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A show-stopping lip is the ultimate Christmas accessory. Not sure which colour to rock? We’ve got you covered
This party-ready matte colour is perfect for brightening winter nights out. Plus, not only does the soft finish give this sugary shade a chic update, it’s so easy to pull off you can just get on with enjoying the fun. ‘For a poppy pout, prep lips with a light layer of foundation before adding colour, to help it stay put,’ says make-up artist Dani Guinsberg, who created these looks. Try NYX Professional Makeup Powder Puff Lippie Powder Lip Cream in Teenage Dream*, £8/800 points.
Looking for a hit of drama? Then throw away the rule book and play around with different pink shades. And don’t forget: the greater the contrast between your skin tone and the shade, the bigger the impact.
This ‘stamped on’ matte finish requires an even lip line. To get the best outline with your pencil, smile to make your lips taut. ‘It provides a solid canvas, so you can be more precise,’ explains Dani.
If you’re feeling a little nervous about wearing pink, follow these tips: fair skins look great in pale, sugary tones, while olive complexions suit dusty hues, and darker skins favour pinks with a little brown in them.
Nothing says Christmas like a Santa-red lip. But this year, give the previously high-maintenance hue an effortless, fail-safe overhaul by going sheer. Start by slicking on a liquid lipstick, such as New No7 Matte Liquid Lips in Fearless Boots Exclusive £10/1,000 points. ‘Liquid formulas can be messy to put on if you overload the applicator, so start with a little at first and build gradually,’ says Dani. Next, layer on a holographic gloss, such as YSL Rouge Pur Couture Pure Color Lipstick SPF15 in 19*, £28/2,800 points. ‘Applying the holographic texture adds a bold, glossy finish that’s ideal for the party season,’ she adds.
Not sure which red suits you? ‘Pick a few shades that catch your eye, then swatch them by twisting up the bullet (or wand), holding it in front of your lips and taking a selfie in natural light,’ says Dani. ‘The right shade will make your skin look brighter.’
For extra glamour, add highlighter to your Cupid’s bow. ‘Use a lip brush to line just the small triangle in the middle of your upper lip,’ says Dani. ‘A powder highlighter is easy to use and blends really well into the lip line.’
This look benefits from natural brows. ‘Fill in gaps with a pencil or powder in the same shade as your brows, then brush hairs upwards using a tinted gel, to set with a feathery look.’
Want to make an entrance? Whether you’re headed to a NYE get-together or the office party, this glossy, mulled-wine lip is the answer. Choose a matte texture, such as Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet Liquid Lipstick in Berry Chic, £8.49/849 points, then add Sleek Makeup Lip Shot Lip Gloss in Ready Or Not, £4.99/499 points, over the top to amp it up. Darker shades can bleed into the lines around your mouth. ‘To prevent this, before applying colour, use a liner [such as Rimmel London Exaggerate Lip Liner, £3.99/ 399 points] in the same shade as the lipstick on your outer lip line,’ says Dani. ‘Then scribble the same liner all over your lips and smudge, before applying your shade.’
When it comes to putting on lip gloss, instead of applying it like lipstick (from left to right, top to bottom), add it to the middle of your lower lip only, then press both lips together. This will add the perfect amount while preventing it from going gloopy on you.
A glossy lip is high-maintenance, so be prepared to keep checking in the mirror that it’s still looking good. To prevent unnecessary smudging, wear your hair off your face (loose strands often get caught in gloss) and keep your hands away from your face, too.
Plum-coloured pouts look stunning and really stand out when teamed with a pared-back look: nude skin and just a slick of dark mascara on your eyes. Choose wine shades with more red tones than blue, as they’re warmer and more flattering.
Now you’ve found your go-to colour, here are two more ways to work it
DRESS IT UP: Try a lacquer, such as Lancôme L’Absolu Lacquer Lipstick in 490 Not Afraid*, £23/2,300 points, that gives weightless, shiny colour.
DRESS IT DOWN: A water stain, such as Clarins Water Lip Stain in Water Purple*, £19/1,900 points, has a wearable, see-through finish.
DRESS IT UP: Deep pink really packs a punch. Our fave? YSL Rouge Pur Couture Pure Color Lipstick SPF15 in 19*,£28/2,800 points.
DRESS IT DOWN: A wash of tinted pink lip balm gives a subtle sheen. We like Benefit PosieBalm*, £15.50/ 1,550 points.
DRESS IT UP: A modern matte, such as Barry M Matte Lip Paint in Bombshell, £4.99/499 points, won’t smudge or dry out lips.
DRESS IT DOWN: Get a sheer effect with Max Factor Colour Intensifying Balm, £8.99/899 points.
Not sure which lippy shade suits you best? No worries! Simply head to the No7 counter in store and speak to one of the advisors. Using the Boots unique Match Made Service, they can work out the right shade of lipstick for your skin tone. Genius!
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*Available in selected stores.
Words and beauty direction Donna Francis Model Thaise at Zone Models
Make-up Dani Guinsberg Hair Liam Curran Nails Chisato
Photography Thea Baddiley Still-life photography Pixeleyes