Scott Barnes – Celebrity Makeup Artist


Module 5: Lip Colour Application   


What you will learn:  


Introduction to lip colour  


Different lip mediums  


How to store and transport your lipsticks  


Prepping lips  


Choosing the right colour  


How to fix smudges  


Common mistakes when applying lip colour  


Interesting Facts  


Frank Toskan & Frank Angelo Founders of MAC Cosmetics














“You can’t keep changing men, so you settle for changing your lipstick.”  ― Unknown  


1.1 Introduction to lip colour  


Eyes shouldn’t be the only feature to grab people’s attention, your lips can say it all. A set of pretty, pouty lips can get you just about anywhere. You can give your clients  perfect lips that will definitely turn heads. By using lip gloss and lipstick properly, you  can make your client’s lips look softer, supple, bigger, and fuller every time. Lip  colour can enhance the face, balancing other features while directing focus to the  centre of the face. It can boost confidence and self-esteem; with the right application  a woman can feel better about herself.  




Below are is list of the different lip products that are great options to stock in your  kit. You don’t need purchase all of them, just be aware of what is available and  who it may benefit. 


2.2 Tinted Lip Balm 


A tinted lip balm is basically just that, a product to moisturize your lips with a hint  of colour. They give the most natural result. 


Benefits: Will mositurise and condition the lips adding a hint of colour.  


Recommended for: Any client if used as a lip primer. Great for any client youung or old who wants a really natural look. Recommended for children’s makeup i.e.  flower girl. 


Application: Scrape a little off with a spatula, use a lip brush to apply from your  spatula. Do not apply directly to the clients lips. 



2.3 Lip Gloss 


A lip gloss will give an instant shine and a youthful feel to lips. It has less staying  power than a lipstick and so it needs to be reapplied every few hours or after the  client eats. Colour choices range from clear, bright, dark to black, but if you are  starting to build your kit cost effectively, then you may want to start with clear first, as  you can apply clear over any lipstick or lipliner colour to give that lip gloss look. Lip  glosses are usually in a squeezable tube, in a pot or a tube with an applicator.  


Benefits: Will give a wet look to lips. A gloss will enhance the size of lips creating a  fuller look. Some lip glosses also have moisturizing properties. 


Recommended for: Any client who loves the wet lip look. Lip gloss is great for a  client who has small lips or who prefers a more natural finish. Not all clients like lip  gloss, especially if it is not in the current trend. Many clients opt out of lip gloss  because of its sticky sensation, but not all lip glosses are sticky. Lip gloss can be  layered over any other lip colour medium or applied on its own. It is ideal for younger  clients, but not always ideal for clients who have quite a few age lines around their  lips.  


Application: You can use a lip gloss on its own for a more natural look or layer it  over a lip colour for a little more glam. You must use a spatula to dispense your lip  gloss and work with a lip brush from your spatula. 



2.4 Sheer Lipstick 


This lip product gives a very natural and moist result. It’s a great choice for  minimalists who still wants the feeling of a lipstick but doesn’t want the intensity  of a lipstick. Like the gloss, it may need to be reapplied more frequently.  


Benefits: Will mositurise and condition the lips, giving a sheer layer of colour.  It gives the clients the feel of lipstick but without the full impact of a lipstick  colour. 


Recommended for: Any client wanting a natural look, including younger  clients, children or mature clients. Clients with dry lips.  


Application: Scrape a little off with a spatula, use a lip brush to apply from  your spatula. 



INDUSTRY TIP: Sheer Lipstick Hack. To avoid purchasing a complete  range of sheer lipsticks when you first start building up your kit, you can  experiment by mixing a small amount of lip balm with any regular lipstick  to create a sheerer texture. 


2.5 Traditional Lipstick 

These come in 4 different textures and finishes, the lipstick you choose will depend on  

what the client requests and how long they want the lipstick to last for. 

Creamy Texture: Usually creamy and slightly glossy with a medium pigment, they are  

soft but not very hydrating or long wearing. 

Frosted Lipstick: This lipstick offers medium wear time, medium coverage and  

medium shine. What makes them frosted is the shimmer that is in the colour. Like lip  

gloss, frosted lipsticks are usually very seasonal and only requested when they are  


Matte Lipstick: One of the most long lasting lip products. Currently very popular, the  

matt lipstick is the trickiest to work with as matt lipstick usually has a very high colour  

payoff and unless the client has smooth moisturized lips, the lipstick will show on every  

crease and dry patch. They also tend to be very dry. 

Satin Lipstick: They are long wearing and offer high opacity. They can be moisturizing  

and provide a slight sheen to the lips. A good option for someone who would like non  

matt lipstick that is also long lasting.  

