How to Perfect Darker Lipstick LooksWhen nothing but the perfect bold lip will do, our step-by-step beauty guide has all the answers.

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How to Perfect Bold, Dark Lipstick Looks

What is a Bold Lip?

From French girl red and playful shades of purple to 90s-inspired brown, bold lips are all about perfect symmetry, smooth application, and plenty of intense colour. Luckily, we’re spoiled for choice when it comes to selecting our perfect shades this summer.

Keep reading to discover all our top bold lipstick recommendations and tips on how to create the ultimate dark lipstick look at home.

How to Choose the Right Dark Lipstick for You

When it comes to picking out which dark lipstick colours suit your best, your skin tone will be your biggest help. A good rule of thumb is to opt for brighter shades such as deep coral or apple red for skin with cool undertones. If you’re a red lipstick fan, take a look at our guide to choosing the right shade for you .


We adore the Charlotte Tilbury lipstick shades Mrs Kisses and Lucky Cherry from their Matte Revolution range.

For warmer-toned skin, try darker hues like burgundy red or maroon. Tom Ford’s Velvet Cherry is our go-to.

How to Create a Bold Lip Look

Whether you’re brand new to the bold lip game or you’ve been rocking the trend for years, these simple techniques make it so easy to perfect the look.

1. Exfoliate & Hydrate

Prep your pout with a gentle exfoliating scrub or moisturising lip mask. They’ll hydrate your lips, prevent any dryness, and give you a silky-smooth canvas for seamless colour application. Add a slick of lip balm for an extra hydrating boost an hour or so before you apply your lipstick. This way, it has time to fully absorb and won’t cause your colour to bleed at the edges.

2. Turn up the Volume

Since darker lip colours can sometimes make your lips look a little smaller, you may want to add a plumping gloss or serum to your pout before going in with your colour. The intensely nourishing Dior Addict Lip Maximizer Serum is enriched with mallow flower and hyaluronic acid to boost the volume of your lips instantly. Apply evenly, and let it absorb before moving on to the next step.

3. Prime Your Pout

For a lipstick look with am to pm staying power, priming your lips is a must. Take your foundation, concealer, or a light powder, whichever works best for you, and dab it on lightly and evenly to neutralize the natural colour of your lips. Creating a blank canvas will show off the true colour of your lipstick while also giving a base for your lipstick to grip onto.

4. Line Your Lips

To create a crisp edge and perfect symmetry for your dark lip look, always line your lips before reaching for your lipstick. We recommend choosing a high-quality lip liner in a corresponding shade, so they seamlessly blend together.

Starting with your top lip, use your sharpened lip liner to draw an X that defines your cupid's bow. Next, outline the outer corners of your lips with an arrow shape, and define your lower lip by following its natural curve. Use these connecting points as guides to line your lips all the way around. Use a square lip brush to gently blend the line inwards ready to meet your lipstick.

5. Love Your Colour

Finally, it’s time for the fun part, applying the colour itself. While you can slick it on it straight from the lipstick itself, we recommend using your square-edged brush again for a more precise application and even colour saturation.

If you prefer to use the stick go ahead, just make sure you finish off with your brush for an effortlessly smooth, blended colour.

Bold Lip Looks for Every Occasion

If you thought bold lips were only for after-dark events, think again. With the right colour selection, this trend will work for you no matter the occasion.

Try minimal eye makeup and a dark red Fenty Beauty lipstick for an effortlessly chic, summer weekend makeup look. Opt for 90s-inspired dark brown lipstick with creamy brown eyeshadow and soft blush for your dinner plans. The Dior Lipstick in the shade Nude Line is a must-have for this look.

Can I Wear a Dark Lipstick to Work?

If you’re wondering whether you can rock a dark lip from Monday to Friday, we hear you. For formal office settings, deep orange or dark red lipstick is always a good choice. They’re full of warmth and personality but won’t push the boundaries of your dress code too far.

If you work in a more laid-back environment, however, you can afford to go all out with bolder reds, brighter pinks, or even a chic dark purple lipstick.

Discover more more beauty guides and learn how to perfect your summer skincare routine, choose the best red lipstick and more.