Part 1 Picking the Right Products
Select a matte formula.
Not all lipsticks are created equal. Makeup artists suggest that in order of longevity matte formulas have the most staying power, followed by cream formulas, then liquid lipsticks, with lip glosses coming in last.
- It is unlikely that you'll find a lip gloss that lasts all day. The formula is designed to be slippery and shiny. It may feel comfortable and luxurious on the lips but it will need to be reapplied frequently throughout the day.
Invest in a lip primer.
These are specially designed products that prime the lips for lipstick application and help the color adhere to the lips. They are available from many different brands.
- Some makeup artists use concealer or foundation over the lips to similar effect. This has the added benefit of canceling out the natural color of your lips so that the true color of the lipstick shows up.
Use a reverse lip liner.
This is a colorless product that provides a barrier around the edge of your lips.
- Apply it to the skin just outside the outline of your lip to prevent feathering.
- Feathering occurs when the lipstick bleeds into the fine lines around the edge of your lips. These fine lines get more pronounced as we age.
Get a lip brush for precise application.
The key to long-wearing lipstick is to apply several thin layers. This is best achieved with a lip brush, which also allows for greater precision and control.
- A lip brush can help you apply the product neatly and precisely. It also ensures a more even distribution of product than when lipstick is applied right from the bullet.
Use several products together for a really long lasting effect. Experts recommend using a lip liner with a lipstick on top or a liquid lip stain underneath a lipstick. Then as one layer wears off, the base layer remains intact. Make sure they are similar colors!
Part 2 Applying your Lipstick
Prep your lips by gently exfoliating.
This will get rid of all the dead skin sitting on top of your lips that prevents the lipstick sinking in. It will also create a smooth, blank canvas for the lipstick to ensure even application.
- Use a lip scrub. Many brands offer these types of product. You can also make your own with sugar and honey.
- Gently scrub your lips with a soft toothbrush. Don’t go too hard, you just want to remove the top layer of dead skin.
- Use a damp wash cloth on your lips, moving it in soft, circular motions to lift the dead skin.
Apply a hydrating lip balm.
This ensures that the lips are moisturized. Applying lipstick to dry, cracked lips, especially a matte formula, can make lips look patchy and flaky.
- Use a balm with waxy consistency not a slippery or oily one which will cause the lipstick to move around.
- Allow some time for the lip balm to absorb before going on to the next step. Make this the first step in your makeup routine and do the rest of your face while the balm is absorbing.
Apply lip liner as a base.
Lip liner typically has a drier consistency than lipstick, so it serves as a layer for the lipstick to grip onto.
- Start by drawing around the outline of your lips. Use the point of the lip liner pencil for this.
- Get a sharp cupid’s bow by drawing an x in the center of your top lip.
- Fill in the whole lip. This step is important because if the top layer of lip color wears off it won't reveal a sharp line. Use the side of the lip pencil to fill in the whole lip area. 
Apply a thin layer of lipstick. You can do this either straight from the tube or with a lip brush.
Blot the lipstick with a tissue. Using a folded tissue, open your mouth and place it between your upper and lower lips, then press down on the tissue. This removes any excess product and prevents lipstick transferring onto your teeth or clothing.
Apply a light dusting of powder to set.
Professional makeup artists use this trick to set the lipstick without moving any of the color.
- Get a tissue and separate the layers out.
- Place just one thin sheet over your lips and apply loose, translucent powder with a big fluffy powder brush on top of the tissue.
- You can apply powder directly to the lips to set if you don't have any tissues at hand.
Apply another thin layer of lipstick. Repeat the previous steps of blotting and setting with powder. This should give your lipstick real staying power. Finally, you can use a setting spray if you have one.
Part 3 Maintaining Your Lip Color Throughout the Day
Reapply after eating or drinking.
It is inevitable that your lip color will fade slightly over the course of the day.
- Bring your lipstick and apply another thin layer to top up the color after meals.
- Carry a compact mirror to check for smudging or movement. Remember to check the lipstick hasn't transferred to your teeth.
Be careful when re-applying lip balm.
You may find your lips require hydration as the day goes on, especially with drier formulas such as mattes. However, the oil in lip balm actually breaks up the color, causing it to wear off and fade.
- If you find your lips get dry through the day, opt for a more moisturizing lipstick formula and make sure you don’t skip the crucial step of hydrating before application.
- Avoid licking your lips. Not only will this make your lip color fade, it actually makes your lips drier over time.
- Finally, if you do apply lip balm, allow it to absorb for a minute or two, blot any excess off with a tissue and then follow up with another layer of lipstick. This gives your lips some much-needed moisture without the lip color fading.
Experiment with different products until you get one that works for you. Once you have a solid grasp of the application technique you can begin to try different combinations to figure out which lipsticks offer the best longevity.
Add New Question
What are some drugstore makeup brands that sell lip primers?
There are not a lot, but L'oreal and Nyx have some. If you have a matte lipstick, you do not need a primer. If worse comes to worst, reapply. You could also pat your lips with the product on them with some translucent powder to matte it and keep it all day.
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- Moisturize your lips every night.
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