dark lip gabriela bloomgarden garance dore photos

The Dark Lip

9 years ago by

I mean super dark, almost black. I’m talking serious noir!

It feels like the season of the very dark lip – I’ve been seeing it everywhere and, no, I haven’t been hanging out at rock venues all winter.

In New York, women are wearing it to local bars and elegant restaurants. All ages, no matter what style.
Last year, it felt like dark shades were impossible to pull off in real life, but now I’m seeing real women trying it. These colors have edged their way from the back of the beauty shelf, into the everyday makeup bag. And it looks seriously striking.

But it’s such a look that is needs balance. When entering what I like to call the “crazy dark lip zone”, it looks so much better when the rest of the face is kept minimal. Just light powder and a bit of mascara, like on Gabriela in these photos. With the lip, we blended a matte black lip color with just a dab of red, mixing until it was the perfect shade. And this means you can test out a whole range of super dark tones…

Do you think the dark lip is a look for real life? Have you tried it?

Makeup by Anoli, using MAC Lipmix in red and black.
Turtleneck, Apiece Apart.


Add yours
  • Chanel Rouge Noir!

  • chanel had a set of three called les noirs a few years ago. i bought the maniac: it gets pretty dark! :)

    giveaway on http://littleaesthete.com

  • I’d love to wear that color…if I dare to…
    I’m too shy right now, but maybe…
    XOX, Gap.

  • C’est joli sur Gabriela, mais sur moi ce n’est même pas la peine d’essayer.
    Je pense qu’il faut avoir une jolie bouche à la base et être assez jeune car ça durcit beaucoup je trouve.
    La série de photos est très sympa!


  • Love the look but my challenge is, if your lip is at all dry you risk the color seeping into the cracks or If your lip is too wet it drifts to the outline of your mouth. With such a dramatic color the execution better be good or you quickly swing into the make up fail zone!

  • yes, i like dark lips!!!!
    Passa a trovarmi VeryFP

  • I just love love love that even i rarely dare this dark color. She looks beautiful! Thanks for the chic inspiration :)


  • MissPimpin February, 10 2015, 9:53 / Reply

    J’ai essayé … y’a genre 20 ans de ça :-) !!
    Avec l’âge, c’est dangereux car cela peut facilement vieillir, sans compter qu’il faut avoir de jolies dents et bien blanches (sinon je trouve que c’est affreux)
    Sur la jeune fille en photo, c’est très joli et ça me fait regretter de ne plus avoir 20 ans pour me laisser tenter par cette tendance !
    (au fait, son pull est très beau, ça vient d’où??)

  • Love this look! Maybelline released a similar colour, Midnight Plum 1005. Mixing lip liners would work too… It’s key to keep the rest of the face simple as you said! xx

    Erin | Erin and Katherine Talk Beauty

  • I love this trend, because it’s so daring and different ! I have a black lipstick from illamasqua and I’m waiting for the right occasion to rock the dark lip !

  • Bonjour Garance !

    Nous sommes trois étudiantes à HEC Paris en master “Médias, Art et Création”, nous préparons actuellement notre voyage d’étude à New York en mars. À cette occasion nous allons à la rencontre des grands acteurs de la créativité de cette ville afin de saisir ce qui en fait son identité.

    Nous sommes convaincues que vous pourriez apporter une analyse singulière sur cette ville.
    Admiratrices et lectrices de votre blog, nous serions très enthousiasmées à l’idée de vous rencontrer afin d’échanger sur votre parcours, votre travail et vos projets futurs. Vous serait-il possible de nous consacrer un moment durant notre séjour ?

    Merci beaucoup !!

    Nous vous souhaitons une très belle journée !

    Héloïse, Marta et Alice

  • Non à mon age terminé je reste dans les teintes douces , beaucoup plus flatteuses . Le genre famille Addams ..
    très peu…

  • Hey Neada, i wear dark lipstick for a really long time now. My favorite is from MAC, color cyber satin. I always use it with a lighter (pink) lipgloss. Actually, you should see in real life but maybe it’s too silly to send you a picture:)

  • Cool look. I like how these photos look cool and striking but not goth.
    The darkest I’m doing is Nars lipstick in Bette. Don’t think I can go much darker.

