The backstage secret for a perfect lipstick application

how to apply lipstick

A flawless finish guaranteed

Beauty Crew Editor / June 05 2017

Whether you’re applying a pinky-nude lipstick that looks like your lips but better, a fire-engine red or a vampy deep plum, there’s one thing you need to keep in mind: a precise application is the key to pulling off any lipstick.

And while there are plenty of lip liners, lip brushes and perfectly pointed lipstick bullets that can help you get that straight, smooth lipstick application, we recently discovered a backstage trick that won’t let you down. 

Courtesy of Head Makeup Artist for shu uemura, Panda Peng, this lipstick application method is one utilised by shu uemura artists around the globe, and was developed by Mr. Shu Uemura himself.

“It’s called the Signature Method. We apply a lip colour in just seven strokes,” says Peng, who makes it clear that the success of this trick lies in the brush used. She recommends the shu uemura kolinsky 7h brush, as it has a fine enough point for accuracy, but offers enough thickness to ensure maximum coverage. 

Once you have your brush and your colour of choice, here’s how to apply your lipstick.

TOP TIP: Peng recommends you always apply a lip balm long before you apply your lip colour, as this will ensure your lips are soft and hydrated.


Start with 3 strokes

Start by creating a cross on your Cupid’s bow and applying a line in the middle of your bottom lip, following your natural curve. You want to use the flat side of your brush for this – you’re not simply lining; it’s almost like you’re filling in at the same time.

how to apply lipstick


Move to the left corner

Take some more of your lip colour and do one stroke from the corner of your top lip up towards the Cupid’s bow, and then one stroke from the corner of your bottom lip down towards the centre.

how to apply lipstick
“Make sure the brush is flat against the skin, and work slowly with lots of colour on your brush.”
Panda Peng
shu uemura Australia
Head Makeup Artist


Finish at the right corner

Repeat step 2 on the other side of your mouth to complete your lip look.

how to apply lipstick
TOP TIP: If you have big lips and still have gaps in the centre of your mouth, use your brush to paint the colour on.

And you’re done – seven simple strokes to the most flawless lip ever! 

Keen to try this trick? Here’s how to find your perfect shade of red lipstick

Do you have any go-to tricks for a flawless lipstick application? Please share with us in the comments section below.

Image credits: Getty; BEAUTYcrew

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.