How to Apply Lipstick Featured Image

Pro Lips: How to Apply Lipstick Perfectly

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Ready to master how to apply lipstick without making your lips look small or outdated?

This guide cuts straight to the chase, offering you simple, easy makeup steps to help you nail your lipstick look…professionally!

As you’re go-to makeup artist, I’ll share with you all of my favorite way’s of applying lipstick in a way where it makes sense.

Key Takeaways

  • Make your lipstick application go on with minimal effort by exfoliating, moisturizing, and using lip primer for a perfect pout—our pro tips, like using translucent powder with a tissue can set your look for longer wear!

  • Control your lip look and longevity by applying with a lip brush or ring finger for the perfect shape, and blend multiple shades for a custom, dramatic statement that matches your skin tone!

  • Liquid lipstick offers a comfy, smudge-resistant option with vibrant color – just remember to exfoliate, moisturize, and apply judiciously using a brush for a mistake-free and stunning finish!

Condition and Lip Prime

African American Woman Applying Lip Primer

Proper lip care and prep is the first step in achieving an easy lip makeup application.

Did you know that exfoliating and priming your lips can give you a smooth base for the lipstick to stick to, enhancing the application and making the color last longer?

There are several methods for exfoliating your lips, such as a DIY lip scrub with oil and fine sugar, using a extra soft-bristled toothbrush with coconut oil, or our favorite clean beauty lip scrub. These methods will smooth out the skin texture and get rid of flaky skin before applying lip gloss, liquid lipstick, or any other lip products!

How often should you exfoliate your lips? Finding the right balance for your skin is key. Exfoliating once or twice a week will help repair the skin cells and give your lip skin a firmer base. This will help your lip primer and lipstick adhere better and last longer. Once you’ve exfoliated, the next step is to moisturize your lips. The best hydration lip products are:

  • AERIN Rose Lip Conditioner Beauty Essential. This melt in your…lips is a super luxurious, squeeze tube, client favorite that’s always in my kit! It helps to make your lips soft, buttery, and ready for any makeup product.

  • La Mer Lip Balm. You want to spoil yourself cause you deserve it? The La Mer lip product heals, feels like silk, and can be used as a lip mask at night for the best pampered lip treatment.

  • Jack Black Moisture therapy Lip Balm SPF 25. Made for both men and woman, this SPF based lip shows up more matte and ready to protect your lips from the harsh sun. You HAVE to try the Lemon one, it smells like fruitloops and my clients LOVE it.

  • Farmacy Apple Lip Smoothie Vitamin C + Peptide Lip Balm. Speaking of delicious lips, you won’t be able to stop smelling yourself with this all clean ingredients Vit C enriching, hydrating moisturizer. Just make sure to blot and remove excess product before applying your lipstick.

Defining Your Pout with Liner

Girl Applying Lip Primer

News for you, outlining your lips with a lip liner is not outdated!

Even though it’s not mandatory, it does change the look by helping to create a clean line, can prevent feathering, and is perfect for building fuller lips.

However, the key is not just to line the lips but to understand your lip shape and define it accordingly. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Start at the corners of your lips, working your way towards your cupid’s bow or the center of your upper lip, using a lighter hand pressure and small flickering movements.

  2. Use a shade that complements the lipstick or is a bit deeper.

  3. For balance and symmetry, roughly fill in your lips with the liner.

  4. Then define your lower lip, overline the center lower area to create the perfect pout.

PRO TIPS: To makeup your lips look fuller!

  • Over line the top lip and underline the bottom lip, and round the shape the cupid’s bow to define a thin upper lip.

  • Instead of applying liner BEFORE your lipstick, try doing AFTER applying your lip color as it changes the look and appears softer.

  • Apply a dark taupe liner under the bottom lip and blend like a shadow for fullness.

  • Using a nude liner with lighter lipstick can also plump the look.

  • A dab of bronzer or taupe eyeshadow powder under the lower lip line and in the dip of the cupids bow will add to the illusion of volume!

Common mistakes while applying lip liner that you should try to avoid:

  • Using an old or expired (12 to 24 months is the shelf life), white filmed, non-sharpened liner.

  • Not blending the liner onto the lips.

  • Applying a thick line with a heavy hand.

  • Underlining your lips.

  • Choosing a liner that is WAY too dark.

For long-lasting lip liner, after lining and filling in your lips completely with a lip pencil, blot with pressed translucent powder before and after the application of the liner using a lipstick brush.

The Art of Lipstick Application

Makeup Artist Hand Applying Gloss on Woman's Lips

With your lips now prepped and defined, we move on to the exciting part: applying the lipstick color!

There are various ways to apply lipstick, and one of the fastest ways is to use the lipstick bullet directly onto the lips.

But if you want to create GREAT looking lips, then you’ll want to use a lip brush. Applying lipstick with a lip brush provides more precision, control, avoids product wastage, and allows for an even application. It also gives you greater control and definition, which is particularly helpful when blending multiple shades for a custom look.

For a more natural or K-Beauty look, apply lip color with your ring finger (making sure you’re using clean fingers), starting from the outer edges, then in the center of your lips, and smudging outwards. This method allows you to create a sheer color application by buffing the lipstick slightly, creating a softer, more diffused appearance.