  • Pas laid du tout sur Gabriela. Maintenant, soyons, d’accord, Gabriela est jeune & très jolie, mais un beau rouge vif lui irait beaucoup mieux. A part pour Halloween, je crois qu’il faut bannir le rouge noir. Même sur une jolie fille, disons que ça ne l’embellit pas, alors qu’un rouge framboise ou un rouge cerise, tout de suite ça va illuminer n’importe quel visage. Le rouge noir, en plus, mieux vaut avoir de belles dents blanches (si les dents sont jaunes, c’est une horreur), le teint parfait sans défaut et bonne mine, sinon ça fait blafard, enfin avoir moins de trente ans, sinon les moindres petites ridules + un rouge noir, et vous êtes cruella).

  • Ana @Champagnegirlsabouttown February, 10 2015, 10:34 / Reply

    I used to rock it when I was 20 and my boyfriend was in a rock band :) I still like the look but not sure if I would want to go back there again!

  • J’adore cette série de portrait ! Et même si le rouge à lévres noir n’est pas forcement ce que je préfére, je trouve que cela lui va particuliérement bien !

  • The pictures are perfect and it looks amazing on her x


  • J’adore. Je porte très fréquemment des couleurs très foncés sur mes lèvres, mais j’ai de la chance un teint pale, et des lèvres pulpeuses… Je trouve ça très joli… Mais à tester à la maison, avant de sortir avec. En effet, les petites lèvres ne supporteront pas l’effet..

  • Looove a dark lip–but let’s not forget, the most important thing to make it wearable and non-gothic is to pair it with a smile! (Or, in the city, smiling eyes–close enough.)

    I have quite large lips and pale skin, so no matter what I always do look a little gothic with some colors. I envy the thinner-lipped ladies who can pull this look off. If heavy matte is too much, they can always top off with some semi-matte balm (blistex is actually great for this) and add a little lovely, plumping sheen as well!

  • This is crazy. I just put on a dark lip, at work. Not thaaat dark, but dark with a red underneath. The red was a mistake at first but then I loved it. And then, I opened this blog… and almost fell to the floor.

    Love it.

  • Great pictures..love lipstick ..mainly orange red …love this dark color but i believe it’s something that necessity a young face otherwise it will make all your look “hard” …i believe that makeup should be fun and inventive…so we can always change …
    Yael Guetta

  • I could never pull this look off — but I think it’s so cool


  • The pictures are pretty. Reminds me of my goth days seeing The Cure and The Smiths live (back in the day). Exactly how I did my makeup back then. Seems too severe now, especially since I live in sunny SoCal.

  • Canon Gabriela bouche foncée ou pas ! :-)

  • Wow you rock this dark lip. I might just been inspired to break out of my comfort zone and wear a dark lip color.



  • I love dark lips! Amazing lipstick!

  • bavarian_blue February, 10 2015, 1:21 / Reply

    Hi Neada,
    this look is great on Gabriela. In my case the lips are narrow, so unfortunately it’s not a good choice. Alternatively I wear this dark nuance on my nails!

  • I like to wear it for special occasions or in the evening but I find it too dramatic and prominent on me for a daily look xx


  • … Ca fait les dents JAUNES! Si si, je vous assure!

  • J’adore, en ce moment je porte un rouge bordeaux assez soutenu mais je me tenterai bien à une couleur plus foncée comme celle-ci!


  • you have to have really great skin and white teeth, or not so nice.

  • Way back when I was in high school, my friend told me that she would use black eyeliner on her lips and tinted lip balm over it. Sounds strange but it actually looked great on her.

  • Totally influence of Lorde!

  • I wore dark lips in the early ’90s (before Lorde was born), but I don’t think it would look good at my age now. I like it on younger women, however.

  • Oui, je me suis laissé tenté !

  • Charlotte February, 10 2015, 4:11 / Reply

    Fantastic! Gabriela looks beautiful. I really like the set of photos, but secretly hoping for the individual photos as well :)

  • This is gorgeous! Looks relatively easy and would work for girls with smaller lips too…the lorde pout

  • I love this trend– I have Kat Von D’s Urban Decay lip color in Motorhead and I get compliments all the time!

