How to Apply Lipstick

Discover how to apply lipstick with this easy makeup tutorial featuring my super-flattering, contour-defining, beautifying lipsticks.


Discover how to apply lipstick with my expert tips and tricks for creating the perfect pout.

  1. Lip close up applying Charlotte's Magic Lip Oil Crystal Elixir


    It’s important to hydrate and prep your lips before applying lipstick, darlings, as this will help your lip products to glide on smoothly and evenly. Exfoliating your lips with a lip scrub will help to create a smoother-looking surface for your lips to glide onto and using a hydrating lip oil will help to hydrate and soften the look and feel of lips. Charlotte’s Magic Lip Oil Crystal Elixir is my unmissable lip prep step; it’s a conditioning lip oil that rolls along the lips with ease, coating them with super-hydrating, lip-loving ingredients including Swertian Leaf extract to reduce the appearance of lines in the lips and Resurrection Leaf to help lock in moisture for longer. Roll on this magic formula for immediately hydrated lips that are ready for a flawless lipstick application.

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  2. Charlotte's Pencil Sharpener and Lip Cheat lip liner


    The line of our lips is naturally slightly blurred, so using a lip liner helps to create a sharp, crisp, defined-looking lip shape that’s ready for lipstick. Your lip liner will create a neater line when it’s properly sharpened, so be sure to sharpen your chosen Lip Cheat lip liner using Charlotte’s Pencil Sharpener. When your lip liner comes to a well-defined point, it allows for an easy and precise application that’s less likely to skip or smudge.

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  3. All shades of Charlotte's Lip Cheat lip liner


    Use your freshly sharpened lip liner to line and define the look of your lips. Starting halfway between your Cupid’s bow and the corner of the mouth, lightly glide your lip liner along the natural curvature of your lips to create a defined line. Mirror this on your bottom lip to create a fuller-looking heart shape.

    Discover my full lip liner tutorial

  4. Close up of model wearing Lip Cheat lip liner in Icon Baby


    To create the illusion of a fuller-looking pout, you can draw slightly above the natural line of your lips to help them appear fuller and wider. Get a natural-looking, overdrawn look by delicately overlining the centre of your lips; draw above your Cupid’s bow for a fuller-looking top lip, then glide along the centre of your bottom lip to create a pouty appearance. The secret to making overdrawn lips look natural is staying true to the outer corners of your lips and not straying too far from your natural lip line.

    Discover how to make lips look bigger

  5. Lip close up of The Queen Lip Cheat lip liner


    Once you’ve perfected your lip shape with lip liner, use the same liner to fill in your lips. Doing this creates a smooth, even-looking base for your lipstick and helps to enhance the longevity of your lip colour. My award-winning Lip Cheat lip liners are waterproof and last up to 6 hours with no smudging*, helping your lipstick look to last longer and look more flawless.

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  6. Lip Brush for precisely applying lip gloss and lipstick


    Darlings, it’s time for lipstick! To get the most precise lipstick application, use a lip brush to apply your lipstick. Swipe my Lip Brush onto your lipstick of choice, then use the square-shaped tip to apply lipstick to your lips. If you struggle to stay within the lines of your lips, I recommend this application method as it allows you to apply lipstick more carefully, building little by little to maintain the defined shape you’ve created with lip liner.

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  7. Model applying Hollywood Beauty Icon lipstick in 90s Pink


    My lipstick formulas have expertly designed bullets that make them easy to swipe onto the lips. Whether you’re opting for a magical matte or a sumptuous satin lipstick, apply your shade of choice straight from the bullet to the centre of your lips and continue to build up your lip colour until you’ve reached your desired intensity.

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  8. Model applying Collagen Lip Bath plump-effect lip gloss in Pillow Talk


    Do you love a gorgeous, glossy lip? My lip products perform beautifully together and can be effortlessly layered to customise your look. Choose a lip gloss from my collection that complements your lipstick, then swipe it onto your lips to create a hydrated, glossy finish with magical shine!

