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Let lipstick guide your look

For years you've been pulling glosses out of your bags and swiping them on without a second thought. Your love affair with gloss was blissful; it just felt so natural.

And then things started to change. Your go-to gloss started letting you down, things started falling between the cracks (of your lips that is) and before you knew it, that matte lipstick in the window caught your eye. You even started daydreaming about bringing home that little red number you spotted at Sephora.

For all the ladies ready to make a break from gloss but not sure how to make a new relationship with lipstick really work, here's all you need to know to kiss the sticky stuff goodbye, or at least start seeing other products.

Misconception No. 1: Lipstick will emphasize "flaws"

I think your lips are perfect. But some women shy away from lipstick because they assume it will emphasize perceived lips flaws such as wrinkles and dryness. And while gloss is the worst culprit when it comes to falling between the cracks of your lips, a bit of preparation is all one needs to ensure that lipstick goes on smooth and doesn't head south.

Start by caring for lips nightly with a light exfoliating treatment and application of moisturizer. You can make a sugar scrub at home by combining a teaspoon of sugar and a few drops of water or opt for one of my favorite scrubs such as The Lip Scrub by Sarah Happ ($24 at

Follow up exfoliation with an application of hydrating lip treatment such as Blistex Deep Renewal or Neosporin Overnight Renewal Therapy, both available at drugstores. In the morning. slick on a coat of the aforementioned moisturizer before you begin your makeup routine. Allow it to sink in while you apply your other makeup first and then blot lips before applying lip primer, lip liner and lipstick.

Misconception No. 2: Lipstick is too bold for day

Some women eschew lipstick for fear it is just too much for daytime wear. I suppose if your days are destined to be dull and void of color, this could be true. Otherwise, it's how makeup is combined that really makes it "too much."

Misconception No. 3: The color won't last

Assuming lips are prepped in advance, begin by applying a lip base to enhance lipstick wear and banish color bleeding. I like Lip Spackle by Laura Geller ($24 at Macy's).

Lip liner is a must. If you don't have the matching liner, opt for a neutral shade. I like Milani Easyliner for Lips in Most Natural; get it for less than $5 at local drugstores.

Experts always seem to recommend applying lip liner first but novices know that leads to chalky, overdrawn lip lines. I recommend applying one coat of lipstick after Lip Spackle, and then blotting lips. Next, apply lip liner and then reapply lipstick.

If the change from sparkly lips to matte is too much for you, add some shine by dotting a touch of eye shadow in gold or silver to the center of your bottom lip to add shimmer.

— Carolyn Brundage is founder of, a guide to all that is hip in local beauty. Follow her on Twitter @tampabaypretty.

Let lipstick guide your look 01/20/11 [Last modified: Monday, November 7, 2011 5:02pm]
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