Rihanna Proof That Black Lipstick Isn’t As Scary As You Think

Most of us refer to the adage “black goes with everything” when talking about clothing because, well, it does. But slap an onyx hue onto your lips and all of a sudden you’re deemed “scary,” “daring,” or “unapproachable.” Well, we’re here to prove the haters wrong. In fact, if you ask us, the same fashion trick applies to makeup, too.

“I love matte black lipstick, such a bold and arrogant shade, [it] frames every word that leaves my mouth,” says Lydia Pang, daily black lipstick-wearer and creative director at Refinery29. “It underlines everything I say. Caps lock, full stop, bolded — it pronounces on my behalf.”

For those used to sporting bright oranges and pinks — or even wine-reds and berries — it may feel like a leap to purchase a tube of black. But trust us when we say that the lipstick color is as flattering as it is edgy. Just ask all the celebs — including Beyoncé, Rihanna, and Gigi Hadid — who aren’t afraid to rock every variation of the color on the red carpet. Check out all the ways to try the trend, ahead.


You already know that the queen of bold makeup can rock any lipstick color, whether it’s green, blue, or black. Follow her lead by pairing the latter with golden eyeshadow and an itty bitty cat-eye.

Luckily, you can copy this fresh — but impactful — look exactly with the Bad Gal’s latest launch: Fenty Beauty’s Stunna Lip Paint in Uninvited.

Fenty Stunna Lip Paint Longwear Fluid Lip Color, $24, available at Sephora

Joan Smalls

Smalls kept things simple with this all-black ensemble — complete with an inky pout. “Less is more,” says makeup artist James Vincent. Make your black lipstick the focal point of your look by keeping your skin natural and eyes soft, he told Refinery29.

Use NARS’ intensely-pigmented liquid lipstick, which boasts an inky color and a long-wearing matte finish.

NARS Powermatte Lip Pigment, $26, available at NARS

Gigi Hadid

Feeling intimidated by pitch black? Make like Gigi Hadid and opt for midnight blue instead: It’s soft and unexpected, but still makes a statement.

“This color screams attention,” says celebrity makeup artist Ermahn Ospina. “No need to fight it. The more discreet the rest of your makeup is, the better.” This velvety lipstick may go on matte, but it never feels dry, thanks to the castor seed oil and shea butter in the formula.

Ardency Inn Modster Long Play Supercharged Lip Color in Black is Blue, $25, available at Ardency Inn.

Ardency Inn Modster Long Play Supercharged Lip Color, $25, available at Ardency Inn

Shay Mitchell

If you’re intrigued by true black and midnight blue lipsticks, but aren’t quite ready to go all the way, try a deep berry hue à la Mitchell instead. Think of the vampy color as black lipstick on training wheels. (Plus, she told us that this is one of her favorite makeup looks — ever.)

This matte, deep aubergine lipstick is one of our go-tos. Sure, it isn’t pitch black, but baby steps, right?

NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil, $27, available at NARS


Although the Queen Bey can be unpredictable, we never saw this curveball coming when she paired her airy, blackbird-printed Temperley London dress with an unexpected matte black lip.

Photo: Via @beyonce.

Unlike many onyx lipsticks — which can require building and layering — this option offers full-coverage pigment in just one swipe.

MAC Cosmetics Liptensity Lipstick, $21, available at mac cosmetics

Kylie Jenner

Kylie Jenner is another celeb known to experiment with a rainbow of lipstick colors. We’re partial to this true black shade on the reality-star-turned-beauty-entrepreneur.

Kylie’s Dead of Knight Lip Kit is long gone, but Sephora’s $8 option is a fitting (and cheaper) dupe.

Sephora Collection #Lipstories Lipstick, $8, available at Sephora

Hailey Baldwin

From the sequined dress to the high-shine lipstick, this look is practically begging to be seen at an after-hours spot.

Photo: Via @makeupvincent.

This shimmery formulation from Guerlain shines anywhere — but looks especially good under club lights.

Guerlain La Petite Robe Noire Deliciously Shiny Lipstick, $32, available at Sephora

Selah Marley

Lauryn Hill and Rohan Marley’s daughter looked gothy glam at the Christian Dior show during Paris Fashion Week.

Photo: Stephane Cardinale/Corbis/Getty Images.

Voguesnapped the beauty applying a product that appeared to be this long-wear liquid formula.

Dior Rouge Dior Liquid, $37, available at Sephora

Jourdan Dunn proves that you don’t have to reserve your black lipstick for the red carpet. It does just as well in an off-duty Insta selfie, too.

Finding black lipstick that’s kiss-proof is harder than proving unicorns are real. Thankfully, Fluide just launched an inky shade that’s up for the challenge.

Fluide Liquid Lipstick in Scandals, $16, available at Fluide

Click HERE to read more from Refinery29

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