This spring, more than ever before, my look is all about my lips. I’m wearing red and bright pink lip sticks and glosses more than ever before! It’s a look that I’ve avoided in the past, opting for more subtle colors. I have thin lips, and calling too much attention to them hasn’t been comfortable for me. But, I’ve discovered that rocking a statement lip color really is dependent upon how you prepare your lips and then apply the lippie.
Here are my favorite lipstick tips for application and making my lippie last!
1) You Need to Exfoliate
The last thing you want with statement lips is peeling. It just looks gross. I’ve found that gently exfoliating my lips regularly is the best way to keep them soft and looking great. You can brush your lips with your toothbrush or use a fancy lip scrub to gently exfoliate. You don’t want to make your lips irritated, just a little smoother. I do it every night so my lips don’t get flaky. I follow up with a good balm to lock in moisture.
• Sara Happ The Lip Scrub (at Nordstrom, here’s my Sara Happ Review)
• Bliss Fabulips Sugar Scrub (at ULTA or Macy’s, my Bliss Fabulips Review)
• ELF Lip Exfoliator (at ELF)
2) Hydrate and Prime
I’ve tried almost every balm and lip primer out there, and there have been big issues. If they are more of a lotion than a balm, my lipstick will slide right off. Some that are more “sticky” aren’t hydrating enough for my lips, which makes my already small lips look even smaller.
After much trial and error, I’ve finally found the perfect product to wear under my red lippie.
It’s Carmex. Yes, really!
I apply the Carmex before starting my makeup, so it has time to work on my lips. When I’m ready to apply my lippie about 10 minutes later, I blot once with a tissue and it is perfect! My lips are hydrated, and the prep is perfect for my lippie, whether I’m wearing lip gloss, or lipstick.
• Carmex Lip Balm (at Amazon)
3) You Need a Lip Brush
It’s tempting to just apply your lipstick directly from the tube, but if you’re wearing a statement color like dark red you’ll need a very precise application. You just can’t get the edges of your lipstick just so with the tube, since the edge of the lipstick wears away and is hard to see. It’s never quite right. Unless you’re some sort of lipstick superstar.
So, I’ve found that applying the lippie with a lip brush allows you to apply right at the lip line. You can get a very clean and precise line with the brush, which is really necessary given how much attention your lips will be getting! I even carry a portable lip brush in my bag for reapplication throughout the day.
• Make Up For Ever 302 Precision Lip Brush (at Sephora)
• Sephora Collection Retractable Lip Brush #60 (at Sephora)
4) Try a Lip Stain
If you love the look of a statement lip, but hate reapplying all the time, a stain might be your answer. My favorite stains all come in lip gloss form, so they’re easy to apply and are shiny as well. Once they wear off, you have color underneath. I usually use this kind of lippie for more casual days, because as the glossiness wears off and the color that is revealed underneath isn’t always quite as vibrant. But, it’s easy to reapply as I go about my day.
• Yves Saint Laurent Vernis À Lèvres Glossy Stain (at Sephora)
• L’Oreal Paris Colour Caresse Wet Shine Lip Stain (at Amazon or Walgreens)
5) Long Wear Formulations Are Great
Those double ended wands with lippie at one end and a clear top coat at the other are nothing new, but the formulas have really come a looong way over the last few years. It used to be that I could get about 6 hours of wear out of them, and usually it looked dry and was peeling off for half of that. Now, the long wear formula lippies will last 12 hours plus, no peeling, and if I reapply the clear topcoat they are shiny and look great. There are some that I’ve had to really scrub off of my lips at the end of a long day!
There are a few tricks to getting long wear lippies to work perfectly. The first is to apply on well moisturized lips that aren’t goopy. A slightly waxy lip balm (there’s that Carmex again) that has been blotted once is perfect. I apply the lippie to the outside edges of my lip first, almost like a liner, and then fill in with the product. You need to cover the entire lip before the product dries, I work quickly and go back over any areas that need more product while it is still wet. It should set as one layer that is perfectly applied with full coverage. Once I’ve applied it everywhere and it is drying, I just go about my business for 2-3 minutes while it finishes drying. Don’t do anything strange with your lips, no stretching them out, puckering or anything. Just be normal! Then apply the clear coat for shine and added moisture once it has finished drying.
• Chanel Rouge Double Intensité Ultra Wear Lip Color (at Chanel, Sak’s or Nordstrom)
• L’Oreal Paris Cosmetics Infallible Pro-Last Color Lipstick (at Amazon, ULTA, or Target)