It has been one of the sweatiest summers on record, so let’s just say I’ve been embracing my “natural glow.” But as the temps begin to drop, I’m looking forward to having fun with makeup again. I love the way a dark lip looks with your hair tucked into a turtleneck on a crisp day. Fall hues are moody and romantic, but not always easy to pull-off — especially this season’s matte trend. Ahead, are five shades that I’m hoping to conquer, plus some tips from makeup artist Georgina Graham…
After swiping this on my lips, my mood went up a notch — my eyes got a little brighter (and bluer!), my step got a little kickier. That’s the power of a good red lip; and for fall, I want that red to feel as rich as this creamy matte. Georgina says a deep red looks good on everyone — for those with pale skin, try more blue tones, like Irrepressible; for those with darker skin tones, go for warmer shades, like Desirous.
As someone who grew up watching My So-Called Life, brown lipstick (a trend that recently resurfaced) felt like somewhere I couldn’t go, again. But this shade feels a little less angsty teen, a little more elegant adult (it’s called “Birkin Brown,” after all). It goes on so sheer, it’s almost slippery, but the texture allows you to build the color so you don’t have to go full Angela Chase.
Helpful tip: When testing out a new shade in a store where you don’t want to put it the product on your lips, Graham says to use your finger pads. They’re much closer to your lip color than the back of your hand.
I call this “my Rihanna moment.” I’m not sure how many more of these moments I’ll have, but it felt good to push my limits and try something out of my usual shades-of-red zone. Also, I loved the smooth application of the crayon-like lipstick — which made it easy to get a clean line. Now I want it in every shade.
Helpful tip: When wearing a dark lip, Georgina suggests going very minimal with the rest of your makeup to avoid looking overdone. Use a little BB or CC cream if you have to, but no heavy foundation. Use mascara only on your upper lashes, skip the blush, and wear illuminator instead of bronzer. I tried that with all these lipsticks, and I think it worked!
Spice It Up would be Goldilocks’ lipstick of choice: it’s not too dark, it’s not too sheer, it’s just right. The color doesn’t have the ability to instantly elevate an outfit like some of the others, but I could wear it every day. And if you’re just testing the dark lipstick waters, this is the perfect way to get your feet wet.
Liquid matte lipstick — which is very popular these days — is kind of mind-boggling. A minute after you spread the liquid on your lips (be sure to only use a small amount), it will dry to a vacuum-sealed-to-your-lips matte. It takes a second to get used to, but you’ll soon forget it’s even there — until you catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror hours later and it hasn’t budged. Thankfully, I loved the color; my lips were a deep yet cheery plum all day long.
Helpful tip: Dry or flaky lips will show even more when wearing dark lipstick, especially if it’s matte — so it’s key to have your lips in tip-top condition. A lip exfoliating product will do the trick, but Georgina says a cheaper option is to run a damp toothbrush over your lips, add lip balm, then blot with a tissue to ensure smoothness.
What lipsticks do you wear? Would you wear one of these?
(Top photos by Ana Schechter for Cup of Jo. This post is in partnership with Nordstrom, a retailer we love for its amazing customer service. Plus, they always offer free shipping and returns. Thank you so much for supporting the sponsors that support Cup of Jo.)