Black lipstick is the best lipstick

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Few things make as big of an aesthetic impact as a swipe of black lipstick. Says influential Japanese designer Yohji Yamamoto on the color itself, “Above all, black says this: ‘I don’t bother you–don’t bother me.’” It’s for this unapproachability that the color is so thoroughly associated with counterculture and club looks and has become an unspoken part of the beauty lexicon. You want to look hot? Wear red lipstick. You want to look hot and scary? Pick up the black tube.

I disagree that it “says” anything. Trends in meaning tend to be “unspoken” because there isn’t anything to them.

I like black lipstick, as well as other colors. I look for how it goes with the person wearing it, their other make up, clothing colors, etc. It’s a gestalt thing, I don’t find it aesthetically meaningful in isolation from the rest of one’s appearance.

One of my kids looks fabulous in black (and dark purple) lipstick, but wouldn’t look good in goth or similar style overall.

This is why it’s important to try lots of different things and not assume that if the whole package isn’t for you, that doesn’t mean one or two aspects of it might not be perfect.


You mean like this dude?


Just because you don’t understand the language doesn’t mean nothing is being said.

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True, but just like with vocalizations, not all attempts at communication are really language. I don’t mean this as a value judgement to say that such utterances are of lesser value. A moan or howl can mean a lot - in fact, too much - the problem is that it can mean absolutely anything. Only some of which was likely intended by the speaker.

Not unlike “body language”, clothing and makeup fashions tend to exist in deliberate ignorance of specific grammar or syntax which makes language useful as a means of formal communication. It can still mean something, but the meanings are not going to be understood similarly between different people.

This is actually the trick behind them and their usage. They will be identified with by members of your tribe, or subculture - rather than reliably convey sematically-coded information.

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