Thursday, October 27, 2011

CorpGoth Guide to High-End Black Lipsticks

Around Halloween, the BabyBat's fancy turns to black lipstick. Admit it, we've all done it, we've gone to the drugstore or the Halloween outlets that pop up everywhere and bought a tube of Wet 'n Wild (or worse, the generic) black lipstick and tried it out.

That waxy, hard, horrible tasting/smelling so-called lipstick leaves an ashen grey smear on our lips and we toss it in the trash, finally understanding why friends don't let friends dress as The Crow. And as the years pass, we begin to think the black lipsticks are just another of those childish rites of passage, certainly nothing fit for mature, sensible goth gals and boys.

However, in the past few years, several of the high-end makeup lines have come out with black and almost-black lipsticks that are of much better quality than the Halloween lippies of yore. These lipsticks are as moist and rich as you'd expect for a $20 tube, and the colors are quite nice.

Here are my reviews.

MAC Cosmetics Lipstick, Cremesheen Black Night (possibly discontinued; look at Nordstroms and other department-store makeup counters if MAC stores don't carry it) -- The lightest black lipstick of the bunch. Has a touch of shimmer. This one does go true black, but I think it looks best layered over another color, such as a dark pink or burgundy for a blackened cherry look.

Illamasqua Lipstick, Pristine (matte black) -- Very matte finish in a true, solid black lipstick. This gives a classy look to the old goth cliche, nicely adult yet edgy. A winner if you want a sharp, matte look. $22.

Make Up For Ever Professional Lipstick, #50 (satin black) -- A bit creamier than the Illamasqua but also a true, solid black. The satin finish isn't exactly shimmery but it's not the flat, matte of Pristine. This one stains a little bit. $19.

Sephora Rouge Cream Lipstick, Bewitch Me 24 (deepest cool grape) -- Actually, I'm not positive of the shade because in the stores, Sephora's house brand lippies don't have names, just numbers. My tube has the number 816-211A on it, and the color appears to be a brownish purple with shimmer. Don't let this fool you! It goes on as a rich, dark black with the barest hint of brown, like dried blood. And like all of Sephora's Rouge Cream line, it's smooth and silky with a satiny finish. If you can find this shade, it's a great, creamy black lipstick, and the most affordable of the bunch at $12.

While my photos aren't the best, you do get the idea that the differences between these lipstick shades are subtle, at best. The biggest choice is whether you want matte or satin/creamy finish

These colors -- like most makeup colors -- won't be available forever, so stock up if you like the look, or just want to avoid the memory of those nasty BabyBat experiments. I don't recommend wearing black lipstick to the office, but it can be fun on the weekends with simple eye makeup and an elegant outfit.

Related link:  A Review of MAC’s Black Lipsticks from Gothic Charm School.


  1. Sadly, I've never been able to do black lipstick. Very deep plum, oh yes, but my lips won't hold onto the black and it ends up looking more Halloweeny than sophisticated.

    I'm actually too lazy to wear makeup a lot of the time. I even out the complexion, then slap on a bit of red lipstick and head out the door. I really should pay a bit more attention to my presentation, but I'm usually running around like a crazy person and I'd be make-up-less by midday anyway.

  2. I once thought so compelled to try black lipstick .. ouch. Talk about unflattering ._.