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Six basic go-to tips for perfecting your pout

Image: 123RF

With National Lipstick Day having recently passed, what better way to celebrate the world’s favourite makeup staple than to pucker up with a swipe of your favourite shade – and get stuck into a few fun lipstick facts of course. 

Did you know that red lipstick is believed to be the most youthful shade because the stark contrast between red and all skin tones is associated with youth?  Some of the first ingredients used to create lipstick were animal fat, ox marrow, beeswax and crushed gemstones. 

Even though the first commercially available bullet lipstick was produced in 1884, the world’s first long-wear lipstick was developed by a female chemist named Hazel Bishop, who created the formula while working in a dermatologist’s lab after World War 2 and the first swivel-up lipstick in a tube appeared in 1923. 

Now, before you rush to dress your lips with the lipstick shade du jour – take note of these tips for perfecting your pout and maximising your lipstick power.

1. No chapped lips – start with a smooth base 

Dry lips are almost unavoidable in winter, and most of us struggle with flaking at least once during the season. By sitting on top of dry skin, lip colour can draw attention to the dryness, and if the dry cells flake off, your lips will be visibly patchy and lip colour will peel off. 

Make sure to gently exfoliate your lips (you can make your own scrub using sugar with a little bit of olive oil), and apply a hydrating lip balm before you apply lip colour.  Give your lip balm some time to absorb into the lips before applying your lip colour to guarantee a perfect application and colour payoff.

2. Prime lips for a punchy payoff

This is not always a necessary step but if you’re looking for maximum colour payoff or want nude lipstick shades to pop, then priming lips before lipstick application can go a long way.  

Use a lip concealer to create a base for your lip colour and to cancel out the natural pink hue of your lips that can sometimes interfere with the true colour payoff of a nude-toned lipstick. 

3. Create a defined shape

If you want your lipstick to look clean, refined and literally like a stamp of colour, then it’s important to start with the application of a lip liner. 

Choose a lip liner in a matching shade to the shade of your lipstick or one shade brighter and apply it over the entire lip to create a long-lasting base for your lipstick to layer on top of.

4. Apply a lip liner on top for better wear

If you like a super defined edge and know that you’re going to be eating or expect your lipstick to wear throughout the day – a clever hack is instead of lining the edge of your lips before applying your lipstick, use your lip liner to trace along the lip edge to make your lip shape sharp and super clean – but only after you have applied your lipstick. 

Applying lip pencil on top of your lipstick instead of before allows the colour on your lips to fade seamlessly together instead of having your lipstick fade and leave a lip liner line behind, which is not flattering.

5. Long-lasting powers with powder

Increase the longevity of your lipstick’s wear by using a translucent powder to make lip colour more long-lasting.  Apply your lipstick as usual and then use a single sheet of tissue paper to lightly blot the lips and remove any excess colour. 

Lightly dust some of the translucent powder onto and apply a second layer of lipstick for a budge-proof pout. 

6. Amplify lip fullness with gloss

Applying a layer of gloss over lipstick is not only a great way to make lips look fuller but also makes lips look hydrated and youthful.  However, to avoid gloss looking heavy on the lips and sliding off, make sure to apply a thin layer of gloss over the lips using a lip brush for precise and buildable application. 

It’s also best to apply gloss over a matte or long-wearing lipstick to prevent colour slipping off throughout the day.  If you have full lips but just want to slightly accentuate them, only apply gloss to the centre of the lips to give a subtle pout and highlight the lips' fullness.

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