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Post in Lip Lovers

Another Lippie Question - Help me out ladies!

Some of you may have seen my struggles with lip products in the past... like the 'how the heck do you use lip liner?' thread I started a little while ago. But now I'm interested in using a lip brush to apply some of the darker colors I have rather than straight from the tube.

Anyone use this technique? What works best? Are lip brushes only for liquid lipsticks or can you use them with ones from the tube?

As always thanks in guys always have amazing advice Smiley Happy

(and here's the other thread if you missed it )

Re: Another Lippie Question - Help me out ladies!

I agree with you @beautylovingirl, every single time I've used a brush I don't seem to get enough color on my lips, or my line isn't as sharp (weird right?). I've mastered tube applicaton and that's what I like sticking to haha. A brush is good though for blending out more patchy shades and if my tube has become too round and shapeless.

Re: Another Lippie Question - Help me out ladies!

It's nice to know all opinions on this. I like applying it from the tube but some of mine have become really rounded at the edges (like you mentioned) so its hard to get a precise line in the corners of my lips and right around the cupids bow. Thanks for the help!

Re: Another Lippie Question - Help me out ladies!

When you line your lips with your liner you can define those areas with the liner and then just trace over that with your lipstick. When I'm done applying my lipstick I just take a Q-Tip and use the end to define my cupid's bow.Smiley Happy

Re: Another Lippie Question - Help me out ladies!

Point well made by Beautylovingirl, and it goes to reinforce the points from your liner thread, Mpolansky!


Another tip in terms of helping give clear, crisp edges to your cupid's bow or the edges of your lips, use a nude, flesh-toned pencil (the exact shade of course will vary by your skin tone) and trace the area slightly around lips and blend out with a q-tip or smudge brush. This idea of a "reverse" lip liner works by creating that clean line and border by playing up the skin around lips rather than working with traditional lip products themselves.


Cargo actually makes a pencil called the Reverse Lip Liner and comes in two shades. Be sure to blend and soften the line as it blends with your skin to prevent it from being a hard line and looking unnatural. Other options would be Smashbox's Waterproof Kohl Pencil (which comes in a neutral nude), Stila's Kajal Pencil in Topaz (warmer peach-toned nude), or Becca's Nude Line & Define dual ended pencil (available in 3 shades, one being lighter to highlight the cupid's bow and one being darker to enhance the bottom center of your bottom lip to play up fullness). In this instance you can play and experiment with both lip and eye liners as long as the shades coordinate with your skin tone and flatter your complexion. Avoid anything that is too shimmery or frosted as this will look unnatural if too apparent to the eye.





To give you an idea of what a "reverse" lip liner/highlighting the cupid's bow can do, refer to the photo below, you can see just the slightest hint of a fair/light pencil tracing the cupid's bow of the model's lips, this gives an extra bit of clean precision and application to bold or loud colored lips and draws this area out more to the light, making the top lip look fuller and more prominent.




Here's a diagram I put together than shows basic lip highlighting/defining techniques:


The photo on the left shows three basic areas of focus, they can be utilized all together or individually depending on preference. The "M" portion of the cupid's bow is traced with a fine line (use a liner that is one, no more than 2 or 3 shades lighter than your complexion to keep things realistic and less work to blend out). Don't line your LIPS, but apply the line right outside of your lips, on the actual skin surrounding the lips. The photo on the right demonstrates why this is done, when in profile, the cupid's bow/area above your top lip is further back in your face when in comparison to your lips as a whole, being further back means to the eye, this area recedes back and doesn't catch as much light, making it appear smaller and less noticed. Highlighting it will draw it forward and help the top lip garner attention and seem fuller.


The center highlight on the bottom lip is normally done with a gloss (something to add shine, whether or not it contains actual shimmer or not) or a lighter lipstick (if you use red lipstick for example, you can choose a bright magenta lipstick to highlight). This highlight is applied by dabbing or patting on a slight hint of product. No need to go overboard, you're essentially playing up the fullest part of lips already (shown in the right photo), the shine/color variance just amps this up more if lips are naturally full and if lips are thin, it tricks the eye into having this area look more plump. Avoid overloading on gloss if you're using a bold color, as this risks causing color to bleed, feather, and fade quicker. Play with formulas and amounts to find your best combination.


