Thursday, August 9, 2012

Lipstick for the Intimidated

The application of lipstick scares many. It lurks like a tiger, staring at you through the bushes, when really it is an adorable kitten that just wants to sleep on your face and help you attract the right kind of crowd. Through many an embarrassing trial and error (I would like to apologize to the entire year of 2008) I finally learned how to put on lipstick and still look like a human. Lucky for you, I was paid millions of dollars to tell my secrets (not! I wish!). So here we go:

The Shop Girl's Guide to Wearing Lipstick

In a few easy steps!


Step One: Moisturize

Pluckin' off the lip gloss tree...If only...


  Nothing ruins a great matte look like flaky lips. I used BeautyTreats Lip Care in Rose Hip because that's what I had in my bag, but if it's gooey, it's good...

Much better.

  ...Chapstick, Vaseline, whatever. I usually glob some on, rub it in and let it sit for minute before wiping if off because I'm always in a hurry and you want your lips to be clean and dry before you attempt any color.

Step Two: Line it Up

Lip liner is usually the most intimidating part of the process to the amateur FancyLady, but fear not! All you need is patience and a steady hand. Not even that steady of a hand, evidenced here by the fact that I drank a shit ton of coffee before I tried to undertake this and still did okay.

All you need is a lip pencil in a shade that matches the lipstick you plan to wear. Red lipstick, red pencil, etc. I almost wish I could make it more complicated than that.

Draw a line ON THE INSIDE of your lips at the very edge.  If you goof up, just keep going and as long as you don't go outside of your natural lipline, it's all good. You don't need to remove it 'cause we're gonna be smearing lipstick all over it in a second anyway.

My love don't cost a thing. My lip liner costs $3.50. Sorry about the creepy face here.
Et voila! Stop here if you're going for the J-Lo in '99 look.

Step Three: What We Talk About When We Talk About Lipstick

Ohh...what beautiful packaging.
I am going to use Besame matte lipstick in "Besame Red". They make a line that SERIOUSLY has the perfect red for anybody. I like Besame Red because I am pale and it is navy-based (orange based lipstick does nothing for me unless I wanna look like a troll).

I love this lipstick more than I have ever loved another human being. Right?
This is my favorite lipstick that isn't by MAC. I love it because it it perfectly matte and goes on thick without drying. The chiseled tip is shaped differently from any lipstick I've ever seen in a way that makes SO MUCH SENSE.

(I promise I am not just being a paid shill for Besame products here. Yeah, they sell this at the store where I work, but I bought it with my own money and truly think it is worth raving about).

Now just smear lipstick all over your mouth. Stay in the lines you just painstakingly drew and you're golden. Go as thick as you want and we'll clean it all up in a minute.

Rub your lips together to make sure it's all on evenly. I promise this is what I'm doing in this picture, even though I look like a dog begging for a treat.

Gently blot. Tapping, not rubbing.

Bite down a little more. It will look much more natural. 

Every time I'm blotting my lipstick I always think about that kid's book From The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, where the girl is planning to run away and hide in the Met with her brother and she's trying to figure out how to get the train into NYC with limited funds. She finds a free train pass in her mom's bathroom garbage can full of old lipstick blotting tissues and the line is "...from a litter of lipstick kisses, Claudia had plucked a free ride". I found that line very poetic as a child and just want the world to know. If you have younglings, make them read it. It is a great book.

Throughout the day, as you drink coffee and eat delicious fatty, greasy fried things and then kiss your dreamlover, your lipstick will wear off. This is a sad fact of life and anyone who tells you otherwise is just a cosmetics company lying to you in hopes of grabbing more of your hard earned cash. When re-applying you do not need to put on more lip liner. That should stay on real good. You merely have to dab lipstick and blot. What a relief!

Step Three: A Word of Warning and an Extra for the Ambitious

Notice how I didn't put any lipstick on the parts of my lips that aren't visible when my mouth is closed. NEVER EVER PUT LIPSTICK THERE EVER.

 If you did, as I did in this picture for illustration, you will look froggy or frowny. Not a good look, but a common rookie mistake. All through high school I thought I just looked bad in lipstick because I didn't know you weren't supposed to do this. None of us want to look like Bride of The Joker post botched plastic surgery. Just Say No.

Jerri Blank is the only exception to this rule

If you're feeling extra motivated and want all the cuties to notice your lovely cupid's bow (the little dip most people have in the middle of their upper lip) take some kind of highlighter. Here I'm using a shimmery white eyeshadow, but I really like the products Benefit makes specifically for highlighting. 

Pop just the tiniest bit right where the weirdo in the picture is pointing and RUB IT IN. You want it hardly noticeable. It should catch some light and draw attention but not look like you stayed too late at last night's disco party, if ya know what I mean.

And we're done! Don't I look lovely? You're gonna knock 'em dead, you lipstick champion! 

Thanks for reading! Next time we'll do cat eyes. I'm much better at that.

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