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Black lipstick – beauty’s gothic new trend

Make-up wise, I peak at Halloween, a time when I’m allowed to look like my lips are bleeding and I can get drunk on a Wednesday. Dark eyes and even darker lips I like. I suit goth makeup, all year round, especially in spring – now – because it makes a dark, subversive counterpoint to a skirt, and because emo is in my marrow.

Kendall Jenner on the Giles catwalk
Photograph: Samir Hussein/WireImage

A quick sweep of two of the four fashion weeks so far shows black lipstick is also bleeding on to the catwalk, which means, in less than a year, it will be as commonplace as rats. In New York, on the Marc Jacobs catwalk, totemic makeup artist Francois Nars used a deeply pigmented purple lipstick (Train Bleu Velvet Matte Lip Pencil by Nars) that looked inky and frightening under the hot catwalk lightbulbs. In London, it was Giles who sent a triple threat of Kendall Jenner, Edie Campbell and Lily Donaldson down the catwalk with Dulux skin and nigh-on patent black lips, and Ashley Williams whose models looked pouty and tarry and painfully aloof.

Some key celebrities, the ones who look good in boy’s clothes like Alexa Chung and Freida Pinto have been wearing black lipstick well, on and off the Frow.

Try this at home and people will stare like you’ve got choccy on your face and kale in your teeth but beyond that, it’s do-able and fun. My personal favourite is Tom Ford’s eerie version, called Black Orchid, which makes you look like you’ve licked an oil slick. Of course Barry M, which keeps most teenage subcultures painted and coloured, does an extreme version – Lip Paint in Black – for £4.49 so if you change your mind after one go, it’s not the end of the world. Ditto Topshop’s In Depth which is dark aubergine and matte and cheap. Illamasqua’s almost black version was dark and thick and stayed on after a yoghurt. Failing that, dark eyeshadow and a little vaseline should do it.

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