Gone but not forgotten: Stéphane Marais
Friday Fun: When makeup and toys collide

Fall 2008 Trend: Goth-influenced lips

I'm taking a little break from talking about packaging and design to discuss the dominant fall cosmetics trend:  super-dark lip color.  It seems to be everywhere!  

Sephora featured the look on the front cover of its fall catalogue and equates dark lips with power: 

Sephora dark lips(photo from sephora.com)

Meanwhile, MAC's new collection, Cult of Cherry, presents them as a little dangerous:  "With its sense of way-to-go dark, this is how we separate the bitter from the sweet..."

Cult of cherry
(photo from maccosmetics.com)

Lucky magazine had a slightly different take on the look in its September issue, saying that it gives a sort of "naughty-librarian" vibe.  The page featured Shu Uemura's pure black lipstick:


Taking the trend to the extreme (or rather spearheading the trend) is Yves Saint Laurent's  Gloss Pur Black.  

(photo from

Incidentally, YSL models all sported this look down the runway for the fall collection:

(photo from style.com)

Finally, the author of the blog at Makeup Moxie says that Lancome will be releasing a pure black lip gloss as well:

"To help achieve this hot lip look, Lancome’s new artistic director for makeup, Aaron de May, has created a sexy new lip color set that’s scheduled to launch in November.

The set includes a Color Fever Lipstick in Piha Red, a shade which was inspired by the signature red soles of Christian Louboutin shoes. In addition, and perhaps even more interestingly, the set will also include a black Color Fever lipgloss."

It seems another Goth trend has been appropriated and corporatized for the mainstream beauty world.  Instead of black nail polish being all the rage, as it was in the fall of 2006 (when Chanel's Black Satin nail polish became the must-have polish for the season and went for upwards of $80 on E-bay), nearly-black lips is the look du jour.  I'm guessing it could be partly because dark purple is this season's "it" color.


Sadly, as with the black nail polish, this trend is too severe for most working professionals who do the 9-5 office grind (unless you're in a creative field that encourages following fashion trends).  And unlike black nail polish, which can look good on every type of nail and hand shape, intensely dark lip colors can only be worn by those blessed with full lips - if your lips are on the thin side they will virtually disappear with colors so dark.  Still, that doesn't mean the trend can't be modified for those of us (like me!) who lack Angelina-like puckers.  You can still wear a deep crimson or plum, and a bit of gloss on top helps make lips look fuller.  My favorite dark-but-not-too-dark fall shades:  Clinique Crushed Grape lipstickNars Captiva and Flamenco lipsticks, and  Stila Cranberry and Black Cherry lip glazes.

Fall lips 

For more on the dark-lip trend, check out this post from Makeup Minute.

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