Who doesn’t need a little help in the lipstick department? Sure, a single swipe of red, pink or coral has the power to instantly brighten your face, but even the priciest products have problems standing the test of time. You’re lucky if your beloved lipstick makes it past a few sips of morning coffee.
This, of course, makes it all the more puzzling to see celebs rocking lip color for hours at events, photo shoots or on the red carpet. (We’re looking at you Taylor Swift!) Were they blessed with naturally rosy lips? How, exactly, do they do it?
Although the jury is still out on whether one specific lipstick brand actually lasts 16 hours without bleeding, fading, or turning your lips into a dry, peeling mess, makeup experts say to use this simple four step application process if you want truly long-lasting color that will stay in place all day and not get on your teeth.
1. Apply a lip scrub and moisturize. If you’re coating your dry, chapped lips with a layer of lipstick in hopes that the cosmetic will provide much-needed moisture, you’re setting yourself up for lipstick failure. “The #1 reason lipstick feathers is that area around the lips is very dehydrated,” says Alejandro Falcon, Artistic Director of Osmosis Colour Cosmetics. “This makes the skin around the lips absorb the moisture from any hydrating lip formula causing it to bleed. To create the perfect lip, make sure your lips are in good condition. They are very sensitive to climate changes and can peel easily. Any flakiness should be removed prior to a lipstick application.”
Rather than applying lipstick to less-than-hydrated lips, start with Bliss’ Fabulips Sugar Lip Scrub, then apply a layer of Rosebud Salve. Let the moisturizing balm set in for a few minutes before lightly blotting your lips and proceeding to the next step in your lipstick routine.
2. Use lip liner. For a while, lip liner seemed to go out style as beauty mavens searched for ways to create a less precise look. But the power of a good liner, like Rimmel London’s Lasting Finish 1000 Kisses Stay On Lip Liner Pencil, can’t be denied: not only does it help you get a fuller lip look, but it also works miracles when it comes to prolonging the life of your lipstick. “Lip liner is a must when you want to extend the longevity of your lipstick,” says Shola Akintobi, owner of Best Face Forward Makeup Studio. “Line your lips and then fill them in with your liner pencil before you apply your lipstick for instant staying power.” Choose a lipliner color that either matches your natural lip, your lipstick shade, or is slightly lighter than your lipstick (any darker than that and you risk looking unnatural).
3. Set your lips with translucent powder. Apply your lipstick the way you normally would, then immediately dust a little translucent powder on your lips with a large powder brush (a little goes a long way, according to Akintobi) and reapply your lipstick over the powder. “The translucent powder sets your lipstick so that it won’t budge or smudge throughout the day,” Akintobi says. Another expert tip? A semi-matte or matte formula lipstick will, typically, last longer than a glossier option.
4. Blot. Last step? Use tissue to blot and then reapply the color–yes, a third time. “The tissue works similar to translucent powder and helps to set the lipstick so that it won’t bleed onto your teeth or face,” Akintobi says.
For more beauty tips, check out do wrinkle creams really do anything? and the only 5 products you need to look gorgeous in an instant.