Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Quick Tip: Vampire Chic on the Cheap

Believe it or not, there was a time, not so long ago, when goth was actually a SUBculture and vampire chic was the farthest thing from mainstream. This fall's makeup collections from Nars to Chanel to MAC are showcasing inky lips and raven eyes, making us beauty junkies feel as if we've been missing something by not having a black tube of lipstick in our kits. I'll admit, I was tempted by the tarry tubes- not just black, but deep plums, rich sooty reds, even night-sky eggplant shades. These shades are not daily-wear by any means, but they do impart a certain opulence that you won't see with fall's usual terracotta and brick shades.

Still, when it came down to it, I just wasn't willing to plunk down the cold hard cash for something I'm unlikely to wear outside of the month of October. Especially when I already have the means to create an arsenal of shades, including the rich black lip I've been craving ever since I saw the promo images for MAC's Style Black collection. The secret? So do you. Basic, every day eyeliner pencil.

This is one of the most basic tricks I learned, way back in junior high when I decided I needed blue lipstick to match my outfit. Experimenting in my bathroom before school one day, I learned my first lesson in makeup artistry: makeup is multi-purpose. Just because it's called "eyeliner" doesn't mean you can't use it else where. So I did.

Ergo, all you need really need for this season's perfect black lip is a black pencil liner and something to impart a bit of moisture. Simply line your lip line with a black pencil, then fill in the entire portion of your lip. For a glossy look, top with your favorite clear gloss or balm. If you're after a more matte look, you could, of course, leave the liner as is without a topcoat but since liner alone can tend to feel a bit dry on the lips, I'd suggest topping it with a wax based lip moisturizer (like good ol' ChapStick). If you're happy with this more satiny finish, you're done. If you're craving a truly matte finish, pat a bit of black powder eye shadow over your lips.

With two minor revisions, you can use this same technique to get richer blackened red or plum shades. Line lips with a black liner like before, but this time only fill in your lips about 3/4 full, leaving just the very center blank. Layer a red, plum, even pink shade over and use a lip brush (or your pinky finger!) to blend the edges gently. The lack of liner in the the center of your lip will give an automatic highlight, making your lips look fuller despite the dark shade!

Take this lesson for what it is- an invitation to experiment with your makeup in a no-holds-barred manner. Use blush on your eyes, eye shadow as high lighter, anything goes. Sure, sometimes you'll end up looking ridiculous, but you may just stumble upon next season's hot trend.

*Keep in mind, certain color additives are not approved for all areas of the face. If you're sensitive, always test products in an inconspicuous place. Also keep in mind that the eye area is particularly prone to sensitivity and infection- it is imperative that you sanitize any product not meant for the area before you apply to lessen the chance of cross contamination.


Phyrra said...

I love the suggestion :)
I've used eyeliner on my lip before, liked it!

Suzanne C. said...

WOW! Great advice! and I'm someone who would shell out the cash for deep plums, blood reds and even black. After all for me they are daily wear (or at least weekly) I'm not goth I just can't stand the idea of waiting until hatt one day each year we're "allowed" to play dress-up. Every day Is dress up for me. I'm going to try these tips. I'll have to get chapstick i'm a carmex and alba lipstain kinda girl.

Unknown said...


No need to run out and buy Chapstick- your Carmex will work just fine! To be honest, I myself don't own a tube of the stuff- my favorite lip balm is Victoria's Secret Beauty Rush soothing lipbalm. Like I said in the post, even Vaseline will work! Have fun experimenting!

Christy said...

Actually, I used to wear Bonne Bell Pecan Brown Eye liner for the longest time for my lips. It weirded out my step-dad, but I liked it at the time.

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