How to apply lipstick perfectly (like a pro)

I used to be so jealous of my friends who could pull off a red lip. Until recently, the red that came the closest to flattering my lips was Fresh's Sugar Passion Lip Treatment, because it's softer and leaves a cute pop. It even looks cute when the color bleeds past the edges of my lips. I apply it like Chapstick – not a lipstick. A few months ago, in one of my experimental moods, I purchased Nars Dragon Girl – a cult classic in the beauty world – based on a trusted recommendation from Glow Girl and jewelry guru Danielle Snyder. I applied the bright red color directly onto the lips, and using my ring finger, blended it in perfectly. And just like that, I had given into the authentic red lip trend. Since then, I have tried a number of different reds and other deep colored lipsticks, but unfortunately, they are not always so easy to apply (in the blurred edge kinda way). I decided to create a lipstick tutorial, for all the lipstick novices out there to help them perfect that pout. The result – lips too chic to resist.

Step 1: Exfoliate your lips to create a smooth surface. I really love Charlotte Tilbury's new Lip Love Scrub, but all my favorites are here. You can also use sugar in a pinch!

Step 2: Moisturize your lips using a lip mask (which I just confessed my obsession for here) or a super moisturizing lip balm, like Jouer Lip Enhancer Conditioning Treatment. Leave the balm or mask on as long as possible, so do the rest of your makeup and get dressed during this time.

Step 3: Remove the balm/mask, because the lipstick needs a dry surface in order to stick.

Step 4: Apply a foundation to the lips. This is what makes your lipstick really stick, and prevents bleeding outside the lip line. Make sure to blot your foundation when you are done.

Step 5 (Now this is the trick!): Line your lips with a skin-toned lip pencil. I love Kevin Aucoin's Flesh Toned liner.

Step 6: Apply lipstick to the cupids bow area and then to the outer corners and bottom of the lip. Then fill in the rest of the lips. I am using good ole' Nars Dragon Girl throughout all images. It's the perfect blueish bright matte red.

Step 7: Blot.

Step 8: Using a small concealer or lip brush, apply concealer around any areas than need cleaning up.

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