Everything You Need To Know About Lips

Michael Brown

Beauty Expert

The lip category in makeup will always be iconic. It is one product that really can affect the look of the rest of the face and boy have we seen trends come and go.

From your classic polished reds, to metallic and even neon like bolds. Then super nude to gloss, and back to nude. The last few years have been our most experimental and wearing colour on the lip is now an everyday look for a lot of women and I love it.

ips1Image via pinterest 

Everything in makeup artistry today is a little bit more relaxed.

The painted doll look is for instagram and now has become makeup art – beautiful to look at, but not realistic for daily life.

As a makeup artist, fashion is where we draw inspiration and from there we have beauty trends related to what we see on runways and red carpet. For the first time in years, makeup looks are so easy to achieve yourself at home with this ‘done’ yet ‘undone’ nature of application and multi use product textures.

Lips are a quick way to express yourself and dress any look from day to night.

Its one of the biggest categories in makeup because it can literally be applied in seconds and can change your mood, give confidence and add that touch of femininity.

Lets look at all the areas to think about for lips.


No lip product will do its job well if the lip underneath is in bad condition – especially with winter upon us, lips can get dry and flakey.

Your lip needs daily moisture. So yes we can have lip balms and conditioners, some love them and find they work and some do not, everyone will have different results.

But, we all (well should be) use a daily moisturizer and/or eye cream.

So, as you apply to the face, make sure you do apply over the lip area  (especially the eye cream) so the lip can benefit from a skincare product to nourish and protect.

Once a week, we should exfoliate the face and body – this polishes the skin for newer skin to be released, buffing away any dry/dead skin cells.

When applying to the face, focus on your lip area also – gentle circular movements can lift away any unwanted chapped/flakey skin, leaving the lip smooth and plump.


We all love fuller lips, that extra pout is such a highly requested want from many women.

Lip plumper’s can assist, the right colour choice is a must, but tracing the top edge lip line is now a big technique for makeup artists. It reflects light on the area to bring it forward and enlarge, winning!

Before I apply any lip colour, I will use either a lighter shade of concealer, a liquid highlighter or sometimes even a metallic light eye shadow and literally trace with a thin brush the top lip edge and cupids bow.

Anything light makes an area look fuller because of light reflection, and applying before your lip colour makes it easier to visibly see the lip edge you are working with.


Just because a shade is on trend, doesn’t mean it will suit you.

For example, if a bright pink is the latest and greatest shade ever known to man, but your skin is always quite red and blotchy, it ain’t gonna work girlfriend. Let your skin tell you what shades you should be working towards.

I like to think of it as summer and winter, some shades have a warm undertone and some a cool.

If you are fair, pale skin, you usually have a lot more pink coming through your skin tone. This means we should be warming up our skin, so stick with shades that look warm and summery. (Pink on pink just looks way to rosey)

Then, if you have olive skin, you tend to have a touch of yellow running through the skin. This means we should try and go for cool tones as this can brighten what some call a dull skin tone. (Brown on brown is just too flat)

Pink base skins like to neutralize their redness by warm tones and yellow base skin like to brighten their dull skin by using cool tones.

This can alter obviously, but is a great general guideline to follow.


If you have no clue of your tone of skin, try checking the back of your wrists – this shows true colour in the veins present.

Pale skin usually has a blue vein and olive skin shows more green.


Whether you like a precise lip brush, or just use the lipstick itself to apply, it’s not wrong; it just may not be as long wearing.

As a makeup artist, we think of long wear as most our clients need to wear their look for hours at a time and being in the public eye with cameras in their face on red carpets, they don’t have time for the lip touch ups.

The trend of todays lip is raw. Therefore the fingertip application gives great stain power, on trend and long lasting!

Because your fingertip (ring finger is best) is rounded, when dapped onto the lip, it gives great shape to the lip edge, appearing plumper.

The dabbing application is pressing the lip pigment into the lip creating stronger bond than just painting the lipstick on top of the lip, leaving it very easily transferrable. Lipstick should be stained into the lip so colour is almost embedded.

If you then need a sharper lip edge, a lip liner can then be used after the lip product is applied or use a lip brush to add extra colour if a stain is too light for your look.


The method behind contouring, using highlight and shade to contrast and re-shape an area is definitely a big part of lip makeup.

If you use a darker, matte shade on a small lip, it will shrink and be barely visible. But if you use a light, glossy shade, it will appear fuller.

Always think of the shade you are applying, and if it can work for your lip shape. If not, try a different shade or just mix.

Winter is nearly here and we are seeing deep reds and wine shades in trends.

Small lips will always struggle with these shades, but if you apply the top lip highlight as mentioned earlier, then apply the deeper shade first (leaving the centre of mouth free) apply a lighter shade in the centre part of the lip to then create a plump light reflection. #winning


We have seen a decline in gloss over the years and that is just how trends work. Gloss was either too sheer, too sticky or it crept into unwanted lip lines.

But, now gloss is richer in texture and pigment, so it can be worn alone like a lipstick, or just applied to the centre of the mouth only, this is only where you need shine for light reflection.

Everything has its place and for me gloss is easy, fresh, light in colour and fun.

Matte lips last longer (if the lips are conditioned well underneath) and are more of a statement look, so you decide what would suit your overall look.

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