Easy Lipstick Style Upgrades

Changing the way you apply lipstick can transform your look almost as much as the shade you choose. Whether you want a next-level red lip or something that looks a little more delicate, expand your horizons with these five application tricks below.

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Add Some Sparkling Dimension

A shiny neutral lip look at Dolce and Gabbana's spring/summer 2016 show. Photograph courtesy of Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images
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Give your lips the high-definition treatment!

The Trick: Pick any color of lipstick and apply. With a small eyeshadow brush, dab a tiny amount of shimmery powder on the middle and corners of your lips, then blend with a bigger, looser brush. You can use a variety of products to produce that shimmer: highlighter (gold or silver), translucent powder, or even metallic eyeshadow will do.

The Result: The lipstick color, whether it's black, purple, or pink, will bounce off the shimmery accents, so at any angle, your color will radiate.

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The Products:

Lip Color in Flash of Pink, $52, tomford.com.
Shimmering Skin Perfector in Radiant Finish by Becca, $38, sephora.com.
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Get the Best of Both Worlds

A runway look for the 80th anniversary of fashion school Istituto Marangoni during Milan Fashion Week, spring/summer 2016. Photograph courtesy of Vincenzo Lombardo/Getty Images

When you want something that's not-too-shiny and not quite matte, combine the two finishes to create a cool sheen without all the glitz and glamour.

The Trick: This look involves two full layers of product. For the base, you'll want to use a gloss or creamy liquid lipstick in any shade. Then, cover that layer with a matching lip liner. You want to make sure that both of the colors are opaque.

The Result: The intrepid mixture of shine and matte will transition nicely from day to night.  

The Products:

Stay All Day Vinyl Lip Gloss in Nude Vinyl, $10, stilacosmetics.com.
Lip Definer in Nude 01, $30, burberry.com.
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Transform a Classic Red 

A look from the Ellie Mae fashion show at Toronto Fashion Week 2016. Photograph courtesy of Edward James/Getty Images
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Red lipstick is a great go-to, but sometimes it needs an added punch of color.

The Trick: Apply a few layers of your favorite red to your lips, then grab a purple lip liner—yes, purple—and lightly line the the corners, extending the line toward the center just a little bit. With your finger or a brush, blend the purple into the red.

The Result: Red and purple are in the same color family, so the purple won't look too foreign against the rouge. Instead, the combination will create a subtle ombré effect that will lead the eye to the center of your lips.

The Products:

Lipstick in Dubonnet, $17, maccosmetics.com.
Always Sharp Lip Liner in Violet, $20, smashbox.com.
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Take It Off

A model wearing a stained lip look on the Giorgio Armani fall/winter 2016 runway during Milan Fashion Week. Photograph courtesy of Jacopo Raule/Getty Images

Why put on lipstick only to take most of it off? Well, that's just part of the fun of makeup, isn't it?

The Trick: Apply a few layers of lipstick, preferably a delicate pink or mauve, and let it set on your lips for at least five minutes. (Just enough time to finally watch every story on your Snapchat feed.) Then, take a soft tissue and pat some of the color off—focusing on the outer edges of your lips. Warning: A matte formula isn't the best for this technique, as it dries too quickly.

The Result: A just-bitten or just-ate-a-popsicle vibe that will suit any casual activity you have going on this summer.

The Products:

Baby Doll Kiss and Blush in Rose Epicurien, $40, yslbeautyus.com.
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Build Color Blocks 

A lip look at the Mackage spring/summer 2016 show in Toronto. Photograph courtesy of Edward James/Getty Images
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This is the easiest technique on the list: there's no excuse not to give this two-toned look a try.

The Trick: Pick two colors that are in the same hue family, such as a plum with a violet or a coral with a brick orange. Take the darker shade and apply to your top lip and emphasize the color with a bit of extra coverage. Then, apply the lighter, brighter color to the bottom.

The Result: A fun, striking illusion that will pair well with an all-black or all-white outfit scheme.

The Products:

Rouge Artist Natural Lipstick in Pastel Coral by Make Up For Ever, $20, sephora.com.
Dirty Love Matte Lip Velour, $14, winkylux.com.

Share this colorful guide with your friends, then start practicing yourself!

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