Gloss is great for making lips look super sexy – it just doesn't hang around for long. Here's how to use yours for maximum impact and longevity.
*Providing a reflective surface, gloss works by concentrating light on the lips so they become the centre of attention. But this means it highlights dry, patchy skin, too. Rub your lips with the wet corner of a towel or a flannel to get rid of the worst dry bits and use lip balm constantly for a few days to give skin chance to repair. Also: stop licking them! The saliva dries off, taking with it moisture from inside the lips.
*Don't apply gloss to wet lips – it needs a dry surface to stick. Filling in lips with a natural or neutral shade of lip liner acts as the perfect base as does lipstick – blot with a tissue first to allow the gloss to grip, then simply apply over the top. The result is an intensity of colour you can't get from gloss alone.
*If you have lines around the lips, liner is a must – otherwise the gloss will bleed straight into them and create a splintered-looking effect.
* The thicker the gloss, the more your hair sticks to it when blown about, but the greater its staying power. Watery gloss is gone with a lick of the lips – even tinted lip balm will stay longer.
* And choose colour carefully, too. Gloss magnifies lips, but dark colours recede and make lips look thinner – in the same way black clothes make you look slimmer. Go for neutral, almost skin-coloured shades to blur the boundaries of the lip line and make lips look bigger. For a fuller, poutier look, use lipstick for colour and apply a dab of gloss on top just to the centre – drawing light to that one spot makes lips look juicier.
* Apply to the centre of both lips, paint out to the sides and press lips together instead. And drink through a straw to help it stay there.