A dark lip for Winter may not exactly be groundbreaking, but this past August (2016) when Dior showed a “blackened” hue down the runway for their Autumn/Winter 2016 collection, I became not only transfixed, but perhaps even a little obsessed with the image (below) of Kendall Jenner and her super glossy deep lip shade. I HAD to know what was used and how quickly I could recreate it. Never mind that it would probably take hours of precision work; I had never seen anything as mysterious/dangerous/sexy and wearable … yes, I said wearable … as this look created by beauty wizard Peter Philips, Creative and Image Director for Dior. The star product? Rouge Dior Lipstick 962 Poison Matte — a toxically beautiful shade that’s appropriately named, and inspired by the brand’s legendary Poison fragrance.
So imagine my disappointment when I sent the call out to get my hands on this intoxicating beauty, only to learn that it hadn’t been released yet and may possibly never even make it here. The horror. Then, a ray of light: one fine day, Poison Matte arrived at my door and I was off to channel my inner femme fatale.
When Dior first released their iconic Poison fragrance in 1985, it became a monster — in every sense of the word. A hit of leviathan proportions, this venture into dark & brooding territory was not only a departure for a brand known for its classic aesthetic, but the scent itself was groundbreaking: at once uniquely compelling and insanely overpowering. I personally loved it and saved up to buy a bottle, which I totally cherished (and sprayed liberally, much to the irritation of anyone who came within a 10-foot radius of me). That deep aubergine bottle with a shape alluding to Eve’s infamous Garden of Eden apple, held a place on honour on my vanity table for years, and will forever be immortalized in my memory.
Kendall Jenner for Dior AW16
Peter Philips, Dior AW16
Rouge Dior 962 Poison Matte (CAD $43.00) | A deep aubergine hue with blue/grape undertones, in a formula that’s not exactly matte in the strictest sense of the word, but not shiny either — more of a velvet finish, in fact. The texture is creamy rich and glides effortlessly along the lips, although it does take a bit of work to get it perfect. As with all dark shades, a little advance prepping will ensure the best application, and to that end it’s best to ensure lips are thoroughly exfoliated first in order to remove any dry patches/flakes, then completely moisturized with balm — just make sure to blot any excess balm first before going in with your application. For a crisp look, a liner is absolutely mandatory, both before lipstick application and after for touch ups, although I’ve been loving the deconstructed effect given by applying Poison Matte to the centre portion of the lips, then using my finger to blend it out towards the edges.
To recreate the AW/16 über-glossy & vampy look, I followed Peter Philips’ advice and first used a black eyeliner to line and fill in my lips (which was lightly blotted to lighten up some of the blackness), then applied a few layers of Poison Matte with each blotted between application, and topped off with a clear gloss. The final look is what’s seen in the swatch below — and which looked KILLER for all of 5 minutes. Then, it all started to migrate into my lip lines and became pretty much a hot mess. Going back to the drawing board, I started all over again but this time I incorporated one of those clear lip liners to prevent feathering and … eureka! Success!
PS: please note that the product shots were taken outside on a super sunny day, hence the “sweat beads” seen on the lipstick bullet — all of which disappeared a few minutes later.
There’s something that’s just so damn empowering about a dark lip; it basically tells the world that you’re “owning it”. And in a society that’s all about instant gratification, I’m embracing the fact that Poison Matte takes that extra bit of effort to make it look this dazzlingly glamorous; it forces one to slow down and actually enjoy the beauty process … if the frustration of not getting it perfectly even doesn’t get to you first, lol. As the Spring/Summer 2017 collections start rolling in, we’re about to become inundated with a plethora of nude lippie shades — why not step out of the box and wear something that’s just a bit more wicked? Who’s with me?
Available at Sephora, The Bay & select Dior counters
PR sample/As always, all opinions are my own