12 Top Lipstick Tips From The Pros
12 Top Lipstick Tips From The Pros

12 Top Lipstick Tips From The Pros

From finding your undertone to minimising feathering, there are several ways to get more from your lipstick. Here, eight professional make-up artists share their best tips.
By Rebecca Hull

All products on this page have been selected by our editorial team, however we may make commission on some products.


Don’t Underestimate Lip Prep

“My best tip is to think about lip prep – especially if you want to wear a matte lipstick. Use a lip scrub first, massaging it over your lips to get rid of dry, flaky skin. Always use circular motions and really work it in. Once you’ve exfoliated, follow up with a lip balm. If you don’t want to use a scrub, try stretching your lips and taking a cotton bud, soaked in balm, over the top. Use a gentle pressure, rolling the bud tip back and forth. You’ll find this picks up any excess skin without being too abrasive.” Frankie Neal 


Apply Lip Liner First

“Most people apply lip liner after they apply their lipstick, but it’s actually a good idea to do it the other way around. Use your liner and apply it to the whole of your lip to create a good base. This way, once your actual lipstick – the one you apply on top – wears off naturally, you’re not left with a hard outer line that’s really unflattering. It’s a great way to make sure the lipstick and liner wear off together and ensure your colour lasts.” Adeola Gboyega 


Nail The Symmetry

“Start by using a water-resistant lip pencil, like Charlotte Tilbury’s Lip Cheat, at the cupid’s bow from the corner of your lip and curve upwards in a semi-circle motion. Then, tilt your head down until the top of your lip liner is straight on in the mirror. The natural volume of the lip means that it distorts how we see the liner normally, whereas when your head is tilted down, you can see whether you’ve applied it correctly and can then adjust accordingly. The same can be done for the bottom lip – just tilt upwards in the other direction.” Levi Jade-Taylor 


Match Your Shade 

“As a make-up artist, I often find the right colour lipstick for a client by swatching the different shades on each fingertip. Hold them up next to your lips to see a ‘preview’ of how it would look. Really look at which one brightens, enhances and has real impact. It’s a good hack when you’re shopping in store, too.” Jennifer Oliver 


Opt For Sheer Textures 

“Sheer lipsticks are a big trend right now. I love that they let a bit of your natural lip colour peek through. The good news is sheer textures tend to look more flattering against your skin tone – they’re more wearable and believable. The Danessa Myricks Lip & Cheek Palette is ideal for achieving this type of finish.” Katie Jane Hughes 


Don’t Neglect Lip Stains

“If you plan to wear a bold lip colour all day, it’s worth adding a light layer of a hard-wearing lip stain first. Let it set in place, then apply a lipstick with a brush over the top. You’ll find the stain offers maximum colour pay off, while also providing a base layer for the lipstick to adhere to. It’s a great hack if you want a bit more vibrancy.”Jessica Kell

A TINY AMOUNT OF CONCEALER – we’re talking a tiny amount – can also prevent lipstick from migrating or bleeding into fine lines.

Find Your Base Tone

“An easy way to choose your lipstick base tone (cool or warm) is by looking at the natural contour colours around your eyes. If you see bluer colours, go for cool tones, and if you’re more beige or brown, opt for warmer colours instead.” Zoë Taylor 


Brighten Your Smile

“It’s true that the right lipstick can make your teeth look whiter. The trick is to opt for a colour with cool, blue undertones, rather than orange or yellow undertones. The blueness brings out brightness – and not just in teeth, it perks up your complexion too.” – Jennifer 


Prevent Feathering 

“Once you’ve finished applying lipstick, smile, and go over the edges of your lips again with a liner. This will ensure the line is sharp and it will keep feathering to a minimum. A tiny amount of concealer – we’re talking a tiny amount – can also prevent lipstick from migrating or bleeding into fine lines.” – Zoë


Don’t Ditch Old Reds

“Instead of ditching those red lipsticks you’ve not touched since Christmas, reuse them by pressing them more gently into the lip – either with the bullet or your finger. As long as you don’t swipe it on, you’ll get a fresh summer pink out of a festive red. Dabbing the colour in lends a fresher, tinted and bitten look that’s great for summer. Just add a lip balm or gloss on top for a healthy-looking finish.” Amy Conway 


Invest In Blotting Papers

“To make your lipstick last longer, apply it, then use blotting papers to remove any unwanted excess. Once you’ve done this, reapply and follow the same steps again. These papers are ideal for taking the edge off, without erasing the vividness of the colour.” – Jennifer 


Get Mixing 

"Never buy a lipstick that is a 'bit brighter' than your usual shade. Instead, buy a natural shade and a much bolder choice. We often forget about mixing lipsticks, but when experimenting with brighter colours, mixing is essential. You can then easily create your own, richer colour, while still having the option to go bolder if you wish to. So much can be created by mixing and matching just two lipsticks." Ashley Dayes, Pro Make-Up Artist

Shop Our Favourite Lipsticks & Tools…

Fashion. Beauty. Culture. Life. Home
Delivered to your inbox, daily