Of the three most common lip products (speaking of cosmetics only) there are specific uses and
purposes that these products are designed to serve. First is lip liner which is intended to define the shape and borders of the lips
as well as to help the lip color wear better. Second is lip color, whether it’s in a stick, brush-on cream or even a liquid, the
primary purpose of the product is to add a flattering tint to the skin of the lips. Finally, there’s lip gloss, which is usually a
liquid product that is meant to give long-wearing shine to the lips and keep them looking smooth, and plump.
For basic cosmetic application, we’ll assume that all three of the basic lip cosmetics are going
to be used. If you prefer a routine using less than all three of these basic products, feel free to simply skip any of these steps you wish.
Lip Liner: Since the purpose of lip liner is to define the shape of the lips, the lip liner is meant to be applied
before all other lip cosmetics. It should be applied along the edge of the lips on what is called the vermilion. Lip liner should be
the same color as your main lip color product, or slightly darker. It should never be too different from the main lip color or you
risk making the lips look “drawn” and artificial.
Lip Color: Lip color is intended to give the lips a tint that mimics the blush/arousal response. Of course, modern
applications are often much more vibrant than whatever color change could occur in a natural response. Even so, these new colors are
often flattering and attractive.
Applying lip color is simple, but often takes some practice to master with any skill. The upper
lip is typically the starting point and the lip color is drawn around the perimeter of the lips, starting with one of the peaks to
either side of the philtrum and drawing the color toward the corner of the mouth, and repeating the move on the opposite side. Then
the color is applied along the outer portions of the lower lip from center to corner and an added swipe is applied to fill-in the
fleshier portion of the lower lip as needed.
At this point the lips are often pressed together to smooth the color and blend the product
evenly. Then a clean dry tissue is sometimes used to blot the color, particularly when the color appears too heavy or if a matte finish is preferred.
Gloss: Lip glosses serve three purposes as a rule: they are used to create a very shiny, wet look to the lips; to
moisturize and protect the lips from drying, and to help the lip color wear longer by providing an overlying barrier between the
color and whatever might rub against it. Since most glosses are clear or only lightly tinted, the application is easier and often
needn’t be as precise. It should be swabbed over the lips in smooth strokes, or can simply be applied specifically to the points
at which you want the lips to appear most shiny.