Matte lips have dominated the Fall runways this season, and more often than not they have been painted classic shades of red. Backstage at Victoria Beckham and Marc By Marc Jacobs in New York, lips were a perfect crimson hue, while a precise slick of scarlet ruled at PPQ in London and Rick Owens this week in Paris. But another pout color is starting to stake its claim on the season, and it’s gaining ground with each passing day: behold, the dark mulberry mouth. We got the our first glimpse of it in Milan, where Pat McGrath coined the “dark romance” effect at Gucci before creating “shading and contrast” at Bottega Veneta with paled-out skin and another burnt-cherry lip that she lined with a black eye liner and then filled in with a blackened-red pigment. Lucia Pieroni picked up on the idea at Rochas, where she crafted a dark wine-stained, “stamped-on” lip to complement the rich color palette of Marco Zanini’s collection. Then today at Viktor & Rolf, McGrath captured the enchanted show’s “witchy elegance” with a burgundy pout that she described as “gothic glamour.” This last incarnation had the addition of a high-gloss shine, which the makeup artist applied just before models hit the run way to avoid any, er, sticky situations.
The color is striking on a host of different complexions, but the real secret to pulling it off lays with a good lip liner. “[They're] brilliant!” Pieroni effused at Rochas of the colored pencils that can retain even the wiliest of lipstick bullets. Pro tip: For a true matte finish, apply your liner around the perimeter of the mouth and in the center before adding your lipstick. Blot with a tissue, dab with finger-patting of translucent powder, then apply the liner to the surface of the mouth again to thoroughly remove all traces of shine.