Casual Vampy Lips

Vampy Lips Anna Speckhart Photo by Ben Pogue for Oyster
Model: Anna Speckhart / Photo: Ben Pogue for Oyster

Get the Look Casual Vampy Lips

I posted the above selfie on Instagram yesterday (an especially good makeup and hair day), and I got inspired to post a how-to. It was so easy, actually. There are some things that I did differently than the vampy norm. This look — besides the dark lip colour — is turned waaaay down in the goth department, down to my aesthetic of wearable casual makeup.

Sheer, Radiant Skin Base

For the base, I did a 50/50 mix of Laura Mercier Radiance Primer ($40) and NARS St. Moritz Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer ($49) applied with Real Techniques Stippling Brush. Concentrate around the nose and chin area where there’s usually redness and uneven skin tone, then blend out to the cheeks and forehead. If I need extra help, I’ll go in with Laura Mercier SC-5 Secret Camouflage ($38) on blemishes and extra redness. Then I set everything with — surprise surprise — Hourglass Dim Light Ambient Lighting Powder ($45).

What Can Brown (Blush) Do For You?

I’m obsessed with brown blush, guys. Don’t judge, hear me out. I’ve been wearing brown blush — MAKE UP FOR EVER 24 Matte Fawn Sculpting Blush — all winter long because: a) I’m feeling kinda pale, and b) I don’t need to add any extra pink to my wind blown skin. I wear it on the back of my cheekbones, halfway between where you would normally wear blush and where you put a contour shade in.

I also run this all over my eyelid as a neutral eyeshadow just to give it a bit of dimension. Pretty, no?

Fake a Strong Brow and Frame Eyes DiagramPardon the iPhone pic, but I mean, it was a really good eyebrow day.

Brows: Up Up and Away!

I’ve gone on and on about brows and I’ve been doing something a little bit different. Worn here is my old standby, MAKE UP FOR EVER #40 Aqua Brow ($24). Then, I take a spoolie and spray it with strong hold hairspray like L’Oreal Elnett. This breaks up the brows to make them look more naturally full than just drawn on.

Black Waterline Eyeliner, 2.0

Lining your waterlines is a great way to define your eyes and make your lashes thicker, but applying all the way around your eyes makes them look smaller.  If you love your waterline eyeliner and can’t part with it, but want a fresh way to wear it, try this trick: line your top waterline entirely, then on the lower waterline, only line the centre third, right below your irises. This frames the eyes without overwhelming with so much black, without sacrificing any definition. I use a long wearing formula that really stays on the waterline: Urban Decay Perversion 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil ($23).

Bonus: this may also eliminate the problem of melted eyeliner at the outer corners of your eyes. 🙂

Perfect Lips

Give yourself 3-5 minutes for the lips if you are going vampy with your lip colour. I used MAKE UP FOR EVVER 11 Dark Raspberry Aqua Rouge ($29). I apply this with a lip brush not only for precision, but also because the product can be thick and patchy on the lips.

This same look also suits a nude lip for a cool, minimalist ’90s vibe, if you’re not comfortable with such a deep shade. I’d wear a warm creamy nude, something like Maybelline Stormy Sahara Lipstick (worn here).

This entry was posted in Hourglass, Laura Mercier, Looks, MAKE UP FOR EVER, Makeup, NARS, Urban Decay and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.
  • Edther

    I. Love. Your. Brows! I have major brow envy! I’m gonna have to try your technique to see if I can get a similar effect on my sparse Asian eyebrows.

    • Do you tweeze Edther? I suggest that you lay off the tweezers for a while. It took me a while to get it to this point, but if you have some hairs and a thicker shape then it’s not too difficult to fake a fuller brow. 🙂

  • oh, I love all vamps, especially in spring because I don’t like spring, haha (does not make any sense at all though, lol). great tips!

    • LOL, makes sense! You like what you like. I can’t pull off that much pastels either, so spring isn’t my favourite season for makeup. 🙂 Summer and Fall are my favourite makeup seasons.

  • Toya

    Lookin’ good my dear! I have trouble pulling off this kind of look so I’m going to try these tips out! Also – your hair color is FABULOUS right now, LOVE it!!

    • Hey Toya! I know you can totally pull this off and rock it! 🙂 Thanks!

      I’m not totally happy with the colour… I need it to be blonder and cooler toned. Trying to use blondifying shampoo but I’m not sure it’s working.

  • Thank you for this tutorial!
    You look super pretty. 🙂

    I always struggle with vampy lip colors although I love them so much. They always look too much on me, so I never imagined there would be a “casual” way of rocking them.
    I will definitely try this. 😀

    • Hi Lena! Thank you. 🙂 I think the casual vampy lips are what we see on runways; just barely any other makeup with the strong lips. When you start adding eyeshadow and eyeliner that’s when it gets really glam and more of an evening look. Please report back to let me know how it went!

  • Liz

    A++++++++ Damn, woman – you look fantastic. Love the tip about hair spray on spoolie! I haven’t felt vampy lips and warm brown toned things in a while but you’re pulling me back in.

    • It’s the freakin’ ’90s and I’m stuck. LOL Thanks Liz! The hairspray on spoolie is an old makeup artist trick on really pesky brow hairs that won’t stay in place. 🙂

  • That looks awesome! You’ll have to show me blush trick though…I can’t picture it. AND I suspect I’d need a lighter shade than you use 😛

    • I can show you! The blush will suit you too!

  • Oh gurl, you’re too hot! I really really wish I had your brows <3

    • Thanks Sunny! They weren’t always like this. Patience and perseverance 😛

  • Amazing. AMAZING. I love the brown blush! I like blushes that are different…dunno that I can find one that suits, though 😛

    • Actually… brown should suit you beautifully now with your hair! Look for one that has very slight rosy tone. Can you wear MAC blush? Blushbaby would work. Also: Tarte Exposed, NARS Douceur (although this one, kinda crappy pigmentation).

  • love the strong brow!! looks great!

  • I had no idea vampy lips could actually pass for a casual, everyday shade. I love your overall look – it’s very natural with a kick of colour. Thanks for sharing your makeup tips!

    • You’re welcome, Terri Adrienne! Hope you try out the tips sometime. 🙂

  • Lily

    Awesome brows!! Love the entire look here, Arianne. You look gorgeous 🙂

  • Love how the brows and lips frame your face. Bold but it doesn’t make you look pale. Brown blush, eh?! Must try, I believe I have one somewhere.

    • YES! It is the brown blush. 🙂 You can even try Benefit Hoola as a blush + something rosy. It just warms up the face enough but still looks quite naked.

  • I love the way a brown blush can give color to cheeks without being too obvious that you’ve got a blush on.

    • Exactly, Nikki! That’s totally why I love it! 🙂

  • Aja

    whoa my god… your hair. is. amazing. the subtle highlights or balayage or whatever looks insanely good. tell me your secrets! i also have dark brown hair and i really hate the look of obvious highlights, how do you get your color to look so natural?

    • Hi Aja, thank you! I just get it coloured at the salon. My colourist uses the same technique for ombre highlights, but she didn’t lift my colour too much.

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  • great Post! I love the vampy lip 🙂

    xx Sera