Back to Basics: Lipstick 101

Last week, we kicked off our new Back to Basics Series with an easy guide to mastering brows. We asked what you'd like to see next, and since your wish is our command, this week the lesson is 'Lipstick 101'! And let us know what you'd like to see next week in the comments below.

I recently did a post on choosing the perfect nude lip for you, I've recently found my favourite ever nude lipstick - the Balm's Mai Billsbepaid, so I'm using that. The method is the same for any shade of lipstick though. Lip liner is essential, so I'm pairing my lipstick with a nude liner. I've chosen No7 Nude 20.

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Step One

  • Forgive my rather unkind HD camera. Man, that's a close close-up. Anyway, prep lips with your favourite balm. I'm using good old reliable carmex and I'm buffing it in with a cotton bud to smooth the surface of the lips.
  • Taking your liner, outline the cupid's bow and the centre of your bottom lip to begin (as in the bottom photo, above). This will ensure that your lips look even from the very beginning!

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Step Two

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  • As you can see, I'm working on one side only so that you can see the dramatic difference. In the top photo (above) I'm following the natural line of my lips, drawing out from my guideline in the centre to the outer edge of the lips.
  • Fill in the lips with liner - this gives lipstick something to grip and helps prevent it from bleeding.
  • In the bottom photo, above, I'm starting to embellish my natural lip shape a little with some very careful and subtle overdrawing.
  • Take your time with this step. building on the line you've already created slowly and subtly.

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Step Three

  • ¬†When you're happy with the lip shape you've created (you don't have to overdraw, sticking to your natural line is perfectly okay), it's lipstick time!
  • The best possible method of applying lipstick is to work several thin layers into the lips with a good lip brush. The brush should be small and soft with a very clean edge to keep lips looking sharp rather than blurry.
  • Apply one layer of lipstick over the entire area, then blot on a tissue. Repeat one or two more times for lipstick that will withstand much more abuse than a lip created with no liner and bashed on right from the bullet.
  • Don't worry if your hand slips when applying either liner or lipstick. Just apply some concealer to a clean lip or eyeliner brush and clean up the edge again!
  • Remember that lipstick is always going to move if you're eating or drinking. Longwear lipsticks will last longest, but if you're wearing lipstick it will need to be touched up a couple of times throughout the day or evening.

It does just polish a makeup look off beautifully though, doesn't it? I'd look scruffier here without the lipstick, and my makeup would feel less 'finished'. Also, I have a bit more lip than I had starting out but it doesn't look as though I've drawn my mouth all over my face!

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Who needs collagen injections when we have makeup tricks? What do you think? Are you a lipstick person or a bit frightened by it? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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