There’s more to lipstick than the classic red pout. A lipstick can transform your look within seconds and elevate your confidence. Knowing how to pick the right shade and apply it with staying power is an essential beauty skill every woman should have. Our guide covers the best lipstick tips, from how to wear bright pink lipstick, to outfits to wear with red lipstick, to putting lipstick on properly – and keeping it on.
How to Wear Lipstick
If you’re not in the habit of wearing lip rouge regularly, the task of applying lipstick can be daunting. Even if you do know how to apply lipstick like a pro, simply trying to choose one can leave you hopelessly lost amongst shelves upon shelves of colours, finishes and styles. Are you a poppy red or more of a berry? Which shade will complement your skin tone? Do you prefer a stick or a gloss? What is the best lip brush to use? There are plenty of questions to ask when preparing to put your lipstick on.
In this guide, we will reveal some of the very best tips when it comes to application, colour and product, as well as highlighting some of the most common lipstick mistakes. Learn how to avoid that dreaded lipstick-on-teeth look and become an expert on choosing shades for your skin tone. With our lipstick tips and tricks, you’ll be feeling as confident as a fierce red lip looks.
How To Put On Lipstick
Putting lipstick on sounds pretty easy in the abstract. But if you want maximum coverage and staying power, then knowing a few handy application tips will have you wearing lipstick like a pro.
How To Apply Lipstick
There are a few different methods when it comes to applying lipstick. You can use lip liner, a brush, or simply slick on straight from the stick. Each technique leaves you with a different effect.
Before you start, you need to do a little prepping:
- Use a toothbrush to gently brush your lips and remove any dead skin cells. This will leave your lips a lot smoother and make applying lipstick easier.
- Apply lip balm before you begin to avoid lipstick dry lips and help the colour go on more evenly.
- After a couple of minutes, use a tissue or cotton bud to wipe off the excess balm to make sure your lips aren’t too slippery.
- If you’ve ever wondered how to get lipstick to stay on, apply concealer on the lips before putting lipstick on to help bring out the true colour of the product.
How To Use Lip Liner And Lipstick
Lip liner is essential in helping your lipstick stay put as it gives the colour something to stick to. It also prevents the lipstick from bleeding over the edges.
You can also change the shape of your lips by lining them. You can make them wider, fuller, rounder, or smaller.
- Try to choose a lip liner as close to the colour of the lipstick as possible. Alternatively, choose a natural lip liner close to the shade of your lips.
- Start by lining your lips around the natural shape of your mouth. Then fill in.
- If you want to make your lips wider, extend the line past the corners of your mouth.
- If you’d like them to appear fuller, take the liner just over your natural lip line. To make sure this still looks realistic, try to keep the line touching your natural lip line.
- For a smaller pout, apply just inside your natural lip line. Make sure you put concealer on lips before lipstick to hide your natural lip line.
- Once you’ve achieved the shape you like, it’s time to apply the lipstick. Start in the centre and apply outwards. This first coat provides a base.
- Press your lips firmly against a tissue to remove residue before applying a second coat to give your pout some solid colour.
- If you want a fuller pout, use a highlighter pencil in white to outline your cupid’s bow. This will accentuate the shape and make your lips appear plumper. Similarly, a touch of gloss in the centre of your lips will do the trick.
How To Apply Lipstick Without Lip Liner
- Without going too close to the edge of your lips, apply lipstick to the majority of your lips starting from the centre and working your way outwards.
- Then use the pointed tip of the lipstick to carefully outline your lips where your lip liner would usually go. Make sure you go all the way to the inner corners of your lips.
- To give yourself a neater finish, quickly go around the outside of your mouth with a cotton bud to clean up any mistakes.
- Alternatively, find a lip colour with a lip gloss style applicator for better precision.
How To Apply Lipstick With Brush
If you want to have more control over the end colour of your lips, using a lip brush is a great way to achieve this.
- First, apply the lip colour to your brush and then outline your natural lip line. Pay extra attention to your cupid’s bow as this is the trickiest part.
