f your eyes are the windows to your soul then your lips are essentially its doors, because art and also logic.
There are tons of cool things you can do with them, like purse them into duck shapes in a bid to appear sexier / duckier in photos, use them to bestow signs of affection on minions, and bite the lower one to signal to your crush that you are either interested in his gentleman parts or that you are extremely hungry and would definitely not turn a canapé down, all from across a room.
Yes, they are wonderful things, and the stuff we put on them – chiefly, lipstick – can perform feats of wonder that are no short of magic (or Photoshop, which are sometimes the same thing).
To demonstrate, makeup artist extraordinaire Bianca Hartkopf, who works with Katrina Kaif and a host of other celebrities, wrote in with a list of the coolest things you can do with lipstick - from whitneing your teeth to faking fuller lips and even drawing attention away from the things you'd rather people didn't focus on sometimes, like dark circles and an odd spot or two.
Here's how she performs her lipstick wizardry.
If You Have Redness
To minimize redness from sensitive skin which tends to flush easily, rosacea, or even a few acne clusters, Bianca recommends staying away from frosty, pale shades – exactly the kind she recommends for faking fuller lips – because the shade can make everything look a bit grey, she says.
Instead, try going over the areas of redness with a little bit of foundation on a damp sponge to neutralize the skin tone and add a sheer veil of flesh-toned colour.
Next apply a deep, berry tone on your lips – oddly enough, it will complement, rather than highlight, any existing redness and bring a sense of balance to your face.
Try: L’Oreal Color Riche Moist Matte Lipstick in Arabian Night.
If You Want Fuller Lips
And who doesn’t, every once in a while? Drawing slightly outside the natural lip line with a pencil used to be the tried and tested way to ‘cheat’ fuller lips, but the look now feels a bit outdated, like a Spice Girl circa 1997.
Instead, befriend the idea of light, or shades that reflect it – pink, frosty shades of lip colour, to be particular. The other alternative is to go the other way with a matte, nude tone, which tricks the eye into thinking that your lips appear much fuller than they really are.
Try: Du Wop Venom Lip Styxx in Fiddle Styxx and Colorbar Take Me As I Am Lipstick in Mysterious Nude.
If You’re Trying To Draw Attention Away From Dark Circles
Make your lips the centre of attention, and people are less likely to notice your dark circles, says Hartkopf. You want lips that stand out and are beautifully defined, and the best way to do this is by using a lip liner and filling your lips in with a lipstick in the same shade – or even using the same liner. Keeping your eye makeup minimal also helps; maybe just a couple of coats of mascara to open them up.
Try: Elizabeth Arden Beautiful Color Precision Glide Lipliner.
To Fix Yellow Teeth
It’s all about the colour wheel, according to Hartkopf, which states that blue cancels out yellow – this is also why blue or purple shampoo is a blonde’s best friend, since the shade neutralises down all the yellow, brassy tones in the hair.
Which isn’t to say that blue lipstick is the way to go – instead, Bianca recommends wearing a blue-toned shade of red, which makes teeth appear instantly whiter. Confused about what that might be? Look for cool, true reds like brick reds, as opposed to warmer, yellowish or orange-y reds.
Try: Daniel Sandler Cosmetics Luxury Matte Lipstick in Red Carpet or Maybelline Color Sensational Lip Color in Pleasure Me Red.
For Sallow Skin
If your skin isn’t looking its best – maybe you’re just coming off a week in bed with the flu, or you haven’t been getting enough sleep – you want to stay away from brown tones which only highlight any existing yellowness in the skin, says Bianca.
Instead, she recommends adding an opposing colour to your face – bright pinks and, for those who shy away from that shade, coral pinks, which are far softer, usually do the trick, she says.
Try: Too Faced La Crème Lip Cream in Fuschia Shock or Maybelline Color Sensational Pink Alert Lipstick in POW 4.
All illustrations by Lucid. © Jossbox