get fancy: how to do dark lips

by dana leviston

Super dark lipstick is often associated with a goth look, but a fresh face works really well with some deep-hued smackers, and can accompany a simple daytime makeup without going over the top. For this month's Get Fancy column we have channelled a grungier style of the '90s, keeping the eyes to a minimum and taking the lips to alt rock girl level, a la Winona, Drew and Courtney.

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TOOLS:

matte lipstick in dark plum/wine/burgundy
a sharp lip liner to match
lip brush

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INSTRUCTIONS:

1. As much as we love the idea of vamping it up, dark lips are totally wearable with your everyday eyes, no blush and a blank canvas base. If your lips are not your desired shape, you can apply foundation and compact powder inside your natural lip line, to "re-create" the shape you want without following the existing natural lip line.

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2. To achieve balance and symmetry, use your lip liner to form a line from the centre of your bottom lip and take it along about a centimetre toward each corner of the mouth.

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3. The option of a more prominent cupids' bow comes in at this point, but if you prefer not to go too vampy, it's best to line the top lip with more of a dip in the centre than pointy peaks. Start with the outer corners and run the liner toward the centre, leaving a very slight dip in the middle til last.

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4. Complete the outline with the lip liner. Make sure you get right into the corners – the best way to do this precisely is to open your mouth really wide like you are yawning and run the liner along vertically, with a feather motion into the join.

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5. Take your lipstick and lip brush and fill the lips in. At first your work might appear patchy – it may take a few applications to get a solid colour on your lips. A good trick for a more long-wearing lipstick is to use a translucent or blot powder to set the first layer, and then re-apply a second coat. Alternatively, you can separate the layers of a tissue and use a single ply to carefully blot the first layer before reapplying.

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Experiment with your newfound winter palette and try oxblood, rich chocolate and deep purple. The darker the better!

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The pretty piccies of model Sass were snapped by Katherine Soutar. Words are by Dana Leviston.

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