A great way to add easy glam to your holiday look is with a dark lip–but we all know the application process can be a bit tricky if you don’t know the proper steps. An improper technique can cause the lip to blur, smear, and just look plain horrible, so Karen E. Duncan, the lead makeup artist for Bilkerdeijk Cosmetics has given us some helpful tips on how to properly apply dark lipstick, whether it be a bright red or a deep berry.
Step 1: Prep the lips with lip balm and blot with a tissue. If you have very dry lips, use a lip scrub to get rid of any dry flakes before you apply the lip balm. If you don’t, your lipstick will get caught in the dry flakes of your lip.
Step 2: Put a little concealer or foundation over the balm to cancel out your natural lip color. This will give your lipstick a base and improve the wearability of your color.
Step 3: Use your lip liner pencil at an angle to outline and fill in the entire lip with color. Use the broad side of the pencil and not just the point which will give you faster and more even coverage. Make sure your pencil is sharp but not too pointy, and rub the tip on the back of your hand to soften the point. (For basic dark lips, you can use a neutral liner such as Bilkerdijk Cosmetics Liner in Sienna or Sand, $12.50 each, or for a more dramatic look use a deeper liner that coordinates with your lip color such as Bilkerdijk Cosmetics’ Lip Liner in Spice or Mahogany, $12.50 each.)
Step 4: It’s best to use a small, dense lip brush so you get even, precise coverage of your lip color. Start applying the color at the center of your bottom lip and work out towards the corners. Repeat process on your top lip. Using a smaller, firmer brush allows you more control than a larger sized lip brush. (Try aDesign Lip Brush, $16, at adesignbrushes.com, and “All That Red” Lipstick Carousel by Bilkerdijk Cosmetics, $30.)
Step 5: To increase the longevity of your lip color, add a layer of loose face powder. To apply, cover your lips with a single piece of one ply tissue. Hold the tissue against your lip and use an eyeshadow brush to apply a light coating of loose, colorless face powder on top of the tissue. Because it’s only one ply, a small amount of powder will sift through and set your lipstick.
Step 6: Remove the tissue and coat the lips once more with lipstick using your lip brush.
Step 7: To finish your look, clean up around the lip line with a little concealer or foundation on a concealer brush so the lip line is crisp. You can further sharpen the lip line by using an eyeshadow brush to apply a little loose, colorless powder around the perimeter of the lips.
Step 8: Make sure to balance out your dark lip by keeping the rest of your makeup soft and simple!
Visit makeup artist Karen E. Duncan’s beauty blog for more makeup and beauty tips.