There are a plethora of reasons to fall in love with a bold lip, but the fear of smudging a vibrant hue is enough to keep many from making the pigmented plunge. Stop stressing: knowledge is power when it comes to flawless makeup. With these lipstick application tips and tricks, your lipstick will never embarrass you at a lunch meeting or on a date again — in fact, it'll make you the most memorable.
Prep: Lip color is no match for a parched pucker — pigment will apply unevenly and won't last on rough, dry, or sunburned lips. Mix up a DIY sugar scrub and use it at least once weekly to keep your smile soft.
Moisturize: When you're not rocking a head-turning lipstick hue, be sure you load up on lip balm. (We apply ours before bed so we wake up with a nourished pout.) However, your lips should feel fairly dry to the touch when applying lipstick, especially a matte shade — it needs a grippy surface to adhere to. If your lips still feel a little too sticky, brush a bit of sheer powder on them before layering on your lipstick.
Powder: To really lock down your lip, try this longwear hack. Take a two-ply tissue and separate the layers so you are left with two equally sized, thin pieces. After slicking on your lipstick of choice, use one piece of tissue to blot your lips. Add another coat of lipstick, then place the second tissue over your lips. Using an invisible setting powder and a fluffy brush, lightly tap the powder onto the tissue. The powder will absorb the excess moisture of the lipstick (without affecting how it feels!) and make it last all night long.
Prevention: Everyone from your grandmother to your niece has tried this trick, and with good reason — it really works. To prevent lipstick from getting on your teeth, slide a clean finger between your lips, then drag it out. The color that's on the inner part of your pout will stick to your finger.
Protection: While you should definitely invest in a clear, line-filling lip liner to keep color from feathering, you can also use a product you already own. Using your favorite concealer, trace around the outside of your lips with a lip brush (the small head will ensure a precise application). The concealer will act like a wall against your lipstick, preventing it from smudging across your face. Feel free to apply a second coat of concealer after you put on your lipstick — that will make the color really pop! Finish off with a light dusting of translucent powder.