Attempting a perfectly lined bold lip is a challenge even for a lot of makeup artists. It takes a steady hand and a butt load of practice. I suppose in a sense I’ve mislead you with the title of this post because, frankly, I’m not always that keen on that perfectly done look anyways. Most of the time I prefer to skip the liner and instead use a technique that leaves your lipstick looking tidy, but not so crisp. Essentially you’ll end up with a good shape, but softer, more gradated edges. I think it makes a bold lipstick look that bit more casual and cool. Here’s the technique:

1. Apply from the bullet
Apply your lipstick from the bullet onto your lips. Only instead of trying to perfectly line your lips with the lipstick at this point, leave about a millimeter of space around the edge of your lip. The aim is to pack on the lip colour, but not to create any shape.

2. Use a lip brush
This is where the shape is formed. Take a lip brush and slowly start to push the lipstick out to the edges. Try lying the lip brush flat on its side and dragging it along the lip line, rather than holding it upright. The brush will do the work for you that way. It’s good to experiment with different lip brush shapes. Some people like a classic rounded shape, others prefer a square top and some find an angled brush to be easiest. If you’re finding there’s not quite enough pigment on any areas of the lips, carefully pat more lipstick on from the bullet and smooth it back out with the lip brush. Building up slowly is always a good idea.

3. Soften with a cotton bud
At this point you should have a nice smooth lip line. Should, but let’s get real. Things don’t always work out. You may find you still have a bit of wobbliness left over. Grab a cotton bud and very lightly go over the edges of the lipstick. The benefit of this is twofold. One: you clean up those wobbly bits. Two: you soften the entire outer edge of the lip, which creates that casual, gradated, not so try hard look that I mentioned before.

How do you guys do your lipstick? Any tips that I haven’t thought of? Bring it.