Bite the bullet, they say – but in the case of lipstick, please don’t. To make it look (and feel) its best, follow these four effective steps
If you want to see the lipstick – and not the pile of dead skin cells underneath it – gently exfoliate lips by rubbing a damp, soft- bristled toothbrush or a warm washcloth in circular motions. Doing this will also help “increase circulation, so lips are at their fullest,” says make-up artist Troy Surratt. Then dab on a beeswax balm, like the vitamin E-rich Faithful To Nature Natural Beeswax Lip Conditioner SPF15 (R12.50), to smooth the canvas further.
Liner may seem 80s, but it isn’t a bad idea, particularly when you’re wearing a bold hue that could look messy if it migrates. You can choose a shade that matches either your lipstick or your lips (for the latter, the inside pad of your index finger is a good indicator of your lip hue). Trace the liner lightly along your natural lip shape. Then gently fill in the rest of your mouth with the liner; this base acts like a glue for your lipstick.
For the most precise edge – or if lipstick bleeding into fine lines around the mouth is a concern – trace concealer around the perimeter of your lips, just beyond your liner. ( The drier the concealer consistency – think solid, not liquid – the better.) Between liner and concealer, you’ll create an impenetrable double barrier that lipstick will not, cannot, escape.
For a clean, classic effect, swipe your lipstick on straight from the tube, starting in the middle of the mouth and building out toward the edges. End with a blot, using either a tissue or, as Surratt suggests, actual blotting paper, to remove excess shine and leave behind a more matte (read: long- lasting) finish.