Benefits: Most lipsticks moisturize and soften the lips. The selection of colour is  

limitless. Lipsticks are also very easy to mix with other lipstick colours, concealers or  

other cream products for that right colour. There are a variety of textures, pay off and  

durability to suit everyone’s needs.  

Recommended for: Any client who wants colour. You just need to find the right finish  

and texture for them.  

Application: Scrape a little off with a spatula, use a lip brush to apply from your  

spatula. Do not apply directly from the lipstick. 

INDUSTRY TIP: You do not need to purchase one of each colour lipstick in each  

range. To start building your kit, it is recommended that you first invest in matte  

lipsticks or satin lipsticks, as these usually suit all clients, are always trending  

and can be manipulated to suit different client needs. As mentioned above,  

mixing your lip balm with a matt lipstick may be a good hack for dry lips or to  

provide a more satin finish. If you want a frosted finish then you can always  

lightly press in a shimmery eye shadow. If you want to transform your satin  

lipstick into matt, then many brands have a lipstick matt transformers (MAC &  

Smashbox) which is a product that you place over any lipstick and it transforms  

it into a matt finish lipstick. Other quick hacks are using a translucent powder  

over top, using a matt eyeshadow over top (but must be exact colour match) or  

using a matt primer on the lips to make any lipstick matt.

2.6 Lip Stains, Tints & Lip Markers 

Lip markers are one of the latest trends, they are a revamp to a lip stain and tint. Lip  Markers come in a marker packaging, they are usually sheer and matt. Lip stains and  tints usually come with an applicator tip. All are long lasting and are great for a client  wanting a natural matt lip colour. 

Benefits: Will provide a hint of colour that lasts all day. They also come in a variety of  colours, not just a blush or red.  

Recommended for: Any client wanting a natural look, including younger client and  children.  

Application: It is not recommended that you use a lip marker, tint or stain directly on a  client, as there is no way to hygienically dispense the product, except using a cotton  tip or a disposable lip applicator, which isn’t always practical. If you do use it, use a lip  balm first for clients with dry lips. You can use a clear gloss over top if they want that  glossy lip stain look. 

2.7 Liquid Lipstick 

These are the latest trend, as they have replaced the need for the traditional all  day stay lip colour, that product where one end was the colour and the other end  was a clear gloss which was used over top of the colour to help not dry your lips  and peel throughout the day. Those were not great products, as lips were  constantly peeling. Thank goodness for liquid lipsticks! Although they are usually a  matte finish, they are not drying, but for people with dry lips we do recommend  prepping and priming your lips before application. The other advantage of liquid  lipsticks are that you can achieve precision in your application and it is budge  proof, eliminating the need of a lip liner.  

Benefits: Long lasting lip colour that’s matt, without the peeling or drying the lips.  Recommended for: Any client who prefers matt or a lip colour that lasts all day.  

Application: Scrape the applicator with your spatula and use your lip brush to  apply it from your spatula, if you need more product then sanitize your spatula  before scraping off more. Apply a lip balm or primer before. Apply a lip gloss on top  for a wet look.


2.6 Lip Liners 

It was once thought that lip liners were essential, and traditionally you apply lip liner to  the outline of your lips before your lipstick. Lip liners are useful if the chosen lip product  or application isn’t giving you a crisp clean edge, it also helps the lipstick to not bleed  into any fine lines. Lip liners can also be used on their own, all over the entire lip, which  will last all day, additionally you can place a small amount of concealer over top for a  nude version of the selected colour or apply a gloss over top. There are many types of  liners, some softer than others. It is recommended that you select a soft lip liner like a  crayon, as the application will be a lot smoother. 

Benefits: Lip liners have multiple uses, including assisting any lip colour to last longer.  They come as a traditional pencil, a chunky crayon or a twist top.  

Recommended for: Any client wanting a defined look or who would like their lip colour  to last all day. It’s a great tool to use for those who would like their lips to appear bigger,  by outlining the lips on the outside of their natural lip line.  

Application: Ensure your pencil sharpener has been sanitized, it is also a good idea to  wipe down your pencil with alcohol. Sharpen your pencil and apply directly onto the client’s lips.


3.1 How to store and transport your lipsticks 

As an artist you need to ensure you have enough colour range to suit all client  requests, however this doesn’t mean you have to buy every colour. Once you have  a good understanding of colour theory you can then mix colours to create the  perfect colour. In saying that you still need to find a practical way to store and  transport your lipsticks. 

All lip products should always be stored at room temperature. You will find that older  lipsticks or lipsticks stored in hotter environments will begin to sweat. If you don’t  have many lip products you can always bring them as is. If you have quite a few  then consider de-potting them into a palette (as below). 

For de-potting your lipsticks it is recommended that you use a pallet that is designed  for this purpose, i.e. any palettes that can go into the microwave. A recommended  brand to look into is Vueset Palettes, they have palettes for lots of cream and liquid  makeup products, including a palette just lipsticks. 

