You don’t have to be a makeup genius to know that lipstick can make a big impact—taking your face from drab to dramatic or simple to sexy—in seconds. We add a few pointers on how you can make lipstick look better, last longer and work harder.
Smooth the surface: Gently exfoliate lips before applying color to make sure it goes on flawlessly, especially if you are swiping on a dark or bold pigment that can accentuate every imperfection. Some women love using a homemade scrub of sugar and honey to remove flakes and dryness.
Lay the foundation: If you want the exact color you see in the tube, you need to start with a blank canvas and not the color of your natural lip. Apply a thin coat of foundation all over your lips and blend over your lip line to create a neutral surface. Or apply a smidgen of lip balm on the lips, blot and add a neutral powder to create an impromptu base that can last even longer than foundation.
Size matters for red lipstick: Deep dark red can make thin lips look even skinnier. To maximize a scarlet smile, opt instead for a bright orange-red.
Plump up your pout: Start by fattening up your top lip. Trace the Cupid’s bow with a flesh-tone liner, and blend upward. To create the illusion of a shadow and a fuller lower lip, use an angled eyeliner brush, pick up a touch of matte brown shadow and trace a line outside of the center of the lower lip line.
Lip-boosting trick: Select two lip liners with the same undertones, but one to two shades apart. Line the top lip with the lighter of the two, and use the darker tone on the bottom lip line. The effect should be subtle, to trick the eye into seeing a fuller lip.
Finger blotter: When wearing a bold lip color, position your painted lips around one of your fingers and glide it through your lips. It may look a bit funny, but any excess lip color on the inside of your lips will come off on your finger, instead of on your teeth.
Rejuvenate old lipstick: An unexpected lip gloss color can give your favorite lipstick a fresh look each season. Top any lipstick with a soft violet gloss or a bolder purple jewel tone for sparkle.
Long-lasting lipstick: You can make any lipstick go the distance by applying a coat of lipstick and blotting it with a single-ply tissue. Then use a large eye shadow brush to dust the lips with a small amount of translucent powder. Follow with another layer of lipstick. Finally blot and powder twice before applying a final swipe of lipstick.