Beauty Guru |

Beauty Guru: Lessons for Defining Lips

Geoffrey Rodriguez


Keeping up with beauty trends can
be challenging, particularly when it comes to choosing lip color. However,
regardless of color choice, lips that look impeccably finished are a
significant trend that is complementary to all. Even the palest shades of lip
color on the barest complexions (a significant trend for spring 2010) instantly
become more of a statement when applied with care and detail. When expertly
applied, bold color statements like red or berry instantly brighten bare
complexions and beautifully punctuate more glamorous faces. Flawless lips say
that you have truly made an effort and take great pride in your appearance.
They lend a more polished appearance to one’s overall look.


The following tips and products will ensure that your lips
will be perfectly prepped and finished, no matter what lip color you choose.


Step 1: Exfoliate and

The lips actually lose hydration three times faster than any other
area of the face, so smooth, hydrated lips are key for wearing any lip color.
As mentioned in a previous post, the easiest and most affordable way to keep
lips smooth and hydrated is to use a soft children’s toothbrush with a dab of
moisturizer or cleanser while showering. Combined with the moisture of the
shower, a gentle scrub is a sure way to effectively remove dry, chapped skin
from the lip surface. Alternatively, there are a number of lip exfoliants
available. Once again, Jane Iredale’s Sugar and Butter Lip Exfoliator and
Plumper receives Beauty Guru’s top recommendations. Lips are instantly
smoothed, plumped, and ready for any color. Follow with an even application of
a lip balm that will keep the lips hydrated, such as the soon-to-be-launched and
extremely effective Hydramax + Active Lip Balm from Chanel. This lip balm feels
ultralight and moisturizing on the lips and combines the deeply hydrating
properties of shea butter and cottonseed oil with exclusive ingredient
Ceratonia PFA.


Step 2: Prime

Once you’ve applied a hydrating lip balm, your lips are
now the perfect canvas for whatever color you choose. For paler shades or
prolonged wear, lightly blend a dab of foundation on the lips before applying
lip color or liner. Guerlain’s Kiss Kiss Liplift is the ultimate lip base in a
stick. It defines, plumps, and smoothes the lips, utilizing microbeads that
expand upon contact with the lips’ natural moisture.


Alternatively, lip liner does in fact work best when applied
before lip color and also acts as a barrier or primer – especially in softly
textured forms such as Nars’ Velvet Matte Lip Pencils. Opt for a neutral shade
close to your own lips’ color. Blended with lip balm or enhanced with clear
gloss, this is a great way to leave off for a more natural look. Benefit’s
Cupid’s Bow Lip, which cleverly enhances the Cupid’s bow with a soft
highlighter, is also an extremely flattering choice. Begin the application by
blending the liner from the corners inward, toward the center, to ensure a
precise shape and prevent lip-color bleeding. Brush the liner in for an overall
even color. The same neutral liner is also very effective in showing off
vibrant colors. A shade more closely matched to your lipstick is also an option
and can be very useful for correcting feathering on the outer edges of the lips
after applying lip color.


Step 3: Color

By now, your lips should be looking amazing and are
ready for an application of color. For your initial application at least, and ideally always, use a lip brush to apply lip color. A tube of lipstick will
deliver far more applications when used with a brush. A collapsible or portable
brush, such as Bobbi Brown’s Retractable Lip Brush, is convenient for keeping in
a cosmetics bag. Carry a few extras, and you can always have a fresh one
available. Wash lip brushes regularly, ideally after each use. Begin applying
lip color from the center of the lips, then move into the corners of the mouth
in smooth, even strokes. This yields a smoother and more even color payoff.


Step 4: Finishing Touches

If wearing a vibrant shade like bright red,
or for a special occasion such as a wedding, take a single layer of tissue and
place over the lips. With a large eye shadow brush or small powder brush, take
the tiniest amount of powder and brush over the tissue. Gently remove the
tissue and follow with another application of color. This will ensure that the
lips hold onto the color considerably longer. Lastly, the smallest amount of
foundation or concealer on the flattened tip of a brush, taken just to the edge
of your lips, will correct any mistakes and act as a barrier against


In the next edition of Beauty Guru, look out for lip-color
trends and color suggestions.


—Geoffrey Rodriguez


Editor’s Note: Geoffrey Rodriguez is a celebrity makeup
artist and is not paid to endorse any of the aforementioned products. All
products mentioned are done so objectively and have been tried and/or used by
Mr. Rodriguez.

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