As someone who survived the awkward middle school phase wearing a black hoodie over my school uniform every day, nontraditional lipstick colors like blue, black, purple and very dark red were some sort of unattainable level of edginess I could only dream of achieving.
According to the fashion world, however, these lip colors are now a major trend, having been featured on numerous runways and in magazines worldwide.
Being the makeup afficionado that I am, I decided I’d take the fashion world’s advice and give some of these lipsticks a try.
Black, for me, was the most difficult. Despite my middle school desire to rock the edgiest of edgy lip colors, college me was a little more hesitant. After much consulting with my roommate, though, I took the plunge.
It was weird to step out of my dorm with my lips painted black, and I immediately noticed the funny looks I got from people.
Paired with a white t-shirt, jeans and a military-style red jacket, I enjoyed the striking addition of black lips to my otherwise fairly straight-laced look.
Black, especially, is supposed to be a main event that shocks people and gets their attention. That being said, don’t incorporate black lips in a super busy outfit.
Now, I’m actually already a big fan of dark red lipsticks. They add a bit of vintage flair to certain outfits, while making others a little more punk-rock. Plus, these colors look good on everyone.
For burgundies, maroons and your vintage dark reds, pair with neutral-colored outfits for the most part. A beige sweater, jeans, brown riding boots and a fluffy blanket scarf provide the perfect background for striking burgundy lips.
If you’re feeling a little more daring, go for a black blouse — preferably with cute details like lace or bows for a feminine feel — and jeans and black or gray booties. The dark red will be a subtle splash of color.
Much like the dark red, purple was slightly more in my comfort zone. I’ve never worn purple lipstick before, but the shade I chose was close enough to some of my reds that I wasn’t too bothered. However, purple is a particularly difficult shade on many people, myself included, so finding the right outfit for it was a challenge.
For this, I chose an oatmeal-colored dress with purple tights, brown riding boots and a brown and purple scarf.
Purple is definitely my least-favorite of the four lipstick colors I experimented with, but it was still pretty fun. I suggest using it sparingly, though.
For the final part of my little experiment, I wore a vividly dark shade of midnight blue. Strangely, this was the scariest of the four, mainly because it was such an unknown variable.
Blue almost necessitates an outfit built from dark neutrals like black and gray. My mother, fashion-savvy as she is, tried to convince me not to try this out, saying that I would look like I’d swallowed cyanide. Thankfully, I didn’t listen.
Dressed in a simple black dress, black tights, my motorcycle jacket and gray heeled booties, I donned my midnight makeup and braved the world.
I was not disappointed. It was, without a doubt, the best of the four lip colors I tried. It turned heads, brought out my eyes and made me feel strangely confident.
As I learned from my experiment with bolder shades of lipstick, the fashion world has a point: nontraditional lipsticks are actually amazing. Once you get used to the funny looks from a handful of passersbys, you become much more comfortable, and, in my experience, even more confident. The trick is simply pairing it with the right outfit.