The Definitive Lipstick Guide for Work, Special Events, and the Everyday

If you’re like us, you love the idea of a lipstick as part of your look for big events: meetings, weddings, important dinners, or even just for a fun pop everyday. But it’s also the makeup that gives us the most trouble, and we have questions! We’ve reached out to Lindsey Zelli Ashworth, Professional Makeup Artist and Esthetician, to pick her brain for all her lipstick secrets, so a bold (or even a nice neutral) lip is never out of the question. Read on to learn whether or not to rock a lip for a meeting, how to preserve your lipstick through a meal, and the final verdict on lipliner: essential or outdated?

DSC_2306 Lindsey (left) with our lipstick model for the day, GB team member, Emilia (right)

GB: For a big moment like an interview or meeting, would you advise a bold lip, or a neutral one?

LZA: For any big moment, I always suggest choosing a color that makes you feel confident while being the best representation of you. That  said, know your audience. If you are interviewing for a job that has a more subdued feel, pick a more subdued color that feels appropriate while still being you. If you’re they type of person who loves bright red lipstick, but are interviewing at a more conservative spot, you can keep the essence of red, just take it a few shades down. If you’re interviewing at a place that has a creative or more relaxed environment, go bold! The truth is, the first step to looking good is to always be true to you.

GB: If you did go bold, what colors do you want to gravitate towards or avoid?

LZA: If you go bold, make sure your application is flawless and double check your teeth! The last thing you want is for your lipstick to distract during an important meeting or interview. Just like a coffee stain on your favorite blouse, a bad bold lipstick application will make you memorable in a bad way. As far as colors, choose colors you love and feel good in.

DSC_2098 Emilia wearing a nude lip (NARS Chubby Lip Pencil in Bahama with YSL Stain 107 Naught Mauve)

GB: Do you have any tips to make lip colors last through important drinks or meals?

LZA: There are different ways to make lipstick stay. You can line your lips and fill in with a liner, then put lipstick over the top of it, which will help keep the color longer. You can also use a lip sealant on top of your lipstick; just make sure to use a good one as sealants can be drying.  You can also try a lip stain as opposed to lipstick. Failing that, order drinks with straws if you can!

GB: For people who don’t typically wear lipstick, what product would you recommend to easing into a colored lip?

LZA: I love chubby lip pencils—like a liner and lipstick in one—combined with a gloss to top it with. You can also go with a nice lip stain, 1 to 2 shades darker than your lips.

DSC_2234 Emilia in a classic red lipstick (Half Red Lip Liner by MAC and Dare You Lipstick by MAC)

GB: What makes a lip color the “perfect red” for someone?

LZA: Honestly, it’s all in the way it makes you feel. Lipstick is a statement: It’s all about the attitude you have when you wear it. When you put on a red that instantly brings you joy, that’s the perfect shade for you.

GB: What are some common mistakes people make when applying / choosing lipstick?

LZA: Not prepping their lips properly. It’s important to exfoliate and hydrate your lips. The worst is putting lip product on dry cracked lips. The best is to exfoliate at night and wear a nice balm when you sleep, so your lips are lipstick ready in the morning.

GB: Lip liner: How important is it?

LZA: It’s important if you want a crisp line and aren’t steady with a lip brush. It’s also important if you don’t want feathering around your lips. You can never go wrong with a lip liner that matches the natural color of your lips. You can literally use it with every color or on its own with a pop of gloss on top.

DSC_2273 Emilia in a bewitching fall color (Plum Lip Liner by MAC, Cyber Mixed with Rebel Lipstick by MAC)

GB: What is one lip color every woman needs to own?

LZA: Every woman should have at least one natural, soft lip color and one bold in whatever color expresses their own personality.

GB: Fashion lip colors (blues, purples, greens etc): any tips for newbies on how to try those out?

LZA: Trial by fire, baby. You’ll never know if you like it until you try it. Always prep your lips, then keep an open mind when putting it on.

GB: Anything else our readers need to know before getting their lip look ready for the day?

LZA: Don’t forget to take care of your lips on a daily basis i.e. exfoliate and hydrate, so you will always have lipstick ready lips! Also, don’t be afraid to try new colors. It’s always good to shake things up!

Thanks for the great tips, Lindsey! For more great makeup tips, looks, or to contact Lindsey, check out her website or follow her on Instagram.