6 Fool-Proof Ways to Get Smooth Lipstick Every Time

Feathering and flaking, be gone!

Person wearing a bold red lipstick and matching red nail polish
Photo: Getty Images

Wearing lipstick is a fun way to level up your makeup game. The best part: there are endless options when it comes to this product, so much so that we've ended up acquiring tons of reds, pinks, oranges, and more in all types of finishes ourselves.

While we love swiping on a pop of lip color, getting a long-lasting and smooth finish isn't always easy. Too often, we find our lipstick feathering and cracking over time (especially in the winter months). That's why we're sharing our best lipstick tips for achieving and maintaining smooth, pillowy lips all day.

Read on to find out more.

1. Buff Away Flakes With a Lip Scrub

Just like how we use an exfoliant for our face to keep our complexion smooth, our lips need some TLC as well. We know that chapped lips lead to cracks and dead skin, so the first crucial step that comes with attaining pillowy lips is to scrub off pesky dead skin cells. For the best results, gently rub your favorite lip scrub (we love ChapStick's Total Hydration Lip Exfoliator) in circular motions and rinse off with warm water once a day, especially during the winter when harsh weather dries skin out.

2. Apply a Smoothing Lip Primer

Once you've buffed away all obvious flakes, swipe a smoothing lip primer across your lips to act as a base for your lipstick. Not only will it prep your lips for a lasting hold, but a good formula, such as Guerlain's KissKiss Liplift Lipstick Primer, will also hydrate your pout.

3. Use a Lip Liner as a Base

For super-staying power and a high color payoff, prep your lips by drawing on a base with a lip liner. (Hot tip: If you haven't yet tried Uoma Beauty's Badass MF Matte Filler Lip Liner, run, don't walk, to stock up on the smoothing product). Drawing on a first layer will ensure your lipstick stays put longer, but it will also prevent color cracks that sometimes appear after hours of wear.

4. Pick a Non-drying Lipstick Formula

Now, time for the lipstick. While you don't need to look for specific ingredients, you do want to make sure that you steer clear of formulas that will make your lips feel as dry as the Sahara. Most lipsticks don't have this problem, but some liquid or matte lipsticks tend to make users feel like their lips are tight and dry. "The SuperStay Matte lipstick is so great because there's never any smearing or fading throughout the day, so you don't have to worry about reapplication. Plus, it doesn't dry out your lips like others — it actually keeps your lips feeling soft," says Keita Moore, a New York-based celebrity makeup artist and Maybelline brand ambassador.

VIDEO: The 10 Lipstick Colors to Try This Fall

5. Blot and Set Your Lipstick

Once you've applied your lipstick, take a tissue and gently place it between your lips and press them together. After blotting, take your favorite translucent powder (we swear by Laura Mercier's cult-classic loose setting powder) and, with a fluffy makeup brush or a beauty sponge, apply a thin veil over the lipstick to set it for good.

6. Keep Your Lips Moisturized

Lips don't have sweat glands, which means that unlike the rest of our body, they don't produce their own moisture. To keep them healthy, it's essential to apply nourishing topicals, such as moisturizing lip treatments and lip balms. "Baby Lips helps keep your dry, chapped lips at bay giving you a gorgeous, hydrated pout always," says Jenna Kristina, a Los Angeles-based makeup artist and Maybelline brand ambassador. "It gently removes even the longest-lasting lipstick but helps to condition at the same time."

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