Lipstick makes your lips look bigger, bolder, and more sexy. Do you like fire engine reds, deep purples and plums, or soft pinks and neutrals? No matter what color you choose, there’s more to applying lipstick than opening the tube and swiping it on. Read on to learn how to get gorgeous, luscious lips in a few easy steps.

Is there one best way to apply lipstick?

I don’t believe in rules to applying lipstick. Some women use special lipstick brushes (pictured here). I own one and never, ever use it. Others use their middle finger (I once said this was a beauty faux pas and got reamed by a reader, I have since changed my mind). Most women apply right from the tube. Choose what’s right for you, as long as the color gets on the lips, you’re good.

Lipstick Art


    Create rosebud lips. This chic, feminine look was popular in the flapper era. It’s perfect for a theme party or nights when you want to try something new. Outline the middle of your lips, but stop short of the corners. Fill in the outline with a bright red lipstick.



    Make your lips look extra plump. Create this striking look for a night out on the town – it may be a little much for daytime wear. Use lipliner to outline about 14 inch (0.6 cm) around the perimeter of your lips. Fill in the area inside the lines with the lipstick of your choice. Top the lipstick with a coat of clear lipstick to make your lips pop.



    Go for goth. Popular in the 1990s, goth lips are coming back in style. Choose a dark lip shade like maroon or deep red. Find a lipliner a few shades darker than the lipstick shade. Outline your lips boldly, then fill them in with red.

Tips For Lipstick

Use liner on your lips as a base

Lipstick will last longer if you fill in your lips with the liner first. If you’re using light lipstick, try a nude liner. Then slick your lipstick on top.

Lip Gloss is infamous for wearing off fast, but if you fill in lips first with the liner, the gloss has something to stick to.

You can line before or after you apply lipstick or gloss

Some women prefer to apply liner first, arguing that you won’t be able to see the natural line of your lips if you apply lipstick first. But I find lips look more natural when I line lipsafter I apply lipstick.

Never use a dark liner with light lipstick

Defined lips are great, but make sure the liner matches the lipstick or gloss. Dark liner and light lips is tacky.

How to properly test lipstick in a store

It’s just plain unhygienic to test lipstick at a Sephora or department store without wiping off the lipstick with a tissue. You can avoid testing on your lips, but swiping the stick on your fingertips. It’s a closer fit to your lips than the back of your hand. Also, it’s courteous to wipe off the end of the lipstick before you put it back for another person to try.

Don’t throw out a bad shade of lipstick

Beauty editors know you can create a great lip color by blending lipsticks you don’t like. You can also color in lips with a darker liner before applying a lipstick that’s too bright.

How to keep lipstick from marking your glass

Discreetly lick your lips before taking a sip from a glass. It works!

Keep lipstick off your teeth with this trick

After applying lipstick, take your index finger and pop it in your mouth, then pull it out. The excess lipstick will come off on your finger rather than your teeth.

Lipstick can act as a blush

But never use blush as a lipstick. To use lipstick as a blush, dab a few dots on the apples of your cheeks and blend, blend, blend. It helps to have moisturized skin first so the lipstick blends well.

The older you are, the “creamier” your lips should look

As we age, our lips thin out. Therefore, you should avoid matte and gloss and stick with a creamy lipstick. Also, watch out for dark lipsticks.

Camouflage yellowed teeth

To downplay a yellow cast to teeth, try lipsticks with a bluish undertone. Shades that work include plums, pinks, wines and violets, according to Lazarus, a NYC makeup artist, in O magazine.

Heal — don’t throw out — a broken lipstick

If your lipstick breaks off, simply take off the broken portion with a tissue, then slowly wave a lit match under the broken piece of lipstick. When it’s melted a bit, put it back on the base, swivel it down and put it in the fridge — uncovered — for 30 minutes.

Lipstick done?

You might notice there’s still a bit of lipstick down in the tube. Scrape out the last bits with a cotton swap or orange stick and mix it with Vaseline or lip gloss in a lipstick palette. Use a Lip Brush to apply.

I also love this tip shared by reader Patti Campbell. She scoops out the lipstick remnants from the bottoms of her tubes and she puts them in a pill case, “the one with the days of the week individually capped.” She then nukes the pill case until the lipstick melts. Campbell uses a lip brush and enjoys seven new lipsticks. I would think this is perfect for the purse.

How To Apply Lipstick

Keeping your lipstick on your lips is a challenge for a lot of us. There are tons of great long-wear lipsticks out there on the market, but here’s a trick to make your lipstick long-lasting even if it’s a traditional formula.

All you need is lipstick, a similar or matching liner, translucent powder, a brush, and a tissue.

Exfoliate your Lips.If you apply lipstick directly to lips that are dry and flaky, it will look uneven and bring on the wrong kind of attention. Try scrubbing gently at your lips with a toothbrush, or make a paste using sugar and water. Use the paste as an exfoliant and rub some on your lips for about 20 seconds.

Step One: Define your lip shape with liner. I like to start by making an x at the Cupid’s bow, a little u shape on the bottom lip, and arrows at the corner, and then connecting the lines. Don’t worry if it looks silly, you’re going to be filling it in anyway!

Step Two: Fill in your entire upper and bottom lip with liner. This is an important step. Lip liner is drier than lipstick and will adhere to your lips, which will help the color stay, even if your creamy lipstick formula wears off.


Step Three: Apply lipstick. I like to use a brush for precision, but you can also just apply straight from the tube. If I’m doing a super intense color, sometimes I will do two coats, blotting in between.


Darken the coat. After you have added the first coat of lipstick, apply a little more if desired. However, remember that less is more when it comes to lipstick, because greasy lips are not only unattractive, but also tend to rub off easily, onto everything.


Step Four: Take your tissue and pull it apart so you only have 1 ply. Lay it over your lips and powder on top of the tissue. This will let a small amount of powder set your lipstick without it looking dry or dulling the color!

Make sure you take your lipstick with you to touch up just in case! This trick will definitely help it wear longer.

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