Applying lip Color

A lip brush or lip pencil is an optional accessory. You can use a lip pencil to draw a de­finitive edge around the mouth to follow when applying lipstick, and a lip brush to control your application. A tube of lipstick makes too wide a mark for some lips and too narrow a mark for others. If your lips are small, it is best to use a lip brush; if your lips are large, the only reason to use a lip brush is to improve your accuracy.

If you do choose to work with a lip pencil, always place the color on the actual outline of your mouth. Do not use corrective techniques that make the mouth look larger or longer, especially for daytime makeup. If you try to change the outline of your mouth with a lip pencil by drawing outside the lips, some time later, when your lipstick wears off, the lip liner, which almost always lasts longer than the lipstick, will still be in place and it will look like you missed your lips. Always line the lips following their actual shape, then fill in the lipstick color, using either the tube or a lip brush.

What about the center outline of the mouth? Do you round the point of the lips or make the point more obvious? As a general rule, a softer appearance is better than a hard one. Leave the points neither rounded nor pyramid-like—someplace in between with a soft arch is best.

To prevent lipstick from gunking up in the corners of the mouth, don’t place lip liner or pencil in that area. Stop before you get to the very corners of the mouth. If you feel doing this makes you look as if you have missed a spot, carefully fill in this area with color using a lip brush, applying only the smallest amount.

Lip pencils should never create a contrasting dark, brown, or clearly visible line. Your lip pencil should not appear to be an obvious line that shows up as a colored border around the lipstick. The goal is to have the lipstick and lip pencil meld so that you can’t see where one starts and the other stops.

If you wear lip liner and you want to help your lipstick last longer, apply the lip pencil all over the lip area, including the outline of the lips, and then apply your lipstick over it. This extra step puts a more permanent color on the lips so the lipstick won’t wear off as quickly as it normally does. Beyond that, and with the exception of the various lip paints available (such as Max Factor Lipfinity or Cover Girl Outlast), all-day lipstick doesn’t exist. Even these formidable lip paints can present some reapplication issues if you eat oily foods, and there is still the issue of touching up with the moisturizing top coat that accompanies each of these paints. For years the cosmetics industry has been proclaiming new “all-day” or “long-wearing” lipsticks, yet women continually need to reapply their lipstick. To date it remains impossible for 99.9% of all lipsticks to make it past lunch, or even past midmorn­ing, still looking the same as when you first put them on.

How can you stop lipstick from traveling into the lines around your mouth? The first step is to stop wearing greasy lipsticks and lip glosses. The greasier the lipstick or lip pencil, the faster the color will slip into the lines around your mouth. The drier-feeling lipsticks are best for conquering this problem. Powdering the mouth with loose powder before applying the lipstick also helps, but can be a bit messy. Lip pencil will not stop greasy lipsticks from traveling, but it can slow them down.

Several years ago, some cosmetics companies came out with new products that were sup­posed to prevent lipstick from bleeding. I tried a lot of them and many never worked, but I finally found three that changed the way I wear lipstick. Regrettably, all of the options I used to love are no longer made. Refusing to be dismayed by this, I simply found out which company produced the formula (there are only a handful worldwide that make almost all cosmetic pencils) and added the formula I loved to my own line. If you have trouble with lipstick migrating into lines around your mouth, I strongly recommended my Long-Lasting Anti-Feather Lipliner in Clear.

lipstick and lip pencil mistakes to avoid

1. Do not use a lip pencil that contrasts with your lipstick; it has been unfashionable since the ’80s. Not only does it almost always looks severe, but it also gives a con­trived appearance to the mouth area.

2. Do not wear lipstick that is a different color tone from the rest of your makeup. For example, if you are wearing a rose-toned blush, wear a rose-toned lipstick.

3. Do not use lip gloss in place of lipstick during the day; it can bleed and won’t last as long as lipstick.

4. Do not exaggerate or change the shape of your mouth with your lip pencil or lipstick; it will look like you missed your mouth.

5. If you want your lipstick to last, wear more of it and don’t blot it; blotting takes off several layers before you’ve even left the house.

Updated: October 9, 2015 — 2:05 am