Thursday, September 11, 2014

How to Create a Long-Lasting Lip

If you're anything like me, you hate it when you apply a stunning lip color only to worry about it for the next few hours. The hair flicking, awkward eating, and constant mirror checks. It's enough to just swear off wearing lip colors altogether. But before you go to such drastic measures, read my tips on how to prolong your lipstick without destroying your lips.

Get this right and you can reward yourself with a couple gin and tonics. No worries about your lips. I already tested this.

Before we do any makeupping, let's talk about preparation. I like to go as far back as the night before. My nightly skincare routine is a big affair- face wash, exfoliant, toner, serum, creams, etc. So, it would only make sense to be as obsessive about my lips, right? I start by doing a preliminary wash to melt off the makeup that's been chilling on my skin all day. Then, I do the dental hygiene thing (don't skip this step, Josie Grossie). After, while my lips are still soft, I apply a lip scrub (or just use a soft tooth brush) and gently exfoliate away the clumpy bit of skin that have been wrinkling up throughout the day. Once it's all smooth, I finish the rest of my skin care routine. After I apply the last of my face products, I make sure to slather on a generous coating of lip balm while everything still feels soft. Your skin, in general, is more receptive of topical treatments right after you pat dry because the pores are all open and happy and everything is supple and smooth. Make sure you use a lip balm that has ingredients like hyaluronic acid and nourishing oils. This not only makes sure your lips stay soft but also helps with moisture retention. Now you can sleep easy while the balm works as an overnight moisture mask for your lips.
First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Lip Therapy, $12.00. I love this balm because it's not only great for keeping your lips soft and plump, but it also soothes irritated lips thanks to the colloidal oat flour.

When you wake up, your lips should feel plump and smooth. This should be a nightly thing, really, if you suffer from chronic chapped lips. The reason you want this is that it means less fine lines and creases around your lips. And less fine lines and creases mean less color bleeding. After you finish your morning routine and before you get started on your makeup, apply more lip balm. I like to heavily apply my lip balm before I do my makeup because it gives it a chance to really sink into my lips. By the time you're done with your face and eyes, your lips should be the perfect canvas for some lining (at this point, you should gently wipe away any excess balm with either your finger or a cotton swab).
Excuse the messy mascara. I'm trying out a new one and it sucks butt.

For the lip liner, choose something that is firm but doesn't tug on your lips too much. If it's too emollient, it'll migrate throughout the day. If it's too dry, it can cause your lip color to pill up around your creases. I like to use one by NARS. A lot of people swear by MAC, and if you're looking for an inexpensive option, No7 makes a damn good one. What you want to do with the lip liner is carefully trace out the shape you want. Try to use short strokes at first then draw a line connecting it all. After you've achieved a satisfactory shape, completely fill in your lips with the liner. The purpose of this is to fill in all those lines and creases on your lips and its edges. Less severe creases, less severe fading. This acts as a "primer" of sorts. You don't have to go heavy with this. Just make sure you're getting color evenly on there. Are your lips now fully covered? Good. Gently roll your lips together. This helps really work that color into the fine creases of your lips you didn't catch before. Now take a tissue wrapped around your finger and dab all around your lips, blotting out any excess product. I really don't like to press tissue between my lips because I find that it blots out the color unevenly. 
NARS lip liner in Rosebud, $22.00

If you want a fuller top lip, I find that starting from the outer corner achieves this the easiest.

You can purse your lips together to really get into those fine lines.

I like overdrawing my top lip since they're a little narrower than my bottom.




Once you've "primed" your lips, get a good lipstick. The general rule is matte lipsticks last longest on the lips. But you can get away with using a more creamy finish. Just try not to pick something with too much sheen. If you want long lasting lip color AND shine, just add a gloss later. When applying your lipstick, try to get a good bit of color on there. You can use a lip brush at this point to really work it in there. Just whatever you do, DO NOT GO PAST THE LINER. So you think you got the perfect lip done? Think again. You're going to blot your lips a SECOND time. Do the same blotting technique as before, lightly dabbing at your lips until it doesn't feel as tacky. This creates the "stain". Now you can apply your final layer of color, or what I like to call "the seal". This last layer of color is the first line of defense against the world. This is the layer you might touch up later on in the day. This is the layer you take to meet the parents. 
I really love these chubby pencil-style lipsticks from NARS. Very user-friendly. This one is in the shade Damned, $25.00

Get a good, even amount on there. But don't go too crazy. The color will shift too much with excess product.

A nice, light layer.


This is the extra we don't need.

Now pat back on some color (you can stop before this for a nice "stained lips" look).

The reason you want to create multiple thin layers rather than just lining and swiping on your color is because of insurance. Each carefully worked in layer acts as a back up. It ensures your lip color wears evenly and inconspicuously. You remember that last layer? It won't last. Sure, it'll still leave color behind but it won't stay looking like you first applied it (the whole new boyfriend analogy has come full circle). That's why the second layer, the "stain", is so damn important. That one will have your back through some drinks and tapas. It will last long enough for you to notice if your top layer is fading or not. It's your ride or die. 

But why do I stress all the blotting and thin amounts of product? I mean, more product, more power, more pigmentation, right? Yeah, sure. Whatever. But when we're talking applying product to a part of the face that moves more than anything else, you're going to want to apply as little at a time as possible. If you apply your lip color all in one go, you're globbing on a thick layer of product. And while it might look cute now, just remember that waxy substance is going to start slipping and sliding all over the place. It also means that thick layer won't have a chance to settle or "set" onto your lips. Think of nail polish. You want to work in thin even layers with adequate dry-down between coats to ensure lasting color, right? 

Now, this might seem like a lot of unnecessary steps and I totally get that. But if the look you're going for requires long, budge-proof lip color, then you'll find it well worth it to make the extra effort. I'm a naturally greasy gal and make a lot of expressions and bite a lot of food. And I can honestly say these laborious steps meant the difference between looking polished and presentable well past tipsy or looking like you smeared your face against the bathroom mirror. 
How YOU doin'?

I really hope these tips were helpful. Trust me, once you do this a couple times, it won't even seem like you're trying too hard. I do this almost every time I wear makeup and it's the fastest part of my makeup routine. 

Now time to take a bunch of suggestive selfies to show my boyfriend what he's missing.

xx May

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