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Beauty How-To: Bold Lips

I believe it was Gandhi who said, “Girl, don’t even think about leaving your house without AT LEAST putting something on your lips.” And who am I to disagree with such a revered figure? When it comes to lipstick, I’m a big fan of bold and bright. It makes you look way more made up and it makes a statement. It says “Look at me, I’ve got my shit together.” If you’re the type of babe that doesn’t automatically reach for a hue that can only be described as “Clown Red,” I urge you to give it a shot. Day or night, a bright lip is an easy way to add drama to any look, and here’s how.

Prep Your Pucker – Before you slap on that show-stopping shade, make sure to exfoliate your lips. You want people to stop in their tracks because they’re stunned by that fabulous fuchsia you’re rocking, not because they’re grossed out by your armadillo lips. Added bonus: Exfoliating will also help the colour adhere to your lips better. If you don’t have any fancy sugar scrubs or are too lazy to make your own, use your toothbrush or a face cloth to gently slough off dead lip skin.

Drop A Balm – After you’ve finished exfoliating, make sure to moisturize your lips because they’ll be needing it post-scrub. A little bit of lip balm will do the trick, but don’t put on too much. Over applying balm will make your lipstick slip and not apply evenly or opaquely. Extra tip: if you’re like me and constantly have dry lips, look at the ingredients of your balm. Things like camphor, phenol and methanol are alcohols (as is anything with the -ol suffix) and will dehydrate your lips.

Draw the Line Somewhere – Lipliner is your best friend. It took me a really long time to incorporate liner to my lip routine, but I’ve since come to my senses. Lip liner is especially important when it comes to a bright colour because it adds extra definition and will help you in your application because it acts as a “DON’T GO FURTHER THAN THIS, PAL” marker. Liner also prevents feathering or your lipstick bleeding, which is more likely with highly pigmented colours. The only lips that should ever be bleeding are your downstairs ones (sorry sorry sorry sorry sorry). If you don’t want to buy a million lipliners to match your lipsticks, get yourself a liner that’s as close to your natural lip colour as possible.

Blot & Powder – You’ve now spent 10 minutes getting your lips ready and carefully applying that sassy Valencia orange on your mouth hole. The last thing you want is that to end up on your teeth, chin, shirt, wherever, so blot away excess product with a napkin to limit that. Pro tip: using one-ply’s worth of tissue on your lips and then lightly dusting over it with a translucent setting powder will make your lipstick last longer.

KISS – No, don’t kiss someone… yet. Or do. I’m not your boss. But what I mean is “Keep It Simple, Sassy.” When going with a very bright or severe lip, keep the rest of your makeup clean and simple. The emphasis is on your lips, and being heavy-handed with a blush or eye makeup will steal focus and/or scare babies into thinking you’re Tammy Faye Bakker, or at least it would if they got that reference, which they don’t, they’re babies. A bit of bronzer on your cheeks, mascara and a bit of eyeliner is a lovely way to complement your lips. That being said, if you wanna put on a full face of makeup, YOU DO YOU, GIRL. I happen to think Ms. Tammy is an underrated glamazon.

HOT TIP – Cool-toned/blue-based colours will make your teeth look whiter while warm-toned or anything with orange or yellow tones will make your teeth look yellow. If you’re a broke-ass babe like me who can’t afford professional teeth bleaching or if drug-store brand whitening strips make you gag and cry, knowing this will change your life.

While trends are ever-changing, the one thing that will never go out of style is the confidence it takes to rock any bold lip. Red, fuchsia, orange, purple, black, white—doesn’t matter the colour, just work it, girl.

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