How To Wear Purple Lipsticks Without Looking Like A Throwback

Is it actually hard to believe that we’re halfway through the year already? As ultraviolet rays and temperatures turn up the heat to 100, it’s easier said than done to stay at home and skip the makeup.

However, I have to commute to work by (literally) walking in 33 degrees C of heat and humidity. Even though I applied primer, sunscreen and LAYERS of skincare, it still isn’t sweatproof – except for my lipstick.

Whenever I don’t feel like wearing my signature red, I always go for a purple. Although any color within the ultraviolet family doesn’t look so office-appropriate, it’s honestly WAY more universally flattering than a beige-y nude lip, which basically looks good on at least like, pale-skinned people. (The beauty industry terminology for “nude” is basically *so* racist, y’all!)

To all the purple lipstick veterans out there, you’ve been covered. But if you are one of those people who are too scared to try purple lipstick, don’t be too chickened out by a bit of color! Check out my go-to recommendations:

  1. Pat McGrath MatteTrance Lipstick in Modern Woman

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Technically, it’s a pinkish lilac shade, but Mother Pat considers this as a nude. With more beige pigments than purple, this unique lip color makes it super easy to wear everyday. It looks scary at first, but it will wear beautifully throughout the day. Just draw on an Amy Winehouse-style cat eye for a mean, lean retro look.


2. Tom Ford Beauty Lip Color in Sugar Glider


As a devotee of NEW BEAUTY’s EIC Emily Dougherty, she first made her claim to fame by mixing lipsticks on Instagram. Her mixes are created based on the recommendations of celebrity makeup artists and editors, which inspired me to try mixing my own lipsticks. However, I didn’t really bother to go out and actually buy the products until I saw a video of two Tom Ford lipsticks being crushed by a palette knife. Since I have neutral yellow undertones, this one actually looks AMAZING on me. Even my sister tried it and loved it, too!

Compared to most mauves in the market, this one isn’t overly pink nor is it too greige. In fact, it’s a neutral pinky mauve.


3. Urban Decay Vice Lipstick in Backfire


If you are looking for a super ’90s purple, this mesmerizing metallic shade is the one for you. Packed with a cool-toned silver glitter base, Backfire is meant to be worn as a lively party shade.

I know that looking like a #tbt is not something we can pull off everyday, but wear it with a matte neutral smoky eye.


4. Uslu Airline FRA frankfurt intl.

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If you are looking at a holographic/duochrome color, this one captures the best subtle color shift with the most natural finish.


5. Makeup Store Satin Gloss Bellflower

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Okurrr, I might’ve put this up in my review last year; however, I have a reason to put this up again. As a dark-based duochrome, Bellflower is meant to be applied as a fun lip topper to embellish a matte texture. If you find that layering lip colors are too much for you, just wear it alone for that Lorde circa 2013 vibe.


6. Huda Beauty Demi Matte Cream Lipstick in Catwalk Killa


Finally, a true purple of your dreams! I know more than a handful of you love a matte liquid lipstick, but if you hate the extreme dryness that comes with wearing it, my suggestion is to try a demi-matte texture. If you are one of those people that absolutely hate liquid lipstick, you can try changing your mind when you go for a shinier texture. Blending the best of both worlds, this semi-matte shade is super duper epic as it’s a gray-based purple that won’t wash you out.


7. Nyx Strictly Vinyl Lip Gloss in Night Walker

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Imagine Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer” on repeat. Nothing else sums up my mood more than a super dark purple. I mean, this is NOT your normal purple as it looks extremely similar to Chanel’s iconic discontinued shade, Hysteria. If you love a super shiny texture, vampy Chanel lipsticks and dark nail polish, you absolutely have to buy this shade. Although I wish I bought it at the beauty counter, this glossy texture and deep pigmentation will last you ALL day. (If you’re paranoid about fading color, you can apply Pat McGrath’s Deep Void to line your lips!)


8. Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution in Glastonberry


If you like something a bit more reddish, play it safe with a beautiful bold berry shade. Charlotte Tilbury’s lipsticks are to (legitly) die for as they last for hours, feel comfortable and deposit super charged pigments.


9. Winky Lux Lip Velour Matte Lipstick in Royal

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Not ready to splurge on a trend? You can go all out with Winky Lux’s super cute lipstick pill! This purple reminds me of Nasty Gal x MAC’s Gunner as it’s blue-based. Go easy on the eye makeup and throw on some contour.


10. Fenty Beauty Mattemoiselle Plush Matte Lipstick in One of the Boyz

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Remember when Nicki Minaj released a pale lilac shade for her MAC collab years ago? You can finally get your dupe with Fenty Beauty now! This lilac runs opaque, looks super duper fly and feels ridiculously cute. Crack a (dirty) joke with your best guy friends when you wear this shade.



Published by

Michelle Varinata

Lapis - (n.) a layer Shrek once said that "onions have layers" as he was peeling one. Like an onion, I have layers. Born in Jakarta and raised in Singapore, I grew up being surrounded in a multicultural environment. Then, I moved to the States, where I lived in NYC and L.A. The creativity, hustle, bustle and vibe of those cities inspired me to become a blogger, journalist and influencer. Writing by day and living it up by night, I slay in the streets one OOTD at a time. Full-face makeup included, too. ;)

2 thoughts on “How To Wear Purple Lipsticks Without Looking Like A Throwback

  1. I feel like deep purples and browns are my favourite colours to wear! Especially because like you said, nudes don’t really suit many skin colours past a light tan lol, I’m still set on finding my perfect nude colour though, fingers crossed x

    1. Sorry that this is too years too late, but I’m sure that you will be able to find the nude of your dreams! I’m glad that there are more brands that can cater to darker skin tones. 🙂

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