(Main Squeeze)

These Bold Dark Lipsticks Instantly Transform Your Look

Deep, rich shades ahead.

Originally Published: 
best dark lipsticks
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Join TZR editors for Main Squeeze, the series dedicated to sharing beloved beauty products — be they bold, effective, or simply fun — that make our week just a little bit better. Ahead, Team TZR spotlights their favorite dark lipsticks of the moment.

Ask any beauty enthusiast, and they’ll tell you that a good lipstick can be completely transformative. Whether you opt for a traditional bullet or prefer a liquid formula, the handbag staple is the cherry on top of any makeup look. Many have come to find their favorites through years of testing. Nudes, for example, are beloved for their everyday appeal — while a bold red has a powerful feeling that’s hard to ignore. Still, wearing one of the best dark lipsticks can be daunting. From deep plum to rich burgundy, these shades deliver intensity and ooze confidence in just one swipe.

Finding the right bullet isn’t always easy. Even when you land on a color that aptly complements your skin tone, you still need to worry about the formula. The last thing you want is your black raspberry lippie seeping into cracks or drying out your lips. Luckily, the products on this list strike the perfect balance, thanks to their moisture-infused formulas. Regardless of which one you choose, rest assured they’ll saturate your lips with a bold and deliciously dark color.

Ahead, the dark lipsticks the TZR team swears by.

“While I admire dark, vampy lip colors on others, I usually don't gravitate towards them myself because I prefer unfussy shades. In other words, neutral hues I don't have to worry about bleeding or getting on my teeth. However, this Victoria Beckham berry lipstick is an exception. It glides on smooth, keeps my lips moisturized, and stays put throughout the day.”— Erin Lukas, deputy beauty editor, TZR

“All who know me, understand my affinity for red. While bright, coral crimsons are my go-tos, in the winter months, I like to get moody with rich burgundy or dark brick shades. I love Ilia lip products in general, but this creamy, almost oxblood hue is a particular favorite. It gives me my pop of color while still feeling mysterious and seasonal. It also features a long-lasting formula that keeps its color for hours, withstanding sipping, eating, and even smooching!”— Angela Melero, executive editor, TZR

“A dark matte lip can be hard to wear, but this bullet makes it easy. I’m not the best with lip liner, so I love how this lipstick has a pointed tip and a flat, square-like surface that makes applying a cinch. The Ladies Night shade is also very wearable. Instead of plum undertones, it has a deep burgundy color that clings to my lips like a stain and lasts all night.”— Jessica Fields, beauty writer, TZR

“I love a dark lip color with a hint of shine — especially in the winter, I feel it balances out my dryness — and this Hourglass shade is my go-to from December through February. It’s rich and dramatic, but the brown tones make it feel a little more natural on me despite the deep pigment.”— Amanda Ross, beauty editor, TZR

“My top priority when opting for dark lipstick is finding a hydrating formula that will last without creasing. BareMinerals Mineralist Hydra-Smoothing Lipstick formula offers just that, and their Black Raspberry shade is a beautiful berry pigment that exudes romance and makes my lips look ready to be kissed. Despite being a dark shade, it works throughout all four seasons when complimented with the right makeup.”— Rebecca Iloulian, director, newsletter revenue and marketing

“This brown-toned rose lipstick has become my favorite lip color for the winter months. It's moody but still wearable for daytime. Plus, I love that I can apply on the go and blur the edges for a more everyday look.”— Faith Xue, executive beauty director, Lifestyle, BDG

“Charlotte Tilbury’s Matte Revolution Hydrating Lipstick is my ride-or-die formula. It’s creamy, soft, and lasts for hours. And when I’m in the mood for a sultry shade, I swipe on the brand’s So 90’s color. As the name suggests, the deep nude brown color gives ‘90s supermodel vibes.”— Kelsey Stewart, associate fashion editor, TZR

“A dark lip could be tricky to pull off, but with the right formulation and application, it could make all the difference. Byredo's matte lipstick in my fave shade, Mad Red, never dries out my lips and requires just a few strokes before I even it out with a lip brush. It's highly pigmented and stays on for a good number of hours. Plus, the packaging is so pretty to look at.”— Kathy Lee, editor-in-chief, TZR

“I typically stay away from super dark lip colors, but this product from Tata Harper has made me a convert. The formula is balmy and hydrating, but the deep shade still packs a punch. There’s a nice sheer-ness to the product, so even though the hue is a dark berry, it still looks quite natural on my lips.”— Maggie Haddad, sr strategist, social media, TZR

“I adore the look of dark, glossy plum lips. While I usually opt for a true berry shade, Makeup By Mario’s Downtown Girl is a refreshing change of pace. The color perfectly blends plum and dark brown pigments to create a hue that reminds me of ‘90s lipstick looks. The finish is also great— it’s not overly glossy and has just the right amount of shine.”— Fields

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