Now that we are allowed to kiss (and hug) again since the hard lockdown– meaning it’s high time we reacquainted ourselves with lipstick. Given how often our lips are covered by protective face masks these days, they now hold the same kind of mystery once reserved only for erogenous zones – from the bust to the bum. And there is really nothing more enticing than a well-accentuated lip.
It’s no wonder that lipstick sales at John Lewis have increased by 178 per cent in the last month – this unassuming make-up product is excellent at boosting both mood and confidence. There are an array of buttery-soft new lip products available, too, with formulas to suit every skin tone, mood and inclination. Plus, you can expect them to stay put.
For voluptuous lips, primed and ready for this season’s inevitable smooch-fest, below find six make-up artist tips for achieving the kissability factor in a matter of seconds – as well as the formulas to try now.
Define like a pro
“To achieve a really perfect lip line, start with a sharp lip pencil and angle it towards the outside of the lips to get the sharpest, cleanest line. I recommend starting with the Cupid’s bow so you’re able to ensure both sides are symmetrical, then apply lipstick afterwards. If you don’t have a steady hand or don’t want to use a lip liner, start by applying the lipstick, then go around the edges afterwards with a pencil, brush or a cotton bud to blend and diffuse the edges. It will give a soft finish but still a fuller-looking pout,” explains make-up artist Nikki Wolff.
How to choose a shade
“I choose my colour based on the effect I want to create,” explains make-up artist Ruby Hammer. “I recommend a nude when there isn’t much time to apply – it works well with strong eyes and eyeliner – or when you want the lips to be the focus, it’s all about red. You can’t beat the impact of a strong lip colour. Keep a few Q-tips on hand to refine edges, check your teeth, smile and go knock them out!”
Make it mask-proof
“A trick to ensure lipstick stays put is the ‘apply and blot’ technique – it’s one I’ve used a lot having worked with brides for years,” explains make-up artist Joy Adenuga. “Apply a lip liner in a similar colour to the lipstick you’ve chosen. Blot with a thin tissue and reapply two to three times. Then apply your lipstick again, and repeat the process. The result is kiss- and mask-proof lips that last all day.”
Watch how you prep
“For longevity, don’t prep the lips with foundation – it makes lipstick move. You can get lip prepping balms and liners, like Estée Lauder’s Clear Lip Liner, which allow you to prep the lips and keep lipstick in place. I also recommend exfoliating and moisturising your lips 20 minutes before applying lipstick for ultra plump and nourished lips – simply blot the balm off when you come to applying,” explains Wolff.
Consider using a tint
“I have been fantasising about wearing lipstick again, but now a full matte red lip (which used to be my staple) feels really daunting after what feels like a year of no make-up,” says make-up artist Celia Burton. “The result is that I’m drawn to lip tints and enhancers instead, as a sort of warm-up to the main event. Glossier’s latest (and soon to launch) Ultralip is a perfect way to introduce colour back into make-up. It’s buildable, richly hydrating and glossy. I apply a tinted lip product like this onto the centre of my bottom lip, then blend the top and bottom together using my ring finger to drag the colour out across the lip and Cupid’s bow. Then I go back in with the product to build colour intensity until I’m happy with the shade. This way you keep the edges of your mouth softly blurred, which I think is very chic.”
Tricks of the trade
“One trick to make lips look really full and pouty – which I learned while working with Rosie Huntington-Whiteley – is to shade only the outer corners of the top lip with a lip pencil. It gives the impression of a really full top lip. You can use the same trick on the bottom lip too,” says Wolff.
The lipsticks to love now
Original article appeared on Vogue UK | Author Hannah Coates