How to Choose and Apply Lipstick
Whenever you choose a neutral or bold color, you must match the undertones with your skin. If you have fair skin, lipsticks with cool undertones are preferable while darker skin tones look best with warm colors.
In addition, you have to consider your natural lip color. Makeup is meant to enhance what you already have and finding a lip color is no different. The perfect nude lipstick will be either slightly lighter or darker than your natural lips. Alternatively, brighter colors come with a few more guidelines. For pale lips, try a cherry red or coral lipstick depending on what works best with your skin tone. Choosing the right lipstick is very important so if your lips are naturally reddish, consider a hot pink, cranberry, or orange color. You can also mix some of these colors by using a base color of cranberry and a top gloss in hot pink, for example. Now, for darker lips, try a brick red or burgundy color to really make them pop. Be mindful, you’ll want to choose warm and creamy colors for the workday. Stay with neutrals or pinks during the day and then add that pop of color for your evening out.
Before we review the eight-step process for applying your lipstick like a professional, it’s important to understand that texture and composition make as much of a difference as color in terms of what your look is conveying. Makeup artist Troy Surratt explains,
“Shimmer can look cheap. Light reflection should come from moisture in the formula, not metallic pigments”. Another beauty writer from Allure Magazine says, “the wetter the texture [of your lip color], the less long-wearing but more goof-proof it is”. To better grasp what she means, there are four basic textures for lip color: gloss, sheer, matte, and stain. These are listed in order from shortest to longest wear but can also create very different looks.
Below is an eight-step guide that you can hang in your bathroom for applying your lipstick like a pro for maximum wear-ability and flawless finish.
- Exfoliate – use a toothbrush, sugar scrub, or warm damp towel.
- Moisturize – apply your favorite lip balm before you start on the rest of your makeup to give it time to absorb.
- Dry – remove excess moisturizer to ensure maximum wear
- Foundation/Translucent Powder – this step is optional but some women like to create a base for their lipstick so it lasts longer.
- Line – choose a liner that matches your natural lip color and apply starting at the Cupid’s bow and moving outwards.
- Color – apply from the tube or with a brush. The brush will give you more natural, thin, and uniform coverage while the applicator will create heavier color.
- Blot – after your first application, press your lips together with a tissue in-between to create a base coat.
- Top Coat – apply a second layer of color for a shine finish.