06 Dec 2021

Beauty Spot: A dark lip could be your surprising secret weapon this summer

Tips, tricks and advice from the experts

Beauty Spot: A dark lip could be your surprising secret weapon this summer

Stile Shine Fever Lip Vinyl in Supercharge, €20.95, Beauty Bay

As summer approaches, we tend to put our winter clothes away and bring out our warm weather outfits. The same ethos is often applied to our beauty bags: when the sun comes out, we pack up our dark lipsticks and eyeshadows in favour of brighter colours.

However, this doesn’t always have to be the case. While you might associate berry lipsticks with autumn and winter, designers like MaxMara and Rick Owens made a strong case for darker pouts this season. It’s a surprising choice for the spring and summer months, but still totally wearable. It’s a way of experimenting with make-up without having to draw anything wacky on your face, or even learn any new techniques.

Admittedly, you don’t want to look like Morticia Addams did your make-up in the middle of summer, which is why we asked Stila’s lead make-up artist Sascha Jackson for her top tips…


With any type of make-up, it’s important to prep your skin properly so the products glide on seamlessly. The same logic applies to your lips – and priming them is even more important when you’re wearing a bold, statement colour.

“First, exfoliate your lips to get rid of any excess dry skin,” advises Jackson. It’s not like you need fancy new products to get soft, smooth lips, because there are plenty of home remedies which work just as well. The make-up artist has a few favourite DIY methods of her own, saying: “You can use some lip balm and an old toothbrush and gently scrub your lips until super smooth. Or, my personal favourite is making my own home-made lip scrub using coconut oil and brown sugar (if you only have white then that’s fine too). Mix them together in a small pot and work into the lips for a minute or two, then wipe away. Your lips will be super-smooth and soft.”

For super-hydrated lips, you might be tempted to use lip balm or oils before applying lipstick, but Jackson warns against this as they “may hinder the performance of your lipstick – so make sure you wipe away any excess product”.


Luckily, applying lipstick is one of the easiest things you can do in the world of make-up – all you need to do is draw the colour onto the shape of your pout.

However, Jackson says: “The bolder colour, the more precise you will need the finish to be” – so you might want to try something different than just swiping on lipstick. She suggests using a lip brush or a small, dense eyeshadow brush: “Load up the brush, then start by lining your lips, as you would a lip liner. Lining first makes sure you have crisp, neat edges.

Then, you can then fill in the middle and any gaps – making sure your lips are evenly coated with product.”

Finishing off the look

Jackson calls this trend for darker lips a “welcome change from the usual summery shades of corals and pinks. But wearing a darker, bold lip in the summer months needs adapting from how you would perhaps wear it in the winter season, to make sure it keeps within the summer vibe.”

This means you need to think about how your dark lip pairs with the rest of your make-up. Instead of going for a smokey eye, Jackson says: “I love pairing a dark berry lip with a contrasting pop of colour on the eyes. Nothing bold or crazy – just a bright eyeliner or a wash of a pastel shade will do. Think of wearing a dark berry lip with a yellow eyeliner, or pairing a deep burgundy brown lip with a wash of turquoise shadow.”

She also recommends using bright and summery make-up for your skin. “Keep everything light and glowy,” Jackson suggests. “Try using an illuminating primer under your foundation, use highlighter on the cheekbones and high points of the face, and try to keep textures to a cream formula, as opposed to matte powder. This will make sure it sets off against the darker lip and ties in nicely with summer fashion and trends.”

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