Aisling Keenan: Create the perfect pout
I'm eternally in awe of people who are lipstick pros. They effortlessly sweep the bright red bullets over their lips, getting none on their teeth, making no errors.
I am not one of those people, not at all, which is why I think it's so important to get my lipstick right on first application.
Touch-ups and corrections are not my strong point.
When you wear lippy, your mouth is the focal point of your face and you really make a statement. So the last thing you want your lips to say is 'messy and careless'. You need to perfect your pout if it's going to be noticed for the right reasons.
Here is a step-by-step guide to perfect lips:
•Prep well. After you've applied your foundation, you'll have gotten some on your lips. Wipe it off with the corner of a towel -- the slightly rough fabric will exfoliate any unevenness or dead skin, leaving a smooth surface for the lipstick.
•If your lips are lacking moisture, put some Vaseline on them for a few minutes and let it melt in well.
Dab off any excess.
•Start off by applying lip liner. It should be a shade lighter than the lipstick you're applying, or the same shade, but certainly NOT darker; it's not the 1990s anymore.
Pencil along the natural line of your lips. Don't go outside the line to make your lips appear bigger -- it doesn't work and everyone will notice what you've done. Try Laura Mercier Sheer Pencil, Â¤23, Laura Mercier counters.
•If you want to fill in more of your lips than just the lined part, that's okay. It'll give your lipstick a bit more of a base to stick to and will make your colour last longer.
•If you want your lipstick to go the distance, apply two coats. A lip brush (such as MAC's no. 318, Â¤24.50, MAC counters nationwide) is an essential tool for the perfect pout.
You just can't get the coverage you need by applying straight from the bullet. Using the bullet for touch-ups is fine, though.
•Apply a generous layer of lipstick to your lips -- try to stay inside the lines, but if you happen to slip out then just leave it until the end to fix.
After the first layer, lightly dab the lips with tissue, not removing the colour but just drying it. Then apply the second and final layer of lip colour. Try MAC lipstick in Vegas Volt, Â¤17.50, MAC counters nationwide.
•Once your lips are completely coloured, get out your best concealer and brush, and carefully brush over any small errors around the lips. Then trace a line just outside your natural lip line with the concealer and blend it out. This will make your lips really pop.
Try Maybelline Mastertouch concealer, Â¤9.99, selected pharmacies and department stores.
•Finally, if you want a really glossy, finished look that's super glam, apply some lipgloss. A good trick to make small lips look thicker is to apply gloss only to the centre of the upper and lower lip -- it gives the illusion of a thicker lip. Try MAC Semi-Precious Lip Glass in Geo Pink, €17.50, MAC counters nationwide.