Ask someone on the street how to apply lipstick, and they’ll probably tell you to twist open the tube and just, well, do it. But ask a beauty editor, and you can expect a Ted Talk about best practices. Here, six tried-and-true tips from our team.
“I've been using MAC Lip Pencil in Spice ($17; maccosmetics.com) to line my lips for years (okay, decades). I find tracing the perimeter before I apply all-over pigment keeps it from feathering.” —Selene Milano, Senior Beauty Editor
"I like to prep with a scrub—like Sarah Happ’s Brown Sugar ($24; nordstorm.com)—to prime my lips. Afterwards, color goes on way more smoothly.” —Sheryl George, Beauty Editor
“If I’m wearing a colorful lipstick, I always make sure to trace around the perimeter of my lips with concealer once the hue is in place. It helps me to create a super-crisp shape, and clean up any unexpected smudges that may have escaped the barrier of my lip liner.” —Marianne Mychaskiw, Associate Beauty Editor
“I always apply my face makeup—be it foundation, tinted moisturizer, or BB cream—over my lips, too. It’s the same idea as prepping with primer: The makeup creates an even base on which my lipstick glides more smoothly and evenly."—Dianna Mazzone, Assistant Beauty Editor
"I apply color, then I stick my pointer finger in my mouth and pull it out slowly enabling the lipstick that’s migrated to the inside of my upper lip to transfer to my skin, not my teeth.” —Didi Gluck, Contributing Beauty Editor
"A few of my favorite lip shades are matte pencils, but for summer, I prefer a dewy look. So, after I apply the pigment, I like to dab a bit of clear balm—like Glossier's Balm Dotcom ($12; glossier.com)—on the center of my lips. This softens the matte finish to more of a satin.” —Erin Lukas, Beauty Writer