Freshly painted lips are an instant shortcut to looking put-together, a slick of lipstick brightens any complexion and can help to lift your mood. Building a lipstick wardrobe – with flattering colours and different textures means you have a go-to for every occasion, not to mention an instant pick-me-up in the car, at your desk and in every handbag. But while it’s easy to fall in love with lipsticks when you’re shopping in store, the truth is, it can be harder to buy online when you don’t have the luxury of swatching and swiping. To avoid any mishaps and ensure you pick your perfect colour every time, follow our guide to lipstick terminology, plus hints and tips on how to find your true lipstick love in just one click.
Do Your Colour Research
Having a colour in mind is the first step – a bold red? An edgy berry? Choose a colour family to begin with, based on what you want your final look to be. For every day, a nude, pink, honey or peach shade will always give you a polished, pulled together look. Fashion-forward berry shades, orange toned reds and deep browns will up your street cred, while true reds make teeth look whiter, plus have a classic Hollywood glamour all of their own. If all else fails choose based on your gut feeling and pick a shade you’re really drawn to; if all else fails you won’t go wrong with a shade you love.
Understanding Lipstick Textures
A lipstick’s finish is what brings it to life and gives it a personality and it’s also the most important thing to look out for when shopping online, even the same shade can look totally different in matte and gloss. Swot up on texture terminology below.
A super soft and creamy formula that’s ideal for dry lips, this finish is slightly shiny and creates the illusion of fuller lips.
Bonus: it’s currently very on trend.
Try: Nars Satin Lip Pencil available in 12 shades
The way to go if you’re looking for vintage Hollywood glamour, the finish is deep, strong and with no reflection has a flat, cool-girl feel.
Bonus: the colour stays true to the bullet.
Try: New & Exclusive By Terry Lip-Expert Matte available in 16 shades
An ultra-light texture that leaves a whisper of see-through colour on lips, it’s a hybrid of nourishing balm and traditional lipstick.
Bonus: you can swipe it on without a mirror.
Try: Lipstick Queen Saint 10 Percent Pigment available in 12 shades
A rich, lightweight formula that stays wet on the lips for a constant glass-like shine. Out of the limelight for the last few years, lip gloss is suddenly back on the beauty radar.
Bonus: the high shine finish means instant glamour.
Try: New & Exclusive By Terry Lip-Expert Shine available in 16 shades
How To Prep For Lipstick
Reaching for a bright red matte lipstick like Kevyn Aucoin The Matte Lip Colour in Eternal and whipping it on to the lips with no prep and no mirror is always going to end badly. Matte shades require more prep as they usually dry ultra-fast, they also last longer, so they’re worth applying properly. Satin and gloss are more forgiving of dry, unevenly textured lips and quick application because of their reflective properties but ensure proper preparation fist.
To start exfoliate lips to achieve an ultra-smooth surface that will allow lipstick to glide on. Try Frank Body Lip Scrub, which is ideal in the morning with its rich coffee scent. Simply rub over lips and tissue off. Next apply a balm to seal in moisture and prevent lipstick flaking off throughout the day; we like the classic Eve Lom Kiss Mix which sinks in quickly for lasting nourishment. Wait a minute or two for the balm to sink in so lipstick doesn’t slide right off and then . . .
How To Apply Long-Lasting Lipstick
Lip liner makes lips appear fuller and more defined, it’s essential for perfect lipstick application. Liner also helps to stop colour bleeding onto to skin or feathering into fine lines and it anchors your lipstick too. To use, choose the shade of Hourglass Panoramic Long Wear Lip Liner that’s closest to your natural lip shade or the imperceptible Lipstick Queen Invisible Lip Liner and carefully outline lips before you apply lipstick, following your natural lip line. Make sure the liner is not too sharp when you apply, a smooth, rounded tip gives a more natural finish. To really anchor down colour you can fill in lips all over with the liner which creates a powerful base for lipstick to adhere to.
Lipstick Touch-up Tips
Even the most long-lasting lip formula (oh hi there Nars Powermatte Lip Pigment) will eventually give out and go patchy, smudge or disappear onto wine glasses and cutlery, so always keep a mirror and your lip shade to hand. Reapply as and when needed.