3.2 How to depot a lipstick into a palette: 

  1. Use a spatula to depot the lipstick out of it’s original container and into one of the  palette wells. Take out as much of the lipstick as possible.  
  2. Fill all the palette wells, it is recommended you leave the last 2 empty to use for  mixing colours.  
  3. Once all the wells are full, put your palette into the microwave for up to 2 minutes.  It is strongly recommended that you stop the microwave to check on the lipsticks  every 20 seconds so that you don’t over melt the lipsticks or burn them.  
  4. Set them aside to cool off.  
  5. Peel off the sticker from the lipstick canister and stick the corresponding label at  the back of the well. 


3.3 Ready made palettes 

  You may wish to purchase a premade lip palette that has basic colours ready to be  mixed. This is a great option, however the finish and durability of the product will be  the same i.e. all may be satin finish or will only last a few hours, there is no variation  within the palette. These are a good cost effective way to start building your kit.  Although some retail brands have their own lip palette, it is recommended that you  stick with professional makeup brands like Cinema Secrets, RCMA or Kryolan.


4.1 Prepping lips  

 Many clients will have dry and peeling lips, so its important to properly prep their  lips before applying any lip colour. The best time to do this is at the start of the  application, when you are prepping their skin. 

  1. Apply a lip conditioner or lip balm on the clients lips. 
  2. Let it set in for a minute, while you moisturize and prep the rest of their face 3. Using a disposable mascara wand, gently brush their lips to remove any dry  skin. Do not over do it where the technique begins to remove too much dry skin. 4. Follow with more lip conditioner or lip balm, and keep this on all the way  through the application until you are ready to apply lip colour. 

INDUSTRY TIP: Some brands sell a lip primer to assist with the durability  of your lip colour, however this is not essential if you use the right  technique and lip products. 


5.1 Choosing the right lip colour 

Usually the client may have a colour in mind, or they may feel comfortable with only certain colours, their “go to colours”. Regardless of what your personal preference is, their preference is always the “right” choice. Deciding what lip colour you should apply will not only come down to the clients personal choice, but what undertone they have and what blush they will wear to match the lip colour.


A few other things to think about include; their overall look, is it natural, dramatic or somewhere in between? Do they own a similar lip colour that they can take with them to reapply? Do they want their lips or eyes to stand out? Perhaps both or none? Usually a client will want either their lips to stand out most or their eyes to stand out most. This was once a makeup “rule”, but in today’s modern makeup industry this rule is outdated.


As mentioned above, you must take into their consideration their skin undertone. Are they cool (blue veins) or are they warm (green veins), following this guide will help you to select a colour to match. For cool skin tones the right lip colour will either have pinkish/purplish undertones coming through and for a warm skin tones it will have orange/goldish undertones coming through.

5.2 Choosing A Nude Lipstick 

Not all nudes are created equal. When most clients think of nude the first thing they  usually think of is beige, which can work but doesn’t suit many people. To see if the  client suits a beige nude, apply their foundation colour onto their lips, blend it in using  your foundation brush. If their eyes stand out (in a good way) then chances are they  will rock the beige lipstick, if they don’t then a true beige nude lipstick will not suit  them.  

A the best nude lip colour choice is based on the client’s natural lip colour and skin  undertone. To air on the side of caution and when in doubt, select a nude colour that  matches their undertone and is one shade lighter than their natural lip colour. 

INDUSTRY TIP: Nude lip hack! Line the clients lips with a lip liner that is the  same as their natural lip colour or one shade darker. Apply a small amount of  concealer to the bottom lip, right in the center. Ask them to gently press their  lips together. This will create a natural fullness and dimension to a nude  colour. Then apply a clear gloss over top.




7.1 Common mistakes when applying lip colour  

Firstly lets make mention that there are no mistakes in makeup. It is art and it all  

comes down to personal preference. However there are a few things you should  

avoid to ensure the client is always happy.  



Not taking into account what the client wants. When its time to do lips, ask the  

client for their opinion on colour and finish. Most will leave it up to you, but  

some people may be very selective with the colour and finish. There are many  

clients who have worn the same lipstick for years and may not want to try  

anything new. Even if you don’t agree with their choice of lip colour, remember  

its their makeup and you must give them what they want.  


Glitters should not be used on older clients (unless they have requested it of  

course). Glittery lip colour is usually more suited to your younger clientele,  

people who love to wear lots of makeup or like experimenting.  


Try to avoid using dark shades on thin lips. Most people with thin lips don’t  

want to draw attention to their lips, and dark colours will make their lips look  

even thinner.  