  • Perso j’adore ms ce n’est pas le cas de tt le monde: un jour, j’ai auditionné avec un costume qui incluait un lipstick bleu sombre. J’ai été retenue (pour une fois ;-) ) mais la DA est venue me voir en me disant: “par contre, les lèvres c’est pas possible comme ça, ça durcit trop le visage, à l’avenir ce sera rouge” :-))

  • I tend to have dark circles under my eyes, and I find that really dark lipstick makes me look dead and tired! It just emphasizes the dark circles. Can’t do it!

  • You’re right- I think this trend kind of came up all of a sudden! I really like it though…it reminds me of the lipstick that Lorde would wear!

  • It’s one of those colours that I love seeing on someone else other than myself…..

  • The photos are fabulous and she looks amazing. The joys of youth, you can carry off any look! Enjoy the experimentation, because as you get older, there are so many things to consider – the dark circles under the eyes, the stark look on an older face – in my mind’s eye I would love to rock this look right now, but the face that stares back at me in the mirror knows better. I have worn a near goth look while at uni, very dark lips, I continue to wear predominantly black clothing but sometimes, if you wish to age with some grace, you need to pare back some more dramatic elements. It doesn’t make mourn the passing of my youth, so much as reflect nostalgically. Embrace everything you can while you can.

  • People stare even when I wear pink or red so I would never wear a dark lip like this. I would be willing to venture into purple-y magenta though. Would it look childish?

  • C’est beau mais il ne faut pas oublier que les teintes sombres nécessitent des dents d’un blanc éclatant sinon sourire jaune peu avenant garanti !…

    Le blog déjanté à boire au bureau

  • Love it!! Looks so cool, and animated (but in a good way).

  • You have to be careful with this, it can make the teeth look yellow.

  • Like it, but the first that comes to my mind when seeing super dark lips is Lorde…not that it’s a bad thing…


  • I’d really like to like this, but this reminds me of Harley Quinn.

  • The super dark lip isn’t that hard to pull off! But… it looks best when worn with white, greige, and grays that lean towards silver or pale blue. I use Chanel Hysteria and add Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment in Plum. Hysteria is dark and matte, and the lip treatment aids dry lips and makes the color less intense by adding shine. Smiles help too of course!

  • J’avoue apprécier assez ce look “levres violettes” (souvent quand je boulotte des myrtilles dans les fougeres ca m’arrive aussi et je suis tout content apres)

  • Honnêtement j’adore ! ça fait des années que j’essaie de trouver un rouge très très très foncé mais je pinaille trop :( ça rend super bien, les photos le prouvent !


  • J’adore vraiment le rendu de ce mélange, la couleur sombre parfaite selon moi!*_*

  • Dainty & Chic February, 11 2015, 5:30 / Reply

    Loving the dark lip against very pale complexion!! So Dainty and Chic!


  • I have the Rouge Noir lipstick by Chanel, the problem I have with that one is that it doesn’t wear very well (accentuates all the wrong things on my lips) and the color makes my teeth look super yellow..

  • YES! I love this look. I did something similar but with the red more pronounced in the center.


    I think, with the right shade, not exactly perfectly black, a hint of red or pink or burgundy or violet, or maybe near-to-black but with some interesting, say velvet, texture, this can be a really arresting and beautiful lip. I love that more dramatic shades are becoming more mainstream, therefore shrinking the territory of what constitutes a dramatic shade, and expanding the general repertoire. I’m always so delighted to see a lip like this on the street!

  • It frames with an interesting way the tongue!


  • Are you serious?
    It’s most unbecoming
    Looks like
    Night of the living dead
    No thanks

  • Je recommande le Smoked Purple de chez MAC. Et il ne fait pas les dents jaunes (pourtant mes dents sont un peu jeunes à la base)!!!

From the Archives

This or That
  • This or That
  • Holiday Gifting
  • Happy Holidays!
  • #AtelierDoreDoes
  • How To...
atelier dore this or that summer sandals chunky sandals vs. delicate sandals

This or That / Sandal Edition

This or That: American or Française?

This or That: American or Française?

atelier dore this or that lingerie lace or cotton sex month

This or That / Lingerie Edition

This or That / Blush vs. Bronzer

This or That / Blush vs. Bronzer

This or That: The Beanie

This or That: The Beanie

This or That: Nails

This or That: Nails

This or That

This or That

This Or That

This Or That

Silja Danielsen Photo

This Or That: Low Knot or Top Knot