The 10 Mistakes You’re Making With Your Lipstick

Lipstick has long been adopted as the quickest of ways to transform your look – but how you apply it has more of an effect than you might realise. Slapdash application could result in lack of longevity, a dull tinge to your complexion or even adding years to your face.

Make-up artist for Marc Jacobs Beauty, Diane Kendal explains the things you need to avoid for a perfect, youth-enhancing pout:

1. Overdrawing

“People often overdraw their lips and dark lip liner can be really ageing. It can look very harsh, especially on older women when you naturally start getting lines. By wearing lots of lip liner you are actually drawing attention to these lines, as you can’t help but look at someone’s mouth when they have a really defined lip. Instead, focus a little more on creating a defined eye, and use less lip liner and softer lipstick textures. You could still wear a bright red colour, but the texture should be a lot less hard.”

2. Using the wrong lip liner

“Individuals often use the wrong lip pencil colour for their skin and that’s why I like to use really neutral coloured liners; it’s harder to make mistakes when you are choosing between dark nudes, light nudes and peaches. Marc Jacobs does a fantastic range of nudes to suit lots of different skin tones – the (P)outliner Longwear Lip Pencils, £18. Gone are the days when you’d try a nude lip and need it to be injected with a bit of life. They’ve all got these wonderful undertones.”

3. Applying liner at all

“In fact, I feel that it is often nicer to not use a traditional lip liner at all. Using a liquid lip crayon all over your lips instead, like Marc Jacobs’ Le Marc Liquid Lip Crayon, £22, which launches in late December, means you can line your lips without getting it too defined. They have a wonderful ‘slip’ quality so you can blend them beautifully. It’s a really modern way to get a beautiful lip and I think it provides a younger-looking, fresher finish. It also won’t bleed, because the product acts as a protective barrier. I mean, that was the reason for the creation of lip liner in the first place, to stop bleeding when you were wearing a red lipstick, and with these you don’t have to worry about that.”

4. Using dry formulas

“Not as many now, but there are still liquid lipsticks that give that drying effect. That dryness can age your lips, emphasising lines, which is why you need a moisturising formula. Look for products that give the impression of being quite matte but that have a dewiness that keeps your lips looking moist. Always avoid shades that risk making your lips look chalky too. I also like using Kiko’s Pure Clean Scrub and Peel wipes, £5.90, to exfoliate and prep the lips.”

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5. Skipping highlighter

“Traditionally you’d use lip gloss or liner to enhance your lips but this can make them very harsh and defined. I’d recommend using a little bit of highlighter, like Marc Jacobs’ Glow Stick in Spotlight, £28, or Ben Nye’s Ice Powder Highlighter, £12.95, and placing it on the lip right in the centre. That makes them look a little fuller, but still soft, because it gives a different dimension by helping to reflect the light.”

6. Not embracing your skin tone

“Somebody who has very pale skin, probably should avoid near black or very deep berry shades – unless they were doing something for Halloween – as that probably wouldn’t suit them. They should avoid anything that has too much blue it in too, as that can make them look a little bit ill. I’d say go for the softer peachy colours or a more true red. Then, someone with darker skin would look fantastic wearing one of those deeper shades or a two-toned lip colour just to provide a pop of colour.”

7. Not trying before you buy

“Finding the right colour for you is trial and error, so always try the colours – even on the back of your hand – before you buy them. Don’t be afraid to mix shades too. Even a prominent black lip colour can be made much more wearable by applying a pinky colour first and then going over it with the black shade; it creates a really gorgeous purple hue. On a recent editorial shoot, I used a darker purple colour to line the lips and then blended it in by placing a more pinky colour in the middle for a slight ombre. It looked really good on and can be a creative way to create wonderfully full lips.”

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8. Not cheating your lip shape slightly

“If you don’t have perfectly full lips, that’s when you do a little bit of correction. Karlie Kloss, for example, her lips kind of dips down at the sides, which means though they are quite full, they tend to disappear slightly. To make them look a little fuller, you can cheat a little bit with a lip liner pencil by applying it just over the edge of your lip line. The secret to making it look natural is to use a lip pencil that is really close to your natural lip line colour and applying it really softly so it won’t show.”

“If you have a prominent top or bottom lip that you’d prefer to minimise, you can use a little foundation to cover your actual lip line. I like RCMA’s Translucent Loose Powder, £13, as it works on all skin tones and is super fine, not too powdery or heavy. You don’t need to use a lot of product, you can just dust it over and then you don’t even have to bother lining your lips. You should keep it a little diffused, so when you look at the lips you aren’t focused on the edges. You just see the wash of colour.”

See you tonight @Swarovski ?✨ #BrillianceforAll

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9. Forgetting lip balm

“I always find as it gets colder, your lips get so much drier and I hate it, especially as dry lips can really age you. You need to always use lip balm. It can just be a generic brand like ChapStick, £5.99 for set of three, or there’s a new organic brand that I quite like too, called Bite, especially their Agave Lip Mask, around £19.50, to prep and moisturise the lips. Even if you don’t have enough time to let it sink in before applying lipstick, still use it. Just dab it lightly with a tissue and then swipe on your chosen product. It’s always best to not try and apply lipstick straight on top of lip balm as it will affect how the product stays in place. “

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10. Being too heavy handed

“To avoid feathering or an unnatural-looking lip line, a good trick is to use a q-tip. It’s particularly useful if you are using a lip pencil and you apply it a little messily. You can get the q-tip and smooth it out gently along your lip line. Then, when you’re applying your lipstick, use little strokes and don’t press too hard because you don’t want to use tons of product. By doing little strokes you get the feel of the product and it looks even. I use a brush, but doing it for yourself you can just do that with your finger. Use your finger for subsequent touch-ups too. When your lipstick has come off a bit, you can just nab the product a little into the centre of your lip and then with a clean finger blend it in for a natural finish.”

From: Harper’s BAZAAR UK