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How to Wear Liquid Lipstick Without Drying Out Your Lips

How to Wear Liquid Lipstick Without Drying Out Your Lips

How to Wear Liquid Lipstick Without Drying Out Your Lips

Matte liquid lipstick can be controversial. Some people love it, some people hate it, but we all agree it’s got one famous flaw: its tendency to dry out the lips. This is unpleasant in a variety of ways: for starters, the lipstick forms a kind of tight “seal” when it dries, which is immediately uncomfortable; then, there’s the whole debacle of removing that same liquid lipstick later in the day, which only contributes to drying the lips further.

If you’re the kind of person who wears liquid lipstick every day, you know how the cycle goes: you wear it, it dries out your lips; you remove it, it dries them out further; you reapply it, and it sticks to every little dry patch. There are ways around to get around this issue, though. If you’re determined to stay on the liquid lipstick bandwagon (power to you, since liquid lipstick delivers color payoff like nothing else), we have some tips to help you keep your lips soft, smooth, and hydrated. Let’s get started:

Hydrate your lips before applying liquid lipstick

This tip may feel incredibly obvious, but there’s a couple of different ways you can do this:

  • Apply lip balm 10-15 minutes before applying liquid lipstick. Once you’re ready to apply your liquid lipstick, blot out any remaining excess;
  • Apply a tinted lip balm underneath your matte lipstick. This tip is a little bit more advanced, and it may be harder to get the two products to work well together, but the result is worth it. Start by applying a tinted lip balm the same color of your lipstick. Then, apply a thin layer of liquid lipstick on top. Provided the two formulas work well together (only you will be able to tell), you should be able to get pretty good color payoff without having to pile on the liquid lipstick.

If you want to ensure your lips are seriously hydrated before you apply your liquid lipstick, try using a lip mask the night before. Apply a thick layer of your favorite lip mask, and then wear it overnight as you sleep. Feel free to use something really rich that you wouldn’t normally wear during the day–after all, nobody’s gonna see it!


Use a lip scrub on occasion

Liquid lipstick has a way of sticking to every little patch of dry or cracked skin on your lips, but there’s a way around that. A gentle lip scrub, used very occasionally, can be a good way to even out the texture of your lips and ensure they look as smooth as possible before you apply your liquid lipstick. The key here is to use your lip scrub every once in a while, as a part of your routine, and not, you know, you know, right before applying the liquid lipstick.

If you try this tip, opt for a very gentle lip scrub and then top it up with a thick lip balm. In the morning, blot away any excess; your lips should be soft, smooth, and ready to receive your liquid lipstick.


Use a lip primer

Lip primers can come in pretty handy when applying liquid lipstick: partially because they form a barrier between your lips and the lipstick, and partially because they help fill in fine lines and rougher patches. In short, they help create a smooth, even base for you to apply your liquid lipstick. Your lips may be a little dry (it happens to all of us!), but your liquid lipstick doesn’t have to draw attention to that.


Apply lipstick in a thin layer

Here’s the thing about liquid lipstick: it’s not very easy to layer. One layer is relatively easy to apply, but trouble starts when you try to apply the second. If you apply the second layer to your lips without giving the first layer enough time to dry, you’ll create a strangely clumpy effect; apply the second layer once the first one has fully dried, and the whole thing may start to flake off.

The trick is to keep things light: apply one layer, and do your very best to keep it light. Resist the urge to apply liquid lipstick in multiple swipes, back and forth, like you would with a lip balm. Liquid lipstick is so pigmented, less is definitely more!


Remove it fully before retouching

Although many liquid lipsticks last all day, every now and then we have to reapply them–either because our lips are dry and the lipstick is flaking off, or because we ate something really rich and the lipstick didn’t hold up.

There are two possible approaches to reapplying liquid lipstick: you can apply the new layer of lipstick on top of the original layer, or you can remove everything and start over.

The first approach works well when your lipstick has faded in the center of the lips, but your lip line remains somewhat intact. Just apply the new layer as you normally would–or, better yet, use the applicator as a kind of “stamp” in the areas that need touching up–and you should be fine. If, on the other hand, your lipstick is looking a little patchy and faded all over, you may want to remove the whole thing and start over. This may sound complicated, but hear us out: find a mirror, apply some lip oil to dissolve the liquid lipstick you’re wearing, and then wipe it off gently (using a paper towel or a cotton pad, for example). Make sure to blot away any excess lip oil, and then apply your lipstick as usual!


Be gentle when removing your liquid lipstick

We already know that liquid lipstick has a lot of ways of drying out our lips–so let’s not make things worse when removing it. When the time comes to remove your liquid lipstick, you want to use techniques that remove the maximum amount of product at once while minimizing scrubbing and rubbing. Oil makeup removers are probably your best bet, with micellar water a close second. If you have nothing else, Vaseline will work just fine!

And here’s a trick from this author, for when your liquid lipstick really won’t come off: apply a thick layer of oil or makeup-removing balm and use your fingertips to it into the lipstick. Then, take a toothbrush and use the side of the brush–this is key, as the side of the brish has a little bit of texture but not too much—to gently scrub off the lipstick. Follow with a generous helping of lip balm, and you’ll be good to go!


Wearing liquid lipstick has its challenges, but there is always a way around them. We hope these tips are useful and help you wear your favorite liquid lipstick without fear–and, most importantly, without drying out your lips!

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