In my world, lipstick
is absolutely essential. But then again, in my world, mascara, blush
and foundation are also essential. Still, lip color is such a simple
application that can brighten up your entire face, which is why I never
leave home without it.
I think maybe some
women shy away from lipstick because they are not sure which colors
will look good and they don't want to end up with ruby red lips that
will leave everyone staring at them. While we're on the topic of the right lipstick color, it is true that I often
wonder, "Did that lady stop to check her skin color this morning?"
Lipstick color does not exist in a vacuum, and people come in all
different colors - red, yellow, brown, black, white and even pinkish (is that a word) -
which is one reason why there are approximately 17,542 lip stick
shades. If you are starting at the beginning, which I call lipstick
101, just don't wear crazy colors. See, that was simple.
Well, maybe it's not
that simple, but a general rule is that the lighter you are, the harder
it will be for you to wear darker colors, as they will make you look
seriously washed out and maybe ghoulish.
WORK WITH YOUR SKIN COLOR. If you are seriously confused, start by
noting your natural lip color and then find a shade that is within two
shades from your natural lip color, either lighter or darker,
depending on the look you are going for. For me, I
can tell you I went through a lot of trial and error before I found the
colors that look best on me, and a lot of heartbreak has ensued since.
Only those who have experienced it can tell you the pain that ensues
when you find the perfect lipstick, only to run out and realize the
cosmetic company has discontinued it. For this very reason, if you find
a color you like, go back immediately to the store and by five more.
Another good trick, if you are seriously confused about colors, head to
the cosmetics counter. You'll usually find a skilled technician who can
at least help direct you to the pinks, the mauves, the berrys, the
nudes, even if you have no intention of buying their department store
Another option is ditching the lip stick all together for a simple
gloss or lip stain. You can even go with a colored lip balm or a lip
shimmer. Burts Bees has a wonderful collection of "just a touch of
color" lip products that are nourishing and sun
There are tons of options outside of actual lipstick that are
lightweight and that provide just the right enhancement to your natural
color. Please, I'm begging you, try something, anything. . .you'll thank me later.
WORK WITH YOUR LIP LINE. Now this may sound completely unfair, but not
everyone can sweep on some lipstick in the car and look like they just
came off the set of a Cover Girl commercial. The reason? Some people
have a lip line that just doesn't hold lipstick.The result? Lipstick then bleeds into the skin around your lips. This is especially
problematic if you are a little bit older and maybe have a few lines
around the mouth. I hate to bring up the dreaded words, "lip lines,"
but it's a reality we must deal with.
Additionally, for some people,
certain lip sticks will adhere perfectly to the entire lip, but not for
others. That's the individual aspect involved in makeup - everybody's
different. For me, some lipsticks will bleed all into the skin around
my upper lip, but then I can pick up a lipstick simply in a different
makeup line, and it stays perfectly. A runny lip line can be remedied in
one of two ways, with semi-permanent color or with lip liner.
Semi-permanent color is a liquid color tube that dries matte with a
glossy top layer to give lips sheen and moisture. This takes a little
bit of practice since it dries quite fast. Semi-permanent color is not
for people who are unskilled in the arena of lipstick and it is not for
people who have dry, chapped lips. I have tried Maybelline's Superstay Lipcolor, and I did find it to be not as drying as some formulas. There are two reasons I don't use it for daily wear, first you can definitely feel that it's there, that's just the nature of the semi-permanent color beast. And second, you have to first apply the color, then wait two minutes to apply the conditioning sealer, which is what locks in the color. I am usually putting on my lipstick as I'm pulling out of the driveway, and semi-permanent color is only a good idea if you have time to deftly apply it in the bathroom mirror.
As for lip liner, here's a quick tutorial.
First apply foundation on the lips and let it set for about 30 seconds.
Then line the lips with either a completely nude lip liner, or one that
is close to the color of your lipstick. Many lip color lines have
corresponding lip color and liner for your convenience. Here's an important tip though, MAKE SURE
TO LINE EXACTLY ON YOUR LIP LINE. We don't want duck lips to happen, and
painting on a lip line is never a good idea, no matter how small you
think your lips are.
Now, fill in the lips a little with the lip liner
and then apply the lipstick.
You can dab your lipstick to clean off the excess and then, to really
set the color, you can lightly reapply foundation and lipstick again.
This is a technique that will seriously set the color, but it is not
necessary. Oh, and for a seriously ferocious pout, dot on a bit of lip
gloss to the middle of your lips.
WORK WITH YOUR MOISTURE LEVEL. This may sound a little weird, but it is
imperative that you consider how moisturized your lips are. I am
completely guilty of dry, chapped lips that I often even pick at
without realizing it. The key is to exfoliate the lips and then hydrate them. You
can exfoliate with a paste of equal parts sugar and olive oil or
vegetable oil. Rub it on with your finger or a toothbrush and wipe it
off. See, you don't need any fancy exfoliation system, just some sugar
and olive oil.
Also make sure to apply lip balm at night to keep your
lips hydrated and ready for the day. For me, I additionally use a
moisture lip stick. The biggest problem I have, especially in the dry
winter months, is flaking lips, and nobody wants that. It will make
your lip stick look ridiculous unless you keep the problem in check.
use Maybelline's Moisture Extreme, in Sweet Ginger, and I absolutely
love it. It is one of those lipsticks that allows me to literally put
it on while I'm walking out the door, with no lip liner and no fuss,
and it makes me feel like I just finished shooting a cosmetic
It does not last all day and all night like a superstay or continuous
wear lipstick, but it's simple enough for me to
whip it out of my purse mid-day and sweep on some more color.
Oh, and as a bonus, on Maybelline's web site you can type in your skin
color and eye color and it'll narrow down the colors that will most
likely look best on you. For me, the first color in their natural
shades category for my skin tone and eye color, is, you guessed it, Sweet