Lipstick is one of the fundamentals in most women’s beauty arsenal, and while it’s easy to simply slick it on, it does come with a host of complicating problems. It flakes, dries, seeps and can smudge easily; it gets onto drinking glasses and teeth (the horror!), and can transfer itself onto the cheeks of people you’re kissing ‘hello.’ In short, lipstick isn’t quite as simple as it initially appears, and to help you to keep yours in place and looking fab, I’ve put together a list of 7 steps to the perfect pout.
1. A Good Maintenance Routine
Lipstick looks best on healthy, smooth lips. In order to ensure that yours are in great condition, it’s important that you frequently apply a good-quality, nourishing balm. Find something with a built in SPF, and, if you can, opt for a product with added Vitamin E as well.
A lip primer is a really useful addition to any makeup bag. Apply a coat to your clean, dry lips before you get going with the rest of your lipstick process and you’ll find your colour will go on easier, hold better and, best of all, last longer.
3. Lay the Foundations
After you’ve done your priming and before you get started with your colour, makeup experts suggest it’s a good idea to apply a concealer or foundation around the edges of your mouth. Go with a shade that’s very slightly lighter than your skin tone: this will help to define your lips and give an impression of fabulous fullness.
4. Lip Liner
Lip liner is a contentious topic in the world of makeup. Opinions differ as to whether we should be using a shade darker than our natural lip colour, or one that’s a little lighter. I tend to err on the side of less is more, and so I generally go for a product that’s closer to my skin tone – a warm variety of nude – as this gives the subtlest, most natural-looking results. Apply your liner to the edges of your lips, taking care not to be too heavy-handed. This will help to prevent your colour from bleeding, and will further define your mouth.
5. The Lip Brush
A conventional stick applicator can be a little unwieldy, and might cause you, unwittingly, to cross outside your carefully drawn lip lines. Instead of swiping on your lipstick straight from the tube, use a lip brush to carefully and accurately fill in your lips with colour.
6. Blot and Check Your Teeth
Using a tissue, gently blot your mouth. Take care not to press your lips together too hard, or rub them against each other as you do this; this kind of ‘mmm’ action will cause your lip liner to smudge and your still-sticky lipstick to smear outside the line of your mouth. Check your teeth in the mirror once you’re blotting is finished to make sure no colour has migrated there by accident.
You can buy specially designed lip stick setting products and most of these are very effective. If you don’t have one, however, you can give your colour a little extra staying power by brushing a light, translucent powder over your lips.
Smudgy, smeary lipstick is a nightmare to manage and will have you running to ladies every five minutes to check that it hasn’t gone all over your face. My list of 7 steps to a perfect pout should help you to keep your colour firmly in place and looking fab; do you have any suggestions to add to it?
Top Photo Credit: Steve Snodgrass