Great Looking Lips

Attractive lips are smooth, well-defined and coloured in a shade that gels well with your skin tone

Applying lipstickWhen we think of luscious lips, we usually imagine them as red, pouty, and perfectly shaped. While this is one way to define great looking lips, we can still have beautiful lips without meeting the criteria.

Beautiful lips attract attention. In the 1940s, they went so far as becoming trademarks of some celebrities like Jean Harlow and Marilyn Monroe. Today, pop celebrities such as Gwen Stefani and Scarlett Johansson are being noticed for their perfectly pouty lips.

Luscious lips are not a luxury of only those who have the services of make-up artists. They are attainable by any woman, by following a few simple steps and avoiding common mistakes.

Lip preparation

The foundation for perfect looking lips is the smooth lip area. To keep lips smooth, begin by using a lip exfoliant and always wear lipstick, or lip balm. Keeping lips protected in cold, or hot, weather with lipstick, or lip balm, will prevent them from drying and becoming chapped.

Prepare lips for lipstick by creating a base with foundation. When you apply foundation to your face do not skip the lips. Foundation creates a perfect canvas to prepare your lips for lipstick.

Lip definition

Define lips with a lip liner pencil in a colour that is a little lighter and matches the shade of lipstick you have chosen. A lip liner pencil will keep your lipstick in place, define the shape of your lips, and can make your lips look larger, or smaller. Lip liner will also help prevent lipstick from bleeding. Use lip liner to outline the natural lines of your lips and then fill in your lip colour. Never go outside the natural lines of your lips to make your lips look larger or wear a heavy lip liner that can be seen after lipstick has been applied.

Start lining the lips first by defining the lip "V." Move from the "V" to the corners of the mouth; then go to the middle of the bottom lip to each of the corners. After the lip has been defined, fill it in with colour using either lip brush, or a lipstick tube. If lipstick application is new to you, use a lip brush to do a neat job.

Choosing the right colour

Decide whether your skin tone is warm, or cool. Warm skin tones have yellow undertones and cool skin tones have blue undertones. To determine whether you are warm or cool, place a piece of gold and silver jewellery next to your face and decide which blends better. If the gold blends better, you have a warm complexion, and if the silver blends better you have a cool complexion.

Cool lipstick colours are: pink, raspberry, plum, cherry, crimson, and so on.

Warm lipstick colours are: coral, peach, russet, melon, salmon, and so on.

For great looking lips continue with touch-ups during the day.

If you are not used to wearing lipstick, it might take a while before you remember not to touch your lips. The plus side to having nice lips, aside from the obvious, is you will never be plagued by dry lips again, and over time they will become softer.

Lip Tricks

  1. Lipstick will stay on longer if the whole lip is filled-in with lip liner
  2. To make lips look smaller follow the inside of the natural lip line
  3. Use a touch of gloss in the middle of the lips to create the look of a fuller lip
  4. Darker lipstick makes lips look smaller - if you have thin lips stay away from dark colours
  5. Lipstick colour should match skin tone in intensity. For example, darker complexions can wear darker shades and lighter complexions look better in lighter shades
  6. Neutral shades match all skin tones
  7. Daytime lip colour should be a little lighter.

Note: Matte is the longest lasting lipstick, but it can dry the lips. Moist lipsticks are more likely to bleed.

Lip Care

Make your lipstick smudge resistant and matte by blotting the excess colour on lips. Use one sheet of two-ply tissue, and reapply the lipstick and blot it again to absorb the excess oils. Mature women should not use matte lipsticks though, for a little gloss can make their lips appear softer and lip liner will keep the lipstick from melting. In case the lip colour, or brush, slips from your hands accidentally and stains your clothes, apply glycerine on the area and rub it gently, before washing it as usual.

For an instant makeover, try a pink creamy blush to add rosyness to your cheeks and lids and use plump shade on your lips and you are ready to flaunt your beauty.

A clear lip balm is the best thing for everyday use, while sheer application of a coloured lip gloss on lips, cheeks and eyes looks quite subtle and sexy. Glitter lipsticks and lip glosses are for special events and funky night parties that highlight your lips immensely. There are lip glosses that literally make your lips plumper and appear fuller and much more luscious. A very light film of pink or red lipstick gives you the look of that carefree beauty that every woman yearns for.

Lipsticks contain waxes, oils, pigments and emollients that one must pay attention to, for a quality product. Wax gives shape and ease of application to the lipstick. Natural beeswax is often used for the purpose. Oils and fats such as castor oil, cocoa butter, lanolin, mineral oil, olive oil and petrolatum are used in the manufacture of lipsticks. However, castor oil is the most common ingredient as it forms a shiny film after drying that does not smudge easily. Many lipsticks also offer aloe vera, amino acids, collagen, moisturisers, vitamin E and sunscreen to keep your lips soft, moist and protected from weather conditions.

- Team CW

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Sheila Dicks
Sheila Dicks is an image and wardrobe consultant. Her motto help people reach their full potential and perk up their self-confidence with improved dress sense. She lives in Nova Scotia, Canada.

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