When I told Garance I wanted to talk about the deep, berry lips we had seen on the fall runway, I was bombarded with questions from her and the Studio:

What shade should I wear? How do I not look like a vampire? Can I wear a dark lip without feeling too 90s? Do you have one I can try? Are my lips a weird shape?

I’m here to address all of those pressing questions (minus the one about lip shape, sorry Christiana)…

1. Pick a shade. I’m a big advocate of testing them out. I know it seems like a daunting task, but it’s really the best way. Emily has olive undertones in her skin and she first tried a deep aubergine shade, and it wasn’t right for her. A similar shade looked great on Christiana who also has olive skin. You’ve gotta try them on. I often leave Sephora with a half sleeve of color swatches and it really is the best way to find the right color for you.

If you’re looking for something subtle and want to ease into the look, try a tinted balm to start, like a Chubby Stick (Fuller Fig or Richer Raisin) or try Butter London’s new Tinted Balm in Black Cherry.

2. Avoid looking like an extra in Twilight. Keep the rest of your makeup minimal. Avoid a smoky eye or heavy liner with the deeper shades (Fendi did this well for fall, even though the hair was a little intense). For blush, try a light, warm shade to give you a healthy glow. I was really into a deep plum shade one summer (I know, summer!) and happened to also be really into this long black maxi dress…it was a little too Morticia Addams at times.

3. Embrace the 90s. I know you’re groaning over there but come on, were the 90s really so bad? Drew Barrymore rocked a bordeaux lip like no other. The strongest image that comes to my mind is that one of her with the daisies in her hair. You know, that one. If you’re really fearful, try a warmer shade and leave the deep bordeaux to Drew (or Winona, Liv, Gwen or Courtney).

4. Try these! From top to bottom: L’Oréal Infallible in Bold Bordeaux, Dior Addict Extreme in Black Tie, NARS Pure Matte Lipstick in Volga, Marc Jacobs Lovemarc in Saboteur, Giorgio Armani Rouge d’Armani in #609, and By Terry Hyaluronic Sheer Rouge in Sangria Appeal.

Are you wearing a bordeaux lip this fall? Tell me your shade! Tell me your favorite 90s bordeaux lip icon!

– Alex