Best Black Lipsticks

Crystal Schwanke
woman with black lipstick

You can use black lipstick as the focal point of your goth makeup style, to add a little edginess to your overall look, as part of a costume, or to mix with other shades to come up with the perfect one for your coloring. Whatever the reason, it's important to get the opacity and ease of application you're looking for. Streaky black lipstick that won't stay put doesn't look good on anyone, but a good quality product with a smooth finish can be stunning and shocking all at once.

Seven Great Black Lipsticks

When considering the best black lipsticks, look at the pigmentation, wear time, and price. Since most black lipsticks on the market are considered true black, most shades are appropriate for any skin tone.

Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Intense, 50

Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Intense in shade 50 is a highly pigmented, satin finish lipstick. This range of lipsticks has just over four out of five stars based on more than 2,000 reviews. One Sephora reviewer said the black shade "is like patent leather for (her) lips." It was also one of blogger XOVain's top picks. This lipstick has 50 percent more pigment than your average lipstick, so you can count on bold color and longevity. You can purchase it for about $20.00.

Illamasqua Pristine

Illamasqua's Pristine Lipstick received just over four of five stars from user reviews. Reviewers say it's opaque, not streaky, full-color, and long-lasting. One reviewer pointed out that even though it's considered a matte shade, it has a hint of shine. Hollywood Noir Makeup calls it "classic and simple" and points out that this lipstick also has a "light vanilla scent." It's one of the more expensive options for black lipstick, however. Expect to pay about $30.00 for a tube.

OCC Makeup Lip Tar: Matte in Tarred

OCC Makeup's Lip Tar: Matte in Tarred is an intense, opaque black. Lip Tars last well and are designed to be worn alone or mixed to create a custom shade. If you have other colors, you can use the Tarred shade to deepen them. A little goes a very long way, so the $18.00 price tag could be considered a bargain. Apply with a small, rounded lip brush for precise results.

If you're worried about this one being drying because of the matte finish, rest assured that it will be more comfortable than you think thanks to hemp oil and vitamin E. Makeup artist, cosmetics designer, and beauty blogger Makeup Geek gives OCC lip tar five stars, and the nearly 200 reviews at Beautylish average out to a 4.5.

Manic Panic Raven™ Lethal™ Lipstick

If you've ever been a fan of Manic Panic because of their wild assortment of funky colored hair dyes, you may be excited to find out about their line of lipsticks and glosses, which includes Raven™ Lethal™ Lipstick. It's opaque, long-wearing, smooth, and comes in a simple black and silver tube. Expect to pay just over $15.00 on the Manic Panic website. MakeupAlley reviewers give this lipstick good reviews saying that they love the color, though some reviewers add that it can be a bit drying.

NYX Macaron Lippies

The NYX Macaron Lippies have 4.5 out of 5 stars with 345 reviews. The black shade is called Chambord and has a long-lasting satin matte finish. Reviewers say the pigmentation is phenomenal and love the creamy texture. Expect to pay around $6.00 on the NYX site or at your local department or drug store. NYX products are well-known in makeup communities for being high-quality without the designer price tag. The lipsticks alone have garnered 3.8 stars on Makeup Alley.

Ardency Inn Punker Semi-Goth Lip Gloss

The Ardency Inn Punker Semi-Goth is a sheer black, almost charcoal, shade. The name of the product refers to it as a gloss, but it comes in a pencil form rather than a typical tube with a wand. On Sephora's website it has 700 "Loves" and 12 reviews that average out to about a four-star rating. Reviewers agree that it gives a shiny, glossy finish, and many mention that it's even nicer when layered over other lipstick shades to deepen their colors. This product was part of AllWomensTalk.com's picks for getting a goth look, and celebrity makeup artist James Vincent gave the Ardency Inn line his vote in an interview for beauty blog Phyrra.net. It retails for around $19.00.

Kat Von D Studded Kiss Lipstick in Slayer

No list of black lipsticks would be complete without something from Kat Von D's edgy cosmetics line. Not only does Slayer come in an eye-catching black studded, bullet-style tube and have a lovely creme brulee scent, it's a matte, pitch black for girls who mean business when it comes to their lip color choices. This line of lipsticks has an average of four stars with over 1300 reviews at Sephora. Reviewers report that it's long-wearing, creamy, and moisturizing. Buy it for about $21.00.

Honorable Mention: Black Lip Gloss

Rimmel London's Stay Glossy Black Diva lip gloss has 4.5 stars on Amazon.com. It's a sheer black, which is perfect for lighter skin tones and those who aren't ready to commit to the opaque lipsticks on the market. Rimmel is also an inexpensive brand. You can order this one for about $5.00.

Tips for Wearing Black Lipstick

Black lipstick makes a bold statement. Follow these tips to get the most out of your look.

  • When possible, try the shade before you buy it to make sure you're getting the opacity you prefer.
  • Line the outside of your lips with concealer using a thin, pointed brush to create a crisp line that makes your lips stand out.
  • You don't necessarily need a lot of eye makeup when you wear bold lip colors, but do consider a little liner and mascara for a more balanced look.
  • In a pinch, line and fill in your lips with your favorite long-lasting black eyeliner.

Black Lipstick Year-Round

You'll see several new, inexpensive black lipsticks in stores around Halloween. In general, those are fine for one-time costume wear. However, if you plan to wear black lipstick year-round or as part of a fashion statement, spending more on a quality lipstick will usually give you more satisfying results.

Best Black Lipsticks