Every person on earth has their own distinct sense of style, of course, but some muses offer more universal inspiration than others. Tracee Ellis Ross, with her impeccable taste, is one such star. Regardless of if you’re always seeking ideas for sleek updos, some incredible boots, or just general poise and grace, chances are the A-lister is firmly at the center of your moodboard. But get ready to add a whole new element, one of her most exciting shakeups yet. She loves her signature reds, yes, but the dark lipsticks in Ross’ rotation are just as eye-catching, electrified by an edgy undercurrent that shifts her trademark look into late winter mode. If there’s anyone who can get through the January doldrums with flair, it’s Ross.
Of course, this dark lip moment pops up amid a slew of high-profile events for Ross, all of which required distinct, creative looks on their own. Maybe that’s part of the reason why her deep purply-red lipstick and tight, braided bun stood out so much. It’s more low-key than her head-turning Emmy Awards ponytail or her big, voluminous curls she wore to the Golden Globes, but that’s exactly why the hair and makeup are such an appealing combination.
Ross wore the crisp white dress Ferragamo dress — complete with that long, sleeping tassel — to the 2024 AFI Awards Luncheon on Jan. 12, an afternoon celebration of excellence in film held at the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles in Beverly Hills. Really, this context is key. Often, people are intimidated by the attention-grabbing power of dark, bold lipsticks and shy away from them in favor of more demure shades — and that’s especially true for daytime events. Ross proves how wearable those lip colors really are, even in the bright LA sunshine.
To channel Ross’s vampy vibe, an easy trick is to look for a lipstick in your usual favorite color — be it a pink, orange, red, anything — and then essentially just turn the brightness down. Ross, for examples, loves a brown-toned red, so her deeper counterpart would be the dark brick shade she wore to the AFI Luncheon.
If you need an instant boost of confidence, there’s really no better color.