Saturday, 19 January 2013

How to: Apply Lipstick like a Hollywood Maven

Lauren Bacall, 1944
Lauren Bacall rocking a red lip

                I love lipstick; probably more than is reasonable or rational. It comes in so many different ways and colours and nothing makes me feel like I have myself more together. I think a lot of women are missing out on the fabulousness that is lipstick because they are afraid of it. They blow it out of proportion, into something that is beyond them. This seems to come around a lot at Christmas when everyone out of the blue seems to want to wear lipstick because they think they should but they are lost lambs in a world filled with lip gloss. Lipstick, even applying it in great detail like I have explained here is way easier than any smoky eye I have ever heard of. ­­­­­In the world of makeup, anything goes so don’t be afraid to be wrong, it always washes off. I guess you could go and watch some chirpy, peppy, skinny internet girl do her lipstick but I will offer up my methods of application in hopes that women everywhere will go confidently forth with lipstick:

The old skool method (i.e. the “proper” way)

Marilyn Monroe putting on lipstick
Marilyn Monroe putting on lipstick; note her lip brush
Mostly meant for opaque, regular old lipstick, this is how you would apply it in an ideal scenario in which you want to impress someone by being the lipstick rocking diva. This technique I think looks best with crème or matte lipsticks in bright or natural colors. Not so much shimmer or frost lipstick (even though I am not a fan in the first place; the 80’s called, seriously).

Step 1: You might want to exfoliate your lips with just a wet washcloth, and apply a good balm like Smith’s Lip Balm (I like Minted Rose) the night before like the diva of perfection you are.

Rosebud Perfume Co. - Minted Rose Lip Balm
Smith's Lip Balm- Mmm Minty!
 Step 2: Lip liner! So this step is not an always if you don’t feel like it, although it gives a really nice shape to the lips and stops the lipstick from bleeding. I prefer a lip liner that is as close as humanly possible to your natural lip colour. I prefer this for a couple of reasons; first because it is possible to perfect the shape of the lips, whereas with a clear you can’t do that and second, because then I don’t have to buy a bazillion lip liners to go with my bazillion lip products. And it works under sheer lipstick too. My favorites are these ones from Smashbox, called The Nude Lip pencil. I have yet to find anyone these don’t work for and they are wax free, so less blackheads around the lips.

Smashbox The Nude Lip Pencil- I use it in Fair, far right
Sharpen and apply to the outer edge working from the MIDDLE out, both sides top and bottom. Lips somewhat taper off closer to the corners and so should your liner. DON’T draw from side to side; it will be uneven I promise. Then slightly shade into the lip with the liner to get rid of the “line” (although your lip liner match is so good you didn’t really have a visible line to begin with.

Step 3: Get a lip brush. A fancy, diva-tastic one preferably, or a concealer brush, anything synthetic works. Now here is where stuff gets old skool. Take it and brush it on the lipstick picking up some colour and then filling in your lips, beginning with the outline, again in the MIDDLE. I like long-wear lipsticks with a crème finish for that old skool look, favorites being Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipstick (#12 is my fav) and the Lancome Rouge in Love.

Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipsticks- #12 is the third in from the right I think
Lancôme unveils new 24-shade Rouge In Love lipstick collection |
Lancome Rouge in Love

Step 4: Blot like your grandma. It’s a crazy old trick but it weirdly works. Take a tissue and place it between your lips and lightly press down. This will remove a bit of colour and take off the shine.

Step 5: Dab a bit more lipstick in the center of the lip (your drawn on outline should be intact) from the tube or with your brush. Blot again. Dab again. Dick Page applies and dabs up to three times!

"Pour yourself a drink, put on some lipstick, and pull yourself together." -Elizabeth Taylor
Elizabeth Taylor dabbing on a touchup. 
This is the best method for application as far as I am aware. I am not a big fan of putting any gloss over top of this because it wrecks the staying power and I don’t think it looks as sophisticated. Take your lipstick with you, even with a long-wear lipstick and my superb application method you will still need to reapply after drink, eating, snogging, etc. If you invested in a shmancy lip brush, take that with you as well and whip it out in the bathroom at the bar and impress the little people.

Also read this: Do this Don’t: Wear Lipstick to Vacuum

So do you wear lipstick? 
Does anyone actually put this much work into it when they do? 
What are your favorites? Shout it out!

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