post + photos by amy nadine, graphic design by eunice chun

This beauty how-to is for those of you who’ve always been curious to know if you can pull off a vamp lip but not enough to buy anything. Well get this: all you need is your black kohl eyeliner pencil (yes you heard right!). It’s one of the oldest methods in makeup and has quite the payoff. Plus I wanted to show you the whole look so you can see there is a feminine and fun way to do it. I’m hoping you’ll be surprised at how wearable a dark vamp lip actually is and it might even open the door to a whole world of dark lipsticks for you. Here’s how:


  • Black kohl eyeliner pencil — I used this Sephora Collection Kohl Pencil on Taye because it’s super smudge-able and blendable.
  • Lip gloss — I used this Lancôme Juicy Tube but you can also use any gloss (even clear) because the black foundation is already powerful.
  • Lip brush — this Stila Lip Brush has been one of my favorites for years because of its short + angled bristles and because it’s portable.
  • Nude blush — I used Chanel Blush in Orchid Rose as it’s the only nude I’ve used on my clients for a couple years now.
  • Blush brush — This NARS Yachiyo Brush #27 is my favorite to swirl precisely on the apples of the cheeks but it’s definitely an investment so you can of course use your favorite blush brush.



  1. Start by outlining the lip with the black kohl pencil then fill in the entire area.
  2. Apply the gloss with a lip brush so you can blend in any black smudges.


  1. Apply the gold cream shadow all over the lid + crease with your finger. You can absolutely substitute this with a gold powder shadow if that’s what you have on hand.
  2. Apply the red metallic liquid liner along the lashline from the inner corner to the outer corner then winged out and up. You can substitute it with a dark purple liquid liner if you like the idea of liner with two colors, or just draw the whole line + wing with the black liquid liner.
  3. Draw a line below the red liner with a black liquid liner to sharpen it and make it more interesting.
  4. Add a coat of mascara.


Swirl the nude blush over the apples of your cheeks to bring a little life to this strong statement.