In coming to this post, I hope we're all on the same page as to why any woman wears lipstick. For me, lipstick is kind of the beauty equivalent of a man's "stiff drink," sans alcohol and side-effects. It is slightly addicting, but we can discuss that later. Well-applied lipstick is empowering, confidence-inducing, and so very feminine. A saunter begins. I feel like smiling at everyone. Literally everyone. I feel prepared for whatever the day has to throw at me. Lipstick is important. So though the title of this post says it pretty thoroughly, I'll reiterate: this post include tips for successful lipstick-wearing as well as five lip-products every woman should have in her arsenal? Ready, set, apply:
1.) Plan With Care - If you'd like to avoid looking like Nikki Minaj in one of her more creative outfits or a single woman in the early 1980's, please start here: a dramatic eye-makeup job (think evening smokey-eye or any full-blown color like blue, purple, pink, green), you want to keep your lipcolor tame. In reverse, if you're being calm and understated with a neutral palette and a small flick of eyeliner (or going all doe-eyed and Audrey), you can be as playful as you want with your shade of lipstick. A rookie mistake is to double-stack on the derring-do. Choose where you want the focus to be and plan from there.
2.) Line Your Lips - Though I will be doing a Red Lipstick How-To next week (so stay tuned), I can't emphasize enough how important this step is for wearing a true lipstick. A girl can get away with no liner for those lipgloss-lipstick cross-over products, but for a real lipstick, lining is an essential. You'll rarely be troubled with the horrible Traveling Lipstick dilemma plaguing 40% of the female population. No, as Biblical as it sounds, our lips are not the Nile River overflowing its banks to fertilize the Delta floodplains. We want our lipstick to stay put, thanks.
3.) Choose The Right Shade - Few things frustrate me as much as selecting a shade of lipstick that is not quite right. Lipstick will either look stunning, or look all wrong. There is truly no middle-ground. I have a shade of lipstick that was given me by a friend. It's a shade of orangey-pinky-red and it just does not work with my complexion. There is no definite reason why, but it's just not a good color and I've worn it perhaps twice and always regretted it. If possible, one good way to test the color against your skin is to swipe a little on the inside of your wrist. If the color looks right against your wrist, it should do well on your face.
4.) Check Your Smile - Okay. Nothing worse than walking into public feeling confident in your lipstick-wearing abilities and having a friend frantically motion to her front tooth to let you know that the cherry red has traveled to your pearly whites. I have a lopsided smile and not overly-full lips and I smile a lot. This means my left eye-tooth is constantly catching on the edge of my lip, and this is such an annoying thing. A fantastic way to be (nearly) sure that this won't happen to you is to put your index finger in your mouth and pull it back out, letting lipstick catch wherever it will on your finger. This basically guarantees it got on your finger (easily wiped off) before it gets in your smile.
5.) Let It Ride Shotgun - Every lipstick-wearing woman has experienced the panic before: she chose a committed shade, applied before leaving the house, and left it at home. Bring your lipstick along. Regardless of how good your brand is, the time will come in a long evening out when a second application would be advisable. Don't put yourself in the clown-lips club. Trust me, you don't want to get to a mirror only to find a brilliant ring edging your lips and your natural shade peeking through everywhere else.
With me so far? Next up we have Five Lipsticks For Every Woman:
1.) A natural pink - My friend, Carmel, calls this shade, "Your lips, but better." This shade should be a soft rose, berry, or blushy pink, probably with a tan undertone. This is not the time to bring out your fuschia, vibrant coral, or bubblegum pink. My favorite in this class is Rimmel London's Moisture Renew lipstick in "Rose Blush." Perfect pop of pink, totally unobtrusive.
2.) A good nude - For the longest time I didn't understand the allure of lipstick in a nude shade. Why the heck would anyone pay money for a lipstick that basically says, "let me cover up with the exact same color the free shade I was born with?" But after purchasing a nude lipstick last fall, I'm hooked. I chose a color about two shades darker than the natural color of my lips and love the fact that if I want to skip the liner, I can. Nude lipstick wears off without leaving a ring. Hallelujah. In addition to this, nude is a good way to feel dressed up without committing to a particular color.
3.) A true red - Nothing feels better than wearing your perfect shade of red. Nothing feels worse than wearing something one shade wrong. The same guidelines that apply to which precious metals look best with your skin (cool undertones? silver. warm undertones? gold.) apply to red lipstick. If you've got a cool or pink-and-white skin, choose a red lipstick with blue undertones, which would range from cherry to fire-engine, to a cool dark wine. For those with warmer undertones, you can go all Rio on us and pull off that fire-red, scarlet, foxy-orange, or ruby-red grapefruit shade.
4.) A good moisturizer - My favorite is any lip-balm by Burt's Bees or straight-up coconut oil. Look for a "chapstick" with natural ingredients. Many of the main brands actually contain alcohol and other ingredients that dry out your lips rather than nourish them.
5.) A flattering lip-gloss - If you're just not feeling the care and keeping of lipstick on a given day, a lip-gloss is a quick way to get a pretty pout without the trouble. Though it isn't a pricey brand, I have found that some of the longest-lasting glosses are made by Rimmel London. Also a fan of The Balm Read My Lips lipgloss. Basically, anything not too sticky, not too flavored, and long-lasting.
Hope this gives the wondering-woman a good, informed base on which to build her lipstick skills. If you have any further questions (or tips), leave them in a comment below and we can chat about them. Also, if you would like to follow Lipstick & Gelato via Bloglovin', the button is to the right side of your screen. I didn't understand Bloglovin' till a couple weeks ago when I finally realized what a great tool it is for making sure I don't miss posts from my favorite bloggers. Essentially, following this blog (or any other) via Bloglovin' means that you will receive an email every 24 hours with any posts I might have posted, so you never have to miss a single one. It's been a God-send for keeping up with my favorite food and fashion blogs. Truly. So if you want your life to be a heckofalot easier, Bloglovin's here for you. Thanks, and keep your lipstick red and your heels high! Ciao, ciao.