Power Tips for Applying Bright Lipstick So It Stays Bold All Day

tips for applying bright lipstick

These tips for applying bright lipstick work for everything from electric blues to vampy reds. Keep it fierce, dragon child!

Hi, I’m Chris, Mooky’s resident Tarot-flinging, make-up hoarding dragon child. I love makeup and stash it like a fabulous, feral squirrel. My hoard is frankly frightening. I am not ashamed!

As a dedicated animal lover, I try my best to only use the most animal-friendly products I can find (which is why I enjoyed reviewing these vegan blue lipsticks from Impulse Cosmetics so much I created these bright lipstick application tips in the first place!). I’m not a MUA, but I can hold my own, in spite of having disabilities that effect my motor function. I’ve been wearing bold, bright lipsticks for years, so I’ve got a few tips on how to really get the most out of that wicked bright lippy you’ve got hidden away (be honest, we’ve all got one – or twenty, if you’re a lipstick dragon with no shame.)

Now, these are all just suggestions. Please go right ahead and apply your stuff direct from the bullet if you like. These tips mostly do require further spendage so if you’d rather skip that, that’s okay.

Applying bright lipstick starts with exfoliation.

Exfoliate those kissers. A wet finger dipped in sugar (or mixed with a little Vaseline, which has endless beauty uses) will do the trick. You can also buy beautiful lip exfoliators from places like Lush and MAC. Join me in my makeup dragon cult and treat yo’self to one.

For best results, moisten your mouth with warm water, then use dry fingers to apply the scrub. Gently swirl it around for a few seconds. (This is an AMAZING thing to do when you’ve a cold and your lips and nose are chapped and horrible.) Rinse off with warm water and gently pat dry.

Now moisturise your lips.

Next, moisture. There are approximately six bazillion lip balms in the world and I’ve tried at least half, but nothing has ever been able to hold a candle to Lush’s Lip Service, in my books.

lush lip service

Melt some onto your mouth and massage in. Leave it to sink in for a few moments.

Lip primer is the best prep for bright lipsticks!

Now, for a secret weapon – lip primer! I’ve only tried one, which happens to be by Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics, which is minty and pleasant to use. It’s not a miracle worker, but it will extend the lastage of your pout. Which is important when applying bright lipsticks, because when you’re got a bright, bold, unnatural colour on display, fading shows up really fricking fast. Take a tiny amount from the tube, dot it on, and blot off any excess. Give it a minute to set.

Line your lips with a brush, then fill them in with the lipstick bullet.

Once the preparation is done and it’s time to apply those bright lipsticks, I like to use a brush to line my lips with the colour, then fill in the rest with the bullet. Accuracy and pigment payoff in one easy step!

Achieve zero bleeding with these two tips to lock in colour.

Bright colours are super unforgiving with mistakes – so don’t let your lipstick bleed once it’s applied! Use a clear or skin-toned lip liner, or try the makeup artist’s trick of using a straight brush and concealer to keep those lip lines sharper than knives with zero bleeding – this is a great way to correct smudges, too.

Some bright lipsticks might benefit from Lipcote.

Some lipsticks these days are fantastic for staying put, but I used to swear by Lipcote lipstick lock.


It’s been years since I’ve used Lipcote, and it used to get young Goth Chris through a whole day of school, lunches and flute practice and all. Thanks for the rec, young Goth Chris!

How to give satin bright lipsticks the matte look…

If you’ve got a lovely satin lipstick but would like to rock the matte look, carefully brush on some translucent powder on top. It’ll help set the colour and will transform the finish. Impulse Cosmetics sell a powder for just such requirements.