This ‘brushed lips’ trick makes bright and dark lipstick infinitely more wearable

Written by Morgan Fargo

A favourite of make-up artists, brushing lipstick makes a world of difference to how natural and diffused the colour looks. Here’s how to do it.

In the beauty world, clever hacks are two-a-penny. Use a sponge to perfect the modern French manicure, brown eyeliner to effect faux freckles or tin foil to effectively tame static hairs. Like I said, two-a-penny. And it isn’t exclusive to TikTok or Instagram – professionals use hacks too. They’re just like us! (Only with many more years of experience and celebrity clients.) 

Something I’ve seen floating around the internet for a while and came back to recently is a brilliant trick to making lipstick look buffed, diffused and lived in. Unlike day-old lipstick that tends to congregate in the corners of the mouth, this technique makes lipstick look natural – helpful if you feel like colour wears you instead of the other way around.

Unlike swiping a lipstick on straight from the bullet, dabbing it on the lips and then buffing it with a fluffy brush helps to disperse the pigment, creating a softer, less ‘done’ and more natural effect. A matte or satin lipstick will look more seamless than a lacquer, which relies on even coverage of shine, and a stain will likely dry down too quickly. Used by make-up artists like Katie Jane Hughes and celebrities such as Gemma Chan, I tried to see if it was as straightforward as seemed.

Trying the brushed lip technique

As a regular non-lipstick wearer, I love this technique. It’s easy to do – just dab and buff – and it dials down the intensity of the colour. It also makes lips feel infinitely more touchable without that intense fear you get when you need to sip a drink or want to wrap your scarf around anywhere approaching your mouth. I used a small eyeshadow brush, which I preferred to the big brush some artists use, simply for the fact that my control is not as good as theirs, but any would work. 

If lipstick makes you nervous and you actively avoid colour for the sake of not being able to nail a natural application, this hack is for you. It’s definitely for me. 

Main image: Morgan Fargo

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