12 Genius Lipstick Hacks Every Lady Needs to Know
There’s just something so immensely satisfying about getting your lipstick done properly. Whether you’re going with a beautiful nude look, fire engine red, or even a bit vampy with dark purples, lipstick really helps to tie your entire look together. But learning how to apply it properly, as well as learning a few clever lipstick hacks, is something that will take practice and a bit of know-how. Thankfully, it isn’t as difficult as you might think! So, if you’re wanting to know the secret to the perfect smile, grab your lipstick (or stains, or glosses) and let’s get down to it!
Start With Smooth Lips
Like with most cases pertaining to makeup and beauty, getting flawless lipstick starts before you even open the tube. Having a good canvas for your art is important, and so is having smooth lips before you apply lipstick! Before you get started, it’s important that you take care of dry, cracked, or peeling lips. The best way to go about that? If your lips are peeling or are suffering from a similar problem, you should gently exfoliate. “Gently” being the key word here: You don’t want to cause yourself to bleed! (Pro lipstick hack: Blood is not a good look.) Taking a soft-bristled toothbrush, you should wet it with warm water and, very carefully, run it over your lips in small, delicate circles. Repeat until the peeling I gone. Afterwards, you can take a strawberry, prick it with a fork, and spread the juice over your lips to help boost healing and soothe any soreness that remains.
Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize!
Like peeling, another common pitfall that people fall into when trying to apply their lipstick is dry and cracked lips. This is a bit more difficult to handle than just scrubbing the problem away with a toothbrush, but it’s still very much a solvable issue. If your lips are dry and cracked, you’re going to need more in-depth intervention, so it’s best to start a bare minimum of a few hours ahead, and then take measure to prevent it from happening again. The strawberry trick mentioned above (where you take a strawberry, prick it with a fork, and spread the juice over your lips) is a great way to moisturize the delicate skin on your mouth. Another one of good lipstick hacks? Good ol’ fashioned lip balm! Just spread an even layer over your mouth, and let it sit for a while. Make sure you take it off before you start applying lipstick, though.
Nude Lips… Done Right!
Nude lips are a very popular look right now. You see it on red carpets and runways, or even just on the faces of women you pass in the streets. And there’s no mystery why: it’s a beautiful choice that works just as well in the office as it does for a night out. But it does have one major downside: if you don’t apply correctly, you end up looking like an extra out of the Walking Dead. No one wants to look like that! So, how do you make sure that your nude lip looks more like a model’s, less like a zombie’s? The secret here is in the shade you choose, and in the shine. Your nude lipstick should be fairly close to the color of your skin, but it’s best to choose a shade or two of difference. Then, once you’ve applied, put some gloss on, for “definitely not dead” shine.
Can’t Find the Right Shade? Make It!
Sometimes, no matter how hard you try and no matter how many beauty counters you throw yourself at, you’re not going to be able to find that perfect shade of lipstick. This is usually a problem for those looking for a nude lip look (like above), or for those looking for a fun new color and not being able to find it. And it can be absolutely disheartening to realize that you won’t get to buy the lipstick you’ve been wanting. But that doesn’t mean that your look can’t happen! Instead of going out and buying your lipstick, you can just make it yourself! All you need is another kind of makeup, some lip gloss, and enough time to experiment! Take some makeup of the color you want (eyeshadow is great here, because it comes in so many different shades, but blush and bronzers work, too), and combine it with the lip gloss until it is the color you want.
Use Eyeliner to Make Lipstick Pop
It’s a very annoying problem, but one that a lot of people go through, especially when trying lipsticks in very fun, bright shades, or lipsticks in dark, vampy shades: you find (or make; see above) the lipstick in the color that you want, you apply it… and then it doesn’t look bright and poppy, or dark and beautiful. Maybe the color looks less colorful on your face, or maybe you can still see the obvious color of your lips peeking through. Whatever the case is, it can take away from the look you were going for. One of great lipstick hacks to fix that is to use an eyeliner! Yes, not lip liner, but eyeliner. Take a stick of white eyeliner, and spread it over your lips, taking care to fill in any places you mix. Then, apply your lipstick. The white of the eyeliner will make the color pop! Going dark? Try a deep brown (or similar) eyeliner.
Look Vampy, Not Goth
As you can tell from the amount of times it’s already been mentioned in this article alone, the vampy look is really hot right now. What is a “vampy” look, though? Normally, it’s a darkly-colored lipstick, in shades of very dark red, purple, browns, and sometimes full-on black. Now, if the first thing you thought when you read that is “goth”, we don’t blame you. (We’re flashing back to our high school rebellious phase, too!) But you can get the gorgeous, but a bit dangerous, look without looking like you crawled out of Hot Topic. One of the key differences? The shades. You should take your skin tone into consideration when choosing vampy shades; the lighter your skin, the lighter your shade. You should also avoid drawing a lot of attention to the rest of your face; it will come across looking overdone, not glamorous. And use some gloss for a bit of shine!
