The best part of summer is eating sun-hot blackberries off the bush. Or maybe it's drinking sangria under a canopy of grape vines and hanging lanterns.
Both will stain your lips a dark purply red. It's an untraditional color for summer--you see more corals and pinks in the collections--but it is a dramatic and beautiful one. With the vamp look being back in style in a big way, it’s a good look to try on a warm summer evening.
The king of all vamp lipsticks is the iconic Tom Ford Lip Color in Black Orchid. This lipstick has it all: second-skin texture, intense pigments, ultra-luxe packaging, and above all, the perfect color.
Dark purple in the tube, it applies with a deep red luminosity that glows in the final look. It is neither too bright nor too muted. It has just the right touch of a tannic complexity to hint of nature and food.
But the best thing about Black Orchid is its versatility. The color is so deep, it almost acts as a distillation of color that can be applied with different intensities for a multitude of looks. With a couple additional products, the possibilities are even more extensive.
Here are five of my favorite looks using Black Orchid. I used a colorless lip balm, a clear lip gloss, and a couple of different sizes of lip brushes in combination with the Black Orchid for wine- and blackberry-inspired lip looks.
I should note, Tom Ford himself is morally opposed to lip liner and refused to include it in his cosmetics line; thus, I forwent the lip liner. It helps keep things modern and casual. But a dark plum or a clear lip liner would add nice definition and a precise bouche de l’opéra look.
Here I am with exfoliated lips and a coat of the lip balm.
My first look is a long-lasting wine stain. Using the larger lip brush, I took a little color from the bullet of the lipstick and spread it as evenly as possible over both lips. I worked the lipstick in as deep as I could to create a good, deep stain.
Worked deeply and thin like this, the lipstick has the tannic look of red wine. It looks classic and romantic, like what a Jane Austen character would wear.
My second look is a light berry gloss. I added some clear gloss on top of my stain and blended with my finger. Now the lipstick takes on more a muted raspberry color.
The reflection from the gloss adds lightness and youth. It is a fresh look that looks beautiful in the morning.
My third look is a matte, medium plum shade. I’m finally applying the lipstick straight, blending it in one coat across the lips with the larger lip brush.
I did some shaping around the contour with the edge of the brush. It looks serious and mature and would be a good way to wear Black Orchid to work.
My fourth look is the full-on vamp mouth. I built up thin layers of the lipstick with the larger lip brush, letting the lipstick set between layers. Then I used the smaller lip brush to softly define the lip contours.
The layers build up quickly to a deep, dark, purple-black mouth. This is the look that stops people dead in the streets. It is powerful and intense.
My fifth and final look is the deep, gooey blackberry jam look. I added clear gloss on top of the layers of lipstick, working it in with my fingers to pick up some of the color in the center and let the rich red tones show through.
The shine adds dimension and drama for a glossy showstopper mouth. So far this summer, this has been my favorite party look.
What do you think?