I’m not exaggerating when I say that lipstick is the single makeup item that brings the most joy to my life. It has magical, instant makeover powers that work for everyone. A slick of colour will instantly perk up your complexion and make you feel more polished and put together. Diving in to deeper shades of lipstick is one of my most favourite things about the cooler months, though admittedly I’ll happily sport a burgundy lip in the height of summer too.

From dark berry to maroon, the dark lipstick spectrum is wide and varied. But finding the perfect dark shade can be tricky. As a rule of thumb, women with fair skin should opt for pink-based, raspberry shades; whereas medium to dark complexions should look better in more blue-based wine hues. I find that the secret to pulling off an intense pout (even if you’re wary of bold colours) is to stay away from matte formulas and glosses. Mattes will make your mouth look small and severe, whilst jammy glosses are over the top and unflattering. Instead go for a lipstick with a buttery finish that dispenses rich colour like a dream and leaves your lips looking luscious yet elegant.

Using a waxy pencil to line your lips will help prevent your colour from bleeding. Use a nude lip pencil if you can’t find one in the exact same shade of dark lipstick. I like to apply lipstick straight from the tube, but if you prefer, use a fine brush to apply the colour from the centre of your lips out towards the corners to avoid looking clownish. Blot and repeat your application for maximum colour wear.

Here are six of my all time favourite dark shades with great colour payoff, in creamy, hydrating formulations that complement all lip sizes and shapes.

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