1. Condition, condition, condition! Dramatic lipstick on chapped, flaky lips is not appealing. To keep your lips in tip-top shape, be sure to manually exfoliate, using either a simple wash cloth or a toothbrush. Do this every other day or so, and follow up with a hydrating lip balm.
2. Don’t forget your brows. Why? Because a powerful punch of color on your mouth needs some balancing. Forget about the bleached out brows that ruled the runways and editorial spreads in recent months—what looks good on models and in print isn’t always the best thing for real life. A nicely shaped, subtly defined brow is necessary for pulling off a dramatic lip in real life.
3. Blot. A matte lip is especially on-trend right now, and you can get it by blotting with a tissue, applying several coats of the color you choose. While you’re at it, put your index finger in your mouth (like you’re drinking out of a straw) and slowly pull it out. This will prevent the lipstick from getting on your teeth.
4. Start with lipliner. And fill your lips all the way in. This will not only give you a beautifully defined lip—it will give the lipstick additional staying power.
5. Keep the rest of your makeup simple. Dramatic lips look silly with too much eye makeup. Some neutral shadow and subtle eyeliner—topped off with a couple coats of mascara, of course!—should be perfect.