Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Giving your Lips a Nude Color

After purchasing the Lady Gaga Viva Glam nude lipstick from MAC Cosmetics, I nonchalantly applied it to my lips one morning, and to my dismay, it looked like nude powder had crackled all over my mouth. Clearly, this was not the way to apply nude lipstick. So I investigated how to achieve that perfect neutral pout you see on TV's and in magazines. This entry will showcase the steps required for you to achieve that pretty nude lip.

Exfoliate and Moisturize 
If you don't want your lips to look like they've been dehydrating out in the Sahara Desert, you have to remove that dry, flakey and crackled skin. Remember, as the weather gets colder your lips will become more dull in pigmentation and lose a lot of their youthful glow due to your capillaries constricting. To combat the dryness and pigment loss there is a very simple solution that does not require you going out and purchasing lip treatments for more money than you would want to spend. Use a pinch of brown sugar in approximately a table spoon of olive oil, mix them together, and rub the solution you have created onto your lips. The natural sugar beads will work as an exfoliant and you only need to leave this mixture on your lips for about a minute and scrub it off with your fingers, massaging back and forth to blend in the olive oil, which will act as a moisturizing agent. After rinsing your lips, apply a lip balm that you find to be highly moisturizing, I use the Blistex lip balms.

Contouring your lips
This step is optional but I suggest that if you don't want your lipstick to blend in entirely with your skin-tone, that you define your lips. You can do this by choosing a lip-liner that is a few shades darker than your skin-tone, but preferably still a neutral. Be way of going too dark because you don't want it to look obvious that you have lipliner on, that's never an attractive look. You should line your lips with the liner and then color in your lips with it in order to give them a continuous color. For a natural-looking blend, you will want to tilt your lip pencil to the side rather than draw with the point. Applying a lip-liner will also help improve the staying power of your lipstick and lipgloss and reduce the chance of the colors feathering at the edges.

Erase your natural lip pigment
To reduce the saturation of your own natural lip color, you will want to use a concealer and dab it onto your lips so that you can apply your nude lipstick on top. Remember not to use any concealer that is cream-based because it will cake on your lips and make them crackle, but stick to liquid concealers that have a wand in the tube for easy application. I've found that you can also use liquid foundation and it will work quite well but may not have as long of staying power as concealer. So that your lip products don't stick directly to the concealer, you will want to use a lip balm for moisturizing next.

Applying your lipstick and gloss
Technically you could just leave your lips nude colored with the concealer, but I prefer to add my own shade on top. Use the nude lipstick of your choice and gently push it into your lips, making sure not to smear too hard over your concealer and lip balm. Take a napkin and press it in between your lips to dab off any excessive lipstick after your application. When you're satisfied with the way it looks, you can decide whether you want a matte or glossy finish. Apply lipgloss to finish off the look in a glossy way or stop before this step to leave the lips matte. You can get interesting looks by applying lipglosses with various finishes (opaque, shimmery sheen, or translucent).

Happy experimenting!

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