Fake Fuller Lips
No one wants to look like they have thin lips. Why would they, when people pay out of the nose for plump, luscious lips? Thankfully, you can get yourself a beautiful, gorgeous smile without the plastic surgery or lip injections. And you don’t even have to do the Kylie Jenner lip challenge, either! (Seriously, it’s not a good idea.) Instead, you can just fake the look with a little bit of creative special effects, courtesy of your lipstick, lip liner, and some gloss! So here is one of great lipstick hacks to make your lips appear slightly bigger: using your lip liner, line your lips; be a little bit liberal here; go just outside of the edge of your lips, especially towards the center. But don’t go too far, or you’ll risk the “trying to take over Gotham City” look. Take special care with the bow of your lips. Fill in with lipstick, then add some gloss to the center of your mouth. Voila! Plump lips.
Build a Long-Lasting Look
Your lipstick can be perfect on point if you leave the house, but it isn’t going to matter much if it’s faded away by the time you get to work, your date, or just the club. And, while you should certainly pack a quick touch-up kit to take with you, sometimes taking everything you use for those gorgeous lips simply isn’t an option. So, what’s a gal to do when her lipsticks making a run for it, and she hasn’t even gotten to where she’s going yet? If you’re going to be working a look in a place where it’s likely to pull a disappearing act (drinking at a club, eating dinner with friends, smooching on your date), use a long-lasting lipstick. Really want some staying power? Layer some lip-liner in the same color over your lips, and just discreetly reapply the lipstick occasionally. People won’t be able to spot the difference in color!
Use a Brush
Yes, lipstick can be applied directly from the tube. It’s why it’s shaped in that lip-perfect way, after all. But, if you have something specific in mind for your look, especially something that has more to it than “sweep lipstick over lips and bolt for the door”, you might want to use a brush. Lipstick brushes are definitely a thing, and they make layering color and adding in a bit of extra shine via lip gloss a simple procedure. And, if you’re going for a more romantic look, it can take away that heavy-handed look that applying lipstick directly from the tube can leave you with. So one of good lipstick hacks is – when using a lipstick brush, take care to apply the lipstick in quick, light, and even strokes, almost like when filling in your eyebrows. Then, once that’s done, you can smooth any uneven areas with a quick swipe, or by just rubbing your lips together.
Try a Playful, Natural Look
As you can tell by the looks that we’ve mentioned in this article, full-coverage lipstick (in either dark or bright colors) is a big thing right now. But that doesn’t mean that it’s the only good look to choose from! If you want to look less like you’ve spent an hour and a half on lipstick and more like your lips are just naturally this flushed and pink (and that, maybe, you were snacking on berries earlier), that’s just as good of a choice… and not at all difficult to do! Your best bet is to try a lip stain, as opposed to a lipstick. It’s a bit lighter, and more likely to blend in well with the natural color of your lips. But, if you’d like, you can dab on a bit of lipstick (choose a color similar to your natural lip tone), then dab off any excess left behind.
Shiny, Not Sticky
Shiny lips have always been in style. Whether you’re going for playful, natural, nude, or anything else, a bit of shine is likely to be nothing but an added bonus to your look. (The one exception? Matte lips. But you already knew that, right?) But then you risk the dreaded consequence of using so much lip gloss: stickiness. Anything that your lips touch will leave behind a perfect mouth print in glimmering, tacky gloss. Your drinks, your fork, your date. Anything. So, how do you go about making sure that your lips look shiny, but not like you’ve just rubbed your entire mouth with petroleum jelly? One of key lipstick hacks here is to apply the lip gloss where it matters most. You don’t need any gloss in the corner of your mouth, after all! Apply to the inner third of your lips, both top and bottom, in a heart shape. That gives the illusion of shine without the all-over stickiness that comes with it.
Banish Lipstick From Teeth
This is a problem that is as old as lipstick itself. It’s something that your mother, her mother, her mother, and so on, had to deal with when applying makeup to their mouth: getting lipstick on their teeth. It’s not a good look, to the point where celebrities caught with stained smiles have actually had magazines poke fun at them for it. But how can you stop it, especially when you’re wearing a dark (or noticeably bright) color? A good first line of defense is to apply using a lip brush, as mentioned above. This will let you keep the color away from your pearly whites. Another one of great lipstick hacks is to do the finger trick: stick your finger in your mouth, then slowly pull it out. This will get rid of the lipstick on the insides of your lips, which is the most likely to end up on your teeth. Er… it’s best to do this in private, though.
Applying lipstick is an art form in and of itself. It takes some practice, some creativity, and a willingness to try something new. But, if you’re ready to jump in (with gloss, liner, and brush in tow), you’re guaranteed to come out looking better than before!
What are your favourite lipstick hacks?