Want to change your look, but don't have money for a shopping spree or a trip to the salon? Try lipstick. Seriously. You don't wear lipstick, you say? Even better, more bang for your buck, so to speak! What's that? You think you look clownish in lipstick? Your lips are too big? Your lips are too small? Don't insult me with that one, you don't know small lips until you have met me, or at least my upper lip... Okay, okay, just hear me out. I'm new to the lipstick game myself, but I've tried it, and I love it. Let me give you a few basic pointers, and then give it a go, please. It may make you feel different. It may be the key to adding a bit of glamor to your holiday get ups without breaking the bank. Just try it. You be the judge.
First, pick a color. It doesn't have to be too matchy - matchy with your outfit. A better rule of thumb is to stick with something that flatters your natural coloring. If you have cool coloring, go cool. Warm coloring, go warm. If you're new to this, and nervous, choose a color that is just a bit darker than your natural lip color (give your lip a little bite to actually see what this color looks like).
Next, exfoliate those lips. There are lots of suggestions on how to do this, some involving Vaseline, coffee grounds, and other such ingredients. My favorite way to go is to use a bit of white sugar - just gently rub on wet lips. In 20 seconds you will have soft lips and a sweet taste in your mouth!
Now, moisturize. Use a moisturizing lip balm on those babies. I like Smith's Rosebud Salve, but whatever you have will work.
And apply. There is some debate out there about whether to line or not. In my brief experience with lip stick I have not used liner. From what I've read, the pros include prevention of "feathering", or lipstick bleeding into the fine lines around your mouth, and the ability to give greater definition to your lips. Giving definition to lips via liner went scarily awry in the 90's; just be aware that this is a fine line to walk (I can't help myself). If you decide to go this route, choose a liner in nude or in a color very similar to the lipstick you plan to use. You can either apply the lipstick straight from the tube or with a brush. A brush gives you greater control and you use less lipstick, so it lasts longer. I use the one from my Sephora brush set (great Christmas gift from my sister in law, Nicole, once upon a time). There are inexpensive options out there, such as this one from e.l.f ($3), or this one from Sonia Kashuk ($6.99). Apply evenly over lips, staying within God's boundaries (i.e. don't draw a new pair).
Blot with a tissue. Perfect lips! I will leave you with a few budget lipsticks to try. I have the first one on the list, so I can vouch for it. The others have received consistently high reviews and seem to be great options in the budget category.
Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick ($6.99)
Revlon Color Burst Lipstick ($7.49)
e.l.f. Essential Lipstick ($1)
e.l.f. Mineral Lipstick ($5, no parabens, preservatives or chemical dyes)
NYX Round Lipstick ($3.99)
Maybelline NY Color Sensational Pearls Lipcolor ($7.49)