- Once you’ve done this, fill the rest of your lips in, starting from the centre and working your way outwards. The idea is to slowly build the colour up. The first coat will be quite pale but using a brush this way will create a very even application with great staying power.
- Simply repeat the process, outlining and filling your lips in. Keep layering the colour until you reach the desired amount.
Best Lipstick Brushes
6 Top Tips For The Most Common Lipstick Complaints
If you suffer from any of the problems below, we’ve found a quick fix for you. Use these top lipstick tricks for the perfect pout:
- Lipstick stains my teeth. This has to be the number one lipstick complaint. Avoid such disasters by first blotting your lips on a tissue and then removing residue from the inside of your mouth. To do this, place your index finger into your mouth and pull it back out. Any excess will be removed by your finger.
- My lipstick fades fast. Another terribly annoying problem. Not to worry! For extra staying power, take a tissue and pull it apart so that you’re left with a very thin layer. Place this over your lips and then use a make up brush to blot the tissue with setting powder. This will lightly coat your lips to set the colour. Finish by applying a second coat.
- Lipstick emphasises dryness on my lips. For you it is extra important to exfoliate and moisturise before you apply your lipstick to help create that smooth finish.
- Lipstick dries out my lips. If you suffer from lipstick chapped lips, try to stay away from matte colour, as these tend to dry out your lips the most. The best lipstick for dry lips contains emollients and conditioner, or use a primer to create a barrier between your lips and the product.
- My lipstick colour bleeds. If you’re lipstick tends to bleed, apply concealer to the outer edges of your lips using a thin brush. This will leave you with a clean and defined finish. Remember to blend this into your foundation.
- My lipstick won’t come off! Lucky you for finding a product that stays put but now you have the opposite problem: how to take it off? Simply apply Vaseline or olive oil to your lips for 15 minutes. This will break the colour down and make it super easy to take off.
Best Lipsticks For Dry Lips
How To Make Lipstick Stay Put
One of the most annoying things about lipstick is that it can wear off so easily. Luckily, there are steps you can take to prevent this from happening.
Foundation and Concealer
Use foundation or concealer as a primer for your lips. This will give the lip colour something to stick to and will help it stay put.
Lip liner is such a useful tool. It prevents colour bleeding, ensures a more even application and helps hold the lipstick in place.
Blotting involves removing excess product residue from your lips by pressing them against a tissue. Doing this between coats helps each layer stick to your lips better as it provides a less slippery surface.
Dusting your lips in setting powder to finish really helps the colour stay in place. Use translucent powder to avoid altering the lip colour. Use a make up brush to gently blot your lips with powder through a thin layer of tissue.
Best Lipsticks With Staying Power
Matte Lipstick Tips
Here’s a great video with advice on how to give any lipstick a matte finish. Very useful!
How To Find Lipstick For Your Skin Tone
If you want to find the best colours for your skin tone take the following steps:
- What type of skin do you have? Fair skin tends to suit bold, bright colour but nothing too pale or you’ll look washed out. Olive skin is likely to be neutral so it suits a wide range of colour. Dark skin tends to suit deep colours really well but bright pops of colour also look great.
- Determine your undertone. If your skin has a yellow tinge, you have a warm undertone. If you’re more pink, you have a cool undertone. Another way of identifying this is by looking at your wrists. Do the veins appear more green or blue? Green is warm and blue is cool. If you can see an equal amount of green and blue, you have a neutral undertone which means most colours will suit you.
- Choose a lip colour to match. Once you’ve established your undertone, picking a lipstick that suits you should be pretty straightforward. Warm undertones suit warmer colours and cool undertones suit cool colours.
- Look to celebrities for inspiration. If you’re still unsure, find a celebrity who has a similar skin tone to you and take a look at the colours that you like on them. This is a great way to find shades that will suit you without having to spend the money to experiment on yourself.
