September 1 Theme: Makeup

Click photos for a larger view.

Probably the single most common reader request I get is for a tutorial on how I do my signature nighttime lip look.  I actually started this tutorial for ages ago, but since tutorials are much more time-consuming than outfit posts (and this isn’t really a makeup blog per se, although the topic is somewhat relevant) I never felt inspired to finish it.  Until I decided to do a makeup monthly theme so everyone could join in the fun!

Black Gradient Lip Liner Tutorial

Everything I use for this look is pictured above. From top to bottom:

Burt’s Bees lip balm
Du Wop Reverse Lip Liner
Eyeliner Pencil in Black (I like any brand that is self-sharpening)
Lipstick – Any shade of red or purple
Lip Gloss in a coordinating shade
Cotton swab for cleanup

Black Gradient Lipliner Tutorial

First, I moisturize my lips with lip balm so everything won’t end up chunky in an hour.  🙂  Next, apply the reverse lip liner around the OUTSIDE edge of my lips. I highly recommend this stuff for any lip look, as it all but eliminates bleeding lipstick or lip gloss. It takes just a thin coat of this invisible wonder.  I pat a tiny bit of powder foundation over the reverse liner to give it extra staying power, and to ensure that it can’t be seen at all.

Red and Black Gothic Lipstick Tutorial

For the outline, I use a black self-sharpening eyeliner pencil. I start by lining outside of my natural lip line, although you could keep inside your lip line if you prefer. I think black makes lips look smaller, so I prefer to bulk my lips up and add to the drama.  I clean up any imperfections in the outline with a pointed cotton swab.

Once I have perfected the new outside shape, I line again just inside the lip line with black, then fill in between so I have one thick black line.

Black and Red Lipstick Makeup Tutorial

Now I apply my lipstick inside the black.

Once the lipstick is done, I blot and then go back with a bit more black liner to blend everything together. A lip brush is useful here, to ensure a smooth blend.  Once I have perfected the gradient, I add a final coat of lipstick, followed by a thin layer of gloss to make it all shine.  You don’t want it to be too glossy, or the gradient will smear too easily.

Black Gradient Lip Liner Tutorial

Want to participate in this month’s theme?

Now it’s your turn! You know what to do (or if you don’t, check out the full details). 🙂

  1. Add the Monthly Theme icon to your blog post (copy the code below and paste into your post using the Edit HTML feature):
    <a href=""><img src="" border="0"></a>
  2. Paste the URL to your post using the Mister Linky box below.
    Please use a direct link to your relevant post, NOT a link to your blog’s home page.
  3. Visit all of the other participants who have entered, and show them you appreciate their theme posts!
NO ADULT CONTENT will be allowed.

All images and text © Sophistique Noir Gothic Fashion Blog. Do not use any photos or text from this blog without providing a credit to me and a link back to the original post.


  1. Ha, I used to have that same choker! Wow, this theme ended up being really tough for me. Looking forward to everyone’s posts though! Nice to complete a challenge sometimes. ^_^

    • That’s funny – I made the choker myself probably a dozen years ago, with a scrap of trim on which I sewed sequins and beads. It’s still one of my absolute favorite accessories. 🙂

      • Oh, I can’t really see the sequins and beads- mine was just the fabric- eventually the cord started to unravel from the sides. It looks great on you! I also have always enjoyed your signature lip look, it really pops!

  2. hi miss kitty!!! I love how you wear the purple lipstick. I got one but it makes my lips looks like i just got hit on the face loll.. and i wonder about the burt’s bees lipbalm quality? is it worth to buy? (i got it here too in my country but its kinda expensive)

    Have a nice day 😀

  3. Thanks for the tutorial ! I love your B&R lips 🙂

  4. Great tutorial! I have always admired this style of your lips and wondered were you got that black lip liner (but it simply was an eyeliner).

  5. I really like your tutorial! The red colours (lipstick and nails) are amazing and I have to get one of those reversed lip liners.
    ~ Tea

    • I’ve always had trouble with lipstick bleeding, even when my skin was much younger and wrinkle-free. Finally I went to a store in L.A. that supplies professional makeup artists and asked them if there was anything out there to help stop that. That’s where I learned about reverse lip liner. But to this day, Du Wop is the only brand I can find that makes the stuff!

  6. Lovely! I’ve always loved your signature lip look. Thanks for hosting another great monthly theme!

  7. I love this!
    I love the gradient an colours.
    I must try that Du Wop Reverse Lip Liner, too feel it’s wonder! 🙂

  8. The reversed Eyeliner seems like a great idea. Do you know whether Do Wop is available in Germany?

  9. Oh, yes, this lip look is stunning! I’m no good with make up – in fact, I usually stick with the winged eyeliner – smokey bottom lid combo because I can’t even do a decent smokey look…:D -, but I’ve always admired this look. ^^ Nice tutorial! 🙂

  10. This will go down as one of my very favorite Themes!

    I do love that lip look on you. As much lipstick as I have, I take spells where I’m just lazy with it. Some mornings I don’t have time…some I can’t decide which color to wear so I skip it. But I rarely leave the house without a ton of eye makeup on!

    • I definitely get lazy with lipstick on an everyday basis. I have trouble keeping it on all day at work – it dries out and gets chunky and uncomfortable, and sometimes I’m too busy throughout the day to maintain it. But I always apply it before meetings. 🙂 And definitely always when going out.

  11. Burts Bees products are just lovely and smell so good. I’m hyper allergic to most beauty products and quite a bit of makeup, so it’s great to find something so good.

    Because of my allergies I rarely wear makeup, so sadly sat out this challenge. I’ve even started reacting badly to old favourites (including the pricier brands) recently so I’m trying to rebuild my make up kit as a result – as cheaply and as hyper-allergenically as possibly. Pah!

    • Aww, that’s awful! I often have problems with eye shadows in pink shades. There are only two brands I’ve found that make pinks I can wear without ending up with swollen, rashy lids. And it appears that even one of those is starting to give me trouble, as I’ve had a mysterious dry patch that keeps coming and going….

      At least you are not allergic to beeswax! I know someone who is, and she cannot enjoy many Burt’s Bees products. I WOULD DIE!!! Have you tried their tinted lip balms? I find the tint to be too subtle for my tastes, but maybe they would work for you since that brand seems to agree with you!

      • Will certainly give it a go, they are quite subtle but worth a try 🙂

        I am usually ok with Body Shop products, but found I’ve started reacting to their hand creams, which is annoying as I love their almond scented one. Oh well, back to basics.

  12. Really great tutorial! You look fantastic, as usual 🙂

  13. I have to admit, the dark lined lip is growing on me more and more as time goes by (and also as I consistently fail to get matching lipliner); it always looks so dramatic. Looking lovely as ever!

  14. Ah, black liner and colored lipstick, an old goth mainstay! 🙂 I used to love wearing black and blood red, or black and electric blue. Those were my go-to club looks. These days my makeup needs to be quick and easy, yet sufficiently dramatic … but not too dramatic because I teach. Oy. So much to juggle.

  15. I don’t know why but I have never heard of a lipliner like that before! I must try and get my hands on one! Love this lip look 😀

  16. I remember being able to wear makeup without sweating it all off…. Time to change jobs, I’m tired of wasting my pretty years looking like a ditch digger.

  17. I love your unique take on beauty! I linked my incredibly simple and silly look just for fun 🙂

  18. Love this! This is great because I think one could substitute any number of lipstick colours with the black liner and get a really neat result.

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