Traditionally you should avoid light colours on fuller lips, especially if the client  

doesn’t want to draw attention to their full lips. However modern trends favour a  

nude colour on fuller lips, as these days bigger lips are highly sought after.  


Don’t over drawer their lips or assume that all your clients want the illusion of  

fuller lips. Ask them before you do it.  


Don’t apply too much gloss, especially to the outer edge of the lips. Gloss will  

move the colour underneath, which means bleeding will occur quicker. A good  

technique is to only apply a small amount of gloss to the center of the lips only.  

Avoid lipstick on the teeth. When you have finished your lipstick application,  

ask your client to blot the excess onto a tissue, however make sure they blot it  

the right way. They need to blot the inside of the mouth/lips, not the actual lips,  

or all your work will come off. You may need to show them how.  


Lip liner around the lips can be the same shade as the lipstick or 1-2 shades  

darker than your lipstick. It shouldn’t be lighter and it doesn’t have to be the  exact same colour as the lip colour.  


Don’t think that lip liner must always come before lipstick. Applying lip liner after  lipstick can help sharpen the edges. 

8.1 Interesting Facts 

  • In pre-historic times, lip colour was made using plant and fruit juices. It was  mostly used for religious ceremonies.
  • It was also used for medicinal purposes and was often applied to protect the  lips from the wind and the sun.
  • Egypt was fundamental in modern lip colour, using cochineal insect pigment to  make red lip colour and seaweed to make purple lip colour.
  • Both men and women wore lip colour in Ancient Egypt, it was a symbol of high  status.
  • Ancient Greeks used lip colour to identify prostitutes. A law was passed that all  prostitutes had to wear lip colour to reduce the risk of them deceiving men.
  • Hazel Bishop, a chemist after World War II, was responsible for developing the  smudge-free lipstick that we still use today.
  • Guerlain KissKiss Gold and Diamond Lipstick costs a whopping $62,000. It is made of 110g of 18k gold with one hundred and ninety nine diamonds. For this  price you also get a wide selection of colours to choose from.
  • A study conducted at the University of Manchester identified that men will look at women for longer if they are wearing lip colour. Men looked at women for 7.3  seconds when wearing red lipstick as opposed to the 2.2 seconds when they weren’t wearing any lipstick.
  • 25% of women will not leave the house until they have applied their lip colour. 
  • All lip colour products have an expiration date. In order to prolong lipstick, keep it in the fridge, you can add months to the safe date by doing this small step.
  • The Lipstick Effect; when facing an economic recession, consumers will be more willing to buy less costly luxury goods like lipstick. So even though sales went down for many industries, lipstick sales remained.
  • Using the wrong shade of lip colour can add years to a person, at the same  time choosing the right colour can make them look younger and boost confidence
  • Swivel lipsticks that we use today first appeared in 1923.  

Module 5 QUIZ:  

  1. A tinted lip balm is best for  

A: Children  

B: Young adults  

C: Mature Clients  

D: All of the above  

(answer is D)  

  1. True or False  

You can use lip gloss directly from its squeezable tube and onto the clients lips as the  lip product that lives inside the container can not not be cross contaminated.  (answer is False)   

  1. What is the best lip product to invest in first when you start building your kit?  A: Sheer lipsticks  

B: Matt lipsticks  

C: Lip gloss  

C: Lip liners  

(answer is B)  

  1. True or False  

You should always use a lip liner on everyone  

(answer is False)  

  1. Choosing a lip colour depends on which of the following factors:  A: What the clients skin undertone is  

B: What the client requests  

C: What blush they are wearing  

D: All of the above  

(answer is D)  

6.True or False  

A nude lipstick is essentially a beige colour that suits everyone  

(answer is False)  

  1. True or False  

Clients with naturally thin lips should avoid darker shades of lip colour  (answer is True)  

  1. True or False  

A client should only ever have their lips stand out or their eyes stand out in a  makeup application, not both.  

(answer is false)  

  1. True or False  

A lip liner should always be either the same colour as the clients lips or 1-2 shades  darker. It should never be lighter than a clients natural lip colour.  

(answer is True)  

  1. True or False  

The final decision on lip colour and lip product should be decided by the Artist, as they  are the professional and will always know what is best suited to the client  (answer is False) 


(Insert Lip Application Video 9 Here)  

4.1 Practical  

Now its your turn to practice on a family member or friend.   

Your client selects a bright red colour, select the right undertone for them.   Line their lips up with lip liner, lipstick and gloss. Give them a bit more shape,   over drawing their lips a little to make them larger, but not overdone.   Once you are done, take a photo and upload their red lips.  

(upload photo)  

Once you have applied the red, change their lip colour to a nude that suits them.  Take a photo of their nude lips and upload it.  

(upload photo)  




Submit Module 5 Quiz  

Upload photos for Practical 4.1 (total of 2 photos)


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