Making It Up: The Strong Lip

Fashion & Beauty Editor Laurence Keating shows you how to get this season’s ever popular strong lip 

Having covered the perfect base, and the coveted smokey eye in previous issues, it’s time to move on to another of the looks you will see time and time again, and is especially present this season; The Strong Lip. This look really works well on everyone as it is entirely adaptable to your comfort and skill level.

First, pick a shade you love. This Autumn/Winter saw the not-altogether-unexpected berry lip dominate the catwalks, magazines and blogs and can seem like a tricky one when one is confronted with it in an editorial sense. However, berry lips, as with all bold lip colours, can be worn however you like.

Take for example MAC’s Rebel (Brown Thomas) lipstick: in the tube it looks like a very serious, deep berry shade with a slight sheen to it. Swatch it on the back of your hand and you get more of the same rich colour payoff which is exactly what you get when you apply it to the lips. If a strong, full-on lip is what you’re after, Rebel is a fantastically flattering shade and can really brighten up a look whilst still remaining sophisticated. For the ‘Flawless Lip’, begin by applying a lip liner in a shade that matches your lipstick to the entire lip area, taking care to define the edges well. Blend by patting with your finger. This creates a base for the lipstick to really cling to and will also prolong the wear time of your lipstick! Then apply whichever shade you’ve chosen to the lips straight from the tube or, if you prefer more precision, with a lip brush like the Real Techniques Detailer Brush (available as part of the Core Collection set from Boots). Fill in the entire lip, blot by pressing your lips against a tissue, then apply another layer. To perfect this look, take some concealer on a small, flat brush or a cotton bud and go around the edges of the lip to really perfect and define the mouth. When paired with a neutral eye look, the Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette is perfect for this (Debenhams), and tons of mascara (can’t go wrong with Lancome or Bourjois), this is a super quick, effortless look for dinners, dates, nights out or even just when you want a bit of a pick me up.

Another great way of wearing a bold shade is the ‘Stained’ look. Now lip stains are abundant on the high street but this method is great for those who love a shade of lipstick but may not want the full on effect a lipstick can have. Begin by taking your lipstick, Revlon’s new “Black Cherry” (Boots) is gorgeous and bang on trend, and pressing it into your lips with your ring finger. Starting from the inner lip and working your way out. This creates a stained effect and softens the colour of the lipstick but still looks amazing and can help prolong the wear of a lipstick as you’re really pressing it into the lip. You can repeat as many times as you like to get the finish you desire!

A final way to get on the strong lip trend is by using a gloss or liquid lipstick. There are literally hundreds of options available to you with this choice and they range from sheer and super shiny to fully opaque and matte. I’ll list options for both, but matte lips are huge this season and are extremely sophisticated, just make sure you’ve moisturised your lips thoroughly well in advance of applying the product to avoid dry lips. For the sheer, glossy approach, try Revlon’s Embellished ColorBurst Lipgloss, a rather lovely wine shade that would be stunning when worn with a soft smokey eye while still not looking like you’ve got a face full of makeup on. Embellished also looks amazing when layered over red or even black lipstick for those of you that like a vampy look.

Finally, is the matte lip crème. Lime Crime Cosmetics, while somewhat of a nuisance to find, though readily available online at have a product called Velvetines which are phenomenal. A velvet matte texture with amazing pigmentation, these cling to the lip while looking perfect for hours. The shade Red Velvet is one of the best matte reds on the market and it won’t make you feel like you’ve been sandpapering your lips! Always a plus with matte lip shades.
Hopefully that’s been helpful and maybe you’ll experiment with some darker, brighter, bolder, stronger, whatever lip colours and be surprised at how much you love them. After all, it’s only lipstick, it comes right off when you want it to!