Just when we’d all gotten our nude lip color just right, black lips are back. Let’s face it, we all went through a Goth phase for a week or two (or was that just me?). But black lips are nothing new. In fact, the first mention of black lipstick can be traced back to ancient Egypt, around 4000 BC. Apparently, Egyptian women (and men) were not afraid to make a bold color statement with make up.
In Hollywood’s heyday of the 1920’s, when films were only black and white, starlets used black lips to attain contour and drama but it wasn’t accepted as mainstream street glam until the late 1960’s when David Bowie brought it to pop culture. I can’t help thinking this recent black lip revival has something to do with his recent passing.
In the 1960’s, Biba cosmetics hired Helmut Newton to shoot their ad campaign, establishing it as a fashion trend for the first time in the 20th century….
but in 1975, Tim Curry wore black lipstick in the Cult Classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show, stigmatizing it as fringe, goth and certainly anything but mainstream for about two decades.
Fast forward to 1996. Urban Decay launches their line which includes a black lipstick called Oil Slick. The same year, The Craft movie came out, and teens around the world wore black lipstick and created their own covens in an effort to hex anyone who wronged them or slip the school quarterback a potent love potion.
In 2008, YSL launched Gloss Pur Black. From then on, it’s pretty much been a steady stream of acceptance in the fashion world.
In 2013, MAC cosmetics released a limited edition matt black lipstick on Black Friday. It sold out instantly.
This year, black lips are showing up on Fashion runways from New York to London, and magazines and social media posts are calling it the new glam. The black lip has not only returned, it’s been welcomed with the open arms of the fashion industry….again. Vogue just hailed it a “fierce new femininity”.
Photo: Getty Images, Dior 2016 Runway
HINT: What separates this look from Goth ghosts of ages past is the slight hint of violet under black and of course, gloss instead of matt adds that hint of glam to any goth girl. Keep an eye out for the new ROUGE DIOR shade called POISON, available next season, finished with a “Crystal Clear” coat of DIOR ADDICT GLOSS.
Good luck ladies!