Lessons in Lipstick

There are very few sights more distracting than a sloppy red lipstick, or a fuschia pink splotch on a girl's front teeth when she smiles, completely unaware of the slipup. How on earth do we steer clear of becoming that victim?

The industry experts have a few tips and tricks to make lipstick-wearing a little less high-maintenance and much more long-lasting, but the unavoidable fact is that you will have to continually check up on it. So go buy yourself a pretty pocket mirror, and bookmark these few pointers:


1. Exfoliate your lips. You can quickly do this by brushing them with your wet toothbrush, or by putting some lip balm on for a few minutes, letting it soak in, and then removing it to start with a clean slate. 


2. Use a lip pencil. You can still do without this, but it will help your lipstick to last longer, and it gives you a more full and impactful look. Draw your line ever so carefully and then entirely fill in your lips with your pencil. The pencil doesn't need to match the lipstick shade perfectly. Then apply your lipstick: apply either with your finger or from the tube. The more you use your lipstick, the more it will mould to your lips (it comes shaped that familiar way for a reason.)

4. Blotting: this is a key to longevity and will definitely prolong your touch-ups. Either fold a tissue in half and close your lips around the top + bottom of it (think Pac-Man), or softly kiss the back of your hand. Now reapply a second coat of lipstick. Do this a couple of times. 

5. Again, you could also get by without this, but for best results, dab concealer around your lips to prevent the colour from bleeding outward. Do this especially if you add lip gloss on top of your lipstick for that glossy look, as it tends to slide all over the place!

6. Most importantly, be sure to always check up and reapply, especially after eating and drinking. 


Okay, now this is where it gets easy. There's absolutely no right or wrong shade of lipstick. Whatever colour you choose depends entirely on your personal taste and your confidence. Do not feel pressured to follow any trends. If lipstick is new for you, try starting with a true red - it's a very timeless look and is absolutely beautiful on every skin tone. Coral-red is another universally flattering colour. It especially makes blue eyes stand out. Be careful with a bright pink lipstick (my husband calls it a man-repeller, but hey, girls will be girls...)

And finally, before you go off feeling weary about this endeavor, picture this: don't you think it's a bit sexy to see a girl reapplying her red lipstick in the street with her little mirror?! You tell me... 

Two things you can try:

1. Experiment with different combinations of pencil + lipstick. You can create different effects with more depth. For example, try a darker pencil followed by a lighter lipstick shade concentrated especially in the centre of your lips. Be sure in this case to thoroughly fill in your lips with the darker pencil. 

2. After applying your lipstick, try blotting your lips with your fingers and then patting the remaining colour on your cheeks as blush. It will give you a natural, flushed look. 


Two really great products:

1. NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil

A highly recommended and easy to use pencil and lipstick combined in one. Draw your shape and then fill it in with this product. 


2. Benetint  

This is a lip stain, so it's extremely easy to use, and, bonus: it smells like roses. Paint it on and watch as the stain settles effortlessly into your lips and immediately looks natural and beautiful.


Janice X