How to apply lipstick like a professional makeup artist in five easy steps, plus all the tips and tricks you’d expect a pro to know: how to make lips look fuller—how to turn a wrong color into a right color, how to make lipstick stay on longer and more!
A pro applies lipstick in the following five basic steps, and putting on lipstick is the very least of it.
Step 1: Prepare Your Lips
Gently go over your lips with a soft toothbrush to remove any rough or loose skin.
Upon applying moisturizer to your face, massage a little into your lips as well. Don’t, however, use lip balm, since this would impair the indelibility of your lip makeup.
Step 2: Lip Primer
The best base for lipstick is foundation. It’s full of moisturizing agents, it evens out lip color, helps lipstick stay on longer, and prevents color changes during hot weather—when lipstick gets warm, its base substances separate from its pigment, causing its color to change while you’re wearing it.
Note: Products sold specifically as “lip primer” are only useful if you’re not wearing foundation.
Step 3: Lip Liner
Apart from defining the shape of your lips, lip liner also keeps your lipstick from feathering or “bleeding”.
If you look closely, you’ll see that your lips have a natural white contour. Use this as a guide when you apply lip liner. It doesn’t matter how you apply—whether from left to right, right to left or corner to center—as long as you apply accurately.
Your lip liner should be the exact color as your lipstick. You may find it difficult to find one that matches peach, apricot or coral toned lipsticks, but an eyebrow pencil in a light, warm brown also does the job.
For sanitary reasons, and to ensure that it draws a defined, long lasting outline, make sure your lip liner pencil is always sharpened.
Step 4: Powder Your Lip Liner
A light dusting of powder gives lip liner extra staying power.
Pick up a tiny amount of loose translucent powder with a cotton pad, curl it around your middle finger and press it against the back of your hand to remove excess, then, carefully roll it over your lip liner. It’s important that you don’t apply too much powder, or your lip liner will appear blurred.
You may find it difficult to find a lip liner that matches peach, apricot or coral toned lipsticks, but an eyebrow pencil in a light, warm brown also does the job.
Step 5: Apply Lipstick
Your lipstick should cover your lip liner exactly. For accuracy, apply with a lip brush. This gives a more even and precise application than directly from the tube, and helps your lipstick stay on longer.
Once you’ve applied a first coat, blot with a cosmetic tissue, then add a second coat and blot again. Layering lipstick in this way makes it last longer.
Always be sure to blot your lips before adding lip gloss, too.
Professional Tips and Tricks to Wearing Lipstick
Make Your Lips Look Fuller
Dark lipstick makes lips look thinner.
Light lipstick makes lips look fuller.
If your lips are thinner than you’d like, apply lip liner in the usual way, then use the same lip liner to fill out your lips to a quarter of the way to the center from each corner. Fill in the remaining area with a satin or gloss lipstick one nuance lighter than your lip liner. This will make your lips look fuller. You may use a matte lipstick in place of lip liner.
It Doesn’t Have to Be Lip Liner
Because matte lipsticks are more densely pigmented than regular lipsticks, you can use them as lip liner. Apply using a pointed rather than rounded lip brush.
If you don’t want to wear lipstick, but would like more definition, line your lips with a blonde eyebrow pencil.
Although the effect is dramatic, lip liner darker than lipstick makes lips look thinner. To get around this, use an auburn eyebrow pencil instead.
What Else Can You Do with Lip Liner
If you need a matte lipstick but haven’t got one, use lip liner instead. An added bonus is that it holds its color longer than lipstick.
You can change the shape of your lips with lip liner—i.e. for symmetry—but cover your natural lip contour with concealer first.
If your top lip is thinner, don’t apply lip liner to your lower lip. This balances size.
Not Quite the Color and Texture You’re Looking For?
If you want a shimmery lipstick but don’t like the usual classic mother of pearl effect, try one with a golden sheen.
If a lip color seems too bright for the occasion, just press a cosmetic tissue over your lips and leave for 30 seconds. When you remove it, the color will have lost its intensity.
If you want your lipstick to look less obvious, blot it ten minutes after applying, then, add a little translucent powder with a cotton pad.
To give regular lipstick a matte effect, place a cosmetic tissue over your lips and dab with translucent powder using a blunt brush—the tissue acts as a sieve, allowing only the finest powder particles through to make your lips look matte rather than powdery.
Be Careful with Lip Gloss
Use lip gloss only if your lips are in perfect condition—it highlights every flaw and wrinkle.
Lipstick and Your Teeth
Blot the inside of your lips to prevent lipstick catching on your teeth.
Make white teeth seem whiter with a blue based lip color.
If your teeth have a gray or yellow cast, make them seem whiter with a yellow based lip color.
Adapted From Bellatory