Probably one of the first colored cosmetic every girl uses in her life and also, one of the most used makeup items in a woman’s bag – lipstick. A lipstick can make or break your look. It can make you go drab to fab – a change of color can take you from day to night.

A little color on the lips can pull your whole look together or destroy all the effort and hours you put on your accurately applied makeup. It all depends on what color you wear and more importantly, how you wear it.

There are a number of tips and tricks to find your go to shades of lipsticks, the tones that you should go for depending on your complexion and the kind (matte, glossy, foiled) you should opt for depending on the look you are going for.

In any case, once you have figured out how to choose your lipstick shades, the next and the more crucial step is to learn how to apply lipstick perfectly so that you look as flawless as you planned to! Here are five celebrity MUA approved tips and tricks to apply lipstick flawlessly every time:

Buff the Flakes Away

Dry, flaky, cracked lips are never a flattering look – with or without lip colors. They are one of the main causes of even the highest quality lipstick appearing uneven and patchy. If you apply lipstick over un-prepped lips, it will settle into cracks and ruin the overall finish and look of the lipstick.

So always remember to exfoliate your lips with a gentle scrub to make them look smooth and polished. Just like its not a good idea to use harsh grainy (hint: apricot kernel) scrubs on your facial skin, its not ideal for your lips either. Use a gentle sugar scrub to buff away all signs of dryness and coat the freshly polished lips with a nourishing lip balm. Allow the lips to soak in the balmy goodness for a while before you head on to applying lipstick.

P.S. When you are going out, try using a lip balm with a SPF to ensure the harsh UV rays from the sun do not discolor your lips and cause hyper pigmentation.

Try: Kiss Me Honey – Mint Exfoliating Lip Polish

Prime your Lips

Once your lips are prepped after a good yet gentle polish, its time to prep them. You have heard all about priming your face before applying the base and you are probably multi-priming your face too. But did you know that it is equally important to prime your lips too?

A good lip primer will not only help elongate the wear time of your lipstick and prevent it from fading away unevenly, but it will also help prevent feathering and bleeding outside the lines of your lips.

Without a lip primer, the lips have a tendency to look fuzzy as the lipstick migrates outside the lip lines. As with facial primers, apply a small amount of lip primer on your lips, give it a couple of minutes to settle and then, move on to the next step.

Try: BABOR – AGE ID Lip and Eye Primer

Use the Right Tools

It might sound too high maintenance but having perfectly flawless makeup brings with it its fair share of work. If you want your lipstick to look good and stay that way through the day, using the right steps and tools is crucial.

Start off with a sharp lip liner to shape the lips and then, instead of using the lipstick straight from the bullet, use a lip brush to gently fill in lip color all over your lips. A good lip brush will not only give you more control over application but also, help deliver the right amount of pigment evenly all over your lips.

Try: stila – Lush Lip Brush

Apply, Blot, Repeat.

If you are planning to wear your lipstick all day long with minimal touch ups and maximum pigmentation,  then you need to use the Apply, Blot, Repeat mantra at least once.

Apply your lip color with a lip brush; blot it with a tissue; apply a second layer of the lip color. If you really want to build up color, you can blot and apply once again, depending on the intensity of color you are going for.

These steps will not only help build up the color and ensure the longevity of the lipstick but it will also help avoid uneven fading of the lip color as compared to the lip liner.  Usually, the lipstick fades faster than the lip liner that you have used and the disappearing in the middle effect looks quite outdated. You can avoid the harsh lip liner effect with this simple step.

Pick the Right Nude

While bright colors are still on trend for the new season, nudes are always a good choice for both day and night time looks. However, no matter how safe you think nude colors are to wear, the wrong shade can entirely ruin your look.

If you pick a nude shade too light, it looks like you came straight off the sets of the living dead. If you pick a nude shade too dark, it looks like you are trying to make the brown lip trend happen – trust us it’s not.

So how do you pick the perfect nude shade?

  • If you have fair skin, go for rosy-beige shades or a light, sheer beige lip color.
  • If you have medium skin, pick dusky rose colors or beige with gold undertones.
  • If you have olive skin, opt for peachy nudes that help complement the green tones in your complexion.
  • If you have dark skin, choose rosy brown shades, caramel toffee hues or go outright for metallic bronze colors.