Sealed with a kiss: your lip service 101 on color and shine

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Thursday, 24 October 2013 - Last Updated on June 14, 2015

A smile is the best accessory. But did you know that there are multiple ways of accessorizing a smile? Whether you like your signature smirk demure or cheerleader-perky, you can make you smile go the longer mile with the right choice of lipstick. You’ve already learned the beginnings of lipsticks. Now it’s time to arm yourself with the perfect bulletlips main photo

Figure 1 Lipsticks are no longer just about color. They are now part of the skin care industry and fashion as they offer more nourishment and textures complementing any concern and fashion trend for women of all ages. (Left to Right: Happy Skin Shut Up and Kiss Me, Revlon Lip Butter, Colour Collection Lipstick)

Learn the many ways to make your smile work for you using lipsticks that come in various finishes! Indeed, if you thought choosing lipsticks only meant finding the right color, you’re mistaken. These days, lipsticks come in a list of textures that is sure to make swatching different shades a day job!


In makeup, you are given the choice to either go all out in coverage or to stay closest to natural by wearing lighter more sheer cosmetics. Whether you’re trying to cover up a blemish or you’re working for an even skin tone, the proper coverage plays an important role towards achieving that perfect look.

The language of lipsticks is a similar tune. When you want fuller coverage, you go for lipsticks with bolder and ore pigmented colors. For this, the best choice comes in the form of matte lipsticks. Think early 90’s when bold red lip color changed the way women saw beauty. The formulation of matte lipsticks is more dense and waxy, thus more recommended for younger women who can get away with the usual drying effect of matte makeup. Using a matte lipstick insists sporting stronger and a more vivid color for the lips—expecting a full color coverage perfect for those with dark lips. If you like a lip service that stays, matte lipsticks are your best bet because matte lipsticks offer better color adherence. This makes it perfect for an all-day color minus the touch ups.

Try Nyx Cosmetics, Ever Bilena and Wet and Wild Cosmetics for affordable color finds.


Want matte with a hint of dew? Semi-matte lipsticks are your go-to finish. Semi-matte lipsticks offer bold colors like matte lipsticks but are formulated with more oil to wax ratio than the former, thus making it less drying on the lips. It is a harmony of both worlds, so to speak, where you get a punch of color worthy of the catwalk; while also basking on a finish that welcomes light and brilliance on the lips. These types of lipsticks don’t have an all-day color lifespan though, and are usually not transfer-proof so you better ready your tissue to avoid staining your paper straws.

The good side however comes in waves as semi-matte lipsticks grants a long list of women the power of a pretty smile! Because of its color and shine combination, semi-matte lipsticks are recommended for almost all ages and types of lips, whether dry, thin, or textured.

Check out Ofra, San San and Rimmel lipsticks for great options on red, coral and nude semi-matte shades respectively.


tinted lip balm

If you’re not satisfied by a soft sheen on your lips, you should remember to gloss it up. Remember how Angelina made the world want fuller plump lips? If you want to achieve the same pout but are not gifted with the same fullness, a swipe of loss is just what you need!

Normally, a clear lip gloss is recommended to be applied on top of your lip color to add a juicy shine on your puckers, no matter what color you use. But there’s more to lip gloss than a sealant or top coat. Glosses now come in a world of shades that are great to use as a base coat for your lipstick. Other than that, glosses also function as a playful medium to mix different lip shades smoothly (hint: Chrome lips).

Affordable glosses are all over your beauty counters! But if you want a shade that will look good on your natural lip color, give Essence Stay Don’t Stray or Physician’s formula’s color-adjusting lip gloss a swipe!



Metallic or frosted lipsticks come in handy for girls who want a more avante-garde look that sparkles under strong lights but are free from the sticky feel most lip gloss leave on the lips. Unlike semi-gloss, metallic or frosted lipsticks offers a shimmer that comes in diffused colors or opalescent finishes. Most metallic or frosted lipsticks show a deep and pearly color on the bullet, but glides on as a subtle and sheer shade on the lips.

Think of the groovy 70’s when icy berries conquered the lipstick world. Metallic or frosted lipsticks are perfect for parties because of its 3D color-effect for the lips. For must-try metallic and frosted colors try Milani for purple hues, Guerlain and Stila for the perfect frosted nude, and Clinique for stunning corals!


On days when you prefer to keep things light and breezy, a more natural approach to lipsticks is in sheer finishes. Sheer lipsticks are usually more see-through and forgiving as they come in muted and more translucent colors that are easier to use and match with any look or trend. Sheer lipsticks are perfect for those who have a peeve towards bleeding lipsticks and stained coffee cups. Sheer lipsticks are also a great entry-level makeup for those who want to start an adventure with color without the professional demands of lining, prepping, and sealing lip color when creating a bold look.

If you like to keep your makeup professional but dainty, sheer lipsticks are perfect. For a great selection of sheer lipsticks, try Maybelline Dreamshine lipsticks or the pink and peachy shades found common on Korean Beauty houses like Etude House and The Face Shop.


Love makeup but would prefer one that offers more nourishment than just color? Tinted lip balms are going to give your kisser the dream smoothness and suppleness it deserves. Tinted lip balms are so universal, you can use them as they are or under your favorite lip service. They are recommended for the prevention of chapped or cracked lips; while also great lip service for those who need to heal their dry and textured lips.

If you take care of your face with moisturizer and your body with body butter, you should remember to also care for your lips with a nourishing treat because your lips are skin too! Prevent lip lines by making lip balm a daily habit. There’s truly no excuse in forgetting to moisturize your lips as lip balms come in simple fuss-free packaging, are packed with sun protection, and are loaded with nourishing moisturizers like shea butter and jojoba oil making them an all-around travel and day-to-day beauty must-have!

For cute shades of pink, try Etude House and Maybelline Baby Lips. If you want a fruitful selection of flavors, Nivea Lip Care is your best bet!

Now that you’re armed with the basics of lipstick textures, you can now find the perfect lipstick for your personality. Just remember that lipstick trends come and go, and the best way to find the perfect lipstick for you is wearing a color that will make you want to share a smile all-day long. Good luck and have fun swatching!

Photos by author Kumi Yasuda; second to the last photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons: p>

Kumi Yasuda (18 Posts)

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