The Fair Skin Guide to Dark Lipstick

Unless your go-to daily makeup look channels a dark, goth vibe a la Edward Scissorhands, wearing a dark lip can sometimes be intimidating, and especially so when you have fair skin. While a dark shade of lipstick can look amazing against fair skin, you need to know how to balance it out with the rest of your makeup to ensure it doesn’t appear too stark against your skin.


How to Pull Off a Dark Lip

The next time you’re feeling like going bold with your makeup, try our tips below on how you can pull off a dark lip on a fair skin tone:

Find the Correct Undertone

If you’ve watched enough red lipstick makeup tutorials on YouTube, you’d have heard all those beauty influencers going on about the undertone of a red lipstick, from blue-toned deep reds to yellow-toned bright reds. It’s important to consider a red lipstick’s undertone as it has an effect on the way the red lipstick looks against your skin. Before you can decide on which red lipstick undertone to go for, you need to determine whether your skin has a cool or warm undertone. One easy way to do this is by checking the colour of your veins. If they are green, that means you have a warm undertone. Blue or purple veins indicate a cool undertone. If you have a cool undertone, red lipsticks with a blue or purple undertone are the ones for you. Meanwhile, skin with a warm undertone will look great with orange-toned red lipsticks.

Perfect Your Base

Pulling off a dark lip takes more than just applying your lipstick as precisely as possible; your foundation needs to look flawless too. If your base isn’t carefully done (cakey foundation is one example), a dark lip will emphasise the flaws in your foundation application, possibly making it appear worse than it actually is. With a dark lip, you want to get a flawless base that still looks pretty natural since the dark shade of your lipstick will already look intense on its own. Do this by working in thin layers when you’re applying your foundation. Use a damp makeup sponge to sheer the foundation out as well as to achieve a dewy finish. If you want to hide zits or hyperpigmentation, spot, conceal those areas with a heavy-duty concealer.

Apply Your Lipstick First

If you have fair skin, apply your lipstick first after you’re done with your base. This sounds odd but putting on your dark lip first will help you figure out how far you should go with the rest of your makeup. You don’t want to sort your blush, bronzer and highlight first only to find that your entire makeup looks way too much with your dark lips. For instance, if you’re going for a really deep, intense colour on your lips, you’ll know to be more light-handed with your blush as well as your bronzer and highlight. Seeing the shade of your lipstick when it’s on your lips will also allow you to decide which shade of blush will complement the dark lip colour.

Bronze Up Your Skin

A dark lip on fair skin can sometimes make you look too vampy, which is totally a look we would go for but it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. If you want to avoid looking like the female version of Edward Cullen, reach for a bronzer to add some colour to your skin. And we’re not talking about that rich warm-toned bronzer you might use when you’ve got a bit of a tan. When you have fair skin, your bronzer of choice should have a grey, ashy undertone to it. This will look more natural against your skin, whereas a bronzer with a warm, brown undertone will appear too stark and might even make your skin look dirty or muddy.

Add Colour to Your Cheeks

Another way to add colour to your face is by applying blush on your cheeks. Go for a blush shade that looks natural on your skin such as a salmon or peach shade. Apply it either on the apples of your cheeks for a more youthful look or higher up nearer to your cheekbones for a cool, sophisticated vibe. Make sure to blend your blush thoroughly so it meshes with your bronzer. In terms of texture, a cream blush will allow you to create a more natural and slightly dewy appearance. If you’ve gone for a powder blush, be light-handed with it as even going just a smidge too far will make your makeup veer into goth clown territory.

Go Nude At the Eyes

Unless you’re going for an overall intense, goth look, you’ll need to balance out your entire makeup look with something light on the eyes. One option is to go completely bare on your eyelids and simply complete your makeup with a coat of black or brown mascara and a swipe of eyeliner. If you want a bit of colour on your eyes, choose a nude eyeshadow shade and apply it onto your eyelids, making sure to blend the edges out.