After seasons of barely-there, nude or blush-toned lipsticks, we’re finally seeing a return to color – well, if black counts as a color. It seems natural lip colors have had their stint, and this season bold noir hues are beginning to re-gain popularity on both TikTok and the red carpet.
As one of the biggest proponents of dark lipstick (please refer to her striking blackberry shade at this years’ Met Gala), Rihanna recently went viral on TikTok, where she was captured in a video espousing the appeal of a midnight pout.
“I love black lipstick! I think it’s daring, it’s bold. There’s a way that it can be really, really beautiful,” she says in the video. “It’s one of those colors that people shy away from a lot, but if you do the right balance of make-up, I think black is such a beautiful color. It could be the new red, really.”
The audio inspired the #blacklipstickchallenge, which featured TikTok creators trying out the cybergoth-inspired trend and garnered more than 11.5 million views on the platform. Celebrities have also been wearing it more frequently on the red carpet, proving black can in fact be flattering beyond just your clothing – think Anja Rubik’s enigmatic look at the 2021 Cannes Film festival for certifiable proof.
Kaia Gerber also provided ample dark lipstick inspiration at a recent Max Mara show, paired with icy-blue eyeshadow and cat-eye lashes. The matte black hue feels particularly harmonious with Balenciaga’s recent collection, which channeled a strong cybergoth aesthetic that Kourtney Kardashian would no doubt adopt in an instant for her pseudo-punk phase (the reality star was snapped wearing black lipstick on her Instagram Story a few months back).
So what’s the secret to making black lipstick work in 2021? Keeping the rest of your complexion matte, as demonstrated by the many TikTok creators that took on Rihanna’s charcoal lipstick challenge.
Groomed brows, defined eyes and lots of lashes add balance, so that the contrast between the bold color feels less stark. And if you still can’t stomach such a dark hue? Try a blue-black shade or a deep plum for a softer take on the trend.
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