Despite its reputation as the ultimate pick-me-up for lacklustre faces, to the uninitiated lipstick can be daunting. ‘I liken lipstick to a swimming pool,” says Poppy. “You can dive in at the deep end or walk into the shallow end.” The translation? If you’re new to lipstick altogether or simply to a particular colour, start sheer and build up to a more dense pigment to avoid scaring yourself off from colour altogether. “A sheer option is less commitment,” says Poppy, “plus it’s less nerve-wracking because you’ll be able to see more of your own, familiar lip colour through it. You’ll also be able to get used to the painted look on your face.” Stains are a great way of introducing a hint of colour but without the maintenance and shock factor of a bold lipstick; Frog Prince Lipstick adapts to the pH in your skin to give a custom pink stain.
As with most things makeup, your lipstick choice should be an emotive one. “Lipstick is my superhero cape, it makes me feel like I can achieve anything. That said I always ask myself what kind of mood am I in before I choose my shade”, says Poppy. If you’re feeling glamorous and bold a pillar-box red may be the way forward, while a soft nude might just be the thing if you’re feeling demure. If you’re still unsure about making the colour call, there are general guidelines to heed to make your choice fool-proof; fairer eyes, skin and hair will suit warmer, orange-based tones, while darker, deeper eyes, skin and hair can pull off cooler, blue and purple tones. Once you’ve honed your hue it’s imperative that you let it settle on your face first. “Give yourself time to bond with the colour,” suggests Poppy. “Wear it around the house like a pair of new shoes and don’t be too quick to dismiss it.”
Hone Your Application
Broadly speaking application depends on personal preference, but if you’re a lipstick novice then eschew a brush in favour of simple bullet to lip application. “It’s easier because the shape of the bullet is there to guide you and it’s a psychological thing. It’s much less daunting if you’re not fiddling around with a brush too,” advises Poppy. To give your colour staying power, apply once, blot with a tissue then apply again. If you want to use a lip liner (great for improving longevity), Poppy advises doing so after application not before, “I prefer to use a liner once the colour is on just to tidy up the edges.” If you’re still nervous, tap the lip colour onto the apples of your cheeks and work in with your fingers; it’ll help create a tonal finish that just ties the whole look together.
Day to Night
Once you master the basics you’ll soon discover the addictive thrill of lipstick and will want to wear it from morning latte to lights out. To take your look from day to night, play with different textures and tones; amp up a sheer berry wash by layering on a matte version of the same shade, or layer a slick of matching opaque gloss over your existing shade to add a juicy finish. If you’re feeling in a seductive mood but don’t want to start again, Lipstick Queen’s Black Lace Rabbit Lipstick is a shimmering, sheer black balm that when tapped on over your existing colour adds a smoky, night-time veil to your look.