Beauty Tips From the Pros: Perfect Lips

Famed actress Audrey Hepburn once said, "For attractive lips, speak words of kindness." So true, but I'll add one thing: Lipstick sure helps!

It's been reported that for Cleopatra to paint her lips, it took 70,000 beetles to yield one pound of carmine dye. Talk about high maintenance. Today, lip color is far less complicated.

Signature lip shapes and lipstick colors are distinctive and will always define many iconic legends such as Lucille Ball and Joan Crawford. But few of us can pull off those dramatic looks with such ease. The reality is that their lip shapes were crafted skillfully by the great Hollywood makeup masters.

Today, it is always the best idea to work with and compliment what nature gave us and make the prettiest mouth we can in a few easy steps. Don't overdo it with any lip makeup, and you will keep your lips looking pretty, sexy and kissable.

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Lipstick comes in a dizzying array of shades and formulas such as crème, matte, sheer, frosted, long-wearing stick, pots, glossy and even the new "plumping" formula. Your choice of formula and color choice is a very personal fashion, style and comfort choice.

Do not be convinced by a salesperson that the latest, greatest shade is YOU! Get a friend's opinion or trust your instinct. Take care navigating this jungle of colors -- the possibilities are endless. Try not to fall for each and every new seasonal trendy shades as they might not be flattering for your complexion and hair color.

But be brave and try new shades -- make sure you are comfortable that your choice of color really reflects your personality or the fashion mood you are going to reflect. Your lips tell others a great deal about your personality, even before you part them to speak.

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TAKE AWAY TIPS

* Do not be convinced by a salesperson that the latest and greatest shade is right for YOU! Get a friend's opinion or trust your instinct.

* Lipstick can spoil! It can go rancid, so if it starts to smell funny, feel like candle wax or not go on as smoothly as it once did, toss it.

* Resurrect an old lipstick or one that you didn't like after you bought it by adding a tinted or metallic gloss or layering it with a new shade! I never use a single color. Layering is fun and will help create a signature look for you.

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* Love the new red shades, but are they too bright for you? Apply a crème red lipstick with care, let it set for five minutes and then wipe away with a tissue. Voila! You have a lovely and approachable stain. Add gloss, and you have a pretty, modern interpretation of the fashionable red lip!

* Keep lipstick and gloss from running at the corners of the mouth and up into little lines by first applying pressed powder around the margins of the lips. Lip liner helps keep color in place as well.

* A lip brush is surely the most accurate way to apply lip color. Applying straight from the tube onto your mouth takes focus and maybe a lip pencil after you apply just to tidy up that lip line.

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