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How To Apply Lipstick

Updated: Mar 6, 2023

Directions, tips, and tricks for properly applying lipstick.

  1. Prepare your skin:

    1. Make sure that any baby fine hairs have been removed with tweezers (preferably the night before to give the skin time to recover) if you intend to overdraw your lips.

      1. Overdrawing Lipstick: Applying lipstick outside of your natural lip line to change the size or shape of your lips) make sure that you remove any baby fine hairs.

    2. Make sure that your skin is clean, smooth, and moisturized. You can do this by exfoliating your lips with a lip scrub or a soft toothbrush, and then applying a lip balm or moisturizer.

  2. Apply foundation and/or primer to your lips. Foundation and primer both help the lipstick to adhere to the lips and prevent the color from bleeding.

  3. Select a color that complements your skin tone and the occasion.

    1. Note: For work it is better to choose a natural color. Your goal is to enhance your natural beauty. My father used to tell me that the most beautiful makeup was makeup that made the person look incredibly healthy.

  4. Outline the area that you intend to cover with lipstick either with a lip liner (the same color as the lipstick that you intend to use or slightly darker) or with the lipstick that you intend to use.

    1. I prefer to use a small brush for lipstick application so that I have more control and to ensure that I am not missing any of my skin as there are subtle skin depth variations.

    2. If you use a lip liner you might also shade in slightly beyond the line to avoid a harsh line if the liner is not quite the same color as the lipstick and shows through.

  5. Cover the entire lip area with lipstick.

  6. Blot your lips with a piece of tissue paper (Kleenex or toilet paper that does will not leave paper particles behind.

  7. Reapply the lipstick.

  8. Mistakes: If you made any mistakes use a cotton swab (with or without a makeup remover that does not need to be washed off), your finger, or fingernail (depending on your needs). If you cannot remove any faint discoloration, you might cover the remnants with foundation or concealer.

  9. To create the illusion of a fuller lip you can add a slightly lighter shade of lipstick or highlighter in the center of your upper lip and the tip half (leaving the outside untouched) and gently blend until there is no harsh distinction and you have created subtle depth.

  10. To add more shine, you can cover your lipstick with lip gloss. However, be aware that your lipstick is more likely to bleed throughout the day.


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