Make Your Sheer Lipstick Look Better & Last Longer

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lel_bs_fw13_024Photo: MCV/Firstview.
We're living in some super-matte times. We're so obsessed with our matte lips, in fact, that we've become experts in making the look last for hours — which isn't all that hard to do, given the density of the formulas. But, what about lipstick that has a lighter touch? Take, for example, a nice sheer lippie. This spring must-have is the perfect way to get the color of a matte without all that heaviness. The problem, though, is that by the time we've finished admiring how it looks, it's started to wear off. Life is hard.

So, we asked makeup artist Kim Weber (you might remember her from our epic dark-lipstick photo shoot) to give us some tips. As we expected, she was full of sheer wisdom (zing!). "Sheer lipsticks, because of their formulas, will show variations in lip texture. They show up darker where the pigment clings to more chapped and uneven areas." To get the most even color possible, Weber recommends exfoliating your lips the night before going sheer with Sarah Happ's The Lip Scrub, and then applying a heavy-duty lip balm right before going to sleep. Weber prefers Dr. Lipp's Original Nipple Balm For Lips — if it's strong enough for a breastfeeding woman, it's definitely strong enough for our chapped lips.

So, now that our lips are perfectly soft and smooth, Weber says to use a lip primer or base like Kevyn Aucoin's Sensual Lip Balm. She says, "It's moisturizing with a silky texture that won't interfere with the application of sheerer tones." We also love Ardency Inn's new Boom Base to achieve a similar result. Interestingly, Weber recommends we forego the lip liner: "You don't want anything that appears as a super strong outline. It kind of negates the point of sheer lipstick to begin with."

Once it's time to apply, getting the color to really adhere is all in the way you put it on. "Don't swipe it," Weber says. "Stipple or press the lipstick into your lips, either with the tube or your fingers. I actually prefer to use my fingers." Just, you know, make sure to wash your hands first. It's still flu season, after all.

The final bit of advice from Weber: "Just because it's sheer, doesn't mean that the old rule of, 'Apply a layer, then blot, then apply another layer' does not still apply. Feel free to do just that."



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