How to Apply Lip Gloss

Forget that first lip gloss you had as a kid that was thick, sticky and poorly pigmented. Lip glosses have come a long way, thanks to perfectly-blended formulas like our Gloss for Grown Ups Collection. Below, we’ve got tips on how to find the perfect lip gloss for you, and how to apply it correctly with this eight-point lip gloss tutorial.

Step 1: Choose the Right Lip Gloss

Teenagers’ love for lip gloss is seemingly a universal phenomenon that transcends time and generations. From Baby Boomers to Gen Z, adolescents' first forays into the world of makeup is typified by a trip to the drug store with girlfriends for shiny lip gloss. 

Now that you’re grown, you don’t have time for a lip gloss that feels tacky and catches windblown hair. However, you still want a subtle sheen on your lips in the office some days, or a glamorous shine on your pout during a night out. Here’s what to look for when choosing your new lip gloss:

  1. A smooth, shiny gloss that doesn’t look overdone or frosty
  2. A formula that feels silky on the lips, and not tacky
  3. A buildable gloss that goes from sheer to striking based on your preference
  4. Lip gloss colors with balanced tones that look fantastic on your skin tone
  5. Lip gloss that is richly pigmented to stand-out

Fortunately, Mented’s lip gloss line was specifically designed to hit all of these points, as a part of our collection of makeup for women of color. Each of our lip glosses were made to complement all skin tones, whether your complexion is tanned or deeper. If you’re a little unsure about matching lip color shades to your skin tone or undertone, read on here.

Pro Tip: Mented makes a collection of lip gloss for women of color in shades ranging from light mauves to rich browns and bright corals to true nudes. They are sold separately or come in one of two sets for women looking to really up their lip gloss game.

Step 2: Prep Your Lips Like a Pro

Now that you’ve got your lip gloss picked out, it’s time to start prepping your lips. Lip gloss can visibly settle into the cracks of dry lips. To get a kissable pout, exfoliate and moisturize your lips regularly. You can exfoliate with a tool you likely have at home: a soft bristle toothbrush; simply make gentle circular motions with it over your lips. Alternatively, you can purchase a lip scrub or channel your inner DIY creativity and make your own lip scrub. Combine sugar and a touch of coconut oil or honey, and then rub it over your lips for about a minute.

After your lips are exfoliated, they’ll need some nourishment. Grab your favorite lip balm and start moisturizing them liberally.

Pro Tip: Put on lip balm before your makeup routine that ends with lip color application. This way, the moisture from the balm has time to be absorbed into your lips.

Step 3: Use a Lip Pencil to Define Your Lips

Lip gloss can feather outside of the lips if not properly applied. To prevent the never-cute look of gloss marks on your face, outline your lips with a lip liner first. 

When selecting a liner, go with a formula that glides on easily like Mented’s. This will give you a smooth, skip-free application. As for the lip liner color, it should be a shade or two lighter than your lip gloss. You can also go with a lip liner shade similar to your natural lip shade. By choosing a light or natural-looking lip liner color, your lip liner and lip gloss colors will blend together undetectably, preventing obviously outlined lips. 

For a lip outline that is ultra-clean, start at the high point on each side of your cupid’s bow and draw down diagonally.  It will appear as if an X is on your lips, and then just blend this in with your finger or a lip brush. Finally, finish outlining your lips by either following their natural curvature or lining just outside for a fuller look. 

Step 4: Apply Your Favorite Matte Lipstick (Optional)

Lip gloss is characterized by its sheerness as much as its sheen. Most lip glosses are not opaque and for good reason. Opaque lip gloss in a light hue can run the risk of appearing pasty or looking like concealer is used on your lips. Bold colors in an opaque gloss can quickly turn into a bit of a mess, even when properly applied. This is why women often opt for lipstick vs. lip gloss when it comes to these bolder colors.

However, for women who want an opaque, full-color lip gloss, try actually combining your gloss with a lipstick. After outlining your lips with a pencil, simply fill in between the lines with one of your favorite matte lipstick shades

We recommend matte lipsticks, as opposed to cream or shimmer lipsticks, since matte lipsticks are high in pigmentation and low in moisture. Due to the moisture in other lipstick types, they tend to lose their vibrancy when combined with a gloss. Your lip color is also more likely to migrate due to the doubled-up moisture from a non-matte lipstick and a gloss. 

