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How to wear dark lip colors (and get away with it)

How to wear dark lip colors (and get away with it)

The ’90s revival isn’t slowing down anytime soon. If anything, the decade’s appeal is only growing—and with minimalism, playfulness, and individuality feeling utterly current, why shouldn’t your makeup have the same qualities? Here, makeup artist Patrick Ta shows how it’s done as he transforms Rosie Huntington-Whiteley from a silver-lidded sweetheart to a modern-day siren.

Rosie wears Sablyn Serafina tee, Sablyn Valentina skirt, Manolo Blahnik PVC sandals, and Chloé silver hoops with logo-engraved gold bar. All but earrings available at FWRD.


Silver wins second place? Hardly. Here, the muted metallic is a sure winner on eyes. A wine-colored lip—done up in a rich, velvety finish—adds to the ’90s-inspired moment.


Using a flat synthetic eyeshadow brush, Ta pressed KKW Beauty pressed powder pigment in Glass (a metallic silver) onto the eyelids. “I then followed with the same technique using Shiseido Aura Dew in Lunar as a topper,” he says. After adding a few individual lashes, he swiped on Shiseido Imperial Lash mascara for length and fullness.


Healthy, fresh, glowing—that’s the eternal complexion goal. To achieve it, Ta massaged skin with La Mer The Renewal Oil followed by The Moisturizing Soft Cream. He then applied La Mer The Eye Balm Intense under the eyes. Next, for a fresh and dewy look, Ta applied La Mer The Soft Fluid foundation (in shade Buff 23) using a dense brush. “I then went in with a damp Beautyblender to ensure full, blended coverage for a nice, natural finish,” he says.

Next, he applied La Mer The Concealer under eyes. Then, using a fluffy blending brush as well as a Beautyblender, he gently pressed the product into RHW’s skin. A light, strategic dusting of La Mer The Powder minimized the risk of shine while allowing skin to remain dewy.


For a nod to the ’90s, Ta chose Shiseido Modern Matte Powder Lipstick in Velvet Rope. The statement hue has a softer appearance thanks to the formula’s blurred effect.


Using a fluffy duo fiber brush, Ta brought color to RHW’s cheeks using Shiseido Minimalist Whipped Powder blush in Sonoya. Tom Ford Beauty Shade & Illuminate Cheeks in Scintillate provided radiance; the Dior Backstage Glow Face Palette on top set it in place. To define cheeks, Ta used the Rosie for Autograph Starstruck contour stick, blending it out with a dense contour brush and buffing it into the skin using a Beautyblender.

Rosie wears Cushnie Hudson dress, Givenchy leather moto jacket, Manolo Blahnik Andena 90 sandal, and Loewe Frills earrings. All but earrings available at FWRD.


In 1994, Chanel’s Vamp lipstick was the shade to wear on nails and lips. Equal parts noir and goth, it added up to a uniquely glam moment. Fast-forward 25 years and the deep lipstick trend is back—but this time, it’s in a glossier, multitonal rendition that’s even easier to wear.


Double your pleasure: Ta added more pigment from the original lipstick to intensify the hue, then topped it all with Shiseido LacquerInk Lipshine in Patent Plum.

Photographed by Zoey Grossman. Makeup: Patrick Ta. Hair: Bryce Scarlett. Stylist: Melissa Espinoza.

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