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Thursday, October 28, 2010

How to create the perfect bright pink (or any other colour) lip

I did a post not too long ago about how to wear a bold lip but that was more about confidence and self esteem rather than any practical tips so I thought I'd do a post that actually contained some useable tips. I figured that there might be a bit of interest about this topic because I'd noticed that quite a few people had landed on my blog after searching for tips on bright lips.

The colour I used for this post is MAC Rebel lipstick. I also want to apologise for the variations in the colours of the photos. They were all taken on the same day but I was having camera issues but hopefully you still get the idea of what I was trying to show.

Here are the steps to get a perfectly defined bright lip.

1. Exfoliate:
You can get away with a lot when wearing a natural lip colour because it's not the first thing grabbing attention when people look at your face but this isn't true when you decide to wear a bold lip colour. That's why you really need to exfoliate and get rid of any dry, flaky skin that's on your lips or it'll just be accentuated when you put on your lip colour.

I usually use The Lip Scrub by Sara Happ but any lip scrub will work fine. If you don't already own a scrub you can make one by mixing some petroleum jelly and some coarse sugar or you can just use a soft toothbrush, moisten it with water and rub gently.

You should now have smooth, flake free lips.

2. Moisturise.
Even if you're putting on a moisturising lip stick it's always a good idea to put on a slick of lip balm underneath. I try to use a balm that isn't too emollient and make sure that I use a thin layer so my lip colour doesn't go slipping and sliding all over the place. If you find you've put on too much then just blot it gently with a tissue.

3. Conceal your lips:
This step is optional and really a matter of personal preference. I tend to conceal my lips when using lighter shades as my lips are quite pigmented and the colour of my lips tend to affect what ever colour I put on top. You can either use a thin layer of your foundation for this step or use a thin layer of concealer. Make sure you blend away the edges around your mouth so that the finished look is natural looking. I find that MAC studio fix fluid concealer works the best for me.

4. Line your lips:
I never really appreciated the need for a lipliner until I started wearing dark and bright lipsticks. There's a lot of room for error when you wear nude lipsticks and lipglosses but bolder colours really require precision. I usually start off by lining my natural lip line making sure to get the very edges of my lips.

After I've drawn in my initial line, I like to use my finger or a lip brush to blend the colour over on to most of my lips usually just leaving the centre most parts of my lips free of colour. I do this because it makes for a more seamless transition between the lipstick and the lipliner and because once the lipstick wears off, you still have colour underneath. Putting the lipliner over most of your lips also gives your lipstick something to stick to and prevents it from getting muddied with your concealer if you chose to conceal your lips.

5. Apply your lipstick
It's really personal preference as to whether you apply your lipstick with a brush or straight from the bullet. I usually use a brush to get the edges of my lips and use the lipstick straight from the bullet when covering the rest of my lips. Sometimes I'll apply the colour from the bullet and then use the brush to pull the colour outwards towards the edges of my lips. I've found that a brush is usually better when using very opaque colours as it gives you a more even application. Just make sure you're using a good brush or the result can be uneven and you can end up wasting product.

6. Blot your lips.
You can use a tissue or use the finger in the mouth method for this but either way it's usually good to do some type of blotting so that any lipstick that could get on your teeth is taken off. If you're unaware, the finger in the mouth method is exactly what it sounds like; you take your pointer finger and put it into your mouth and press your lips around it and then pull it out. When you pull it out you'll be left with lipstick residue that you just wipe away.

7. Conceal the edges and reline your lips.
Sometimes when you're wearing a bright lipstick you might find that some of the lipstick gets on the skin around your mouth. If it's only a small little mark then you can use some concealer on a brush to cover it up but otherwise you may need to use a makeup wipe and then re-conceal.

I also like to reline my lips with my lip liner when I've finished applying the colour just to add more definition. I also sometimes use a concealer brush and conceal all around the edges of my lips to give a crisper line.

Now you're done with your lipstick application but if you want you can take your lips to the next level by using the following steps.

8. Apply a white or light eyeshadow to the centre of your lips.
Alot of people do this to give their lips a poutier and fuller look as it creates the illusion of light in the centre of your lips. I never bother with this step but I demonstrated it below to show you what it looks like. As I used a berry/pink lipstick, I used a pastel pink eyeshadow and patted it on to the centre of both my bottom and top lip using a fluffy blending brush.

You can leave your lips like this or you can finish off with the next step.

9. Apply a gloss on top.
If you want to transform a matte lipstick into a glossy one you can apply some clear gloss on top or if you want to intensify the colour a bit then you can add a gloss in the same colour as the lipstick. You can also darken or lighten your lipsticks by adding a sheer black or white coloured gloss.

Below I just added a coat of clear gloss on top.

The final tip that I can give you doesn't really have to do with the lipstick but about the blush you wear with your lipstick. I got this tip from Lisa Eldgridge.

10. Match your lipstick to your blush.
When you wear a similar coloured blush and lipstick it really pulls your whole face together and makes it look more polished. Now that I follow this tip it's so much easier trying to decide which blush to put on when I'm getting ready to go out. Lisa also has this great tip that if you don't have the right blush then you can dab your finger in your lipstick and apply a bit of it on your cheeks like a cream blush. That might sound weird but it works great!

And voila! Now we're done creating the perfect bright lip and now all you need to do is pucker up and go face the world ;)

Lipstick application is really as complicated or as easy as you want to make it. The most I usually do is moisturise, line and apply my colour and sometimes all I do is apply the colour! Just have fun with it and experiment and create different colours by mixing various tones and shades of liner, lipstick and gloss.

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