beauty marks

How to Wear Black Lip Color Without Looking Like a Vampire

One of the biggest — if not the biggest — beauty trend to emerge this year was black lips: Yves Saint Laurent, Luella, and Giles Deacon all showed the look for fall 2008, sparking a huge demand for the beauty industry to deliver. And deliver they did — Lancôme, Poppy King, and Kat Von D answered the call for black, as did the trendsetter, Yves Saint Laurent Beaute, who created a limited-edition lipstick (so once it’s gone, it’s gone for good). As for Lancôme, after the gloss was announced back in June, wait lists were already full by early fall, and their shimmery take on the trend seesawed from selling out to being stocked for the past few months (it’s back on shelves now). Not to be outdone, Smashbox created Sultry exclusively for Sephora — the result is a subtle red-black gloss for those unwilling to totally cross over to the dark side. We scouted the city’s makeup counters to find where the black glosses are still available and tested them so you know just how to wear them. Check out the five best after the jump.

From left, Smashbox, Lancôme, Yves Saint Laurent, Lipstick Queen, and Kat Von D.Photo: Courtesy of Smashbox, Lancôme, Yves Saint Laurent, Lipstick Queen, and Sephora

Sultry by Smashbox
Look: Sheer black cherry. The subtle, risk-free take on the trend.
Price: $18
Where: Sephora exclusive — available only online at

Piha Black by Lancôme
Look: Not only is this less shiny than it looks in the bottle, it carries a surprisingly low level of pigment. Made to be layered with red lipstick.
Price: $23
Where: Bloomingdale’s, 1000 Third Ave., at 59th St. (212-705-2000). Barneys New York (sold out). Lancôme boutique (sold out two weeks ago).

Pur Black by Yves Saint Laurent Beaute
Look: Super sleek, high shine. No sparkle here. Layer to desired level of intensity.
Price: $28
Where: Bloomingdale’s Soho, 504 Broadway, nr. Broome St. (212-729-5900). Saks Fifth Avenue, 611 Fifth Ave., at 50th St. (212-753-4000). Available online at

Black Tie Optional Sinner Shine by Lipstick Queen by Poppy King
Look: A deep gray that goes on sheer to intensify your look. On top of a nude lipstick, it will look light and bright. However, the gloss pot is especially sticky—like honey.
Price: $22
Where: Henri Bendel, 712 Fifth Ave., nr. 56th St. (212-247-1100). Space.NK, 99 Greene St., nr. Spring St. (212-941-4200). Available online at

Stormy by Kat Von D for Sephora (comes in a set of mini-glosses with four other colors)
Look: Super sheer and full of sparkles. Looks better in the bottle than on your lips.
Price: $26 for the set
Where: Sephora Soho, 555 Broadway, nr. Spring St. (212-625-1309). Sephora Times Square, 1500 Broadway, nr. 43rd St. (212-944-6789). Available online at

How to Wear Black Lip Color Without Looking Like a Vampire