I suffer from lipstick paranoia. For those unfamiliar with this term (I invented it, so that’s quite likely), it’s the fear of wearing lipstick because it is fraught with potentially embarrassing moments. I worry about lipstick ending up on my teeth, how I look while sticking my lips out awkwardly to try and avoid lipstick getting on my teeth, cracked matte liquid lipstick, the colour coming off my inner lip and leaving me with what looks like bright liner around my lips… The list is endless! I generally find it easier to not wear this standard make-up product at all, and stick to a sheer tint or lip balm instead. On the two or three occasions a year I decide I’m going to give lipstick another try, I usually end up in a bathroom removing it about 30 minutes in. Fail.

While I have yet to meet them, I’m sure there must be other people out there like me. As such, here is a roundup of beauty hacks that might come in handy next time you feel like making your pout pop.

1. Before you even reach for the lipstick, prep your lips first. Exfoliating them will create a smooth surface, which will make the lipstick look better and feel smoother and more comfortable as well.

2. Worried about lipstick getting on your teeth? After you have applied it, put your index finger in your mouth and slowly pull it out between your lips. This will remove any excess lipstick that has gotten just under the lip.

3. To make sure that your colour doesn’t fade over the course of the day (or night), apply a coat of lipstick, blot it with a tissue and apply some translucent powder over that to set it. Repeat this a few times to make sure that your lips are coated, and your colour should last much longer.

4. Play around with different colours, brands and formulas. A matte finish might be trendy but it might not be right for you. Experimentation is key to finding your perfect lipstick.

5. If you are too scared to wear lipstick while out and about, wear it around the house as a trial run. This will also give you a good indication of whether or not it lasts.

6. If you are out, carry a small mirror with you and check your colour from time to time and touch up when necessary. Other than that, remember that loads of people wear lipstick daily, with varying results, and all it takes is practice and a bit of confidence to pull it off. There’s hope for us all!

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