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Makeup Master Class: Lip Color

Lip color is so personal. One formula does not work for everyone. Some people want a lot of coverage and moisture from their lipstick or gloss, while others just want a sheer wash of color that looks and feels like it isn't even there. You will find a variety of textures of lipstick and lip glosses out there, with a variety of finishes. Play, test, and try until you find what you like. But keep in mind that moisture is always ggod for your lips; it keeps them full and supple looking.

Matte Lipstick

Matte lipstick delivers sophisticated and intense full coverage with absolutely no shine. Because of its formulation, it stays on longer than other lipsticks, but it can be drying and may give your lips the feeling and appearance of being dehydrated. With up-to-date technology, there are some matte formulas that are not quite so dry and dehydrating, but they will not last as long as drier versions. Matte lipsticks are great in dark, intense shades because they stay put and wont smear very easily. You can always make a matte lipstick appear more luscious by applying a gloss on top.

Cream Lipstick

This contains more emollients than matte lipstick and provides a full coverage of moist color. Most cosmetic lines offer the largest selection in this formula because it is the most versatile and popular. It wears quite well without being as hydrating as matte lipstick. Keep in mind that there will still be different degrees of moisture in cream lipsticks, depending on the formulation and the brand. Cream formulas can have natural, frosted, or shimmer finish, and the finish you choose can dramatically affect how your lips appear.

Sheer or Glaze Lipsticks

These give you a glossy, sheer wash of see-through color that allows your natural lips to show through because they are not formulated to cover opaquely. This formula contains color pigments wrapped in a transparent hydrating gel, adding color while making your lips feel moist and full. The coverage will last longe than a gloss, but not as long long as cream lipstick. It is a terrific quick fix because due to its sheerness, it doesn't have to be applied with precision.

Long-Wearing Lipstick

This is a heavily pigmented, usually very matte, formula with a dry texture so it stays put and is long lasting. It will almost stain the lips because is very full coverage, very drying, and dehydrating. I personally hate these formulas because they tend to make your lips look smaller and shriveled. I prefer luscious full lips. Some formulas will come with a gloss to wear on top to combat the negative effects. But this cuts down on the wearabilty because when you add moisture it will shorten the life of long-wearing lipstick.


This finish provides a shiny, metallic appearance to a lipstick. The metallic appearance is created from small flecks of a shine-producing material, which are solid and reflective, mixed into a lipstick formula. A high concentration of these particles gives more opaque coverage and can make the lips appear a bit dry. They're not the best choice for giving your lips a luscious pout. But they are good when used for layering on top of a satin-finished lipstick to lighten up the depth of a shade.


This finish provides a beautiful, lustrous, glowing appearance to a lipstick. This finish is created by mixing tiny particles that produce shine intot he formula. The difference between frost and shimmer is that the particles used in a shimmer finish are not opaque-they are sheer and see-through, so that just create a glow without being extremely reflective. There are also multiple colors of these reflective particles instead of a single color, like in a frosted formula. They have a nice, easy-to-wear, medium amount of coverage and can make lips look fuller.


This lip product adds extreme shine and moisture to your lips. I absolutely love gloss, maily because of how kissable it make my lips look. It delivers a sheer to medium layer of color coverage. The only problem is that it does not have a very long wear life. So it is going to need frequent re-application. Although it doesnt last terribly long, gloss gives a fresh and alive look. When used correctly, it can make the lips look fuller and and sexier. You'll find it packaged in a wand, tube, or pot. Some formulas do give more coverage than others and some formulas now offer longer- wear. I highly suggest that you test drive a few to find a formula or brand that will give you what you need. Some key words that might give you a clue to the wear time: luster, lacquer, gel, plastic, rich, or glass could mean longer wear life. While words like: crystal, wet, transparent, glaze, or juicy could mean a high shine factor but probably a shorter wear time.

Lip Liner

Lip Liner is a pencil that helps define and reshape your lips, as well as prevent lip color from bleeding into fine lines. It can also be used over the entire lip, and then topped witha a lipstick or lip gloss. Either way, a layer of lip liner greatly improves the staying power of any lip color. Lip liner comes in two forms: mechanical and wood. A mechanical pencil mightnot need to be sharpened; simply twist and the product will extend out. If the pencil is wood, you contol the point; just sharpen it before each use because the sharper the point, the better the application.

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