No matter your lip shape or volume level, we can all agree on one thing: a lust-worthy lipstick should last for hours. Thankfully a Korean Beauty trend — lip powders — have become popular stateside, and this formula delivers impressive longwear results.
When you hear lip powder, you may initially think, “What? How?!” Interestingly enough, lip powders are not drying — if you buy the right ones and know how to apply it. And they can offer a velvet-like, matte stain that won’t smudge while also making your pucker appear more voluptuous. Here, we talk to top makeup artists on how to wear lip powders like a pro!
First of all, what is a lip powder?
The term lip powder is self-explanatory, but it also seems counterintuitive. Aren’t lipsticks by nature supposed to be creamy? Yes, these are powders by definition, but they do not go on like loose particles. Instead they feel smooth, enveloping lips in a soft, powdery stain.
“Lip powders are the new update to a matte lipstick and they are also so versatile,” says Chanel® makeup artist Cyndle Komarovski. “I find that lip powders are the least dehydrating formula for a matte lip. It gives a velvety finish but it’s feather light, you can barely feel it on your lips. It’s also a bit more forgiving, it doesn’t settle into the creases of your lips like cream form.”
What are the benefits of lip powder?
Expect this version of lipstick to last through anything from an important board meeting to a balmy summer wedding. “They are extremely long wearing,” says Komarovski. “Think of it in the same way as powder sets your foundation and concealer to last all day. Layering them on top of a cream lipstick also helps prevent feathering and punches up the color.”
Komarovski brings up an important point: lip powders can be worn on their own, but often work best over a clear balm or matching lipstick. The powder can “set” the lipstick or balm, giving the shade a longer stain on your pout. The Chanel® Poudre à Lèvres ($37) is a fantastic all-in-one pick, since it comes with both a balm, a pigmented color, and two brushes.
What’s the best way to apply lip powder?
Step one is to make sure your lips are exfoliated and have a hydrated base. If not, the powder will stick to cracks — not a cute look. Try the Bite Beauty Agave Sugar Lip Scrub ($32), which tastes like brown sugar and pineapple (because it contains both ingredients!). Follow with a nourishing balm of your choice. Our current favorite is the Pat McGrath Labs Lip Fetish Balm ($38), because it gives lips a luminous finish — so you may be tempted to use it on its own.
When it comes to applying the actual lip powder, Komarovski advises to use a small sponge. Some powders, such as the Clinique PopTM Lip Shadow Cushion Matte Powder ($24) even distribute the pigment directly to your lips via spongy tip. “Use a pressing motion to build the color to your desired intensity,” Komarovski says. “You can wear it as a stain, a bitten-lip look, or a full-on opaque lip.”
Tiffany Kilgore, the Director of Artistry and Education at Lorac Cosmetics®, notes she uses a tapping motion to apply the Lorac PRO High-Res Lip and Cheek Powder ($19). “Use the precision tip to line lips and fill in for bolder color,” she explains. “I also like to pat it over lip balm for a glossy effect.”
What else can you do with lip powders?
Lip powders also offer double duty since they can double as blush! “I love to use the remaining powder from the sponge on my cheeks for a little pop of color,” explains Komarovski. “Who doesn’t love a multi-use product?”
The aforementioned Lorac formula is actually intended to be used on both areas of the face. “For cheeks, I use the sponge-tip applicator to make short lines along the cheekbones from apples to hairline, then blend with my fingertips,” says Kilgore. “You can also smooth easily with a brush or sponge if you prefer. The powder-to-cream formula blends like magic over cheeks and lips, thanks to nourishing mango seed butter.”
Both pros agree that lip powders are especially easy to touch up — just a pat a little more on with a sponge or your fingertips when it fades. And then you’ll always have a good excuse to call the bathroom the “powder room.”
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