Lipsticks and lip colors have taken a glorious turn over the last couple of years. We now have more than enough shades and types of lip products and not enough time (or money) to experiment with them all...

Want to know cult secrets to up your lipstick game? Guess what? It isn’t the endless shopping for more… It’s knowing how to extract the maximum benefit from what you’ve got.

Ready?

For lip color that lasts until you get home…

Your favorite lip color has faded by midday... Here’s what to do: Reapply your lipstick or lip gloss and then add some translucent face powder to your lips. This will lock in the color and help it last much longer than it would have otherwise. Use a tissue between your lips and the powder applicator so that it gets on your lips and nowhere else. 

For a brighter pop of color…

Is the lip color you’ve chosen perfect—until it hits your skin? And you just wish it would be a shade brighter? Use foundation or concealer before your lip color to neutralize the pigment of your lips. The lipstick shade will appear as bright as it is in the casing. 

For blotting the right way…

Blot after your first application and before your second. That means (Step 1) you apply lip color, (Step 2)  blot to remove the excess, and then (Step 3) one more application to get the color tone you’re after.

For sharp lip definition…

Want your lips to have sharp definition, but can’t stand the lip liner look? Try this: After applying your lipstick, take a lipstick brush and apply a subtle amount of concealer around the outside of your lips. You will be surprised + delighted at how much this causes your lips to stand out from your skin tone.

For fuller lips…

For pouty lips, add a lighter color than your primary lipstick to the middle of your top and bottom lip. This mimics the way the light hits full lips. Don’t have a lighter shade of your lip color? Use your foundation brush to add a little of your foundation to the middle of your lips. Does the same thing!

For the right red lipstick that matches your skin tone…

If you have light or pale skin, look for a bright red with a shade that has a blue undertone – something almost pink. If you have a warmer skin tone, you can handle a richer red color – almost orange-ish. For darker skin tones, choose a burgundy red or something slightly berry.

For more bang for your buck…

Use your lip color on your cheeks for a pop of color! Apply a swipe and then blend it in along your cheekbone. This can also help you out when you’ve forgotten your makeup kit but remembered to bring your favorite lip color.

When things don’t go right…

Let’s say you forgot your makeup removal product at home, and you need that long-staying lipstick off fast. In a pinch, your chapstick can help it come off. Just apply a thick coat of chapstick or lip balm over whatever lip stain product you have used, and then use a paper towel to rub it off a little at a time.

For that time you’re on a deserted island with only eyeshadow and chapstick…

Let’s not ask how you got to be on this deserted island, and why you have eyeshadow and chapstick—and not lipstick, too. The important problem to solve is how to fix your lack of lip color. Smudging chapstick into your eyeshadow palette works like a charm for creating a DIY lip color!

—Emma Jean

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