Wine-Stained Lip Service

How to pull off a berry vampy look

An eye-catching, wine-stained lip is one of the reasons I love fall. In both matte and sheer stain versions, deeper colors—which were all over the Fall/Winter 2014-2015 runways—give oomph to an otherwise pared-back makeup look.

The challenge in pulling off a rich lip stain isn’t picking from the slew of new colors launching this season, but rather in making sure the color you wear doesn’t veer into a too-dark-for-the-day goth territory. Mac Cosmetics’ new psychedelic outpost on North Beverly Drive can help you get started. I could spend hours playing with the vast kaleidoscope of their attention-stealing lipsticks (ranging from muted fuchsias to glittery purples) at the shop, but Rebel ($16) is a great mainstay in my makeup bag. It’s a berried red with a satiny finish that has a bit of natural sheen to it. For those of you who dread those drying, flat finishes that highlight every nook n’ cranny, Rebel is a non-matte lipstick that wears comfortably well.

For a subtle stained effect, YSL’s 1 Violet Edition ($35) is a deeper burgundy hue that melts nicely into lips and leaves behind a sweet fruity scent. The result is semi-opaque, which I like for days when you don’t want to wear a full on vampy look at the office. The wear time is impressive; it didn’t budge or bleed through a messy sandwich lunch and nearly six hours before I felt I should touch up.

Kat Von D’s Wolvesmouth ($21) comes in the coolest case—ever. The Studded Kiss formula is enriched with Vitamins A, C, and E, so you can skip the balm beforehand. The metallic mulberry shade has a gorgeous color payoff, but you could just as easily use your fingers to dab the intense lipstick for a softer, smudgy effect.

I like berry lips because of the positively glammed up attitude you get from wearing them, but getting a super-price dark lip with day-long staying power can be tricky. One tip: Before applying whichever product you settle on, fill in your lips with a creamy pencil in a similar shade.

A native Angeleno, Navdeep Mundi is a Leo, hates cilantro, and has studied beauty products for more than 18 years. She spends her days directing media and strategy and her nights sniffing out slightly quirky yet impeccably pretty things along with her German Shepherd, Le Tigre.