Moody lip colors are so trendy, so seasonally appropriate, so…hard to commit to. But don’t worry: You can totally pull them off. Just follow these few suggestions.

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GO EASY ON THE EYE MAKEUP

You can either do a statement eye or a statement lip--you can’t do both. And this is especially true for dark lip colors. A soft shadow and a swipe of mascara up top and you’re good to go.

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MOISTURIZE, MOISTURIZE, MOISTURIZE

This trick is a game-changer. Before applying a highly pigmented shade, put on a light layer of lip balm and--this is important--let it sit for five to ten minutes until lips feel mostly dry, not sticky. This will help provide an even surface with a bit of grip so color goes on smooth.

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USE A LIP BRUSH

The darker the hue, the messier it is to apply. And a lip brush will give you precision and control. To use: Start at the outer corners and blend toward the center of your lips.

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ADD LIP LINER...LAST

A border line is essential when it comes to keeping a dark lip color in place, but applying it after you put on your lipstick will make it easier to blend.

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FORGO THE GLOSS

Your lips are already a focal point, so adding a glossy finish is overkill. Another reason to keep things matte: Lip gloss is the fastest route to smears and smudges. You want color on your mouth, not on your cheek.

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