Nothing makes me feel more like a femme goddess than lipstick. With endless different shades to choose from, lipstick allows me to instantly turn into any type of femme for the day. I can be a vampy seductress (eggplant purple), an Art Girl (vivid green), or a professional boss b*tch who deserves a rai$e (bold red).
Makeup companies have not historically catered to black and brown women, but you don’t have to search high and low for a lipstick shade that will flatter your brown skin tone. It’s much easier to find a lipstick that works for brown skin than some other types of makeup, like foundation or concealer. That’s probably why I have 18 million lipsticks in each one of my purses.
Here are 14 of the best of the best lipsticks for black and brown femmes!
“Beso” is a true red with blue undertones that is universally flattering for brown skin tones. It was made famous as the signature lipstick of Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, who wears it as part of her boss look during debates and interviews. You want to be as confident as AOC, right? Right.
“Out Loud” is warm, deep orange shade that resembles the terracotta pots in your fave Instagram plant lady’s garden. It goes on subtly, and unlike many matte lipsticks, it also moisturizes at the same time.
If there’s any type of lipstick that IS hard to find as a black or brown femme, it’s nude lipstick. Because “nude” obviously means something very different for us than it does for white folks, and our lips come in all kinds of undertones, from pink to brown.
For those with red and yellow skin undertones, this lipstick from Inglot Cosmetics provides a true “your lips but better” nude look. It’s a must-have for your collection.
“Paradise Lost” is a rosy brown nude color that will stay on your lips all day, even through your drunk pizza run at 2 a.m. This shade works for a variety of skin tones, and it has the texture and consistency of a much more expensive liquid lipstick. This covergirl product is a MUST black and brown femmes.
For a more subtle brown nude look, try “Brazil Nut,” which is — surprise, surprise — NOT a matte lip! It provides a soft, lovely brown sheen and hydrates your lips. It’s also subtle enough that it won’t look insane after a make-out session.
Let us take a quick moment to pray to our savior Rihanna, who single-handedly whipped the makeup industry into shape with her company Fenty Beauty. There are a lot of great shades to choose from in the Stunna Lip Paint line, but one crowd fav is “Unveil,” a warm, rich mocha color.
Bored of traditional nudes and reds? Okay, how about this mega-bright violet hue from Nyx? This shade flatters a range of brown skin tones, from light to deep. It goes on easily and barely requires any touch-ups.
“Port Royale” is a dark eggplant purple color that is absolutely ideal for eating masc dykes’ heads alive, just like the killer femme that you are. This slightly sheen-y matte lip works for all brown skin tones.
“Madison” is a shock of a bright berry color. Don’t be scared of the brightness — black and brown femmes can pull off bright colors like this! Trust me! This one is easy to apply and stays put.
“Full Panic” is a beautiful matte pink color. It’s bright, but it’s also kind of perfect for the faint of heart, because it’s very buildable. Start with one swipe and you’ll end up with a subtle pink lip stain. Add another layer or two and you’ll have a bright, bold matte lip. Black and brown femmes looking for something to take them from day to night will love this dynamic shade.
Now let’s get into some more avant-garde lipstick shades, shall we? “Young Attitude” is a bold greenish-blue. The formula is lightweight, but the color is a heavy-hitter that’ll definitely turn some heads, especially combined with a winged eye.
“Echo” is a navy blue lipstick that’s perfect for those days when you want to make a statement with your look but really don’t feel like putting together an outfit. Just put on some navy blue lipstick — boom, done. You could be wearing your ex-GF’s worn-out hoodie and you’d still look cool.
Green lipstick seems like a stretch, yes, but it’s surprisingly easy to pull off for darker skin tones. “Kale” is a dark green that might even look black at first glance, like those huge leaves of kale at the farmer’s market.
Okay, if you really want to become a different person for the night and confuse the hell out of your long-term GF, may I suggest a matte black?! Black lipstick is not just for goths anymore. On brown skin, it makes you look like the fourth weird sister from “The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina,” aka very hot and mysterious. A dream come true.