If you are lucky enough to have balanced lips (see illustration), your make-up application on this area will be relatively easy. If your top and bottom lips are in proportion with neither lip thinner than the other, you have balanced lips. Balanced lips will become thinner over time due to the breakdown of collagen, elastin and fat during the ageing process. Due to the initial plumpness of this lip shape, the thinning process will not be as pronounced in comparison to other lip shapes.
To apply make-up to balanced lips, you will need a lipstick in the colour of your choice, a good quality lip pencil in a matching or slightly darker colour to the lipstick, a crème highlighter in a cream / beige colour or a few shades lighter than the colour of your skin, a lip brush or lipstick applicator, a fine artist’s paintbrush or make-up brush and a mirror. The crème highlighter is optional but will give your lips a youthful appearance if desired. The use of a lip pencil is essential to this technique and provides definition. Lip pencils also contain wax which prevents the lipstick bleeding or smudging onto your facial foundation makeup.
Method (see illustration below):
1) Draw around the shape of the lips with a freshly sharpened lip pencil, taking care to stay on the edge of the lips. Using a blunt pencil will result in the line being too thick. It helps if you start from the centre of the bow on the top lip then extend the lines out to each side. Similarly, start the line at the centre of the lower lip and extend to each side. It is important not to draw the line above or below the edge of the lips as this will distort the balanced shape. Check in the mirror to make sure that you are happy with the pencil line that you have drawn. You can always redraw the pencil line if you feel you need more colour and definition.
2) Fill in the top and bottom lip areas with your lipstick, taking care to work the colour in well with the lip brush or applicator. Place a soft tissue between your lips and close your lips to lightly blot excess lipstick. Depending on the type of lipstick you are using, you may wish to apply a second coat.
3) Taking the fine artist’s paintbrush or make-up brush, coat the tip of the brush with the crème highlighter in cream / beige colour or a colour a few shades lighter than your skin. Paint a fine, even line around the edge of the lip pencil line you have drawn. The aim here is to avoid painting the highlighter over the lip pencil line. You are simply applying subtle highlighting around the lip line. Finish if desired by placing a dot of highlighter on the area between the centre of your upper lip and your nose. To blend the highlighting, simply pat gently with the pad of your little finger, taking care not to smudge your work. The heat from your finger will help the highlighter to set on your skin.
4) Depending on the type of lipstick you are using, you may wish to set your lip makeup. You can do this with translucent, loose face powder. Dip a powder brush into the face powder , tap the brush then swirl it over the back (not palm) of the opposite hand to that which you are using to apply your make-up This will remove excess powder. Using the back of your hand as an artist’s palette when you are working is a good habit to get into. This will ensure a light touch and professional application. Gently swirl the brush over the surface of your lips. Do not press the brush on the lips as you will disturb your work. Only a tiny amount of powder is needed to set the make-up. Alternatively, there are clear lipstick setting sprays available on the market but remember to patch test on your skin before using any new product.