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10 Secrets to applying bold lipstick, from a celeb makeup artist

Well-versed in working with high-profile celebrities such as Channing Tatum, Whitney Cummings and Christie Brinkley, makeup artist Meredith Hayman is no stranger to the bold lip look we all love, but that some of us with more marginal skills in the makeup department have trouble achieving.

Like me. There, I said it. My name is Julie Sprankles, and I cannot for the life of me master bold lipstick — which, as Hayman says, “Can be defined as any shade that is a true departure from your natural lip color.”

So in an effort to claim 2016 as the year I finally leave the house wearing a punchy pink or a classic red on my lips as opposed to mainly on my teeth, I tapped Hayman for help. If you’ve ever wondered how celebrities’ bold lips always seem to look so perfect, well, here’s the 4-1-1 straight from the celeb makeup artist’s mouth.

Meredith Hayman
Image: Meredith Hayman

1. Consider your personal sense of style and self

“Bold can meet darker or brighter, depending on your personal style and mood,” explains Hayman. Accordingly, you’ll want to take those things into consideration before picking the color to adorn your pucker. Of course, Hayman has a few expertly curated suggestions. “The most flattering tones and textures that are currently on trend are a blue-based creamy red or a glossy blackberry,” she says.

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2. When in doubt, reach for this shade

One of the most beautiful things about women is how different we all are — what works on your skin tone might be a total disaster on mine. So if you are ever feeling particularly unsure of which hue to choose but you know you want to go bold, Hayman has this to say about a few fail-safe options: “The shade I find most universally flattering is fuchsia or magenta.”

3. Tailor the trends

Believe you me, I’ve been just as excited as the next girl to see certain shades I adored in the ’90s enjoy a revival lately. And, happily, Hayman has a secret for making one particularly tricky one to pull off more accessible. “A certain celebrity has brought matte dark brown back on the scene, but brown can often wash out your complexion,” she explains. “Choose one that has an orange undertone so you have a slight warmth coming through.”

4. Play up your tan with this tone

Nothing beats the winter blues like having a sun-kissed glow on your skin, and you can prolong that feeling of summer fun with a perfectly paired bold lip. Says Hayman, “A bold coral looks best with a golden complexion or a tan.”

5. Pay attention to the formula

One of my main complaints about attempting a bold lip is that it never seems to last — within the first half hour, I manage to smear and otherwise diminish the look until my lips are a faded mess. To avoid such a fiasco, Hayman says, “When applying a bold lip color, you should look for a long-wearing formula to keep your color looking its best for the longest amount of time.”

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6. Put in the prep work

As with most things in life, proper prep work ensures the best results. “I recommend using a soft toothbrush and warm water to gently exfoliate the lips, and then priming them with a lip balm,” says Hayman.

7. Don’t skip this step

If you go into a bold lip without a thought in the world about anything other than shellacking that color on, well, odds are good your bold lip won’t last long. “A precise application is necessary,” says Hayman. “Your lip will look most polished with a lip pencil in a matching tone.”

8. Center yourself

Where you begin your bold lip application matters. “Use a lip brush to apply your color, starting from the center of the lips and then outlining them with color. If the formula you are using is sheer, apply a second coat of color to the entire lip for the most opaque look,” Hayman says.

9. You’re not finished without this final step

At this point, you might already be patting yourself on the back and getting ready to walk out the door — but don’t. You aren’t done yet. “Finish the lip with a soft lip pencil, using short strokes to outline the shape of the lip,” says Hayman. “This step will also prevent your bold lip color from bleeding into the fine lines you may have around your mouth.”

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10. Smile!

Regardless of whether the look you love is scarlet, magenta or somewhere else on the spectrum, the most important way to accessorize bold lips is with confidence. So go on and check yourself out — everyone else will be, hot stuff. “Pucker up and take a selfie,” insists Hayman. “You know you are rocking that bold lip like your favorite celeb.”

For more top tips and pro secrets, follow Meredith on Twitter, Facebook, and other social media using the hashtag #meredithmakeup.

This post was brought to you by Abreva.

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