Applying Lipstick

A beauty tip I've always sworn by is to pick your best feature and play it up. If you are complimented often on your lips, consider yourself lucky, it's time to play them up. Here's 16 tips on how to apply lipstick.

Don't play up the eyes and the mouth Women who wear heavy eye makeup and dark lipstick can look clownish. If you want to wear red lipstick, keep the rest of your makeup light. If you are playing up the eyes, keep your mouth light with a gloss or light lip color that doesn't stand out.

For "plump" lips, apply liner just outside your natural lipline. Dab a bit of gloss in the middle of your bottom lip.

How to apply lipstick ? I don't believe in rules to applying lipstick. Some women use special lipstick brushes (pictured here). I own one and never, ever use it. Others use their middle finger (I once said this was a beauty faux pas and got reamed by a reader, I have since changed my mind). Most women apply right from the tube. Choose what's right for you, as long as the color gets on the lips, you're good.

Use liner on your lips as a base. Lipstick will last longer if you fill in your lips with the liner first. If you're using light lipstick, try a nude liner. Then slick your lipstick on top. Lip gloss is infamous for wearing off fast, but if you fill in lips first with the liner, the gloss has something to stick to.

You can line before or after you apply lipstick or gloss. Some women prefer to apply liner first, arguing that you won't be able to see the natural line of your lips if you apply lipstick first. But I find lips look more natural when I line lips after I apply lipstick.

Never use a dark liner with light lipstick. Defined lips are great, but make sure the liner matches the lipstick or gloss. Dark liner and light lips is tacky.

Never use a test lipstick on your lips. It's just plain unhygienic. Instead, test lipstick on your fingertips. It's a closer fit to your lips than the back of your hand.

Don't throw out a bad color lipstick. Beauty editors know you can create a great lipcolor by blending lipsticks you don't like. You can also color in lips with a darker liner before applying a lipstick that's too bright.

Keep lipstick off glass. Discreetly lick your lips before taking a sip from a glass. It works!

Keep lipstick off your teeth with this trick. After applying lipstick, take your index finger and pop it in your mouth, then pull it out. The excess lipstick will come off on your finger rather than your teeth.

Lipstick can act as a blush. But never use blush as a lipstick.

The older you are, the "creamier" your lips should look. If your lips are thinned out and wrinkled, avoid matte or a gloss and stick with a creamy lipstick.

Not all lipstick shades look good on everyone.Your skin color will determine what shades are right on you. You may like a lipstick on your friend, but it may not look good on you. Orange or brown shades, including corals, look good on few people. These shades tend to make teeth appear yellow.

Camouflage yellowed teeth. To downplay a yellow cast to teeth, try lipsticks with a bluish undertone. Shades that work include plums, pinks, wines and violets, according to Lazarus, a NYC makeup artist, in the June, 2007, issue of O magazine.

Heal don't throw out a broken lipstick. If your lipstick breaks off, simply take off the broken portion with a tissue, then slowly wave a lit match under the broken piece of lipstick. When it's melted a bit, put it back on the base, swivel it down and put it in the fridge -- uncovered -- for 30 minutes.

Lipstick done ? You might notice there's still a bit of lipstick down in the tube. Scrape out the last bits with a cotton swap or orange stick and mix it with Vaseline or lip gloss in a lipstick palette. Use a lip brush to apply.

I also love this tip shared by reader Patti Campbell. She scoops out the lipstick remnants from the bottoms of her tubes and she puts them in a pill case, "the one with the days of the week individually capped." She then nukes the pill case until the lipstick melts. Campbell uses a lip brush and enjoys seven new lipsticks. I would think this is perfect for the purse.



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