Portland Black Lipstick Company

A friend of mine moved to Portland for a few years,  and being part of the burlesque scene, she was introduced to this brand. She recommended it to me about a year ago, and I only just got around to ordering something from them.

Major claim to fame besides the best black lipstick money can buy? The owner’s Corpse Paint foundation and lipstick was used for the Weirdos in Portlandia!

I love that the website puts right up front that the word “natural” doesn’t mean anything in regards to cosmetics and then explains their formula. From what they’ve listed, they are as natural as one can get for doing what they do. Also they seem to be doing a vegan base as well as accepting customs.

They really stick with what the store says, offering 25 shades of lipstick in alternative colors, some glitter, Corpse Paint, and a setting powder.

I want to say that they also offer samples, which is something I love about indie companies, and I also get what a pain in the ass it can be to put them together, so I really appreciate that they offer that service. It helps me be able to try a variety of colors and keep my money in products that I’ll actually wear, instead of just more vanity decor. (Seriously, my husband is starting to ask questions about if I’ll be able to run out of makeup before I die)

As I was doing swatches and looks, my daughter was not having a great weekend, so please excuse the pictures and my acne.

First up, the corpse paint was awesome! I have been using Mehron Clown White Lite for my foundation needs for nearly a decade but this was a revelation! It was a nice, matte and sheer white, that could be built for opacity very easily, without feeling greasy or slipping. I have SUPER oily skin so it’s important for me that I can set something and forget it. I wore it out on a 97% humidity, 100 degree day in south carolina using the LunatiCK Cosmetics setting powder and no slippage for the four hours I was running errands. For those of you looking for a nice base, I highly recommend it!

The lipsticks:

I ordered six lipstick samples – Black Velvet Cake, Thee Psychic Berry, Difficult Island, Artificial Amethyst, Dark Timeline, and of course, Black.


Dark Timeline, Artificial Amethyst and Thee Psychic Berry all had a nice shimmer in their formulas, and they wore more like a gloss. I couldn’t bring them to opacity, but I’m certain they aren’t meant to be opaque. They are all definately “goth lite” shades for professional settings, and I wouldn’t hesitate ordering a full size of any of them. I’m certain adding a liner underneath would make them seem opaque, but honestly the colors are so beautiful (and as stated, I suspect they are meant to be sheer) you don’t need them.

Black Velvet Cake and Difficult Island applied like a dream! Super easy with a brush, no liner needed, and only two coast to be completely and utterly opaque. I will be ordering Difficult Island as it’s a wonderful teal color and I felt that it really complimented my skin tone. Black Velvet Cake is gorgeous, but I already have a dupe of it in a similiar formula, so I’ll be ordering that once my dupe is done.

Black, the namesake of the company, is well worth the money. The lipstick goes on opaque and its pigmentation is beautiful! It’s comparable to MUFE’s black lipstick in that regards. No cheap halloween aisle sheer lipstick here!

black lipstick

A word of warning: The formula is slippery so make sure that when you apply, you apply to your entire lip, instead of half of it (like me), counting on being able to spread the formula to the other half (like me) otherwise you’ll end up with a ring around your mouth (like me).

I love the packaging that the full-size items come in, because it makes it so simply to just throw in the bag and run around town. The formula itself isn’t drying and helps my lips feel really nice and moist (a welcome change in this matte lipstick trend), but even with the moisture the lipsticks don’t drip or move once they are applied correctly.

If you want to check them out, I highly recommend doing what I did, which is ordering some samples. Also, there are accurate swatches on their site of nearly all the shades. I love that it seems that nearly all the colors are blue based, as those of us who are goth-y know the pain of a lipstick that pulls the yellow on our teeth!

I’m really glad I finally checked out Portland Black Lipstick Company, and if you’re in the market for easy to use, indie made mainstream quality lipstick, I can’t praise them enough.

Disclosure: All products reviewed were purchased on my own, at my own discretion.




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