    Tilbury Tip: If you’re unsure which lip gloss to wear, I recommend Collagen Lip Bath in Refresh Rose. It’s a magical, mirror-shine, plump-effect lip gloss in a sheer, shimmering finish that goes with every lip colour!

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How To Apply Lipstick: Your Questions Answered!

How To Apply Lipstick

What Do You Put On Your Lips Before Lipstick?

Before you apply lipstick, hydrate your lips with a lip oil or lip balm to help them look and feel softer and more nourished. It’s important to apply a lip treatment like Charlotte’s Magic Lip Oil Crystal Elixir before you apply lipstick as it will help to create a smoother-looking canvas for your lipstick to glide onto while reducing the appearance of lip lines.

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Can You Wear Lipstick Without Lip Liner?

Yes – you can wear lipstick without lip liner. Applying lipstick alone can look just as flattering as it does over the top of a lip liner, but lip liner will help you to create a more defined-looking lip shape and can also help your lipstick to last longer. I recommend applying my Lip Cheat lip liner before swiping your favourite lipstick on top for the most flawless-looking lipstick application.

Do You Put Lipstick in the Corners of the Lips?

Yes – glide your lipstick from corner to corner to coat your entire lip with beautifying colour. If you experience smudging in the corners of the lips, try lining them with a similar shade of lip liner to deposit no-budge colour then applying your lipstick to the centre of your lips.

What is Lipstick Feathering?

Lipstick feathering is where your lipstick begins to move around and feather beyond the lips, obscuring the sharp lines you’ve created. Feathering is often more prevalent with glossy and satin lipsticks as these don’t set down in the same way that a matte lipstick would. You may find lipstick feathering to be more noticeable with bolder and brighter shades of lipstick because of the level of contrast they have to your skin tone.

Discover how to make lipstick last longer

Is It Better To Apply Lipstick with a Brush?

Lipstick can be applied from the bullet or with a lip brush. The precise tip of a lip brush helps you to create sharper lines and makes hard-to-reach areas like the corners of the mouth easier to beautify. They can be extremely useful when applying lipstick to thin lips as they allow for a more precise application that doesn’t overwhelm smaller lip shapes.

Tilbury Tip: If you are applying lipstick on someone else, I recommend using a clean lip brush for good hygiene!

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How Many Layers of Lipstick Should I Wear?

You can wear as many layers of lipstick as you like, darlings! My lipsticks are designed to deliver instant colour pay-off while being able to be built up to a greater opacity. The number of layers of lipstick you choose to glide on will depend on your chosen look. I suggest swiping back and forth until your top and bottom lips are coated, then applying an extra coat or two if you decide you want a punchier, more pigmented lipstick look.

How Can I Make Lipstick Look Natural?

To make your lipstick look natural, choose a nude, brown or pink-toned shade that closely matches the colour of your lips. If you prefer a more subtle lipstick look, try applying a small amount of lipstick to the centre of your lips and then blotting the edges with your finger. This will help to diffuse the colour pigments of lipstick to create a blurred and softened tint.

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How Do You Make Lipstick Look Like Lip Gloss?

Create a glossy lipstick look by choosing a lipstick that has a satin-shine finish that looks like a lip gloss on the lips. Formulas like my K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipsticks, Superstar Lips, and Hyaluronic Happikiss are perfect for creating a glossy lipstick look.

Tilbury Tip: If you want to wear a matte lipstick but want the glossy glow of a lip gloss, apply your lipstick then add a coat of Collagen Lip Bath lip gloss on top to create magical, mirror-like shine.

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Author Details

Charlotte Tilbury

Founder, President, Chairman and Chief Creative Officer of Charlotte Tilbury Beauty

With over 30 years experience, Charlotte Tilbury MBE is the world's number 1 makeup artist and British beauty entrepreneur. Charlotte established Charlotte Tilbury Beauty in 2013, which is now a record-breaking beauty brand that has won over 400 awards.

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