The new ways to wear the 'power lip'

The beauty debate rages: if you could only have one desert island cosmetic, would it be lipstick or mascara? My vote is lipstick. The power that a perfectly applied splash of pigment or a lazy swipe of lip tint brings to a face is pure gold.

January Jones's pretty coral lipstick is the perfect foil for her baby blues eyes.

January Jones’s pretty coral lipstick is the perfect foil for her baby blues eyes.

The lip colour options are endless, so why is it that I always reach for a nude. Don’t get me wrong there are a billion different versions of nude from caramel to blush and I own every one of them. While writing this piece, I am invariably reaching for my latest Hourglass favourite. Not surprisingly I have all six nude shades. Lip colour delivery options are boundless too: solid bullets, liquid tints, chubby pencils that can fill in the entire lip with a couple of swoops, blush worn on lips, eyeshadow too, gloss…

I do try to push the boat out and force myself out of the comfort zone by experimenting (once a year at least) with reds, often blotted and blurred (check out Terry Barber’s Instagram for some inspo). For a softer, messed up colour pay-off, try applying lipstick and then smearing the border with your finger.

Lily Collins rocks a rich burgundy lip.

Lily Collins rocks a rich burgundy lip.

Here are some lip tips for spring:

Eye colour and complexion plays a big part in which colours work best.

If you have brown eyes go for blue-based lip shades such as deep reds or purples; for green or blue eyes try orangey reds or peachy corals.

It is important to prep your lip before applying any heavy-toned lipstick colours.

To keep lips hydrated, apply balm all over the lips and past the lip line, onto skin. Leave on for as long as possible before putting on lipstick. At night, wear a dedicated night lip cream such as Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask. It also a good idea to keep your lips exfoliated using a lip scrub like Frank Lip Scrub and Balm.

Fuller looks are still trending

Sure, Kylie Jenner revealed may have said goodbye to her lip fillers, but achieving a natural fuller lip is still a trend celebrities are following. Apply concealer to the top and bottom of the centre of your lip and apply lipstick over the top.  Then to make your lips look fuller, dab a lighter shade on the centre of your upper and lower lip. This will make your lips look bigger.

If you have the energy, apply lipstick with a lip brush as this will create even coverage and use less product.

Lip liner always bolsters a lip look

If using lip liner, tilt your head back so you can see where your bottom lip line ends and apply accordingly. For me the money is on filling in the entire lip. For precise, longer-lasting lipstick application, apply your lipstick first and then add depth by working a matching lip liner over the top.

Choosing the best lipstick style for each occasion:

  • Dark lipstick: If you are wearing dark lipstick, go easy on the blush and keep your eye makeup simple. Two coats of mascara are ample. We love this tip from makeup artist Dick Page, “For an easy-to-wear take on bold lip colors, put on your lipstick, then press a clean finger along your lip line to soften things up.”
  • Nude lipstick: When wearing nude lipstick make sure it has some depth so that it doesn’t just disappear against your skin tone. For any colour, try lipstick on your lips, as they are an entirely different shade to the skin on the back of your hand.
  • Lipstick layering: This trend and customising keeps things interesting. Try wearing matte lipstick and then layers with a moisturising lipstick in a similar shade or experiement and go light. The blending options are endless.
  • A more relaxed look everyday look: Use your finger to tap on the lip colour. This will create a pretty stain.

The key rule is always apply your lipstick starting at the centre of your lips and working out.

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