ombre lip color. If I can find my old Sam Fine makeup book specifically for women of color, I will be sure to share his ombre lipstick tips, fresh from the 90s, with you here on this blog…

But, oh, the sultry lipstick! Girl, let’s get started.


Deep, Dark Blue

I honed in on the less ‘spensive brands, so I’ll tell you about how NYX and Maybelline match up. I go the NYX because they usually have bolder colors, and being an artistic personality and a 90s child anyway, I was very attracted to NYX soft matte lip cream in Moscow early in the summer. Very soft, and the applicator enables you to get very picky about applying the color precisely, which of course, can in itself, make for a high drama look. But the cream wears off a bit quickly, even while I chatted excitedly to myself in the mirror after swiping it on. And, blotting to eliminate smudging on my teeth dulled the lovely color too.

So, when Maybelline’s Midnight Blue matte became available a few weeks ago, I jumped on it. I already have some oranges and pinks that I adore from Maybelline, so I was hoping their version of blue-black would have more staying power. This turned out to be as I predicted, but sadly—and I’ll admit that I am extremely picky, but I did notice it—the Maybelline deep blue is more black with blue mixed in. It’s not a shadowy royal blue like the NYX. So, I think I’ll stick with my NYX, or mix up the two. We’ll see.

Luscious Purple

I was sad to see the same problem with the Maybelline Sapphire Siren that I tried next. I put both colors on my lips at the same time to really try and see if I was just making a big thing of it. But I’m much happier with the NYX Havana which looks exactly like the outside of the bottle. A smouldering royal purple.

Try it and see for yourself. In a way, if you don’t want to be so brazen about the dark blue or purple that you wear, then Maybelline will be perfect for you, and the lipstick will hang in there for you. All of these colors were so gorgeous out of the tube, I wanted to bite them.


Eversince I saw Rihanna wearing deep green lipstick in a magazine early this year, I became obsessed with finding the same sultry green shade. A crack about me being green-envious for her lipstick would be super-obvious, so I’ll resist that. But it motivated me to make some real progress.


I heard that Rihanna was wearing a NYX shade, so I ran out to my nearest ULTA to grab one, but I didn’t find it. So, eventually, I ended up with its bubbly cousin. Today, months later, the ULTA in Silver Spring has a NYX Cosmic Metals display… and it does look futuristic. I’m not sure if I’ll stripe my black lipstick gold and baby blue, like the poster insists that I can and not get the side-eye in real life (IRL), but I do think that, IRL, the NYX Cosmic Metals Lip Cream in Out of This World is nothing but badass. It’s brighter than Rihanna’s shade in “Work”, but it’s just as magnetic as a sweetheart red. At that, it might be the case that NYX took a bold, glossy red, then looked directly across the color wheel and whipped up a big batch of its exact complement. They did well.

And then, I’m going to talk about ULTA and Sephora in the same breath with the same caution as some folks talk about the Jedi and the Sith, Star Wars and Star Trek, or Team Valor and Team Mystic versus Team Instinct stealing gyms late at night… that’s a Pokémon GO reference.

By the way, I found an excellent blog post on copying Rihanna’s “Work” music video look on


Sephora had Estée Lauder Mattified Lipstick in The Storm earlier this year. Now, this is a dark green like Rihanna’s, but slightly more blue-ish (like adding black to teal). I love it so much, but haven’t made a time to wear it yet. I’ve wanted to wear it to work so many times… Phew! That’s a gorgeous shade.

Red Velvet

Dark and sweet like the cake, my favorite shade red velvet/deep plum is one I’ve had for a very long time, and the label has worn off, so I couldn’t tell you where to find it. I do know that it is from Sephora though, and I would go straight there if I needed to replace it. MAC also has many dark shades, including a black-purple, Which Witch that reminded me of my dear, sweet friend when the makeup lady rubbed it on the back of her hand in that fancy Pittsburgh Macy’s to show me. Very hard to walk away from that shade. Now that I’m looking it up, High Drama also looks almost exactly like my old Sephora brand tube, except that it’s matte. And, I recently picked up Zoe’s Red, No. 406 from L’Oreal’s Colour Riche line. This color has already created some stop-and-stare moments.

Now, we’ve all heard about ombre lips, but honestly, I’m afraid to try them. Either way, we’ll be tackling ombre and a few more bold lip looks next week.

What’s your favorite dark lip color?




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