beauty queen: rooney mara

the not-goth guide to wearing dark lipstick.

by rebecca willa davis

I'm not sure when 'dark lipstick' became synonymous with 'goth lipstick,' but as we've point out multiple times in the past few months (seriously, check out our guide to wearing dark lipstick or our editors' takes on MAC's Black Friday lipstick), there's more than just one way to wear a super-rich hued shade on your lips. 

And no one knows that better than Rooney Mara. The actress has turned the deep purple hue into her beauty calling card, creating at this week's Dubai International Film Festival what I like to the call the silent screen star look. Why? Well you know how when you watch old movies (say, anything with Louise Brooks in it) it looks like all the leading women are wearing a mouthful of dark berry lipstick? It's the black and white film that makes it look that way, but the end result is pretty perfect looking--and for our purposes, it serves as a cool, Hollywood glam bit of beauty inspiration.

For the hair, anything slicked back is perfect--not to mention easy (if you try for throwback waves the whole thing will look a little too retro)--and then follow these three easy steps for your own not-goth interpretation of the dark lip.

BRIGHTEN IT: Revlon PhotoReady Skinlights Face Illuminator - $12.99

In the early aughts Revlon discontinued this magical illumniator--and ever since then has received endless requests to bring it back. The rebooted version, officially out this month, is even better than the original. Think a light formula that quickly conceals, smooths, and gives you that I-lead-a-charmed-life glow--especially important when you're going dark on your mouth.

PINK IT: Smashbox Halo Long Wear Blush - $24

We obviously heart The Craft, but if that's not the beauty vibe you're going for, the key to rocking a dark lip isn't the lipstick itself, but blush. Find something rosy and pink (we love this new long-lasting blush from Smashbox) and don't be shy about applying it to even the palest of skin.

DARKEN IT: MAC Lipstick in Cyber - $15

There's a reason why we reference this MAC lipstick every time we talk about dark lips: It's perfect. Seriously, it's dark but not black, with a deep purple color that seriously looks insanely good on everyone. Your mom could pull it off--but you won't want to share it with her, anyway. Apply a quick coat of mascara (for a real party--and if you have real patience--try for fake lashes to get major peepers like Mara)