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The 10 Most-Asked Questions About Lips

The 10 Most-Asked Questions About Lips

Wondering whether or not to jump onto the bold lipstick bandwagon? What about how to keep your lipstick from smudging, fading or bleeding? What color is the most flattering?

Makeup artist Jemma Kidd has heard it all before. Now, she's sharing the answers to the lipstick questions she's been asked the most while working in the beauty industry:

1. What shade of red can I wear?

Poppy red and wine-colored reds suit most women. As a general guide, if you have pink-toned or very pale, porcelain skin, cool blue-based reds will look good on you; if you have a warmer complexion with yellow or orange undertones, choose orange-based reds; if you have dark skin, go for rich plum or berry red.

2. How can I make my lipstick last longer?

Prep and prime your lips well to create a good canvas to work on — use a lip primer such as my Lip Perfector, or a dab or foundation or concealer. After outlining your lips, apply lip liner over the whole surface to provide a smooth, even undercoat of color and a waxy base for the lipstick to adhere to. Apply one coat of lipstick, then blot it with a tissue and layer on another coat. For a matte finish, a dusting of translucent powder or blush patted on top of the lipstick will give it excellent staying power.

3. How can I stop my lipstick from "bleeding?"

This is when a lipstick or gloss migrates beyond the lip line — oily lipsticks and liquid glosses and stains travel more, so choose thicker, drier, and less greasy formulas. Prep your lips well before outlining them with a waxy lip liner that will help to create a barrier to hold the lipstick in place. Spend time working on it into any fine lines along the lip line. Use a lip brush to apply a little translucent powder around the edges of the mouth — not on the lips — to set it.

4. How can I make my lips look bigger?

Use a lip liner in a color that matches your lips (for a nude look) or your lipstick (for a bolder look) and outline your lips just a fraction outside your natural lip line (see page 93). Choose paler colors in light - reflecting finishes and stay away from dark shades and matte textures, which make lips look smaller. Add a touch of gloss or highlighter to the center of the bottom lip and the top of the bow to catch and bounce the light. Plumping formulas can also help to make lips look fuller.

5. What lip color suits me best?

The key thing is to assess the undertones of your skin and work out whether your coloring is warm or cool. If you have warm (yellow-toned) skin, choose colors in the orange spectrum— anything from warm nudes and browns to peaches, apricots, corals, orange- or red-based pinks, and deeper orangey reds. If you have cool (pink-toned) skin, go for blue-toned pinks and reds and stay away from orange-based colors. Pink-based nudes and browns and deeper earthy browns all work well on cooler skin. How dark a color you can wear may be influenced by the depth of your skin tone and hair color—also take into consideration your age and the size of your lips. Remember, the natural pigment of your lips will influence the color of the lipstick, so if you can’t try out a new color on your lips, try it on the pad of your finger and hold that up to your mouth to see how it suits you.

6. How can I increase the intensity of my lip color?

For a multi layered effect, apply your lipstick, then use a thick pencil to draw a series of vertical lines on your lips. Apply a second coat of lipstick and top it off with a final swipe of pencil to keep it all in place. This will achieve excellent hold, deep color, and the illusion of fuller lips.

7. Is there anything I can do if I don’t like the color?

If you buy a shade that turns out to be too dark, bright, or pale for you, blend it with another lipstick or gloss to achieve a bespoke color that suits you perfectly.

8. What if my lipstick is too dark for me?

Turn it into a stain by blotting most of the lipstick off your lips for a subtle and long-lasting finish.

9. How can I stop my lipstick from drying out my lips?

Wear moisturizing balm underneath your lipstick. Most of the time when applying makeup the lips are left until last, so coat your lips in balm while you are doing the rest of your makeup. This will soften and
condition them, ready for you to apply your lipstick.

10. How can I prevent my lip pencil from breaking?

Put lip pencils in the icebox before you sharpen them—this makes the tips less likely to break off and gives a cleaner, sharper point. Warm up the tip by drawing on the back of your hand before lining your lips.

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