Additionally, it all boils down to accomplishing the look you desire.

A sheer lip look is about applying a lipstick that gives just a hint of color with minimal coverage, while a bold lip look involves using a lipstick that provides vibrant, intense color and makes a more dramatic statement. Choose a lipstick shade that complements your skin tone and outfit for the best results!

Layering Lipstick Color Shades

Ever bored of your same old lipsticks? Mix them up and layer the colors! You can use a lip brush or your ring finger to blend the colors together for layering lipstick shades. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Dip the brush into the lipstick formula or apply a little on the back of your clean hand.

  2. Swipe the brush against the sides of the lipstick to pick up pigment.

  3. Apply the color to your upper and lower lips with small movements.

For a stunning dimensional look, you can layer the same or different lipstick shades to create a gradient effect or blend them on the back of your hand before applying. Here’s how to blend a layered effect with two lipstick shades:

  1. Apply the first color on your lips.

  2. Apply the second color on top of the first.

  3. Dab your lips together to mix the colors.

  4. Use a brush to tap along the edges where the colors meet for a smooth transition.

This technique will help keep your lips looking soft, contoured, and well-blended.

Setting Your Lipstick

Lipstick with Flower Background

Want to know how to keep those luscious lips to last the whole day?

The secret is to blot and use translucent powder.

The best method to blot lipstick is to give the tissue paper a smooch instead of placing it in your mouth, so that any extra lipstick can be blotted off more evenly.

Applying translucent powder helps by absorbing excess shine, creating a smooth canvas for the lipstick to adhere to, and making it last longer. And don’t worry, it won’t alter the color of your lipstick.

After applying your lipstick, grab a big, fluffy brush to set the color with a thin layer of translucent powder and one peeled layer of tissue placed upon your lips. This will make sure that the lipstick stays in place all day!

Some of the best brands of translucent powder for setting lipstick are Lys Beauty Pressed Setting Powder and MILK MAKEUP Pore Eclipse Matte Translucent Talc-Free Setting Powder.

Do’s and Don’ts of Lipstick Application

As you strive to master the art of lipstick application, it’s vital to understand the best do’s and don’ts. Some common mistakes to avoid include:

  • Badly overlining, then not blending the lipstick with a lipliner or concealer.

  • Choosing a color that washes you out or makes your skin look orange.

  • Not taking care of your lips beforehand.

  • Not using a lip primer.

  • Applying too much gloss so that you get stringy lips.

  • Not regularly lip exfoliating.

  • Not retouching a bold lipstick, especially when it wears out in the inside.

To apply lipstick without smudging or feathering, consider following these steps:

  1. Use a lip-liner brush with cream concealer to trace outside your lips.

  2. Apply concealer or a clear lip liner around your lips to prevent bleeding.

  3. Gently pat lip color using your ring finger to smudge it slightly.

  4. Start with an invisible lip liner.

  5. Tap concealer over your lips before the lipstick color.

  6. Apply your lip color and blot with tissue.

Liquid Lipstick: A Different Approach

Woman Painting Lips with Lip Colour

Sick of just normal lipsticks and want something that lasts longer?

Give liquid lipstick a shot! It’s comfortable to wear, easy to apply, has high pigmentation, and doesn’t smudge as easily. But the application requires a slightly different approach:

The best technique for applying liquid lipstick includes exfoliating and applying lip balm your lips, then using a lip liner to outline your lips before the application. Apply the liquid lipstick to your bottom lip first, then to your top lip, using a lip brush or the applicator for precision.

Some common mistakes when using liquid lipstick include not exfoliating before applying, applying too much product, and using too many layers. To avoid these mistakes, exfoliate your lips beforehand, use a small quantity of lipstick, and avoid overcoating your lips.


From using delicious lip scrub to the magic of a good lipstick application, we’ve spilled all the tea on how to rock a killer lip look—plus, we just know that you’ll be able to find a method that you will fall in love with!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best way to apply lipstick?

The best way to apply lipstick is to exfoliate, hydrate, then prime your lips, conceal where needed around the lips, use a lip liner to trace and roughly fill in, then apply lipstick from the corners towards the center for a stunning finish! Blot with a tissue so you don’t get it all over your teeth, then set your color for an all day finish!

How do you apply lipstick to thin lips for beginners?

You can make your thin lips look fuller by applying a generous amount of lip balm, carefully overlining your lips, using a flattering lip shade tone, and using a lip brush for blending – don’t forget to highlight your cupid’s bow and finish with a touch of lip gloss on the edges!

Do you put lipstick in the corners?

It depends on what lip look you’re going for. If you’re applying a bold color then you should start from the outer edges of your lips then work your way in. If you want a rounded, pouty lip that is more diffused, then keep the lipstick within the center of the lips.

How to apply lipstick in 2024?

To apply lipstick in 2024, use a lipstick brush for a precise and even application. Then blur out the center bottom edges and smooth out the cupids bow for a full lifted look!

How often should I exfoliate my lips?

You should exfoliate your lips one to two times per week for the best lipstick application and happy lip skin!