How To Wear Red Lipstick
Red lipstick is possibly the most daunting colour to wear. But it really shouldn’t be. Who can wear red lipstick? Anyone! You just have to find the best shade for you and learn how to apply red lipstick properly. It doesn’t have to be in-your-face bright to look good.
How To Wear Red Lipstick During The Day
When it comes to the evening, most of us aren’t afraid of radiant red. But many of us don’t know how to wear red lipstick casually during the day, maybe because we are unsure of how to put on red lipstick in a minimal way.
To make your red lip daytime appropriate, pair it with a monochrome outfit and subtle makeup. Think of your lipstick as the pop of colour you need to elevate your outfit.
The Best Red Lipstick For Your Skin Tone
For fair skin… Bright red with blue undertones or coral-red looks amazing on fair skin. Think purpley-red over orange-red. Raspberry and cranberry shades are a great choice if you’re looking for deeper colour.
For olive skin… Warm orange-reds really flatter an olive skin tone. If you prefer something a little less bright, opt for burgundy hues.
For dark skin… Bright orange-reds add a fierce pop of colour on dark skin. If you’re after a dark red, look for one in an earthy wine coloured shade.
How To Wear Bright Lipstick
For fair skin…Learning how to wear hot pink lipstick is a must for fair femmes as this colour really flatters your skin tone.
For olive skin… Skip pink as this is likely to age you. Instead, go for orange which will really bring out the gold tones in your skin.
For dark skin… You’re lucky enough to be able to wear almost any bright colour you like. Have fun experimenting to find your favourites (and definitely learn how to wear pink lipstick on dark skin – simply gorgeous!).
How To Wear Dark Lipstick
For fair skin… If you have warm undertones, a red brown lipstick will look great on you. Cool undertones should go for a deep brick red, particularly if you have light hair.
For olive skin… Dark lipstick can run the risk of making medium-warm skin tones look washed out. Opt for one with a plum or crimson undertone to avoid this. However, if you have dark hair and eyes, then you can get away with black lipstick as it won’t look too dramatic with your dark features.
For dark skin… Deep burgundy and chocolate brown will really complement your look.
How To Wear Nude Lipstick
For fair skin… A soft dusky pink or rose beige will bring out the natural blush in your skin. If you have light hair and eyes, avoid looking too washed out by anchoring your look with smokey eye make up.
For olive skin… Look for caramel beige to bring out warm undertones or a light pink nude to ensure your lips stand out from your skin.
For dark skin… For women with dark skin it’s all about playing with highlights and shadows. Golden beige and shimmery nudes will flatter you very well.
Your Quick Guide On How To Wear Lipstick
Refer to our lipstick cheat sheet for some quick advice on how to achieve the perfect results:
- Prep your lips by exfoliating and moisturising to create a smooth base.
- Apply concealer as a primer for your lips. This not only helps your lipstick stay on but it will also bring out the true colour of the product.
- Use a lip liner to give the colour something to stick to and help prevent the lipstick from bleeding over the edges.
- To build colour up slowly, use a brush to apply one thin coat at a time.
- Blot between coats and use powder to set your lipstick in place.
- To find a lip colour that suits you, consider your skin type and undertone. Warm undertones suit warmer colours and cool undertones suit cool colours.
- If you’re struggling, look for a celebrity with a similar skin type to you and find colours that look good on them.
- To wear bright lipstick in the day, use it to add a pop of colour.
- Wearing lipstick to work will fill you with confidence (and scream female powerhouse). Just keep the rest of your makeup subtle.
Lipstick Tips and Tricks: Final Note
Hopefully this guide has provided you with all the info tips you need to wear lipstick with confidence. Knowing about your skin tone will really help you choose shades that flatter you with ease, so wearing a bright colour won’t be a problem any longer. Use our go-to tips to ensure your lipstick has enough staying power and you’ll be smiling all day.
Read more great articles on women’s beauty & makeup at alexie.co.
Still looking for inspiration, then checkout this blog post about how to wear lipstick
Last reviewed and updated on October 20, 2023