Sure, in theory, we all know how to apply lipstick properly. But in practice? We’ve hopefully all got lipstick-on-the-teeth issue covered, but there is a host of other lipstick mistakes we’re probably all making on the daily. If you find your lipstick goes patchy, feathers at the edges after a few hours of wear, or slides off completely before you’ve even made it out the door, it’s likely you’re guilty of a few, too. From making your lip colour last longer to better defining the shape of your mouth, there are enough lipstick tips and tricks in circulation for an entire handbook on the subject.
Luckily, we’ve created our own condensed version right here.
Keep scrolling for your ultimate guide to applying lipstick like a pro.
Mismatched Lipstick and Liner
It may have worked for Pamela Anderson in the ’90s (kind of), but for a truly flawless finish, it’s best to make sure you’ve got a good match going on between your lipstick and liner. That’s especially true if you’re going nude or planning to overline your lips to get a fuller effect (more on this in a moment). While a liner in a shade that is the slightest touch darker than your lippie can help to contour your lips (the Kylie Jenner effect), you don’t want too much of a disparity, as it’ll give the game away.
Dry, Cracked Lips
The quickest way to patchy lipstick is to apply it over dehydrated, flaky lips. If that’s not the look you’re going for, however, try this. Exfoliate your lips first with a gentle scrub, and then dab on a hydrating lip balm. Leave it there while you do the rest of your makeup, and then press a tissue against your lips to absorb the excess balm before applying your lipstick or liner. Smooth, even lip colour is yours.
If you’ve noticed your lipstick feathering or bleeding at the edges, the problem is likely your lip liner—or lack of it. Though it’s traditional to apply liner first and then fill in with your lipstick, a great pro trick is to give your lip colour some extra staying power by topping up your liner again, once you’re done filling in. Having a good match between your lippie and liner is essential for this, and be sure to soften the edges with a brush if the finish is too severe.
Defining your Lip Shape
Lip liner can be tricky to get the hang of if you’re not used to applying it, but the secret is to simply practice. It’s best to begin in the centre by defining your Cupid’s bow, and then move to the outer corners, working your way in. Tracing along your lip line from the corners towards the middle will also help to keep your shape nice and full. Do the same along the bottom, start at the centre by defining the middle, and then join up the line by working from the corners inwards.
For a fuller pout, try overlining, which is simply drawing your liner ever so slightly outside of your natural lip line. You’ll know if you’ve gone too far over by simply taking a step back and looking in the mirror!
Skipping the Corners
A truly perfect lip should be one continuous slick of colour, but it’s all too easy to miss the very inner corners when filling in your lipstick. To make sure you get an even colour all over, open your mouth and use a thin lip brush to pay special attention to the corners, and then close your mouth and finish any touch-ups. If you’re wearing a bold colour, you don’t want any lipstick-free patches.
Quick Colour Fade
Super-moisturising lipsticks will always need regular touch-ups, but if you’re not applying your matte shades right, they won’t last as long as they should either. One great trick is to line your lips as normal, and then use the same liner to fill in all over your lips. This will create a base, similar to a primer. Then go in with your lipstick, blot, and apply a second layer. Patting a very light dusting of translucent powder over your lippie can help give the colour extra staying power, too.
Opening Image: Imaxtree