Ever wonder how to keep your lipstick from wearing off five minutes after you apply it in the morning? Here, I show you how using a few simple variations.
Step 1: Exfoliate & Moisturize!
The first step, as always, is prepping & priming. Just as you prep & prime your skin before applying foundation, or prep & prime your eyelids before applying eyeshadow, your lips need to be prepped & primed for lipstick application as well.
Lips should always be well-exfoliated and moisturized. I'm a huge fan of the E.L.F. Lip Exfoliator, which comes in a handy stick form, costs about $3 and can be bought at Target. To use, just gently rub over your lips in a circular motion until all dead and dry skin has been exfoliated from your lips, then wipe off excess product with a moistened cotton ball. However, you don't HAVE to buy a new product if you don't want to-- the same effect can be achieved by coating your lips with Vaseline or coconut oil, then gently scrubbing with a soft toothbrush or a clean spoolie. You can even create your own lip scrub by mixing together Vaseline/coconut oil and sugar (the more granular sorts like turbinado work best).
After you have wiped away all of your chosen exfoliator from your lips, moisturize those babies to keep them plump & smooth! There's an endless array of products that you can use, from lip balms to plain ol' olive oil or coconut oil. Have an eye cream that didn't really work out for you? Use it on your lips! My favorite product is Smith's Rosebud Salve, which has been around forever, costs about $5, and has a really yummy light rose flavor. While you shouldn't exfoliate your lips too often, you should be keeping them moisturized at all times.
You can also apply a lip primer at this point as well. I've felt that the ones that I've tried so far tend to dry out my lips so much that my lipstick looks chalky. However, I've heard amazing things about Mac's Lip Prep & Prime & it's on my shopping list!
Step 2: Line & Fill in Lips
Take a lipliner that is similar in color to the lipstick you'll be applying (sometimes you can go a little bit darker, or with a different color altogether if you're going to blend two colors together to create a new one), and line your lips using short, swift strokes. It's often when you try to outline your lips in one go that mistakes are made and you feel like a little kid who can't color inside the lines. Then fill in your lips all the way with the liner. Taking a clean lip brush, blend across your entire lips so your liner doesn't look like a bunch of scribbles.
You can also use what is known as a "reverse lipliner", a clear waxy pencil that you sketch around the outside of your lipline to keep your lipstick from feathering. If you're mature or have the type of lips that tend to feather it would be a good idea to purchase one of these.
Step 3: Apply Lipstick
ALWAYS use a lip brush to apply your lipstick. Why? For one, it's more sanitary. Second, when was the last time you bought a lipstick that was shaped perfectly to your lips? To me they always seem either too big and they draw outside my lips, or they're too small and I have to go back and forth across my lips far too many times to get an even application. Also, the lip brush will give you a clean, sharp lipline that simply can't be achieved using it straight from the tube. Finally, your lips will warm the smaller amount of product more quickly, allowing it to emulsify and blend like a dream. Lip brushes are cheap and available at every drugstore, and should be replaced once they start to fray. My current favorites are the Boots No. 7 Essential Lip Brushes, which they sell at my favorite Walgreen's on Powell in SF for about $7. CameraReadyCosmetics.com has an assortment of lip brushes that are also very well priced. Retractable lip brushes are awesome for reapplying on the go-- they won't spread creamy, sticky product all over your other brushes in your brush bag!
OK, now that I've converted you to the wonders of lip brushes and you have a fresh clean one in hand, apply a layer of lipstick all over your lips and blend it well.
Step 4: Blot & Reapply
Now, take a tissue & peel it apart so that it's one-ply. Gently press it to your lips and blot (I blot one lip at a time, instead of rubbing them together, to avoid smearing the product outside of my lipline).
Now, using a lip brush like we learned, apply another layer of lipstick. And blot again.
What this does is create a stain on your lips, so that your lipstick will wear off gracefully & evenly, & the color will last longer overall.
Apply & blot, apply & blot, until you feel that you've achieved a sufficient stain on your lips. After applying the last layer of lipstick, do not blot. You can use your lipliner very lightly on top of your lipstick at this point to correct your application if you've drawn outside the lines a little bit or gone wonky at some point.
Step 5: Powder & Set
Taking the other half of the tissue you've peeled apart, hold it up to your lips and dust translucent powder over them using a big fluffy powder brush. This will set your lipstick so that it's not smearing all over the place.
Step 6: Et Voila!
...the perfect, long-lasting lip!