Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Tips and Tricks: Lipstick


Following on from my last lip-related post, here's the first Tips and Tricks post!

Covered in this post:

  • Red Lipstick
  • Dark Lipstick
  • How to make your lipstick last longer
Tip: Red lipstick

Which shade is right for me, you ask? The really annoying answer no-one really wants to hear is: "Whatever you like best and whatever you feel comfortable in."This is true but completely and utterly unhelpful. It all depends on what you're looking for.

If you want a red lip which really pops: go for a red with a base opposite to that of your skin undertone. So that means orange-based reds (warm) for girls with a cool skin tone and blue-based reds (cool) for girls with a warm skin tone.
    • What skin tone are you? This merits a post in and of itself! This is not the same as skin colour. Any skin colour can have any undertone. Here's the short version:
      • Warm skin tones: the veins on your forearm are greenish; you have hazel or brown eyes; you look best in gold, brown and olive green eyeshadows; you look great in peach blush and; when you put a white towel next to your un-made-up face, you look a little yellowish.
      • Cool skin tones: the veins on your forearm are greenish; you have green, grey or blue eyes; you look best in silver, blue, blue-based purples, greys and pink eyeshadows; you look great in pink blush and; when you put a white towel next to your un-made-up face, you look pinkish.
      • Neither of these two exclusively fits me: You're most likely neutral! Which means you look "best" with whatever you choose.

If you want a red lip which is bold but balanced: go for a red with a base the same as your skin undertone. Orange-based reds (warm) for girls with a warm skin tone and blue-based reds (cool) for girls with a cool skin tone.

I don't care about all that, I just want a pretty red that won't make my teeth look yellow: Go for a blue-based red.

Tip: How to wear dark lipstick

Dark lipstick is making a comeback in a big way (Met Gala, case in point). It can be fairly intimidating, but it can also look awesome. Here are a few tips for wearing dark lipstick:
  • Dark colours will make your lips look smaller. 
    • Accept this, or don't wear it- DON'T try to make your lips look bigger by drawing over your natural lip line. It's obvious, it's fake and it looks awful.
  • Dark colours are high maintenance.
    • They draw attention to your lips, so they aren't colours you can smear on in the car on the way to work- your lines have to be smooth, your application has to be even.
    • If they wear off, people will notice. Be prepared for touch-ups.
      • See below for how to make lipstick last.
  • If you're going for a dark colour, keep the rest of your makeup to a minimum.
    • This means neutral eyes, not a smoky eye!
  • Contrast in textures and finishes makes the look interesting and fresh.
    • If your dark lip is matte, you could keep your skin dewy and max out your highlighting-highlight the tops of your cheekbones, the inner corners of your eyes, your brow bone and even your cupid's bow;
      • For those of us (like me) who have naturally oily skin, this is a little different for you. You want to get rid of shine in the places you don't want it (T-zone, cheeks, chin) with some mattifying powder then add back highlights where you want them to be, as above. 
    • If your dark lip is glossy, keep your skin demi-matte and keep the highlighting to a bare minimum, only highlighting the inner corners of your eyes.

Trick: How do I make my lipstick last?

There are a couple of ways to go about this.

The first thing is to make sure your lips are well prepped. If your lips are dry and cracked, they're not going to look good with lipstick on. Exfoliate your lips so you have a smooth surface to work with.
    • How? 
      • There are heaps of lip scrubs out there. I haven't tried them as I think they're a waste of money. If you love them, hey, to each their own.
      • Get an old toothbrush and gently rub over your lips in small, circular motions. Wash off. Cheap and effective.
      • The night before, put a lip balm on so your lips are in top condition the next day.
Then you can follow as many of the steps below as you'd like, depending on how heavy-duty you want your lip look to be.
  1. Using a lip liner in the same colour as your lipstick, line your lips and fill them in. Allow to sit/dry. Blot with a tissue.
  2. Using a lip pencil, your finger or the tube directly, apply the first layer of lipstick. Allow to sit/dry. Blot with a tissue. Repeat or don't, depending again on your preference for staying power.
    • Lots of people are really uptight about the way you apply lipstick. If it's your own lipstick, for only your use, I don't care- do whatever you're comfortable with. The only time I care is when doing someone else's makeup. I'm OCD about the cleanliness of my makeup products, so I'd never let the same product be directly applied to multiple people. 
  3. Apply a very light layer of translucent powder. This helps set the lipstick further.
  4. Apply your final layer of lipstick.

You could just get a long-wear liquid lipstick. I've got some of the Revlon ones, and I can vouch for their staying power. You just have to let them dry on your lips. Word of warning: they are drying. That's not a problem for overly-oily me, but it could be for you.

I hope you've found some of these tips and tricks useful! If there's anything in particular you'd like some help with, or topics you'd like covered in future, please comment below.


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