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All About Lips: How to Perfect Your Lips

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by Chris Nugen (subscribe)
I can't get enough of food! I'm also passionate about music, dance, writing and makeup!
Published August 24th 2013
A lot of people spend most of their makeup routine concentrating on their eyes and foundation. Sometimes though, all you need is a bold lip to make a statement with your makeup. I like to do this sometimes and when I do, I always get lots of comments about my lips. Below are my tips on perfecting your lip.

Marilyn Monroe, bold red lips
A photo taken by Richard Avedon of Marilyn Monroe

Before I start my make-up, the very first thing I do is to put lip cream on my lips. By the time I get to do my lips at the end of my make-up routine, my lips are nice and soft, allowing ease when putting on lip colour. If your lips are very dry and peeling, you can also use a lip buffer. However, give plenty of time between using this and putting on your make-up because it needs time to do its effect, usually at least a few hours.

To make the lip colour stand out, apply powder to your lips prior to putting on colour. I always apply at least two to three layers. You can then blot the excess after. This way, the colour tends to stay on longer.

To do a nude lip, select a colour that's one shade lighter than your natural lip colour. Alternatively, you can put a thin layer of powder on your lips; just enough for your natural lip colour to still show through, followed by lip gloss.

To wear a bold red lip colour, confidence is the key. Your initial reaction might be "OMG!" after your first put it on. However, don't stress. Leave it for about ten minutes then after that, if you're still feeling OMG, then change it if you must. Pick the red that suits the undertone of your skin. For example, if you're pale and with blue undertones, choose a red that has a blue undertone. If you're darker, with a yellow or warm undertone, choose a red with warm undertones. If you don't know what I'm talking about, think of the colour wheel. There are the warmer colours on one side, and the cooler colours on the other side. Red leaning towards the warmer colours will have more orange in them. Red with cooler colours will have more purple in them. Simply choose the exact shade that corresponds to your skin tone.

bold lips
Bold lips
Image appears courtesy of Shazeen Saddam via Wikimedia Commons

To give your lips a 3D effect, either powder the middle of your lips after you've put on colour, or use 2 to 3 different shades. For example, you can choose to have a darker or more vibrant lip liner as a base for your whole lip. Then use a lip colour that's one shade lighter on top. Then choose another colour that's one shade lighter again for the middle of your lips. You can also choose contrasting lip colours if you're bold for this effect. For example, have a red colour all over your lips, then a hot pink colour for the middle of your lips on top. This will look smashing.

To make your lips look fuller, use lip plumping products. However, these can tingle and give you an uncomfortable feeling. Also, they usually work better if you use them regularly, at least about 3 times a day. The second method to make your lips look fuller is by cheating your lip line when putting on lip colour. Everybody knows this. But the third method to fuller lips is by creating an illusion that the top lips have just been injected with a filler. Do this using a skin colour eye shadow, an eye highlighter or an eye/lip pencil that is one shade lighter than your foundation. Apply a very thin line on the skin just above your top lip, starting from the cupid's bow and ending about of the way to the outer corner of your lip and blend the ends. Make sure this line is very thin; otherwise it will look like you have a reverse moustache. You can also accentuate the two vertical lines that come down from your nose to your lips lightly. This will make them stand out and look more prominent and therefore fuller. Obviously, the colour you choose should be matt, or with a very slight shimmer to it you want this to be as natural as possible.

lipstick colours
Lipstick colours
Image appears courtesy Riley via Wikimedia Commons

To get a clean line for your lip colour, use a lip applicator brush when applying. However, this will not give you an absolutely distinct line, especially if you're wearing a bold colour. Use concealer to create a clear distinction between your lip and your skin after you have completely finished doing your lips. Apply a small amount of concealer to a clean small flat eyeliner brush, removing any excess. Take the brush as close as possible to your lip line and then fan outwards in one swift motion. Keep doing this along the lip line and blend.

With all these tips, the next time you do your make-up, your lips should look perfect. Try making your lips stand out and you're sure to get comments. Let me know if you do! Good luck!
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