When it comes to beauty products that we love, lipstick is forever at the top of our list. And since National Lipstick Day is this Wednesday, July 29th, what better way to prepare then by sharing our all-time most ingenious lipstick tricks?
Whether you’re looking for ways to customize your perfect color, application techniques to ensure flawless wear or even the easiest way to get rid of a lipstick stain (ever), these lipstick hacks are going to revolutionize your lip game—forever. Here are our 10 most brilliant lipstick tricks.
1. Use an angled brush for perfect application.
If you want a very defined look, you know the struggle of dealing with lip liners that are never quite a color match, and lip brushes with bristles too soft to give you that perfect perimeter. Instead, use an angled eyebrow brush to apply your lip color. Not only are the bristles on these brushes usually a lot more firm (which ensures the color goes on evenly), the thin edge means that you can use it to get the most perfect outline ever. Plus, the angled tip makes defining your Cupid’s bow incredibly easy!
2. Blot with shimmer.
By now, everyone and their grandmother knows the trick of separating a single tissue into two thin sheets, pressing one over your lips and dusting translucent powder over top to blot and set lipstick. That’s a valuable trick, but what about when you want to take your lip color to the next level? Set it with shimmer, of course! Lightly resting a single ply tissue over your lip, then dusting a shimmery eyeshadow or loose pigment over top will give a subtle shine to your lipstick, in addition to granting it some serious staying power. Consider this a top coat for your kisser.
Pro tip: We love a cool red lip dusted with true gold. Beautiful, summery perfection.
3. Turn any shade into a pastel.
If you want to try the pastel lipstick trend, but don’t want to shell out good money for a color you might not be into, make your own! Line your lips with a white (or champagne) eyeliner, then lightly tap lip color in the shade of your choice over top. Press your lips together to blend them together, neaten up the outline with your angled brush, and you have the perfect customizable pastel lipstick!
Pro tip: To make sure you don’t transfer bacteria from your eyes to lips (or vice-versa), we recommend having a designated “lips only” eyeliner that you never put near your eyeballs. Safety first!
MORE: Concealer Hacks You’re Going to Love
4. Get rid of lipstick stains.
If you’re a lipstick addict, you know the agony of pulling off your favorite white t-shirt…and seeing a nice, bright smudge of lipstick left on the pristine fabric. Don’t worry; you can remove it quickly and easily—with hairspray. Yep, we’re serious: simply spray the stain with a hefty dose of hairspray, let it dry for a couple of minutes, then wipe with a cotton washcloth. The lipstick will come off right away; if there’s residual color left behind, repeat this step until it’s gone, then throw your shirt in the wash (because who wants to walk around with a hairspray-soaked shirt?).
Pro tip: DO NOT do this on fabrics like silk or brocade—if it’s dry clean only, get thee to the cleaners!
5. Use a slightly blunt lip liner.
A tip we picked up at Fashion Week: never use a freshly-sharpened lip liner. A very sharp tip deposits the color unevenly and can drag across the skin, making your line far too dark, severe and hard to blend. Instead, after sharpening, blunt your liner slightly by drawing a tic-tac-toe grid on your hand. Voila, the perfect tip!
6. Wear dark lip colors with ease.
As we ease into fall, dark lip colors make their reappearance in our beauty wardrobe. But if you’re like us, you hate the way your deep berries, oxbloods and purples wear away, leaving your light natural lip color visible in the middle of your lips (and nowhere else). To get around that, add some red to the center; this will make the fading look way more natural. Simply apply your dark color, then wipe away a tiny bit from the inside of your upper and lower lips with a cotton swab. Fill in that blank space with a complimentary red shade, then press your lips together to blend the two products together. Not only are you now rocking very subtle two-toned lips, when the colors fades from the center, the red makes the gradient way less obvious.
7. Eyeshadow + lip balm = custom lipstick.
If you have an eyeshadow that you suspect might make an amazing lip color, you can make that happen! Either apply a clear lip balm to your lips and pat the shadow over top, or mix the balm and shadow together on the back of your hand, then apply with a lip brush. You can even combine multiple colors to get the shade—and finish—of your dreams.
Pro tip: This doesn’t work the other way; you should never use lipstick or lip liner as eye makeup. While all eye products are tested to be safe for lips, not all lip products are guaranteed safe for eyes, and certain pigments can cause allergic reactions.
8. Use your favorite lipstick as blush.
The same shades that look amazing on your lips can bring a gorgeous flush of color to your cheeks—if you apply it properly. Rub some color straight from the bullet of your lipstick onto your first two fingers, then gently pat it onto your cheekbones and tap to blend. If that’s looking a little too intense, mix the lipstick with a tiny bit of light moisturizer on the back of your hand, then apply the same way. This will diffuse the intensity of the pigment a little, while still giving you a gorgeous, creamy flush.
Pro tip: If you want to shine like the top of the Chrysler building, use tinted lip gloss patted along your cheekbones. Just be prepared to touch it up a lot; glosses really don’t last on skin!
9. Create your perfect nude.
Finding the perfect nude lipstick can be a serious challenge, so why not make your own? Lightly pat concealer that matches your skin tone onto your lips, then go over it with a semi-sheer pink, red or cranberry lip gloss. The concealer will match your complexion, and the gloss will give you a flattering hint of color that actually works for your skin tone.
10. Repair a broken bullet.
Snap your favorite lipstick? Don’t worry; you can repair it! Melt the broken end of the lipstick ever so slightly with a lighter, then press the two sections back together. Once they’ve reattached, pop the entire tube in the fridge for a few minutes to make sure it’s fused and set. Good as new!
MORE: The Most Brilliant Eyeshadow Hacks—Ever