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Ask Sheri is a weekly column devoted to answering all of your beauty questions and queries, with a focus on natural, organic and sustainable products, practices and companies. Navigating the beauty aisles has never been easier. Send in your beauty questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Q: Hi Sheri,
I don’t know if I’m doing something wrong or just using the wrong products, but my lipstick never seems to last. About an hour after I’ve applied it, it’s pretty much gone. What do I need to do to give it some staying power?
Emma, Toronto, Ontario
Ahhhh, boosting the longevity of your lip colour. This confounds women to no end, the main problem being that long-wearing formulas are extremely drying and tend to look dull and muddy (and very ‘90’s). I’m not a fan of these; my lips are dry enough already, thank you very much.So, what’s a girl to do? You can tackle this dilemma in a number of ways.
Option 1: Fill in most of your lips with a lip pencil the same shade as your favourite lipstick. Since pencils are dense with pigment, and, yes, drier, they will help to anchor the lipstick applied overtop. You can also try a thicker lip pencil, as these creamier versions are easy to use and long-wearing, kind of like liner and lipstick wrapped up into one great product.
Living Nature Lip Pencil (C $22.45)
Bite Beauty High Pigment Matte Lip Pencil(US $24)Option 2: Stains, when it comes to lips, are your friend. When applied all over clean, dry lips (this is important, ladies), they deliver a beautiful, “just-bitten” pucker. Lip stains are the perfect tool if you love berry shades; you’re not going to find any light nudes here. Stains are predominantly deeper and brighter than your natural lips. You can also apply your lipstick overtop of one to boost its staying power and increase the saturation of colour (stains tend to be quite sheer, with not a whole lot of texture). An added bonus: a lot of stains work double-duty and are formulated for both lips and cheeks.
Josie Maran Magic Marker Lip and Cheek Stain (US $19)
Bite Beauty Lip Rouge (US $22)
Option 3: Layer your lipstick. And then layer, and layer, and layer some more. After each coat applied, blot (preferably with eco-friendly, recycled paper). Blotting presses the pigment into the lips, creating a stain that will definitely last. I love doing this with reds, wines, oranges and bright pinks, as you tend to get more depth from these shades. After the layering and blotting cycle, use your ring finger to press and smooth one last coat onto your lips (this type of blending keeps the edges nice and soft).
You may have noticed that I omitted some common suggestions for lasting lip colour: shellacs and primers. Why? Because I don’t really like them. Shellacs dry your lips and give them a strange gummy texture. What’s in them, anyway? Primers are thick and drying, and usually end up changing the shade of your lipstick to something lighter. I tend to stay away from these, with the exception of primers such as Bite’s soon to be released Line and Define Lip Primer, a smooth, clear pencil made with natural silica.