Compared to other types of lipsticks, a matte lipstick will stay put longer, is less likely to feather and retains its pigmentation despite the coat of gloss over it. After applying your favorite matte lipstick, be sure to gently blot with a tissue to pick up any excess color.  

When choosing a matte color, the standard approach is finding a hue that closely matches the gloss color. If you’re feeling a bit more fun, grab a matte lipstick in the same color family as the gloss to create a personalized shade matched to your mood and ensemble. 

Step 5: Outline Your Lips with Concealer (Optional)

Outlining your lips with concealers is an often skipped step, but so important in accomplishing three key benefits:

  1. Giving your lip color a razor-sharp edge 
  2. Further preventing lip color from moving
  3. Helping to highlight your lips

To do this, simply take a small flat edge brush with a little concealer on it and carefully follow the outside of your lips. Any wayward lip color marks will disappear. The thickness of the concealer also works as a dam, preventing lip color from moving. Plus, because concealer is a shade or two lighter than your skin tone, it also works as a mini highlighter around the lips.

Step 6: Set Your Lip with Setting Powder (Optional)

Lip gloss is not exactly renowned for its staying-on power. While superior lip gloss formulas will provide longer-lasting results, lip gloss will require more re-applications throughout the day than other less moisture-forward forms of lip color. 

To get lip gloss that stays on all day, you can apply a setting powder before gloss application. Take a touch of setting powder to your lips after lip pencil application, or after lipstick application if you are using lipstick. The setting powder will not only set your underlying lip color, but also give your gloss a drier and more tactile surface for lasting adherence.

Step 7: Apply Your Lip Gloss 

Actually applying lip gloss is probably the easiest part of the entire how to apply lip gloss process. There are a couple of ways to do this:

Dab a touch of gloss in the middle of your bottom lip and then rub your lips together.

or

Swipe gloss across your lips like a lipstick, staying away from your lip line.

As you probably guessed, the first approach is going to deliver a touch of sheen. Fully coating your lips in lip gloss, on the other hand, will deliver fuller coverage. For high shine and big-time color, coat your lips two or three times with a buildable lip gloss. 

Here’s a helpful tip to remember: if you are gliding on your lip gloss, don’t get too close to the lip line. Even if your lip liner game is strong, gloss is notorious for feathering. Avoid this by focusing lip gloss application toward the center of your lips.

You can use the doe-foot applicator that comes with your lip gloss. Take the applicator to the corners of your mouth and edges of your lips to help make it look like a professional makeup artist glossed your pout.

Pro-Tip: If concealing lip discoloration is important to you, be sure to grab a lip gloss that is pigmented enough (like Mented’s). We recommend 2-3 coats for full pigmentation. 

Step 8: Don’t Rub Your Lips Together

Your lip gloss is on and it looks on point. Now don’t ruin it by rubbing your lips together. This habit is generally fine when wearing other types of lip color, but when it comes to lip gloss, it’s best to refrain from pressing together your pout. Gloss has a tendency to spread when lips are pursed, causing the inner portion of the lip to look not-so-glossy. Gloss can also end up outside your lips when you rub your lips together. If you can avoid touching your lips or rubbing them together, you’ll enjoy a longer-lasting glossy lip. 

Other Creative Ways to Apply Lip Gloss

Lip gloss is a cosmetic product primarily used on the lips - it’s in the name after all, right? Here’s the thing: you can incorporate lip gloss in other ways too to create pro makeup looks. If you’re into experimenting with new beauty tricks and getting more bang for your buck by using makeup products in multiple ways, then we’ve got some lip gloss secrets for you below:

  1. For a dewy look, use lip gloss as a highlighter by dabbing just a touch above your cheekbones and gently blending in with your finger.
  2. Add a touch of gloss over the ridge of your eye for shiny glamour - this is great for a nighttime look.
  3. If you like glittery makeup, then the adhesive nature of gloss can serve as a base for the touches of glitter you apply to your face.

Lip Glosses To Let You Shine

For any woman who has long loved lip gloss or is newly-converted to this makeup staple, Mented has got your back. Our line of supple, smooth and shimmery lip glosses are made from concept to bottle to enhance your gorgeous lips and match your skin tone. Once you've got the hang of applying a glossy lip, you'll be sure to always keep a go-to lip gloss in your makeup bag. Use the tips in this tutorial and put on your favorite Mented lip gloss to feel confident all day long!