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Nicole’s Quick Guide – Everything You Need To Know About Lipstick

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One of the main reasons why I started Glamorously You was to share my knowledge with others. I can’t tell you how many times people have complimented my lipstick, eyeliner, or nails and followed it by saying I could never pull that off or I just can’t do it. That makes me so sad to hear!

You can do anything you set your mind to and whoever is judging you based on your lipstick choices are bad people – you don’t need that kind of negativity! With that said, I have decided to share my ultimate lipstick tips with you all. We’re going to cover everything from finishes to application. So grab your favorite lippie and let’s go!

Nicole's Quick Guide - Everything You Need To Know About Lipstick


It’s important to know what formula a lipstick has before you buy it. Back in my early days of lipstick shopping, I made the mistake of buying what I thought was a pigmented cream lipstick and it turned out to be a sheer gloss! It said it right on the tube but I didn’t know to look.

Makeup brands are getting more creative with formulas and finishes so it’s good to experiment with them all and find which ones you like best. Here are some of the popular ones you should know:


This one is super popular at the moment! These lipsticks have zero shine, are often very pigmented, and can come in the form of a liquid or in the classic bullet. They can also be drying so it’s a matter of experimenting with brands to find the most comfortable ones for you.

My favorite matte liquid lipsticks are from Kat Von D while my favorite matte bullet lipsticks are from Milani. Both are long-wearing and very comfortable.


This is your classic lipstick finish. It does not have too much shine but is more hydrating than a matte. Sometimes these lipsticks have a tendency to bleed or feather outside the line of the lips which is why using a lip liner is a good choice.

L’Oreal Colour Riche and Lipstick Queen lipsticks are great options to achieve a creamy finish.


Want your lipstick to be totally smudge-proof? Then a stain is for you. They do exactly what you would expect – stain your lips. But be careful because these babies will last!

The Balm and Benefit both have popular lip (and cheek!) stains.


Yes, there are the classic liquid lip glosses but stick lipstick can also have a glossy finish. These don’t tend to last as long, but make for a simple and quick lip look.

A great liquid lip gloss is Maybelline Vivid Hot Lacquer and the Revlon Super Lustrous bullet lipsticks are great as well.


These have very little pigment but add a nice flush of color to the lips. Often times, they have moisturizing elements or SPF which make them like a tinted lip balm.

Maybelline Baby Lips Moisturizing Lip Balm or Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm are beautiful sheer picks!


This is becoming a more popular finish in the beauty community. Metallic finishes are eye-catching and definitely make a bold statement!

Urban Decay has a large range of metallic bullet lipsticks as well as Maybelline’s Matte Metallics collection. Smashbox’s Be Legendary line of metallic lipsticks feel more like a lip gloss and come in fun, bold shades.

Choosing The Right Shades

First off, you can wear any shade of lipstick that you love! I don’t believe there should be rules for what you’re allowed and not allowed to wear. However, here are some suggestions for finding shades that will look best against your skin tone.

Fair/Light Skin Tones

These tones typically have cooler undertones which means that neons, light pinks, or blue-based colors will look great.

Try NYX “Orange Blossom” (neon orange), MAC “Candy Yum Yum” (bubble gum pink), or Urban Decay “Bad Blood” (deep blue-red).

Tan/Medium Skin Tones

These tones look beautiful with mauves, magentas, and orange-based colors.

Try Huda Beauty “Medusa” (dusty mauve), Maybelline “Mesmerizing Magenta” (bright magenta), or Smashbox “Out Loud” (deep orange).

Deep/Dark Skin Tones

Ladies with these skin tones are lucky because they can get away with making bold colors look natural! Deep berries, blacks, and metallic golds/browns are wonderful on these skin tones.

Try Tarte Cosmetics “Intoxicating” (raspberry), Covergirl “Perry Panther” (black), or Urban Decay “Amulet” (metallic rose).


Some lipsticks need the extra help and lip liners serve as a great base for lipsticks that tend to slip around. In my opinion, it’s not worth it to buy a lip liner in every single shade (unless that’s your thing), but it’s good to keep a collection of colors that you use the most. Not to mention, lip liners are great bases for lip glosses if you’re going for a simpler look! L’Oreal, NYX, and Urban Decay have some of my favorite lip liners.


To quote the Wicked Witch of the West, these things must be done delicately. This goes for applying lipstick! Here is the step-by-step process that never fails me and keeps my lipstick in place all day long.

Step 1: Create a smooth canvas

Ignoring your dry, flaky lips? Good luck getting your lipstick to look right. Take the extra step and exfoliate your lips – thank me later.

Because I’m usually running late, using a scrub can take up too much time and create a mess. To solve this issue, I wet a washcloth and gently rub my lips. The texture of the washcloth exfoliates the lips just fine. When I do have some extra time, the Laura Geller Lip Strip Scrub works great.

Step 2: Line the lips & blot

Depending on the lipstick, liner may or may not be necessary. I find that filling in the entire lip with the liner creates the best result.

I start by lining the outer edges and feathering it in. Once everything is colored in, I will blot it by tapping NYX Set It and Don’t Fret It Finishing Powder over my lips through a tissue with a fluffy brush. Any powder will do, even baby powder! The point is to remove any moisture that could potentially cause the lip color to smudge or bleed.

Step 3: First application of lipstick

I apply the lipstick of my choice straight from the tube or with a brush, whichever works best for that particular formula. If I used a liner, I like to go back and clean up my lines with it at this point. I blot once again.

Step 4: Second application of lipstick

I apply the lipstick one more time and blot.

Step 5: Concealer clean-up

I only do this if I have really messed up. I try to get it right the first time because this tends to be a finicky process. If this is necessary, I take a small amount of concealer on a concealer brush and run it underneath the lip line to create a sharper look. I then blend it out with the brush, and a beauty blender if need be.

Wallah! This 5-step process will create the perfect lip look every time 🙂

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Nicole's Quick Guide - Everything You Need To Know About Lipstick

The secret to achieving the perfect lip is to apply multiple layers, blot in between, and take your time. Now that you’re a master, pop your favorite lipstick in your bag and be on your way!

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  • Reply Tianna

    lovely guide! I personally love glossy tints for summer and occasionally bold matte lips 😀

    May 3, 2016 at 11:09 am
  • Reply Rachel

    I love love love lipstick – it seems like every time I go to Target, I can’t make it past the makeup aisle without picking up at least one new shade! Thanks for the tips. 🙂

    May 3, 2016 at 7:48 pm
  • Reply Lauren

    You just blew my mind – I never knew that my lipstick didn’t look right because I wasn’t exfoliating first! I’m so trying the washcloth trick next time – thanks for the tip!

    September 15, 2017 at 12:44 pm
    • Reply nicoledarosa

      Try it out! I’m positive you will see a huge difference. Lipstick looks best on smooth, moisturized lips – guaranteed!

      September 18, 2017 at 1:07 pm
  • Reply Valerie

    Thanks for these great tips!

    Valerie |

    September 16, 2017 at 4:12 pm
  • Leave a Reply