Use one lipstick four ways

The expert tricks that makes your lippie so much more versatile

Beauty Crew Editor / June 21 2016

Discovering your perfect shade (or shades) of lipstick is one of life’s most satisfying moments. And what usually ends up happening is that you find yourself buying that exact same shade in a gloss, matte, and sheer so that no matter the finish you’re after, you’ve got your perfect colour. 

And while we always encourage building a substantial lip wardrobe, there are a few tricks courtesy of Amy Conway, Bobbi Brown International Pro Artist that you can use to make your Holy Grail lipstick a little more versatile, and essentially give you four lip products in one. 

These tricks will all work to transform your standard cream-based, satin finish lipstick, so if your lipstick is a matte, gloss or sheer, you might find you can only use a couple of these tricks. 

So without further ado, here are four finishes you can create from just one lipstick.


The pure colour

This is the finish that the lipstick has been created to deliver, and the best way to get the most of the pigment is to apply it directly from the bullet, or to use a lip brush for extra precision.


A matte finish

Matte finish lips are a big trend right now, so instead of going out to buy the same shade in a matte, Conway suggests this clever trick after applying your lipstick: “You could still use the same lip colour and just tap a little translucent powder over your entire lip to change the finish. It will completely take down the shine of it and leave you the colour but create a matte finish.”
Try: Nude By Nature Mineral Finishing Veil 

Nude By Nature Mineral Finishing Veil


A gloss finish

If you’d like to finish your makeup look with a high-gloss shine and your favourite lipstick doesn’t quite deliver what you’re after, use a clear gloss to dab over the top. If you swipe the gloss on, you might dilute the colour on your lips and leave a sheerer finish, where as if you gently dab, you can deposit the shine and maintain the colour.
Try: Bobbi Brown Crystal Lip Gloss

Bobbi Brown Lip Gloss
TOP TIP: If you want to create the illusion of a fuller pout, dab your gloss only in the centre of your top and bottom lips.


A stained finish

Sometimes we love the shade of a lipstick but want the finish to be a little less vibrant. So to keep the colour and tone down the pigment so it’s a bit sheerer and almost looks like a stain, Conway suggest applying the colour with your finger. 

“Instead of applying your lipstick straight from the bullet, if you just press it in with your finger, you’ll get a completely different look. It will be more like a stain and a soft wash,” she says.

This technique works best for bolder and brighter lip colours, but can work with some pink-based nudes to give you a ‘your lips but better’ finish.

Main image photography: Edward Urrutia

Carli was BEAUTYcrew’s Editor from launch in 2016 until May 2020. You can find her words right here on BEAUTYcrew, and previously on beautyheaven.