Sonja is back with the fourth installment of her Makeup 101 series! (She’s also given a fabulous lesson on How to Apply Foundation, Concealer, and Powder tips on How to Apply Eye Makeup. , and advice on giving your Cheeks a Healthy Glow.) I’m very excited to have Sonja walk us through the basics of lip color … and as always, check her blog, Hello Beauty! for daily tips, reviews, and tutorials.
The most luxurious, gorgeous lip color in the world won’t look good if it’s sitting on dry, flaky, cracked lips so before you add any color, take some time to get your lips looking good au naturel.
Gently Exfoliate. Every few days, I exfoliate my lips gently with a toothbrush, Clarisonic or lip scrub. This helps get rid of dead, flaky skin and allows treatment products to penetrate and work better. Skip this if your skin is split or cracked. You want to give your skin time to heal before exfoliating.
Moisturize. I always keep a lip balm or treatment on hand at all times – whether in a pocket or my purse. The skin on the lips is fragile and sensitive, and more prone to drying out, especially when we lick our lips or drink a beverage. Liquids – even if it’s our own saliva – evaporate and, as a result, leave skin dry.
Look for balms and treatments made with ingredients that nourish skin and help seal in moisture: shea butter, plant oils, hyaluronic acid, sodium PCA and glycerin. Avoid ingredients like camphor, eucalyptus and menthol, which can be drying and irritating. My favorite balm is the funny looking egg-shaped one from eos. It has a wonderfully smooth, all-natural, antioxidant-rich formula that does an excellent job moisturizing without any waxy feel.
When you apply eye cream, dab whatever you don’t use on your eyes onto your lips, because eye creams tend to be very rich. Also hydrate from within by drinking plenty of water.
Protect. The sun is very drying so be sure to use a balm or treatment with sun protection in it during the day.
To help lip color look good and last, it helps to do a bit more than just apply color straight from the tube.
Prime. I like to prime my lips with a lip treatment that’s very light and has no waxy texture. That way it gets rid of any dryness and makes lips smoother, but doesn’t interfere with the lip color and cause it to slide right off. The eos balm works well for this, as does Aveda Nourish-Mint Renewing Lip Treatment.
Line. Lip liner helps lock color in place. I fill in the entire lip for the best holding power and to avoid the ring-around-the-lips look (you know one). I recommend getting one lip liner in a nude shade that’s just a bit darker than the color of your lips. You may think you need to match your liner to the color of your lipstick or gloss. But one neutral will work with a wide range of colors – from the softest pink to the brightest red. When lining lips, apply in short, feathery strokes for the most natural look.
My favorite is Josie Maran Lip Liner in the shade Natural. It has a creamy, non-waxy formula free of petrochemicals and parabens.
Application. When applying color, I recommend using your finger or a brush. It’s tempting to apply directly from the tube. But the color just won’t stay on as long. Too much product goes on and is more likely to wear away, because you tend to smoosh your lips together more. The same thing applies to applying lip balm. More may seem better. But it’s actually more likely to come off faster.
Blot. If you have time, blot color with a tissue to remove excess product. Although, honestly, I never remember to do this.
Formula. I prefer lipsticks and glosses that have skin care benefits. The new Bobbi Brown Treatment Lip Shines and Korres Mango Butter Lipsticks (pictured) are so moisturizing, feel amazing on, offer sun protection and still manage to provide plenty of pigment. I highly recommend them both.
Be careful if you go with a lip stain. The vast majority of them are very drying. But there are some exceptions, like the new Josie Maran Magic Marker Lip & Cheek Stains, which have hyaluronic acid added to keep them from parching your pout.
In my final installment of the Makeup 101 series, I’ll cover color and how to choose the most flattering shades. In the meantime, I’d love for you to visit my blog Hello Beauty!, where I have beauty product reviews, video tutorials and a Mother’s Day giveaway for a pair of gorgeous diamond stud earrings.