You found the perfect shade of lipstick – go you! Now, how to make it last? Easy. Use these 5 steps as a guide and watch your pout remain beautiful all day long.

  • Step 1. Prepare your lips by using warm water, a wash cloth and a lip mask (or another safe, grainy cleanser). Apply the mask or cleanser directly to moist lips. Allow to set while you prepare the warm cloth. Rub the mask/cleanser off by using circular motions. This will help work most of the dead, dry skin off, revealing smoother, plumper lips. This step should be done once or twice per week.
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  • Step 2. Line lips. Choose a liner two shades or so darker than your lipstick, and trace your natural lipline, paying special attention to your Cupid’s Bow (the “V” part of your top lip). Once lips are lined, color in the remainder of the lip with the liner as well. This gives a nice base color in case your lipstick later does the slide.
  • Step 3. Add color. Now it’s time to slather on your lipstick. After your first coat, grab a lint-free tissue and blot by placing the tissue between your upper and lover lips, and pressing down. Next, swipe on another coat. If possible, separate a 2-ply tissue so it’s one-ply, then place the tissue gently over lips and dab with loose powder. The tissue acts as a filter, allowing just enough of the powder to get through to set the lipstick without changing the lip’s color or texture.
  • Step 4. Choose a gloss to highlight and plump. With gloss, you want to dab, rather than slick. A small dab of a shimmery or light-grabbing gloss in the center of your bottom lip will plump up your pout in an instant. That one small move adds dimension and a shot of light to your lips, drawing attention right where you want it.
  • Step 5. Blot. Place your index finger between your lips and pucker up. See the lipstick left on your skin? That could’ve been on your teeth. Do it again, just to be safe.

So, that’s it. Remember to change up colors to suit your moods, but to also have one “constant” color in your handbag, desk or car for emergencies. Investing in a lip mask is a great idea, but if you’re too cheap, just be sure to work that warm wash cloth around your lips.