Applying lipstick may not seem like a very involved process (just swipe and go, right?). But one wrong move and suddenly you look like a '90s goth girl. When it comes to lipstick, there's a fine line between “red carpet” and “clown town”. Since we all fall victim to a lipstick faux pas now and again, we've rounded up the four most common lipstick fails and how to fix 'em like a pro.
Mistake #1: Your lip liner is too dark.
You never want your liner to be too dark, as you wind up looking like a coloring book that needs to be filled in. According to Dell Ashley, the director of makeup artistry for YSL Beauty, this is one of the biggest lip missteps he sees. "To achieve a well-defined lip with a deep liner, color in the entire lip — top and bottom,” Ashley advises. “Then, blend your lipstick all the way to the edge of the liner.” This way your lip color will look seamless.
Mistake #2: You aren't starting at the center of your lips.
Where you begin matters. Always apply lipstick starting at the center of your lips, moving outward. If you start at the corners of your mouth, you're more prone to drawing outside the lines. Beginning in the center and moving out gives you more control for a perfect, precise lip border every time. No shaky lines here!
Mistake #3: You're choosing a color that makes your lips look smaller.
If you have naturally thin lips, you might think choosing a bold shade will make them appear bigger — but it actually does the opposite. "If you have smaller lips, you can still follow the bold lip trend," explains Ashley. "But choose a bright color that has transparency and shine. It will help keep your lips looking fuller."
Mistake #4: You haven't considered the rest of your look.
You might know every lipstick rule in the book, but if you aren't taking the rest of your look into account, your lippie choice can throw everything off. For example, are you wearing a bright red cocktail dress? Then skip that electric pink lip you've been wanting to try. Or, if you've done a fabulous smoky eye, keep your lipstick more toned down and opt for a nude lip instead. Ashley also warns against being too matchy-matchy. "A total monochromatic palette can be a little boring," he says. Mix things up and go for contrasting shades.
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