1. keep the rest of your makeup minimal and natural.
one good rule of thumb to remember is that your makeup should only have one bold component: either your eyes or your lips. that means if you're in the mood to play with the new eyeshadow palette you just got and make a really sexy smokey eye, you should probably not pair it with a bright lipstick because it may be a little overkill and have you looking like you fell in a pile of makeup.
i kept my eyes neutral with just a swipe on my eyelid of a light coppery eyeshadow (the first eyelid color in this palette,) a little bit of rimmel scandaleyes in nude on my waterline to brighten them up, a few swipes or loreal voluminous mascara and a set of e.l.f. natural false lashes. i also kept my face makeup minimal with garnier miracle skin renew bb cream applied with a damp beauty blender, my regular contouring routine with nyx taupe, a light dusting of bronzer and my favorite wet n wild fergie rose champagne highlighter on the tops of my cheekbones, down my nose, on my cupid's bow and on the inner corners of my eyes.
2. exfoliate before applying.
this is my favorite product for exfoliating my lips but unfortunately i left it in texas, so i used a washcloth and life went on. put some vaseline on your lips and then gently rub the dead skin off with a damp washcloth. this will leave your lips silky smooth and i think it kind of plumps them up a little bit too.
3. apply a lip liner.
i never really got this before i started wearing lipstick, but when you put on a lip liner, it acts as a barrier between your lips and your skin and it keeps your lipstick from bleeding off your lips and looking all haggard. i actually just use the rimmel scandaleyes pencil as a liner because it's nude and creamy and it keeps lipstick in its proper place.
4. use a brush.
i know you might think you have super steady hands and all, but using a little lip brush to line your lips and then fill them in makes application so much easier and getting lipstick off your face is a painnnnn. especially when you're already done your foundation and all. dab some lipstick on your brush and careful line your lips, careful not to go beyond your lip liner boundaries. one you're finished lining, fill your lips in with the brush and apply as many coats as you need.
5. tissue off excess.
i like to fold a tissue in half and then kind of dab off the excess, especially around the entry to my mouth. i've found that this usually leaves the color there but takes away the "lipstick-ness" of it (does that even make sense?) so if i take a drink or a bite of something, i'm not leaving a lipstick mark everywhere.
6. be confident.
bold lips are all the rage, girlfriend! embrace your feminine power that leaves men weak in the knees over your painted lips!