The last contour/defining area is the area right below the center of the bottom lip. Use a darker pencil (again, eye or lip works, and Becca's pencil pairs coordinating shades for the job of highlighting and contouring lips) and lightly color a small area under the lip on your skin itself. Blend and soften out with a q-tip or smudge brush. The photo on the right illustrates why this helps emphasize the area. Normally this spot already has a slight shadow cast as your bottom lip juts out a touch over the beginning of your chin, adding a touch of color enriches this area and plays up the depth that is already there. Again, no need to apply a mass amount of product, start and work small with a warm nude shade or a light sienna color.

Re: Another Lippie Question - Help me out ladies!

I know mastering the tube application was much easier to me than mastering the brush application.Smiley Wink

Re: Another Lippie Question - Help me out ladies!

Lip brushes are a great tool that allows for more controlled and precise application. It allows you to dictate how much product is actually applied along with helping you get that crisp, clear defined line around lips.


Applying direct from the tube works great, nothing "wrong" with it, but since your lipstick rarely ever keeps or sticks to a brand new look, the edges get soft and rounded, thus giving a much softer and even organic feel when applied to the outer corners/edges of lips. This is wonderful for just about every day use, but when you're wanting precision in your look and application, having a less than clear line around lips  can be avoided by using a brush to paint an even application of product on, be it lip stick, liquid lipstick, lacquer, or gloss.


Using a lip brush when wearing bold or high pigment/impact colors is especially helpful because the control allows you to prevent the color from looking "messy".


For example, red lips:



Not counting that nearly all promo shots are photoshopped, you can see how crisp and defined her lips and the color are.


Here is an example of what colors tend to look like when not applied with a brush:



See how the boarders of her lips aren't hard and defined like the first pic? You can actually see product meld with the natural lines on her lips, again, this gives a more relaxed, organic look while the first image conveys a more controlled aspect.


Lip brushes can be used in various ways, you can swipe a brush across lipstick itself and apply direct with the brush, you can swipe some lipstick to the fullest part of lips and use the brush to spread and distribute what's already on your lips (helping draw it outward to the corners), you can use it to pick up gloss/lacquer from a tube or wand and apply, or even use a lip brush to apply a touch of gloss or a highlighting shade of lipstick just to the center to make lips look fuller.


Lip brushes can also be space savers if you're carrying a small bag or clutch with no room to fit a lip stick case. Load up your brush with product, cap it, and carry that in your purse/clutch, the slim, pencil like shape won't be bulky and will make touch ups a breeze!

Re: Another Lippie Question - Help me out ladies!

I have never used a lip brush ever. I do so much better applying just out of the tube or off the wand.

Re: Another Lippie Question - Help me out ladies!

Oh my goodness thank you, you're an expert! Any brands you recommend?

Re: Another Lippie Question - Help me out ladies!

I find that if you're looking to apply a product with a brush and are looking for bold results, be sure the formula you're using is a high impact and pigmented product to begin with. Normally matte shades tend to have lots of pigment, but so do rich cream formulas. Check out brands like Bite, OCC, MUFE. OCC makes a liquid lipstick that is applied with a brush to begin with. 


If you're using a softer shade of product or a more sheer formula, the lip brush is going to translate that texture, so it's better for thinning out and distributing product. In other words, if your formula is thin to begin with, merely using a lip brush isn't going to make it look 10x bolder. In regards to bold colors and a lip brush, swipe the brush over your lip stick a few times or get a good amount of gloss/lacquer to start with so you're applying enough product to spread and blend out. If you just do a swipe or two over a red lipstick and apply with a brush you're not applying enough product to build up density and color.


Play with technique definitely, like Malday and Beautylovingirl stated, they're much more use to direct application. I personally can use/do either application technique and I've found some products in my collection work better applied direct to save time and some look just the same if I'm able to properly utilize a brush and amount of product. 



Re: Another Lippie Question - Help me out ladies!

Of course you can use a brush for tube lipsticks Smiley Happy It often gives you more control, a cleaner line, and a more even layer of product. All of this is especially good for when you wear dark lippies.

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