Black Makeup Is the Internet’s Newest Obsession—Here’s What You Need to Know

This year's makeup trends have been matte pinks and beiges. But we just stumbled upon—and became hopelessly obsessed with—this shimmering, smoking-hot makeup trend known as "black makeup." Here's what we discovered.

black makeupMatthew Cohen/rd.comBlack makeup? That’s right, black makeup. And by that we don’t mean makeup for black skin (which, by the way, can be unreasonably expensive and possibly dangerous), but rather the crazy-cool and absolutely mesmerizing trend that is also known as “transforming black makeup” or “color-changing black makeup,” which marries smoky to shimmery with the feel of mood-ring whimsy.

“It looks like straight-up soot in a pot,” exclaims beauty writer Mi-Anne Chan, as she explores what she refers to as the “perfect palette cleanser” for the girly-hued beauty launches of the last few months. That’s where black makeup comes in. The thing about the name is that doesn’t necessarily go on black—it only looks that way before you apply it. Once you smooth, brush, or rub it on, it transforms into what Chan describes as “flattering and wearable hues” with a glittery finish. Like we said, it will bring to mind mood rings. You can watch here as Chan tries on all the black makeup, but we’re happy to give you the highlights.

  • Lipstick Queen Black Lace Rabbit Blush, $25, available at Ulta Beauty: Very black and a bit sparkly, as Chan rubs it in, it reveals a rosy glow, albeit an intense one which she tones down with a bit of concealer.
  • Rituel de Fille Inner Glow Creme Pigment in Eclipse, $29, available at Rituel de Fille; “It’s like completely black,” and does not actually work as highlighter, at least on Chan’s cheeks (unless you like the look of sheer-black smudged on your cheek-apples). It does work beautifully, however, as an eyeshadow, creating an instant smoky-eye look.
  • Estee Lauder x Victoria Beckham Eye Foil in Burnt Anise, $40, available at Estee Lauder. Here is the one she refers to as “soot-in-a-pot,” but it works perfectly to create that mood-ring inspired smoky shimmer on the eyelids.
  • Givenchy Universal Noir Revelateur Lip Liner, $29, accompanied by Rouge Interdit Vinyl Color Enhancing Lipstick, $34, available at Sephora: “This is supposed to transform into a natural hue,” Chan says, referring to the lipliner, but in fact, it goes on black. Thus, it’s better used for contrast, as opposed to lining (she blends it on top of the lipstick for a subtle impact). The lipstick itself goes on softly and transforms into a gorgeous jeweled-berry color.

Here are the makeup tips the pros wish you’d stop making. We’re not saying you shouldn’t wear makeup, but don’t miss this first-person account of what happened when one woman we know went makeup-free for 30 days. If you easily fall for internet looks and trends, be sure to avoid these challenges.

Popular Videos

Lauren Cahn
Lauren Cahn is a New York-based writer whose work has appeared regularly on Reader's Digest, The Huffington Post, and a variety of other publications since 2008. She covers life and style, popular culture, law, religion, health, fitness, yoga, entertaining and entertainment. Lauren is also an author of crime fiction; her first full-length manuscript, The Trust Game, was short-listed for the 2017 CLUE Award for emerging talent in the genre of suspense fiction.