A Trusted Friend in a Complicated World

10 Lipstick Mistakes You Need to Stop Making

Updated: Dec. 19, 2022

While a great lipstick can turn your look from simple to stunning, a proper application generally demands a little more finesse.

1 / 10

Not lining your lips

If you don’t want a sloppy ring of color encircling the outside of your mouth at the end of the night, don’t forego the lip liner. Feathering and bleeding is never a cute look, and liner is essential for giving lipstick something to adhere to. To prevent overly sharp lines, try running your lip liner back and forth over your hand to blunt the point and warm up the wax of your pencil after sharpening it. Moist, rounded tips (as opposed to harshly sharpened points), are optimal for creating more natural looking definition. Above all, never line them in the wrong color. Outlining your lips with a hue one shade darker than your natural lip color will make them look instantly fuller, but be careful not to stray too far from your innate undertone. Always avoid these makeup mistakes that make you look sloppy.

2 / 10

Lining them way outside your natural lip line

What’s worse than neglecting lip liner is applying it incorrectly. While subtle liner can work to play up your pout, overdrawn liner can quickly turn into a Joker resemblance. For a gorgeous silhouette that isn’t blaringly obvious, dot concealer to the outer edges of your lips, then use a small concealer brush to blend it in. Afterwards, draw the lip lining ever so slightly outside your natural lips. Try dabbing some highlighting shadow to the center of your bottom lip after putting on your lipstick to make it look even fuller (trust us, it works wonders).

3 / 10

Applying too much gloss

While it is indeed true that lip gloss is another easy way to make lips look fuller, don’t go overboard with it. Unless you want to look like you just dipped your mouth in maple syrup, have a light hand when applying. While layering lipsticks is ideal for locking it in place, layering gloss will quickly warp into a sticky mess.

4 / 10

Not exfoliating beforehand

Because lipstick is renowned for accentuating dry spots and fine lines, it’s imperative to slough away any dry patches beforehand. Applying on cracked, chapped lips will only spotlight every imperfection. Moreover, dry lips have no staying power and will cause continual creasing throughout the day. If you want to achieve that smooth and even sheen, make sure to treat your pucker to some exfoliating scrubs. (These are some perfect homemade remedies for dry lips).

5 / 10

Wearing lipsticks that suck the moisture out of your lips

Matte lipsticks tend to be rather unforgiving when it comes to moisture. Always, always make sure you have lavishly moisturized before application to seal in hydration. Also, don’t forget to carry it out the door with you so you can apply throughout the day as needed. Tip: Look for lipsticks with a higher level of natural butters, waxes, and oils. Popular types span across mango, Shea, or coconut butter, along with ingredients such as vitamin E and hyaluronic acid.

6 / 10

Putting on lipstick immediately after applying lip balm

Contrary to popular belief, applying lip balm directly before lipstick is not a good idea—you’ll only end up awkwardly mingling the lipstick and balm together into one gloppy compound. In other words, you’d be dragging your balm around your mouth instead of depositing the color on your lips. As an alternative, make lip balm the first step of your makeup routine and lipstick the last. That way, your balm will have already soaked in beautifully by the time it’s time to apply your lippie. If you’re abnormally quick at your makeup routine (hats off to you) and your lips still feel a little sticky by then, use a tissue to blot out the excess oil. (Here are 10 things that could be contributing to your dry lips).

7 / 10
Albina Glisic/Shutterstock

Not doing the blotch test

There are few things more embarrassing than looking in the mirror and discovering that you’ve been walking around for who knows how long with lipstick smeared across your teeth. Understandably, we want our lippies to stay on our pouts, not our pearly whites. The easiest fix? Do the blotch test. After blotting your lips on a tissue, stick your index finger between pursed lips, and close your lips while pulling it out (be sure to wash your hands beforehand). Any excess product should have come off on your finger.

8 / 10
Paul Hakimata Photography/Shutterstock

Not setting your lipstick

Think of this step as implementing a magnet for your lipstick. Disregarding it can easily cause your lippie to fade quickly, or worse, in splotchy patches. As a solution, sandwich some primer with another layer of your matching lip liner to attain the ultimate longevity that won’t transfer over time. If you really want to lock that color in place, don’t underestimate the old school method and dust some loose powder as a final step after lipstick application.

9 / 10
Martins Melecis/Shutterstock

Using the wrong color for your complexion

Lipsticks are pretty comparable to foundations in that they have undertones too. If you don’t pinpoint how to find the lip shade for your skin tone, the entire look can be strangely off-putting. When you’re pondering over the beauty counter, make sure to take some extra minutes to swatch test against your complexion. Sporting something too dark can exude an overly vampy look whereas something too pale can make you look like an ailing corpse.

10 / 10
LightField Studios/Shutterstock

Wearing inappropriate lip looks for the occasion

The beauty of lipstick shopping is that there are so many to choose from. But while neon green and glitter-intensive lipstick may be a cool aesthetic for photo shoots, it may not be the best choice for a work conference or dinner with your in-laws. Opt for shades that are sophisticated and professional for classier occasions. In our opinion, you can never go wrong with a classic red or lovely nude shade.