I have a weird plant that I got from a neighbor when walking home from work a few years ago. He had a boulevard full of crazy plants that he’d acquired from all over, and decided to gift me one after we briefly conversed about art made from reclaimed materials. It was only when I got home that I realized that the plant was originally, like, $44. SCORE.
Keeping it alive is a bit of a chore, because every so often it decides to spontaneously uproot itself and lie, drying out to death, on the surface of its potting soil. I usually only notice right before it’s too late; scooping a little crater in the soil and nestling my expensive-but-still-free wandering plant back into its earthy home.
I’m sharing all of this to express how I feel about writing DIY cosmetics articles. Do you remember the last time I wrote about DIY cosmetics? I don’t.
I’m temporarily nestling back into my potted foundation with this article on lip contouring with color. This technique can be done with any two differing shades of liner and lipstick, but let’s be real: it’s way more fun when you have the entire arsenal of Crayola’s hues at your eager fingertips. It’s time to put those colors to work.
The concept of contouring is to emphasize the natural structure of the face with highlight and shading colors, and this is no different with the lips. I found, the first few times I would try to wear lipstick, the result wasn’t nearly as bold as I would have liked it to be.
The color always looked flat and dimensionless, which I chalked up to not wearing enough pigment. I quickly realized that slathering on more lipstick is pretty much never the correct course of action.
I looked to illustration to guide me, instead, and noticed how shadows fell on the lips and face. It dawned on me that the amount of pigment wasn’t the problem, so much as which pigments were being used.
When trying this technique with a liner and a lipstick, I fill in my top lip entirely with liner, and line my bottom lip very scarcely.
After that, I fill in the bottom lip with lipstick. Using the Make Up For Ever 5 Camouflage Cream Palette that I honestly can’t shut up about, I highlight my cupid’s bow and shade under my bottom lip.
What was once a flat lip now has more dimension, and a much bolder appearance.
To stick with red while using this technique is to stay, comfortable and stifled, in your potting soil. That isn’t the life for you, my readers. You want to explore: to boldly go where no other overwrought plant metaphor has gone before.
Let’s delve into the artistry of color contouring with Crayola Cerulean. Don’t fret; reds will always be there for you when you want to slink back to the snuggling comfort of convention.
To start, you’ll need to have your not-red crayon color of choice, as well as a white and black lipstick. These will be used for the highlights and shadows.
Start with a base of the lip color you’d like use. I use a lip brush to aide with precision.
After that, shade the upper lip with the black lipstick:
And highlight the fullest part of your lip with the white lipstick.
From there, highlight the cupid’s bow, and shade under the lip for more depth:
One thing that I did notice, aided by the knowledge I acquired from my forays as an uprooted DIY lady-plant, is that the crayon lipsticks behave closer to cream makeup than commercial lipstick when on the lips. This is usually a result of how much oil is added to the crayon when it’s being mixed: the less oil, the harder and more matte the lipstick, and the longer the staying power. Adding more oil lends to a smoother application and more lustrous finish, but it won’t stay on worth a good gottang.
What I suggest in that case is to use a setting powder on your lips, which will cut down on some of the luster, but drastically increase the length of wearability of the lipstick itself. Make sure to use a kabuki brush when applying the powder, though. Ashy-looking blue lips aren’t hot.