The return of the lip

Bringing lips back into the limelight with M·A·C

Statement lips are back, and they’ve got something to say. It’s time to give them some TLC, brush up on a trend or two and get ready to go all pout!

Ready to get lippy? We’ve got the latest tips and trends from M·A·C, aka the authority in lipstick. We asked Global Senior Makeup Artist, Dominic Skinner, and Director of Makeup Artistry, Terry Barber, for the lowdown on all things lips. Pucker up…

Bring lips back to life

Most people don’t think of their lips the same way as they do their skin. However, your lips also need treatments, masks, oils, conditioners and exfoliants. Just as with your skin, if you look after your lips, it’ll show.

Dry skin cells and flakiness can often make lip colour look patchy, emphasise ridges and separate as you wear it throughout the day. Using a scrub like a sugar and honey mix will gently slough away any surface dryness and flakiness, leaving the smoothest surface for an effortless application of colour.

Apply a liberal coat to the lips, massage gently for a few minutes with your fingertip or a cotton bud then thoroughly remove with a make-up wipe.

Prep, prime & get ready to pout

Now your lips are smooth, soft and clear of any dryness, a great tip is to prime your lips ready for the colour you want to apply.

Using a ton of lip balm underneath colour can often be too slippery and makes it difficult to control the shape. M·A·C Prep+Prime Lip is an industry favourite and loved by make-up artists.

It gives the benefit of hydration but also a smoothing, ridge-free base which makes application easy and holds colour in place – no matter how long you’ve been wearing it. If you’re wearing a matte lip it’s an absolute essential.

Lip liner done right

Lip liner is such a huge trend right now, but it can be confusing as to when, where and how you use it. Firstly, make sure your lip pencil is freshly sharpened. A blunt tip is going to do you no favours.

Second, if you’re wearing a bolder colour lip (a red, bright pink or even a deep plum), put your lipstick on first. Then use a pencil in a similar or slightly deeper shade to clean up the edge of your lip.

Using the pencil after the bold lipstick allows you to see just how full you want your lip to look, so you can slowly start pushing the edge out to get the volume you want.

If you’re going for a nude lip, start with your lip pencil. Start at the Cupid’s bow and draw an ‘X’, with the top of the ‘X’ hitting the top of the Cupid’s bow. Then start from the outer corner and draw up to meet the ‘X’.

Follow this by drawing a line on the edge of your bottom lip right in the middle. Then, once again, draw from the outer corner down toward the line you just drew. To finish off this nude lip line, slowly fill in the lip from the outer edge towards the centre but don’t fill it in completely.

Finally, apply your nude lipstick in the centre of your lip and gently kiss your lips together to marry the lipstick with the lip pencil for a flawless gradual nude lip look.

With any lip pencil, it’s best to get the exact same shade as your lipstick. So, for example, Ruby Woo Lipstick and Ruby Woo Lip Pencil. If that’s not possible, go slightly deeper. A darker lip line blending into a light lipstick will always make your lips look plumper.

Let's talk lip trends

Blush Lips

With blush tones and healthy flushed cheeks taking over from contour, the same concept is being applied to lips. Petal pinks and vintage reds in romantically soft-focus stains are bang on-trend for effortless beauty. 

For the perfect stained lip, apply the colour to the centre of the lip rather than starting at the edges. Tap colour onto the lips first with the applicator and then push it in with a fingertip for an effortless coat of colour.

As you tap the colour into the lip, gently press it out to the edges without creating a hard outline. Apply layer on layer to get the desired intensity rather than going in with a thick coat of product. 

Try M·A·C Powder Kiss Liquid Lipcolour in More the Mehr-ier, Mull it Over, Devoted to Chilli, Burning Love or Make Love to the Camera for this look.

Summer Nude Lips

Throwing back to LA in the ‘70s, this nude lip is the perfect accessory to a statement pair of sunglasses. It’s all about harnessing the golden hour – think caramels and warm golds instead of cold British pinky browns and mauves.

Start by lining the lips with the classic M·A·C Lip Pencil in Spice or Chestnut, making sure to give yourself some fullness by drawing just out of the natural lip line.

Follow this with M·A·C Matte Lipstick in either Yash for a light to medium skin tone or Kinkster for a medium to deep skin tone. Finish with a little M·A·C LipGlass in Beaux on top for a full-on glamour experience.

Shocktastic Lips

One trending colour that will be making waves this summer is bright orange. It’s bold, beautiful and so much fun.

To try this trend start by popping on the M·A·C Prep+Prime Lip to help this look stay put all day. Then work the incredible argan oil infused M·A·C Love Me Liquid Lip Colour in My Lips Are Insured all over the lip.

Blot the lips with a tissue, then set the lipstick by pressing on the M·A·C eyeshadow in Can’t Afford This from the It’s Designer Art Library Palette for extra impact to really make a statement.

From soft and subtle to bold and bright, it’s time to let your lips do the talking.