You’re five steps away from an A+ pout. Swiping on a statement lip color can simplify your makeup routine because it requires little cosmetic accompaniment, aside from mascara or a touch of blush. It can also brighten a tired face (a chic mouth diverts attention from sleepy eyes), and it works on all ages and skin tones.
It does, however, require a little application know-how. Here, how to ensure your bold hue is sitting pretty on your lips.
1. Smooth things out. A deep lip color will cling to flakes on dry lips. So gentle exfoliation prior to color application is a must. ChapStick Total Hydration Conditioning Lip Scrub uses sugar crystals blended with maracuja and coconut oils to slough away rough spots and turn your lips into an even canvas.
2. Prime your lips. A thin swipe of lip balm moisturizes and smooths lips, enabling color to glide on easily. Bonus: A coat of balm also fills in any tiny fine lines around the mouth, cutting down on color bleeding. Try ChapStick Total Hydration 3-in-1.
3. Keep color in its place. Outlining your mouth with a liner that matches the natural shade of your lips will act as a dam, keeping color from migrating outside your mouth. Why a neutral liner and not one that matches your lipstick? If your lip color wears or wipes off at the center of your pout, you don’t want to be left with an obvious ring around your mouth.
4. Go easy. One or two thin coats of color applied carefully with a lip brush dries quickly and clings to lips, staying put better than one, thick (smear-prone) swipe straight from the tube.
5. Blot. As a final insurance against running and smudging, blot your lipsticked mouth on a square of tissue or toilet paper. This will remove your color’s top, tacky layer and turn the finish into a comfortable, transfer-resistant stain. Blotting took away too much shine? At the center of your lips, tap a tinted lip balm like ChapStick Total Hydration Moisture + Tint in a shade that’s close to your lipstick color to subtly boost shine—but not stickiness—then tuck your tinted lip balm in your bag for easy touchups on the go.
Originally published on BHG.com/Strive.