Essential Tips on How to Apply Lipstick

how to apply lipstickLipstick is one of the oldest cosmetic products known to humans. It adds a lively color to the lips, creates glamour and lots of sex appeal, and does away with the tired, wan look.

Applying lipsticks straight from the tube is usually a no-brainer but surprisingly, many women still get it wrong. Although there is always an option of having a professional apply the lipstick for you, it’s a skill that should be mastered by everyone who wears it. Therefore, it is to your advantage that you follow these simple rules to lipstick application.


Prepping Your Lips Before Applying Lipstick

Lipstick works best on lips that are smooth and clean. To make the most out of every application, wash lips with warm water to soften the skin. Using the ring finger of one hand or a soft washcloth, gently rub away at the mouth to slough off dead skin. Once done, rinse away and pat dry.

Prior to the application of your favorite lipstick, you might want to apply a moisturizer to keep lips soft and prevent dryness. You could also use a base to create a smooth layer that also keeps the color intact longer. Once done, line your lips using a lip liner or pencil to define the edges and prevent smudges or bleeding.

To apply lipstick, relax the mouth so it appears lax and slightly open. Starting at the middle area of the upper lip, right where the peaks are, apply the lipstick gently and work it outwards to the edge of the mouth. Repeat this process on the lower lip. If you want to add an extra layer of color, blot the lips gently using a piece of tissue and apply a new coat on top.

Alternatives to Applying Lipstick from the Tube

There are several ways you can put on lipstick. The most common (and easiest) method is by applying it straight from the tube. Twist the tube so only about 1/2 inch of the top end appears and apply this on the lips using gentle and even strokes. You could also opt to use a brush or the tip of your ring or middle finger for the job.

Collagen Without the Ouch Factor

A popular trend these days is the pouty, fuller mouth. Thanks to celebs like Angelina Jolie, Jessica Alba, and Kerry Washington, the full mouth has taken center stage and is probably going to hog the limelight for a few more years. If you have the lips, then go for it. However, for the rest of the population who may not be gifted in that department, a few tricks can create plump, beautiful lips. To do this, use a nude or similar color lip liner and apply very slightly on the outside edge of your lip line. Create one, continuous and even line to avoid an irregular shape. Once done, apply your favorite lipstick, making sure to bring the color to the edge where the lip liner is. Next, dab lip gloss in the middle spot of the lower lip for a plumped-up look.

Tip: If you want more staying power, apply the lip liner over the lips after you have finished lining the outer edges of the mouth. Layer the lipstick on top. The liner adds a good base for the color and will retain the shade even after the upper layer has faded. Also, the aid of lip plumping products such as Lip Venom can certainly work to your benefit.

Types of Lipsticks

Different types of lipsticks are formulated to create different looks. When choosing one (or a few), it helps to understand what it is meant to do and what it can give your lips in terms of appearance and care. Some of the most common choices are:


Many lipstick brands contain moisturizers such as glycerin, vitamin E and aloe to combat dry lips and keep them soft and supple.  These glide on smoothly, giving lips a shiny appearance. The downside is that these products do not have good staying power and will require re-application. Moisturizing lip products are great for everyday wear, particularly for those who are exposed to dry environments.


Cream lipsticks are low on the shine factor but do contain more wax. These products usually have more intense colors but typically feel dry to the skin. These are great for both daywear and eveningwear, especially when paired with a lip gloss.

Sheer or Satin

Sheer or satin lipsticks contain oils to moisturize the lips, so they do help achieve a shiny look and are useful for preventing dry lips. These have low staying power, however, and will appear very light on the lips, often requiring several applications for more color. These are great for those who prefer light makeup.


Matte lipsticks offer a burst of solid color without the shine. They make lips appear smoother and plumper. They work well for most occasions and come in a wide range of colors.


It takes a certain type of personality to wear and pull off this lipstick. Frosted types reflect light, making the lips appear to glisten. These lipsticks attract attention but they do tend to dry out and feel heavy. If you choose this type, you will have to apply a moisturizing base or gloss to prevent cracking. Frosted lipsticks are great for parties and get-togethers where they can let your personality shine.

Long-Wearing Lipstick

These lipsticks are formulated to stay longer on the lips than other types of lipsticks. One application is usually enough for color to last for 4 to 6 hours. Another type is the transfer-resistant lipstick, which can stay on the lips for at least 8 hours. These are excellent choices for active women who want fuzz-free lip care and minimal touch-ups.

Want to Know How to Professionally Apply Lipstick?

Although these tips will help you learn some better techniques for your own makeup application, perhaps you’d be interested in learning about how to use these skills in a professional capacity.  At Evergreen Beauty College, experienced instructors will provide you with the necessary knowledge and skills to be successful as a professional makeup artist.  Learn more about the cosmetology program and its many benefits.

Frank Trieu
Vice President of Business Development & Industry Relations

Frank Trieu is a cosmetology industry leader, and despite his accomplishments and accolades, he still prioritizes students on the Evergreen campus. Through building relationships within the community and local salons, retail stores, and spas, he helps facilitate job placements for aspiring beauty professionals using his expansive network.

Happy Evergreen Beauty College Students


Notify of

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Laura Morris
Laura Morris
4 years ago

Lipstick is a part of my everyday work life. This is how I put it on: I put on a chapstick first then I apply lipstick on then I put a gloss on top of that. I don’t want the dry look so that’s why I put the chapstick then a gloss on top.