Yes, wearing lipstick is an art. One that has existed for about 5000 years and originated from the Mesopotamians. In those early days, women stained their lips with crushed precious stones, crushed insects and fish scales. These days, cosmetic brands have blessed we women folk with lip color that is easy to use, vibrant and relatively affordable (save your precious stones for your neck, wrist and fingers).
Proper lipstick selection and application techniques can be a bit of a chore. As a result, I find that some people avoid wearing lipsticks all together and stick to glosses or tinted lip balms. As an ardent fan of lipsticks, here are nine simple steps to achieving glam lips.
1) Buy lipstick shades that suit your complexion: It is very easy to get carried away with lipsticks that are currently on trend, but what works for other ladies might not necessarily work for you. Skin undertones generally fall into the cool, neutral or warm categories. Women with cool undertones are much better suited to pale lipstick shades, neutral undertones are lucky to be suited to most lipstick shades and lipsticks of deeper shades compliment women with warm undertones. Please use these rules only as a general guide. I have some barbie pink lipsticks in my collection which suit me and I have seen women with pale skin rock deep red lipsticks very nicely. So the best way to determine if a shade suits you is to try it out. Before buying a lipstick, be sure to ask for a tester.
2) Exfoliate: It is essential that you get rid of dead, flaking skin on the surface of your lips. This gives you a smooth surface to work with and improves your lipstick’s appearance. You can buy a store made lip scrub or make one at home using sugar, honey and some olive oil. Another good way to exfoliate your lips is to brush them gently with a toothbrush.
3) Moisturize: The next step in achieving beautiful and long lasting lip color is moisturizing. Dry lips ruin lipstick application so use any good lip balm of your choice and let it sink in for about ten minutes. You should also wear some lip balm before you go to bed for general lip care.
4) Line lips: Lip liner is a staple in my makeup drawer because it prevents lipsticks from bleeding and extends its wear. Pair your lipstick with a lipliner shade that is similar to its color. Line the border of your lips with short and light strokes. Be careful to use a steady hand so as not to go outside the border. If you do, clean up with a q-tip dipped in makeup remover and not your fingers
5) Fill in lips: After lining the border of your lips, it is optional to fill them in by applying the lip pencil all over your lips. I choose to fill in my lips with my lip pencil because it acts as a nice and smooth base for me to apply my lipstick. It also helps keep your lipstick in place for longer.
6) Apply lipstick: Make sure to stay within the border of your lip liner during application. I apply my lipstick from the tube but many makeup artists suggest using a lip brush for precision. Don’t forget to cover a bit of your inner lip, as leaving a gap can be quite unflattering when you smile. Apply as many coats as you are comfortable with, one after the other, giving each coat a few seconds to settle into the lip.
7) Gloss: If you are a lip gloss lover, use one that is a similar color to your lipstick. I hardly ever use lip glosses though, as I prefer the matte look to the shiny look when it comes to lipstick. I also find that lip glosses significantly reduce the amount of time that my lipstick stays on.
8) Clean excess color: Put your index finger in your mouth and gently close your lips around it before pulling it out. This gets rid of excess lipstick color, preventing those embarrassing teeth stains
9) Conceal: Apply concealer around the border of your mouth, to clean and brighten up the area. This makes your lipstick look flawless.
Lose any inhibitions you have with wearing lipsticks. Rock your lipsticks following these easy steps and be pout-perfect!
Photo credit: bleedingstaar.deviantart.com
Yewande Sobamowo blogs about fashion and beauty at www.shelovesthefinerthings.blogspot.com