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Whether you are choosing to wear bright red, dramatic lipstick or a paler lipstick in a more neutral shade, it is important to apply lipstick properly to avoid looking unnatural. The general rule of thumb is to only apply as much as needed, and then blot off any excess. Being judicious when you apply lipstick will help to ensure that it looks natural and not overdone. There are many different types of lipstick to choose from, including moisturizing and long-wearing, among others.
Before you apply lipstick, lips should be clean and dry. Do not apply lip balm or lip gloss first; even though this can help to moisturize the lips, it will prevent the lipstick from sticking, and it will wear off much more quickly. If you choose to wear lip liner, this should be applied first.
Lip liner may be applied in a thin line around the entire mouth; be certain to stay within the lines of the lips, and do not go outside the natural lip line. The lip liner should be approximately one shade darker than the lipstick you are wearing. Though lip liner can be helpful in creating a more professional, dramatic look, as well as preventing lipstick from feathering into small wrinkles around the lips, it is generally not necessary for everyday makeup.
If you are using lipstick from a twist-up tube, simply apply lipstick in a smooth motion over the bottom lip, then in two separate strokes from the middle to the corner on the top lip. Lipstick may also be applied with a small, angled lipstick brush, which can give a more defined line. Some areas may need a bit more than others; once the lips are evenly coated with lipstick, place a tissue in between the lips and press them together in order to blot up any excess, and prevent it from winding up on your teeth.
After applying the lip color, some people choose to apply lip gloss on top of the lipstick. This can give it extra shine, or add more dimension to the color. In addition, it can help to make the lip color last longer; generally, only the lip gloss will need to be reapplied throughout the day, not the lipstick. Experts often recommend that you should make either the eyes or the lips dramatic, but not both; for instance, if you apply lipstick in a dark, eye catching shade, keep the eye makeup more neutral for a pretty, natural look.