Whether it’s the wine-stained lip at Max Mara or deep fuchsia at Rebecca Taylor, a bold lip proved to be the hottest beauty accessory on the Fall 2014 runways. So we asked Melanie Cruickshank, founder of the Toronto-based (and awesome) DaLish Cosmetics, for her tips on how to wear a dark lip like a pro this season.

1. Don’t be afraid of a bold statement lip.
“I think it comes down to how comfortable you are,” says Cruickshank. “Wear what makes you happy.” Also: dark colours are versatile and can complement various skin tones. “I’m very fair and love the LO2 matte Fuchsia bright pink that DaLish makes. I get compliments on it all the time.”


2. Prep your lips for a smooth, even application.
Try a homemade simple sugar scrub each week. “I’ll put a teaspoon of fine sugar and a dessert spoon of avocado oil (olive oil will do as well) and mix in a little pot,” she says. Then gently buff away—preferably in the shower. “The moisture really allows for a deep scrub of the dead tissue,” she says.

3. Always apply foundation or concealer to lips first, then add lip colour on top. “It really does make it last longer and gives the lipstick a surface to adhere to,” says Cruickshank. Go for a matte lipstick. “Anything shiny tends to wear much faster.” Brighter pigments like reds stay longer as well, she adds.

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4. Blot your lips after applying colour. Make sure they’re not sticky or wet—then reapply your lip colour. This will help with extending your application well into the night. The shape and pigment should hold on the lip—even with eating and drinking—so a quick touchup is all you need. “At the ends of the day if I can still see it, then it’s been a good lipstick-wearing day!”

5. Keep the rest of your makeup simple and uncomplicated. “With darker lips I always do a lighter eye and cheek, making my lips the focus,” she explains. Think a nude lid or a neutral gold with swipe of liner and a coat (or two!) of mascara. As for blush, go with a softer colour, like a light pink or coral and highlighter.

6. Practice good lip care.
Always apply lip balm before heading to bed each night. “Sometimes I like to apply good old-fashioned coconut oil directly to my lips,” says Cruickshank. “When you sleep you aren’t talking or moving so it stays on and does its job.”

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