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Which black lipstick is best?

Black lipstick was once a rare makeup choice—a daring option only worn by rebels of standard beauty regimes. These days, social media beauty influencers are proving that nothing is off the table. Black lipstick is still a bold choice, but it is a choice that can embellish most any style.

The key to pulling off such a dark shade is having the right product. LA Splash Cosmetics Soft Liquid Matte Lipstick in the color “venom” is a top choice. It glides on as a liquid and dries matte. Praised for being long-lasting and requiring little maintenance, this is a rare find for a true black lipstick.

What to know before you buy a black lipstick

It’s no secret that wearing black lipstick exudes confidence. Whether using a stick, balm or liquid formula, embodying the matte or glossy black lip look will take work. The rest of the makeup look should be on par and touch ups will be required throughout the day. Lip exfoliators are a great tool to help avoid drying out your lips with bold lipstick.

Touch Ups

Before purchasing black lipstick, be aware that the look requires some upkeep. Due to the prominent color, smaller smudges are more obvious. Using a lip liner is helpful for preventing the dark color from bleeding onto the skin around the mouth. Using a matte-style black lipstick can also help keep color from bleeding. Carrying the lipstick in a purse or bag is recommended, as it will likely need to be reapplied throughout the course of the day.

Full Makeup

Just because black makeup is a bold choice doesn’t mean the rest of your makeup has to be just as dark and intimidating. Balance the look with light makeup elsewhere, unless all around dark makeup is the intention—in which case, go for it.

Form and Finish

Figuring out which brand to use is only the first step in buying a new black lipstick. Lipsticks can be sold in stick, cream, liquid, gloss, stain or even pencil. They can have matte, glossy, metallic or natural finishes. The only way to find which one works best is through experimentation, though most of the best black lipsticks are matte.

What to look for in a quality black lipstick

A quality lipstick will be waterproof and long lasting. Black lipstick does not tend to hold up as well as natural lip colors, and even the best brands will need to be reapplied during the day. Even so, some black lipsticks will be easier to maintain than others. These lipsticks should be opaque and scentless.


Being applied around the mouth naturally makes lipstick a very vulnerable part of any makeup look. Eating, speaking and even smiling can smudge your lips or leave a line of the waxy substance on your teeth. Waterproof black lipstick will be more resistant to saliva and sweat, helping keep your makeup look pristine and camera ready throughout the day.


Most lipstick shades can be fully applied in two coats. Black lipstick may take a few more coats since any missed part of your lips is especially visible in contrast to the dark color. Once completely applied, the makeup should be opaque and smooth.


Lipsticks can be scented, often with fruity or sweet aromas. In this case, scents are fine. However, if the makeup is not labeled as scented, it should not have a strong smell to it. Chemical or plastic odors hint that the lipstick may contain ingredients that probably shouldn’t be applied to your mouth.

How much you can expect to spend on black lipstick

Drugstore lipsticks usually cost under $10. Eco-friendly, designer and vegan lipsticks are more costly, often having a price tag of $35 or more.

Black lipstick FAQ

What other products help black lipstick last?

A. Using lip liner around the lips will keep lipstick from bleeding onto the surrounding skin. Using makeup setting spray or putting setting powder on your lips after application will also lengthen the lipstick’s longevity.

Is black lipstick appropriate for work/school?

A. This depends entirely on the dress code at your work or school. Your school should have a handbook on the acceptable dress code. Workplaces may lean either way. Keep your black lipstick from being too overwhelming by pairing it with a more neutral-colored outfit and lighter eye makeup.

What’s the best black lipstick to buy?

Top black lipstick

KVD Beauty Everlasting Liquid Lipstick (Witches)

KVD Beauty Everlasting Liquid Lipstick (Witches)

What you need to know: This is a matte liquid lipstick in a pitch-black shade.

What you’ll love: This liquid lipstick applies like a gloss, but finishes in a matte black. It is both vegan and cruelty-free and contains vitamin E, sunflower seed wax and coconut oil to keep lips moisturized.

What you should consider: Even though it contains moisturizers, the lipstick may cake and flake on lips that are prone to dryness.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon, Kohl’s, Sephora

Top black lipstick for the money

NYX Professional Makeup Suede Matte Lipstick (Alien)

NYX Professional Makeup Suede Matte Lipstick (Alien)

What you need to know: A velvety matte lipstick with a bold black shade, this product is also vegan and cruelty-free.

What you’ll love: It is as dark as advertised and very long lasting, requiring very few touch ups. This product is not tested on animals and is very affordable for being a cruelty-free product.

What you should consider: The black color may vary when applied depending on the shade of your natural lips. Some customers say it is opaque black, while others say there are hints of purple shades.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon, Ulta

Worth checking out

LA Splash Cosmetics Soft Liquid Matte Lipstick (Venom)

LA Splash Cosmetics Soft Liquid Matte Lipstick (Venom)

What you need to know: A waterproof liquid matte lipstick in solid black.

What you’ll love: This lipstick is long lasting and truly black in color. People claim it does not transfer or bleed for hours and it rarely needs to be touched up.

What you should consider: It is a matte lipstick and has a drying agent, therefore it may not have great results on people who are prone to dryness.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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Gwen Swanson writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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