Sunday, December 26, 2010

Makeup Tips for Trans Women Part 5 - Lipstick



I have a soft spot in my heart for bright red lipstick... I think many women do even if they don't choose to wear it themselves. I remember as a teenager this was often the one thing I would sneak out of my older sisters room when she wasn't looking!

Even today, when I am having a bad day, lipstick makes it better... If I don't feel good, lipstick makes it better... Lipstick just makes me smile!

Now I could go on and on but I won't. Also I won't go into huge detail about how to apply it. The reason is that when it boils down to it, applying lipstick is very simple. So simple that the instructions can be summed up in one sentence from the beauty site:
"[As] long as the color gets on the lips, you're good."

This means use your finger, a brush, the tube... your cat... Basically, if you get it on your lips and not all over your face or teeth you are good to go!

So instead of step by step instructions for a one step process, I would like to spend some time discussing tips and tricks that center around lipstick itself. I think once you know these tips you may realize what it is most of us do wrong; and more importantly, how these mistakes can be corrected.

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Tips & Tricks

  1. Exfoliate your lips before doing your makeup. I do this with this sugar scrub I got from Bath and Bodyworks but you can also gently use your toothbrush. The object is to remove the dead skin so your lips and your lipstick looks smooth.
  2. Thin lips? Try these tips to make your lips look plumper:
    • While you do not need lipliner, it can help if you have thin lips! If you just want a casual everyday look I'd say skip it, but if you want full looking lips without much fuss you may want to learn how to line your lips with a nude lipliner. The thing to remember when using lipliner to fill thin lips is that while the object is to line your lips just outside the natural edge, only do this where you must and don't go to far! 
    • After you put on your lipstick, dab a bit of small bit of lip gloss right in the middle of your upper and bottom lip.
    • After you put on your lipstick, dab a small amount of skin toned powder or eyeshadow (a little lighter then your natural skin tone) right above your cupid bow. This is the heart shaped part of your upper lip. Don't go all the way across your lips, just put a small amount right in between the peaks above your lip line.
  3. Pay attention to the colors you choose...
    • If you have thin lips avoid dark lipsticks. The darker the shade the thinner they'll look.
    • If your teeth are a bit stained or yellow try using pinker shades of lipstick. This includes pinkish reds. This is a neat trick that can help your teeth look a lot whiter (I do this!). Redish or orangish shades will make stained teeth look worse but they make white teeth look wonderful!!!
    • I will avoid suggesting colors for certain skin tons as this is very much a matter of personal taste... The best advice I can give here is to try new shades and get second opions!
  4. This last tip can be expanded to this... If possible, try the lipstick on before you buy it! This is why I love stores like Sephora and Ulta. They let you try things on and play with colors. If you ask they will help you pick out colors and even show you how to put the makeup on!
  5. The last tip is best explained with the following video:

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Other Pitfalls

I would reitterate a few points here as they seem to get overlooked! Make sure the color only gets on your lips. Pay attention to the edges of your lip. Don't try to redraw your lips to much and don't color to far outside the lines! Also, if you wear colored lipliner make sure it matches your lipstick... Dark lipliner with a light lipstick looks, well... bad (IMHO).

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Personal Favorite

Ok, I cannot help but post my personal favorites here:

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