Who doesn’t love a good lipstick? A splash of color can do wonders for your face, adding warmth and giving your overall makeup look a chic, polished feel in seconds.

Beauty vlogger and founder of Look Fabulous Forever, Tricia Cusden, says lipstick is particularly important for women if you have pale lips or have lost definition.

However, while lipstick can make you feel great, if applied incorrectly it can also be distracting — the opposite effect to what most of us are trying to achieve.

With that in mind, we asked Cusden to talk us through the main lipstick mistakes she sees — plus what to do instead!

1. Applying makeup over dry, flaky lips.

Dry skin can cause lipstick to set in the cracks around your mouth. Cusden recommends using a very gentle exfoliator to lightly buff your lips, removing dead skin. “Make sure you buff the outer edge of your lips too,” she advises.

For removing dry skin, we love Bliss Fabulips Sugar Lip Scrub, $15, which comes with a handy exfoliating tool.

Another tip to ensure your lips are in tip-top condition is always to wear protection on them when you go outside — Burt’s Bees has an excellent range of balms to keep your lips moisturized against the elements!
2. Not using lip primer.

“Lip primers prevent feathering and bleeding of lipstick into the lines around your mouth,” explains Cusden. “Certains mouths can look ‘fuzzy’ when wearing lipstick because the product migrates over the edge of the lip line.”

Lip primer will stop this smudging in its tracks – try Mac Prep and Prime Lip Base, $28.

3. Applying the lipstick straight from the bullet.

Lipstick application is all about precision and sharp lines, which is why you need to use the right tools.

“Start by using a lip liner to create a defined line around the edge of your lips, then fill in with color,” advises Cusden. “I recommend using a brush for this; it allows greater accuracy and means you can build up the color gradually.”

4. Letting your lipstick fade in the middle.

A harsh lipline around the outer edge of the lips and disappearing color in the middle is often associated with fashion trends of a bygone era, so make sure you avoid this as it can make you look dated.

“To make color last longer, build up your lipstick with a brush then blot with a tissue — this will push the lipstick into the lips,” says Cusden. “Then apply a second coat and, if you want it to be really long-lasting, repeat a third time.”

5. Using a color that is too nude.

Nude lip colors are all the rage, but if you go too pale with your shade it will mean losing your natural lip line. Go for tones similar to the darkest part of your lips, or better still, go bold — bright lipsticks aren’t just for those in their twenties!

“Helen Mirren is the perfect example of someone who looks amazing with a coat of strong lipstick.” says Cusden. “I love fushcia lip color in the summer sunshine, and for winter parties I always reach for a bright red, which is wonderful to brighten up a black outfit.”

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