Lipstick 101: How to Apply Lipstick the Right Way!

All right, celebrities may have a slight advantage when it comes to their makeup. They can afford the top brands and the makeup professionals that can turn anybody's face into a work of art. Meanwhile, down at the bottom of the food-chain, we buy the cheapest stuff we can find and try desperately to achieve the same sort of look. Even those of us who splurge a little here and there for quality products often don't end up with celebrity-style results. Why not? It turns out that sometimes, makeup isn't so black and white. I hear complaints from countless women about lipstick being a royal pain in the neck; it runs, it fades, it doesn't look the same way that it does in the tube, etc. Well, like anything else there is a right and a wrong way to apply lipstick. If you want your color to last a few hours instead of a few minutes, take these steps into consideration!

Moisture. Are your lips chapped? Dry? This is one of the biggest reasons why most women's lipstick doesn't last as long as it could. Before you reach for your favorite shade, make sure your lips are free of dead skin and moisturized. Doing so is easy! While washing your face, rub a little bit of table sugar against your lips. Rinse with warm water and gently rub your lips with a wet washcloth to scrub away the dead skin. Once the dry skin is taken care of, be sure to always keep your lips well moisturized with a skin conditioning lip balm. This will keep your lips soft and smooth, which are the best conditions for lipstick!

Prime. (optional!) The "prime" step is really only necessary if you want your lipstick to last hours without having to reapply it, but is a helpful tool nevertheless! A lipstick primer will prepare your lips for color and, like other makeup primers, will make the shade appear more vibrant and true to what it looks like in the tube! Though primers are colorless (sort of like chapstick), think of them as creating a blank slate on your lips.

Line. I know what you're thinking. "Lip liner? Is this 1985?" Bear with me! I know that in the wrong hands, lip liner can take us to Pamela Anderson status in no time: lips lined but not filled, and lined miles outside our natural lip shape and size. When in the right hands, lip liner is actually an incredible tool. Lining your lips before putting your lipstick on helps to prevent your lipstick from "bleeding," running or slipping out of place. Choose a liner that is as close to your shade of lipstick as possible and line the natural outline of your lips. A lot of makeup companies will actually sell matching lipstick and liner sets! For extra holding power, fill your lips in with the liner as well. Don't worry - you can apply the lipstick on top of it should you choose to fill your lips with liner.

Fill and finish. The final step is the one that most of us skip to right away: filling our lips with our chosen color! If you like super precision, you can apply the color with a lip brush. Brushes tend to get into the little crevices and edges that your lipstick may miss due to its bulky shape. Otherwise, you can glide it over your lips as you usually would. Don't forget to blot off the excess lipstick! This prevents the embarrassing "lipstick on your teeth" conundrum. Finally, you're done. For lipstick that lasts a good while, spending an extra minute or two applying it doesn't seem too bad!