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Lip Makeup

Updated on August 10, 2009

Women have been applying lip makeup for centuries.  The first records of women applying color to their lips date back to the ancient Greeks and Egyptians.  Women apply lips makeup for many reasons.  First, the lips are sensual; and coloring them and making them shine accentuates them.  Women hope to attract others by applying lipstick makeup.  Another reason that we use lip makeup is to change how our lips look.  Some people think their lips are too thin, too thick, unsymmetrical, or unattractive in some way.  Lip makeup can help to correct these issues.  There are three basic type of lip makeup including lip liner, lipstick, and lip gloss.

Lip Liner

There are many lip makeup tips concerning the application and use of lip liner.  Lip liner is used to outline your lips and keep your lipstick from bleeding outside your lips.  Many makeup artists think that lip liner should be applied before lipstick and others think it should be applied after.  It comes down to a matter of preference.  I find it hard to see what I am doing if I wait until after the lipstick is on, so I apply lip liner first.  You can use lip liner to make your lips look larger than they actually are by applying the liner just outside the natural contour of your lips.  Conversely, you can make them seem smaller by drawing the contour further inside.  Lip liner is great for covering up or correcting any lack of symmetry or small irregularities in your lip shape.  Typically, the lip liner should be just one shade darker than the lipstick you are using.  Some women apply lip liner to the entire lip and not just the outline.  This provides a good base for your lipstick and will help the lipstick last longer on your lips.  If you employ this technique, the heavy lip liner can dry out your lips so it is important to put some moisturizer on your lips first.


Once you have chosen your lip liner and applied it, you want to choose a lipstick.  There are many different types of lipstick available as well as many different colors.  You can pretty much find any color you desire in lip makeup these days.  There are even brands that have odd colors like blue or green.  Just as important as the shade is the type of lipstick.  The first variety is called matte lipstick.  Matte lipsticks are very flat colors and are relatively dry.  It is recommended that you moisturize before using this type of lipstick.  Some brands have matte finishes with vitamin E and aloe in them to help with the dryness issue.  Another variety is called crème lipstick.  This type actually contains some wax and is not very shiny.  It is similar to matte in that moisturizing is recommended.  There are also wetter varieties of lipstick like pearly lipsticks.  This type of lip makeup reflects light and makes your lip sparkle.  In general, matte lipsticks make your lips look thinner and wet lipsticks make them look fuller.

Lip Gloss

Lip gloss is generally shinier and glossier than lipstick. Some women use lip gloss as a final coat on their lips to give some shine to a matte or crème lipstick. While lip gloss does not have as much color as lipstick and is usually more translucent, it can be colored. One brand that I like a lot is Benefit Lip Gloss. The colors are fun but not overhearing. If you are just starting out with lip makeup, lip gloss is a good place to start because it is usually lighter and less noticeable than lipstick. It is usually not necessary to use lip liner if you are only wearing lip gloss.

Permanent and Semi Permanent Lip Color

Some women might find that it is easier to use semi permanent lip color so that they do not have to keep reapplying lipstick throughout the day.  When people talk about semi permanent lip color they usually mean one of two things.  First, they could be talking about lip color that is meant to last for twelve hours or more.  LipSense is one popular brand of semi permanent lip color.  You can apply this lipstick and it will not smudge or come off on coffee cups or straws.  It will not kiss off and even stays on when it gets wet.  You must scrub or use special lip makeup remover to take the color off.  Another meaning of semi permanent lip color is a procedure where pigment is actually injected under the dermal layer of the lips.  This coloring wears off eventually and needs to be reapplied now and again.  This procedure is good for women who do not like the natural color of their lips or feel that some part of the lips needs to be larger or filled in.  Some women go even further and get a lip makeup tattoo.  Most lip makeup tattoos are for lip liner.  Women get the liner permanently tattooed around the contour of their lips so they never have to apply lip liner.  Permanent lip makeup like this is quite drastic because it is very hard to reverse the procedure once it is complete.

Applying Lip Makeup

The ways that people apply their lip make up is almost as varied as the colors they use.  There are a few basic tips that seem to be universal, though.  First, you can apply lipstick or lip gloss with the tube or with a lip brush.  If you use a lip brush, this will lengthen the life of the lip color.  Second, never apply too much.  A little bit of lip color goes a long way.  Third, make sure you are starting with a smooth and moisturized surface.  Flecks of dead or dry skin on your lips will ruin the look of your lip makeup.  Make sure that you exfoliate and moisturize before applying any lip makeup.  The video below is one procedure for applying lip makeup.


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