How to lighten a lipstick shade

I hate the disappointment that comes with buying the wrong lipstick shade. I wish I had succulent puckers like Angelina--alas, I don't. I'm stuck with a pair of proper-girl thin lips which limits my choice on lipstick shade selection. I admire women that can pull off a bold lip color like fire-engine red. (I'm so jealous!) That color on my mouth make my lips look like two red slits. (You don't even want to know about fuchsia.)

Luckily, there is a method you can use to lighten a lip shade. No more wasted money on lip colors you can't wear. No more bin of unused, unloved lipsticks rolling around in your vanity drawer. This easy technique only takes a minute or two and stays in place a good while. I use this method all the time to get varying shades of the same lipstick. Got your lipstick ready?

  1. Start with clean, fresh lips. I use a washcloth to lightly exfoliate my lips. Don't rub too roughly though. When you've finished, pat your lips dry with a soft towel. Avoid tissue, it leaves behind a residue. (If your lips feel dry, you'll need to moisturize them with a lip balm. It's best to do this before the application because lip balm moves the color around.)
  2. Tap foundation on to your lips using your finger or a clean makeup sponge. Lip primer is okay too, but foundation seems to lighten the lipstick better. It couldn't hurt to use both if you want to; however, your lips could end up feeling a bit dry.
  3. Line your lips with a neutral lip liner for better definition. Here's a trick worth knowing: You can make them look larger just by lining the lips slightly outside the natural line.
  4. Dab on the lipstick, don't slide it over your lips. By dabbing it on, you'll control the intensity of the shade. Sometimes I use a lipstick brush to get the color right where I want it. (Also, I love painting my lips!)
  5. Roll on a clear gloss and you've got a beautifully, lightened lipstick.

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