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The lipstick bible – how to properly apply lipstick and have the perfect wear every time

Woman applying bright red lipstick

From a Marilyn Monroe red to Rihana’s royal green, learning how to properly apply lipstick can be a beauty gamechanger. The cornerstone of statement makeup, we’re here to let you in on the secrets of how to do lipstick perfectly for you and your lucky clients. 

We have gathered all the usual pitfalls and questions about the perfect pucker up. Our lipstick application tips will cover which shade is right for you and your skin tone, plus the ultimate question: how to keep lipstick on your lips. For real this time!

Let’s start with the basics: Which lipstick is best?

Depending on the situation, each type of lipstick has a particular benefit. 

  • Sheer – Tends to be higher in oil content than other types, it’s less likely to dry out. But it also means more frequent application is often required. A good all-round day to night product. 
  • Cream –  Cream lipstick is higher in wax, which means it has more staying power than sheer. Can often be found in nourishing blends with ingredients like Aloe for dryer lips.  
  • Gloss – A high shine variation, to add a youthful glow to fresh-faced daytime looks, or call attention to a bold evening shade.  
  • Matte – The highest staying power, a shine-free recipe that works for block colours. A good all-day wear, requiring less frequent application. 
  • Lipstick with SPF – Many new products now contain SPF, which is always desirable. Protecting this delicate skin from the sun is a wise idea. 

Choosing lipstick to match skin tone

As well as different formulas, it’s wise to choose a lipstick that has undertones to match the shade of your skin, giving you extra pop. 

For starters, use your natural lip colour as a starting point. It’s wise to never go usually any lighter than your natural colour unless it’s a statement look. 

  • Lipstick for darker skin tones – Brown and purple shades work really well. Look for plum, coffee & wine shades. Plus, peachy hues can really pop.
  • Lipstick for olive skin tones – Warmer, bolder shades work really well, look for corals, deep pinks & bright red. 
  • Lipstick for pale skin tones – Look for shades with a pinkish hue. Rose, berry, cherry red, hot pink and mauve suit a fairer skin. 
  • Bold Colours – If you want to go bold? Anything goes. Making a statement with an unconventional shade can elevate a daytime look to runway levels, add edge to a simple LBD (little black dress) and works with every skin tone. So feel free to get creative! 

How to properly apply lipstick

  1. Exfoliate – To ensure a smooth base and no cracking, exfoliating removes any excess bumps and dead cells. There are some gentle exfoliating products designed for lips, or you can go old school and use a mix of honey and sugar. Now that’s kissable lips!
  2. Prep – Doing the rest of your look first means you won’t accidentally add any extra powder or glitter onto your lips as they are drying, so make sure the rest of the face is complete before moving to the lips.
  3. Prime – You want the lipstick to go onto a matte surface, so using a primer or foundation is a good way to start. This means your colour can really set onto the lips.
  4. Liner – Liner really helps the lipstick hold on, prevents colour bleeding, gives a sense of depth and helps boost your natural lip line to its fullest potential. Smile slightly to get a tautness in the lips and reveal the natural shape, then softly draw in the outline. For extra depth and hold, fill in the lips with a liner too. If you want to boost smaller lips, use a liner that is slightly darker in shade than your lipstick
  5. Apply – Lay on your chosen lipstick by starting at the centre of your lips and moving outward toward the corners. This means you are much more likely to avoid drawing outside the lines ie: clown territory! So stick to the centre-outwards. If you are after a  soft natural lip line that’s still defined, then try using a lip brush to apply. 

The finishing touches

  • Blot & powder – how to keep lipstick on your lips? Blotting. Take a tissue, place it in your mouth, and roll your lips onto it. Then apply loose, transparent powder over the top. This combination helps to blot the oils in the lipstick and set the colour in place. For ultimate all-night hold, repeat this step 2-3 times.
  • Outline – Grab some concealer, and outline your lips. This will make the colour pop and also helps to clear up any shaping irregularities.  
  • Pop – Finally, to keep lipstick off your teeth, place your finger in your mouth and draw it outwards slowly, with your lips around it. This removes any stray colour from your inner lips, meaning your teeth will stay white.

There you have it, the ultimate lipstick bible. May you and your clients’ lipstick looks be perfect every time and last all night long. 

If you want to be able to master an array of elevated makeup looks and create a career in this fierce industry, then learn from the best with our Certificate In Makeup Artistry. This flexible online course will teach you all the theoretical and practical knowledge you need to build a killer career as a makeup artist. Confidently create fresh and fabulous looks for formal occasions, weddings, fashion and entertainment – including those Instagram worthy lips. 

Developed by industry professionals, our course includes a combination of video tutorials and text-based learning, with a custom-designed kit delivered straight to your door. So get started today!

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