Pick your perfect shade
Clockwise from top left: iStock/Lorado, iStock/Makidotvn, iStock/mapodile, iStock/AIMSTOCK
“People hear ‘red’ and think ‘fire-engine red.’ But red is for everybody,” says makeup artist Katrina Hess. Bright cherry red might not be your thing, but you can go for a darker or sheerer shade. She recommends using your fingertips, which are the same shade as your lips, to test a color, then holding your hand next to your lips to get a sense of how it’ll look. If you don’t know where to start, take a look at the undertones of your skin, says Jessica Mae, founder, creative director, and makeup artist of WarPaint International Beauty Agency. Warmer undertones pair well with warm reds with a coral or orange base, while cooler undertones look nice with blue-based shades like a classic Hollywood glam red, she says. (Now that you know how to apply lipstick, these are the different lipstick shades every woman needs in her life.)
Smooth the surface
With a bold lip, you want the attention to be on your daring color choice, not how dry and flaky your lips are. “With a sophisticated matte lipstick, you need smooth, hydrated lips,” Hess says. She likes to exfoliate with a store-bought sugar scrub but says you can make your own by mixing raw sugar and honey into a paste. Don’t miss these makeup mistakes that make your skin look dry.
To apply lipstick like a pro, keep any more cracks and flakes from forming by getting your lips hydrated. Hess recommends organic argan oil—anything that’s too shiny could ruin the color of your lipstick. Do your face and eye makeup while waiting for your oil or balm to work its magic, Mae says. “It gives it the opportunity, even if for just five minutes, to allow the lip to be moisturized,” she says. (This is what your lipstick color says about your personality.)