Being an esthetician, makeup artist, former assistant to a cosmetic surgeon, and a self-proclaimed “beauty junky” have all proven to be surprisingly helpful in my career as a fitness trainer and nutritionist. The majority of my clients have, at one point or another, asked for beauty tips that I’ve luckily been able to provide. And while I do get skin care, makeup, and cosmetic treatment questions from people with varying fitness goals, no one has more beauty questions than the ladies from two specific groups of my clientele: Those getting married, and those preparing for photo shoots.
After answering countless questions asked by my brides and models in regards to everything from breakouts, enlarged pores, and ashy skin, to Botox and lip plumpers, and on to longest lasting foundations, waterproof concealers, and preventing mascara smudges, I’ve noticed quite a few trends.
Since so many of you have similar concerns, I’ve decided to compile these questions into a series of articles outlining the basics of what you need to know to look amazing on your special day.
We all want full, sexy lips – even with minimal makeup, great skin and a perfect mouth can be enough to make for a spectacular look (yes, even on camera!). Whether you’re blessed with near-flawless lips or not, there are steps we can all take to perfect our pouts. Let’s take a look at a few of these now.
- How do I deal with dry lips? My chapped lips are always peeling, help!
No sweat here, just exfoliate your lips! You can use a sugar-based scrub, or even use your toothbrush in a pinch. To make your own sugar scrub, add a 1/2 teaspoon of sugar to 1/4 teaspoon of vaseline, and scrub your lips in a circular motion.
Don’t feel like making a scrub? Just apply an emollient lotion (like vaseline) to your lips, run hot water over your toothbrush to warm it up and soften the bristles, and gently scrub your lips in a circular motion to take off all those flakes.
Once you’ve done that, apply your favorite balm (my pick: Nivea SOS or Q10 lip treatment), let absorb slightly, and begin applying your lip makeup.
- How can I make my thin lips look full and sexy?
You have a few options here, as well. If you’re looking for a long-lasting solution and aren’t afraid of needles, you can look into injectable lip fillers.
There are several different types, the most popular being Juvederm and Restylane (though there are many others, including Perlane, Hylaform, Sculptra, and so on). Lip fillers can cost anywhere from $300 to $1,000 dollars, depending on the type used, the amount needed, and your geographical location.
If you’d rather not go the injectables route, certain makeup techniques can have a similar effect!
The first thing you’ll want to do, is line right over the ridge of your lips and through your entire lip surface rather than just along the outline of your lips, inside the ridge. Over the pencil, you’ll apply the lipstick, and over your lipstick, add gloss – but not everywhere! You’ll want to place a bit of it strategically, right in the middle of your bottom lip.
You’ll then want to add a slight bit of light-reflecting shimmery color to your cupid’s bow (over the top, center of your lips). A pale pink shadow will work well here. The reflecting light will result in your entire pout appearing much fuller and sexier than you ever thought possible – and all, needle-free!
- Should I match my lipstick color to my outfit or gown? How do I color match the right way?
Unless you’re doing an artsy shoot, you’ll want a lip color that’ll match your coloring, not your outfit. It’s never a good idea to match your outfit without paying any mind to your skin tone and hair color – you’re not trying to make your outfit look good; your goal is to make yourself look good!
Trendy colors are generally a no-no at weddings and other formal, heavily photographed events, because you don’t want to look through your photos twenty years from now and be embarrassed of the bright pink lipstick and bright blue eye shadow you wore. Neutral shades that deepen the natural hue of your lip color are the best bet here, and they’ll last longer with fewer touch ups, to boot!
- How do I make the “glossy lips” look last?
This is all about using the right product. There are thousands of lip glosses out there, my personal favorites all happen to be super long lasting ones. Be forewarned, many of the ones that have the ability to last through the day are also quite sticky.
There are different degrees of shine, as well. The more demure brides – or those of you after a more classic look – may opt for a less shiny and more subtle finish of a product like Fresh Sugar Lip Gloss or Lancome Juicy Tubes Smoothie gloss.
If you’re after the full on vinyl look that’ll last through the day, try Dior Addict Ultra Gloss Reflect, Make Up For Ever Super Lip Gloss, Mac Lip Glass, or Yves Saint Laurent Gloss PUR.
- My naturally dark lips make it impossible for any lipstick to stay true to its color. Any ideas?
This one’s simple: Just cover your natural lip color!
Some makeup artists suggest using foundation over the lips, though I personally dislike the idea because it’s drying, never seems to blend well, and never lasts long on that skin. There are, however, many lipsticks that will completely conceal your lip color and will allow any lipstick applied over them to hold true to its shade. Some of my favorites for this are Scott Barnes Show Off, and MAC’s Myth.
Your other option is to use a product especially formulated for this, like MAC’s Lip Erase. You’ll want to apply this product over balm, let it absorb for a few minutes, and proceed with lipstick application. The result? Perfect lips, the exact color of your lippie.
- How do I keep my lipstick from bleeding? How about smudging?
If your lipstick tends to bleed, my best tip would be to stay away from creamy lipsticks and glosses, opting for matte ones, instead. If you dislike the matte mouth look, you can always use that as a base color, set with a translucent powder, and go over the top with a clear gloss.
Preventing lipstick from smudging is actually done in a similar way: Apply your lipstick over your pencil (applied over the entire lip, not just the outline!), allow to set for a minute, and set with a setting powder. Once set, apply another coat of the lip color, using a brush to make sure it goes on as thinly and perfectly as possible, and then blot lightly to get rid of any excess.