The best lipsticks for dark skin tones

Posted by
Dammy Opara
WOC Bright Lip

Looking for a new lip shade for autumn? These are our top five…

Many of us love lipstick and want to experiment with different colours and finishes. Despite the increased inclusivity in the beauty industry, it’s still a little difficult to find a good lip colour that works with darker skintones and not against them. It’s even harder to find a good nude that doesn’t make us look washed out, or stand out for the lack of darker pigments. 

There are even some lipsticks that claim to be universal, but in all honesty: one size does not fit all, so it is hard to believe that one colour will. We’ve done some research, and compiled a list of lipsticks in a range of finishes that will enhance your melanin and make a great addition to your lipstick arsenal. So there’s no longer any need to mix to create a perfect shade.

Nyx Cosmetics Soft Matte Lip Cream in Transylvania

Nyx Cosmetics Soft Matte Lip Cream in Transylvania

This rich burgundy is the perfect shade for darker skinned girls: it’s got a distinct colour that will surely stand out against your skin, and enhance deeper skintones. It’s got a creamy formula infused with beeswax, which makes application smooth and easy. The doe foot applicator removes the need for a lip liner, making it very easy to use. With a sweet scent it will surely start your day on a high note. Personally, I recommend Transylvania for an easy everyday shade. If you’re after something a little more red and classic, I recommend the shade Madrid. Named after iconic cities all over the world, Nyx is sure to have something to tickle your fancy.


MAC Matte Lipstick in Russian Red

Russian Red

The perfect cool toned red to add a little punch to your look. It’s got a creamier application than the cult favourite Ruby Woo with the same cream to matte finish. Russian Red is also easily blendable and rich in pigment, making it great for an ombre lip if you opted for a darker lip liner. The pointed tip allows for very precise application so you can really accentuate your cupid’s bow, or over exaggerate it, if that’s your thing.


Maybelline Colour Sensational in Divine Wine

Maybelline Colour Sensational in Divine Wine

Maybelline is definitely a go-to for high street lipsticks with a great formula that pack on the pigment and leave a smooth creamy colour on your lips. A great shade for melanated skin is the Divine Wine, a muted burgundy that has the right amount of red and brown that puts it just above nude, but just below a punchy red. It’s a great everyday lip that won’t need touching up too often and definitely worth a try.


L’Oreal Paris Color Riche in Mon Jule

L’Oreal Paris Color Riche in Mon Jules

L’Oreal’s soft matte formula is brilliant, boasting of providing the richest colours along with the richest care. This lipstick is moisturising, bold and delivers a vivid dark pink. With a combination of Omega 3 oils and Vitamin E it not only looks good, but does good too. Easy to apply and glides across smoothly, it’s really a must have. It works very well with simpler eye looks and is famed for being a very soft and comfortable matte. 


MAC Liptensity in Double Fudge

Mac Liptensity in Double Fudge

MAC’s Lipstensity line boasts of intense lip looks that are sure pack on the colour and are the most pigmented formula yet. With 26 different shades to choose from, the options are endless. While brown is a coveted shade for lips, it can be hard to find one that doesn’t appear nude or a deep purple when applied. For a super pigmented brown that works with your melanin try Liptensity’s Double Fudge. With one swipe colour, it’s a great brown that resembles melted milk chocolate, rich with colour.


Main image: Getty