Smile, pout, kiss – so much is expressed through our lips, and such a statement can be made whether you choose to go with a matte lipstick or shiny gloss, in a bold shade or neutral tone. But are you making the most of your lip colour, or committing lip colour mishaps? There is more to wearing the right lip colour than simply swiping it on, after all. Check whether you’re doing right by your lip colour here:

Wear gloss in appropriate environments. Swipe on the super shiny gloss for the nightclub, but stick to something less slick for the office. If you’re in a particularly corporate environment, gloss can be too much, says Jackie Shawn, a Toronto-based makeup artist with Judy Inc. “When it’s too dewy and shiny, it can be distracting and not serious enough for work,” she says.

Change your lip colour with the seasons. You should have a wardrobe of
lip colour, says Shawn. Summer colours tend to include more corals, while deeper colours dominate the colder seasons. For summer, too, you can play more with glosses and other sheerer formats, while winter will call for lip treatments and balms to help soothe dry, chapped lips.

The lip liner colour debate.
Yes, some ladies still commit this faux pas. “Your lip liner should be the same colour as your lipstick,” says Shawn, adding that you should be sure to blend your liner with your lipstick so that the line is not as harsh. She finds it fresher and more modern to skip liner altogether, in fact. Given that lipstick formulations have advanced, bleeding is less of an issue. If you do have issues with lipstick bleeding into fine lines around your mouth, by all means line your lips and apply your lipstick with a brush so you have greater precision.

Check out our favourite celebrities sporting red lipstick.

More lipstick tips and one mistake to avoid on the next page …

Have a lip colour equivalent to an LBD. Every woman needs a lip colour that is almost same colour as your lip, something simple and so that you’re good to go once you apply it, says Shawn. Her favourite that suits most skin tones: Nars lipstick in Dolce Vita.

Reapply your bold lip colour. If you’re going to put on a bright red or fuchsia lipstick, you had better be prepared to maintain it throughout the day. You can’t just apply it in the morning and be done with it, says Shawn. “Be ready to commit to it,” she says. Otherwise, you should wear something effortless and easy (see “lip colour equivalent to an LBD” above).

The big no-no: Putting your lip colour onto dry, chapped lips.
Give your lips the TLC they need before applying your colour. Shawn likes The Body Shop Lip Scuff to help deal with chapped lips, but you can also use a clean toothbrush or a washcloth to help exfoliate gently. Apply a lip treatment that sinks in well—Shawn favours Elizabeth Arden Lip Fix—as anything too greasy will affect the intensity of the lip colour you apply on top of it.

Read more:

Celebrity beauty: The best red lips

The best red lipsticks under $30

Say goodbye to chapped lips