Preparing your lips
The key to great looking lipstick that lasts is preparation. For perfect application, you lips need to be soft and smooth. Drink plenty of water and keep your lips hydrated with lip balm, particularly if you live in a dry or windy climate.
Exfoliate flaky lips with a gentle washcloth every day in the shower to remove dead skin cells and help create a silky surface. If your lipstick fades easily, add a thin coat of lip primer to your lips before applying your lip color. Let the primer dry for a few seconds before applying your lip color — you don't want to apply lipstick to a wet surface or it may bleed. Try Urban Decay Lip Primer Potion (Sephora, $20). It stops bleeding, fading and feathering but also has an easy-glide formula and smooth finish, so even your matte formula lipstick won't look dry or cakey.
Choose the right formula
Lipstick is typically categorized as matte, creme or frost (shimmer). Matte lipstick offers true color but not much shine. It typically contains less moisture than other formulas and can leave your lips dry. If you like the look of matte lipstick, try to find one that is labeled as moisturizing (or semi-matte).
Creme formula lipstick features dewy shades that will stay in place better if you apply powder or primer to you lips before adding lipstick. This formula is perfect for the more mature woman, or those who tend to get dry lips. Frost or shimmers contain flecks of color that reflect light. These lipsticks are great for evening because they add a little glitz. Also consider lip stains or look for lipsticks that are labeled "highly pigmented" for more staying power.
For those with dry lips, be wary of lipsticks that boast "all day" formulas. These tend to become very waxy and drying.
Line your lips
After prepping your lips with powder, primer or even a coat of foundation, line them with a neutral lip pencil in a shade close to your natural lip color. Avoid lip liners that are too dark. Take your time when applying lip liner and stick close to your natural lip line. To help your color last longer, fill in your entire lips with the lip liner to create a strong foundation, and then add lipstick on top.
Use a lip brush
Though it will definitely take longer, it's best to apply lipstick with a lip brush for more precision. Take your time and be sure to take the color all the way to the corner of your lips.
Add a dab of gloss on top of your lipstick for some extra shine. Apply it to just the center of your bottom lip. Smack your lips together to spread the gloss. If you aren't a fan of lipstick, you can forego the lipstick altogether and just use gloss.
Lip gloss comes in many forms, the most popular being wands, tubes and pots. Gloss provides shine along with a bit of color. Avoid using too much gloss because it tends to get sticky and messy.
Hot lip colors this season
When choosing lip color this season, shades of fuchsia, plum and berry are hot choices. True reds, bluish reds and cherry reds are also very popular. Avoid brick reds, corals and oranges, which tend to make teeth look yellow.
If you are looking for a hot new pink that's bold without being overpowering, then NARS semi-matte lipstick in Funny Face (NARS, $26) is your answer. This amazing lipstick is long-wearing and smooth — the perfect combination.
You can't beat shades of wine and plum for fall. Tom Ford's high-impact, long-lasting Bruised Plum lipstick (Neiman Marcus, $46) is one of the hottest colors of the season. This lipstick features specially-treated color pigments so what you see (in the bullet) is what you get.
We love Urban Decay for lip primer and now, we crave their lipstick too. Urban Decay recently launched their new collection of Revolution Lipstick (Urban Decay, $22). These lipsticks feature a luxe, creamy formula with rich, highly-pigmented color. This buttery, shiny lipstick feels so good that you'll be surprised at the impact (and staying power) of the color. We adore nearly every shade in the collection, but we are particularly fond of the deep berry hue of Shame and the soft wine color of Manic.
More lipstick tips
Best hot-pink lipsticks to try now
The secret to wearing bold maroon lipstick
What your lip color of choice projects to men