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Extreme lipstick! From barely there to black and bold

Whether you “dare to bare” or work to “black out" your pout, the fall's hottest lip colors are anything but neutral! TODAY Style editor Bobbie Thomas lays out what you need to know before sporting bare or black lipstick.
/ Source: TODAY contributor

Whether you “dare to bare” or work to “black out" your pout, this fall's hottest lip colors are anything but neutral! Rachel McAdams' New York Times T Magazine photo shoot is a great example of the fall's lust-worthy lip looks. On the cover, she wears a bold, black lip while keeping her eyes clean. On an inside spread, she rocks raccoon eyes with a nude pout.

Though these photos are extremely fashion-forward, as long as you're willing to be bold, the looks can work for you. Bobbie Thomas, TODAY Style editor and author of the Buzz column for In Touch Weekly, provides product suggestions and essential application tips for both looks.

A killer kisser
In addition to nails, lips have gone goth! Possibly as a result of our obsession with all things shiny and black, patent onyx purses and pumps, ebony jewelry, latexlike leggings and ink-colored nails have a cult following. Lips can now be added to the list.Hints of the hue first appeared on the fall runways of Yves Saint Laurent, Giles and Alice Roi. Now that the season is upon us, beauty buffs are begging to get their hands on these products. The actual color used on Yves Saint Laurent's runway — Pur Black — will hit shelves in September ($28; This high-gloss glaze is slick and serious, and has no sparkles. But a magic black wand is not required to get this look! Fulvia Farolfi created Rachel's cover lip by layering Chanel's Precision Eye Definer in Noir ($28; under Make Up Forever's Flash Color in Black ($17;

The popularity of this look is being reinforced by the hype surrounding the release of Lancome's Piha Black. Created by new artistic director Aaron de May as part of a limited edition luxe lip set, this deep, dark gloss is oozing with shine and shimmer. Lancome's low pigment lip glaze is an alternative to heavy black lipstick, and can be layered over colors over or left slightly sheer. Slated for release in November, only 500 will be available, and rumor has it the waitlist is already filling up fast ($48; 212-705-2886).

Beyond black, Hollywood's obsession with retro reds will most likely get a seductive update this fall. First in line is Kate Hudson, who sports dark, blood-red lips on the cover of this month's W Magazine. For those brave souls looking for a severe shade of blackish-red, there are some dramatic drugstore versions worth checking. They include Milani’s Black Cherry ($3.49; and Wet ’n’ Wild’s Black Orchid ($0.99;

A pale pout
Aside from devilishly dark lipstick, fall’s other most talked-about makeup trend is an eye with a pop of color, or a shaded “panda eye.” The best way to balance these bold eyes is by keeping the rest of the face clean — specifically, sticking with a nude lip.

So, on the opposing end of the power pucker, bare lips are blending into fall beauty as well.  This look first appeared on the Fall 2008 runways in shows ranging from Behnaz Sarafpour to Balenciaga. And the best part is, it can easily be created with cosmetics that are already in your makeup drawer.

Before you even think about reaching for your lipstick, apply concealer or pressed powder to cover up any natural pigment in your lips. Max Factor’s Erace Concealer in Neutral ($3.56; is a lipstick-shaped option, and DuWop’s reverse lip liner is a colorless matte pencil that will seal the deal ($19;  

While this look isn’t called nude for nothing, those who feel too bare without a basic lipstick may want to check out MAC’s lipstick in Myth ($14;, Avon’s Ultra Color Rich Lipstick in Classic Nude ($6.50; or L'Oreal's Color Riche "Made for Me Naturals" collection ( Just remember, the key with this look is to keep the lips looking matte rather than glossy. But be sure to start with some lip balm for a well-moisturized mouth to avoid cakey application or creasing.If you succumb to either extreme this season, keep an important fact in mind. Lipstick is only temporary — you can always kiss it off!