Lipstick Application Tips: Some Dos and Don’ts

Lipstick Application Tips: Some Dos and Don’ts 4.33/5 (86.67%) 3 votes

There is no denying the fact that a woman’s makeup is incomplete without lipstick. A tad of color on the lips can instantly brighten up the most ordinary-looking face. Perfectly colored lips can transform a plain Jane into a fashion diva. However, it is also true that carelessly and sloppily applied lipstick can mar the looks of a beautiful face. Lipstick bleeding into areas beyond the lip line or visible lipstick stains on the teeth can make one look like a clown and attract smirky looks and nasty remarks from people around.

It is, therefore, very important to know some dos and don’ts of lipstick application, and follow the procedure of lipstick application patiently. Here they are:


Prepping the lips


This is the first and the most important step in lipstick application that must never be missed. Prepping involves gentle exfoliation of the lips, followed by moisturization. It prepares the surface of the lips for uniform and long-lasting application of the lipstick color.

Exfoliation of the lips can be done, for example, using a simple home-made scrub prepared by mixing sugar granules with coconut oil and honey. The mixture is to be lightly rubbed onto the lips in small circular movements for a minute or two and then rinsed off with warm water or removed with a washcloth dipped in warm water.

Exfoliation is followed by moisturization of the lips with a lip balm, leaving a smooth and soft lip surface ready to receive the lipstick color.

Choosing a right shade


A lipstick color that compliments one woman may look drab on another woman with a different skin complexion. Similarly, a lipstick color that looks super with one outfit may not look so with another outfit.

Likewise, very dark colors, which look fab on warmer skin tones and fuller lips, when worn on cool skin tones and thin lips can make the lips appear still thinner. Same way, sheer light shades look the best in the summer season and creamy matte shades for the winter season.

As a general rule, one should go for a lipstick color that is at least two shades darker than the natural lip color. Lighter shades will give just a nude look to the lips. And the chosen color must also complement the dress as well as the rest of the makeup.

For example, loud and bright red lips must be complemented with light or minimal makeup on the rest of the face and eyes. Red lips with red shimmery cheeks and dark or black eye shadow can make one look like a vamp.

Color coordination and balance with the rest of the makeup and the outfit is the key. For an excellent guide to choosing an appropriate lipstick shade for different skin tones as well as determining one’s skin tone, refer to

Though general guidelines exist for choosing a right lipstick shade to go with the overall look, it definitely does not mean that one cannot experiment intelligently with other colors. And ultimately, what makes one feel good and look good in one’s own eyes is probably a good choice.

Choosing a finish


Once again, the lipstick finish, whether matte or glossy, sheer or creamy, etc., has to complement the overall makeup and other factors. In general, matte lipsticks go well with matte makeup, while shimmery and glossy types with shimmery makeup.

Since a sheer finish gives a subtle hint of color, it can be worn more or less any time of the day and anywhere, and are especially good for dry lips. On the other hand, bright matte lipsticks being loud and bold are best worn at night time.

Cream lipsticks, which look softer than matte and have a hint of shine, can be worn pretty much any time of the day. And the shimmery types are best reserved for young women in a festive mood and for parties.

Lining the lips


This is the most crucial step in lipstick application after exfoliation and moisturization. The use of a lip liner, either with a pencil or a brush, before applying the lipstick color makes the application even and long-lasting.

A perfectly done lip line should not be obviously visible yet should be clearly defining and accentuating the natural lip shape. Its purpose is also to prevent the lipstick color from bleeding beyond the lip line.

It is important that the shade of the lip liner either matches with the lipstick color or is a shade lighter. The line should be drawn softly and subtly around the lips and cleverly merged with the same color on the lips. This first coat of lip liner color acts as a primer base for lipstick application and makes it last longer.

An even better way is to first draw the lip line using a concealer and setting it with translucent powder before using the lip liner.

Once the lip is lined, color can be easily filled in. It is not a good idea to line the lips a little outside the natural lip line in order to make them full; instead, a dash of lip gloss in the center of the lips can give them a fuller, plumper look.

Blotting the lips


Blotting the lips after the final lipstick application is an absolutely essential step for preventing the lipstick from transferring onto the teeth as well as onto a coffee mug or wine glass that one may use.

Blotting by lightly pressing a tissue paper on, not between, the lips helps transfer the excess lipstick onto the tissue paper. Another commonly used way to remove the excess lipstick is to curl the lips to make an O-shape around the index finger and slowly pull the finger out of the mouth.

‘Locking’ or Setting the lip color

Once the excess lipstick is removed on the tissue paper or the finger, the color must be ‘locked’ or set onto the lips with the help of a translucent powder.


  • To choose a right lipstick shade, one must not rely on advice from friends around. It is better to find that using trial and error method on one’s own.
  • One must not choose a lipstick shade that is lighter than the lips. The frosty-type shades are best left to models posing for print magazines.
  • Lip liner and lipstick must not be applied beyond the natural lip line.
  • Black and other bizarre and unnatural lip colors like blue or green are a big no-no in real life, best left for print magazine shoots or surreal dramas. In real life they make one look cheap and garish.
  • Red lipstick must never be combined with dark eye makeup and loud face makeup.
  • Matte and dark lipsticks must not be applied on very dry lips as they tend to crack and peel off.
  • Lipstick should not be applied directly from a lipstick bullet. The use of a lipstick brush gives a better control and more even application of the lipstick.
  • While blotting the excess lipstick, the tissue paper must not be pressed between the lips, but rather on the lips.
  • Despite blotting, a final teeth check for any lipstick stains must not be overlooked.
  • Lastly, not to be forgotten is the use of a concealer to hide any small but visible flaws on the edges of the lip line and make it look perfect.
  • When in a party, one should not forget to pick up a straw along with a drink.

These were some important lipstick dos and don’ts.




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