Not Just Lipstick Anymore

I find that most women, even those who like to pull off the most intense smoky eye, tend to be too timid to try a bright or dark lipstick. I’m one of those people! I will say that bright lips definitely aren’t for everyone, but if you do want to try one out, or you want to try a nude lip, here are some tips to help you decipher what all those crazy terms mean.

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Matte Lipsticks:

These types of lipsticks usually contain a higher level of an ingredient called silica, which absorbs moisture. Ever seen those little packets inside handbags or the pockets of coats that say “Silica Gel” on them? Well, those have a form of silica in them, which absorbs moisture so clothing and material doesn’t get moldy. Those packets say “Don’t Ingest,” but, don’t worry, the silica used in lipsticks and other makeup are safe for minimal ingestion (but don’t go eating six tubes of lipstick a day, okay?). Since these lipsticks have silica, or something similar, in them, they won’t be shiny or glossy. This is more personal preference as to whether or not you like the matte look, but, I will say, if your lips are super dry and chapped, you may not like matte. The matte formula will cling to your dry spots and make them more apparent. Matte lipsticks also tend to have a more intense color payoff. So even a nude color will look more intense and striking. They will also last a bit longer, so you’ll have to reapply less often.

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Shiny, Creamy, or Glossy Lipsticks:

Lipsticks are typically more moisturizing, and thus better for those of us with drier lips. These glossier lipsticks, however, will have a greater tendency to slide around and bleed around the edges of your lips.

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Lip Liner:

Lip liners are matte, although now there are a few brands with clear versions, and you draw directly onto the lips BEFORE lipstick. Lip liners are meant to keep lipstick, particularly shiny or moisturizing formulas from migrating. They were called “liners” because they lined just the edges of the lips, but we now see that they’re more effective when drawn over all of the lip. A more recent invention is a clear, waxy pencil that is drawn around the OUTSIDE of the lips. This waxy formula also helps to prevent lipstick from migrating outside of your lips. You can use this clear, waxy liner even if you don’t use lipliner directly on your lips. If your lips gets very dry, you might want to skip liner on the lips (which can be drying) and just use these clear formulas around the outside of your lips to prevent feathering. Note: There are a couple brands that make clear lipliners that can be used on and/or around the lips. Just read the box careful to make sure you know what you’re buying, so you don’t double up on products unnecessarily.

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Lip Stains:

These are liquid formulas that come in lots of different types of applications, like pens, paintbrushes, tubes etc. They are meant to put translucent color into the lips. This subtle effect can be built up by adding more layers. You can also make the color pop by adding clear gloss on top of it throughout the day. These are sometimes nice options for people who want to go for something stronger than a tinted balm, but aren’t quite ready for that bright red tube of lipstick. They’re also good for the girl on the go, who doesn’t have the time or energy to reapply their lips every hour.

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Liquid Lipsticks:

These usually come in tubes that look like lip glosses. This somewhat new invention is almost like a hybrid between a lip stain and a lipstick. They usually come with a brush that looks like a lip gloss brush. This formula is a thick, opaque paste that has to be applied carefully. It’s almost like a lip stick that stains the lips. They usually go on shiny, but soon evaporate to more of a matte finish.

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Lip Gloss:

Almost everybody has tried a gloss. They’re a nice way to ease into the lip category. Even a clear gloss pumps up your lip’s own natural color and polished your entire look. Lip glosses can be more translucent or more opaque. It depends on the brand and formula. You can wear lip gloss alone, or on top of a lipstick or lip stain. If you’re wearing lip gloss alone, you don’t nee to bother with any lipliners (again, unless you want to use that clear lip liner around the edges of the outside of your lips). If you put gloss on top of lipstick, you can put it all over the lips, or just in the center of your top and bottom lip, to create a slight plumping effect. You don’t have to choose the same color gloss as your lipstick. You can create neat effects by using a different color gloss and lipstick. It should be noted, however, that putting lip gloss over a lipstick, even a matte one, will almost definitely cause it to bleed. Definitely use lipliner on the lips and a clear liner around the outside of the lips if you’re going to wear lipstick and gloss.

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Lip Balms:

Lip balms can be tinted or untinted. They are meant to moisturize the lips. The color is usually very minimal and doesn’t last very long. Do not use any type of lipliner on the lips when wearing these. If the color is strong enough that you worry about any bleeding around the lips, then feel free to use a waxy lip liner around the edges. Usually, though, this is not needed.

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Lip Scrubs/Exfoliators:

These are gritty scrubs that are meant to scrape away dead skin cells. They’re great to use on any type of lips, be they dry or normal. It sloughs off the dead skin cells and flakes so that your lip moisturizers can get to the living cells on your lips and hydrate them. Moisturized lips will hold color better for longer. Many brands sell lip scrubs. To be honest, I find them to not be worth the money. There are tons of recipes online that you can make from honey, sugar, salt, olive oil, coconut oil etc. You can directly scrub your lip with your fingers, or you can also use a clean toothbrush to scrub it on your lips. These honestly work just as well as the expensive scrubs.

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