How to Pull Off Lipstick: Tips from a Southerner

When she sends me the Google doc with the draft of the post, I always am at the edge of my seat to see what it’s going to be about! It’s like Maxie reads my mind every week. I’ve been trying to wear more makeup, and to wear it better, but the lipstick thing makes me so nervous. Pulling it off seems so hard. There are girls who look great with a bold lip… and then there’s me. Well, of course… Maxie’s tips are really great. (And trust me, this girl ROCKS lipstick!)
I’ll never forget finding an old family Christmas card we took at the pool, wondering why I had lipstick on when I wasn’t even in school yet. My mother’s shameless response was that “the water would have washed me out.” I giggled, thinking what a southern thing that was to do. I highly doubt I needed it when I was four years old, but now it’s the one beauty item I actually feel naked without. Whether it’s a night out to wine with the girls, a first date, or big presentation, you’ll find me with some shade of lipstick on.
Most likely, you feel similar to 90% of my best girlfriends when it comes to lipstick. Those feelings normally start with discomfort and end in descriptions of Ronald McDonald. But after some urging from me, so many ladies I know now rock the lady lips, as we call it in the south. I’m normally the last girl you’re going to find writing about beauty tips (unless it’s about teasing hair, I’m a pro. #SouthernGirlProblems), but I’ve seen first hand how many ladies who thought they could never wear lipstick, now do it fearlessly, their confidence skyrocketing with it.
In the spirit of doing new things this year that you’ve never done before, here are a few tips to get you comfortable with my favorite feminine accessory: bold lips.
Prep Your Lips
There’s nothing worse than cracked and chapped lips. Except exasperating the issue by covering those lips in a loud color. It just doesn’t make you feel like a million bucks! But there’s a fun little trick I was taught decades ago from my Mary Kay consultant of a mother that I still do today: cover your lips in a thick lip balm and then lightly scrub them in a circular motion with a toothbrush. It’ll exfoliate all of that chapped skin, leaving you a beautiful canvas with which to play.
Pick a Color You Love
Go as big and as bold as you’ve ever dreamed of. Whether it’s a regal red, a power pink, or a wine-colored burgundy, if it’s the color that catches your eye then snag it. I used to think I couldn’t wear certain colors, and while I do think specific skin tones look better in different shade, shoot if you’re pumped about wearing it… chances are you’re going to make it look good. Not the other way around. I have a few favorites which I wrote about on my blog
Use a Lip Liner 
If you want to avoid the Ronald McDonald look at all costs, lip liner is your new best friend. It’ll allow you to easily outline your lips with precision, making filling in your lips with the super bold permanent color much easier. If you want to slightly fix the lip liner you just put on, it’s much easier than removing a full mouth of lipstick. Just make sure to use a lipliner that matches your lipstick within a few shades.
Accept and Repeat
The first time you wear a sassy bright lipstick, you’re going to feel like it is all people are looking at. You’re going to be paranoid. You’re going to wonder if it’s down to your chin. (It’s not.) Accept that you’re going to feel maybe a little funny the first time you do this, but simultaneously accept how freaking fabulous you look. Just like anything else, the more you wear it, the more comfortable you’ll feel with the entire process.
You are the real key to wearing lipstick beautifully. You’re the one lighting up the room. You’re the one standing out in the new Instagram photo. You’re the one with the 1000-watt smile. The lipstick is just there as a final touch. As with any beauty trick, whether its having big bold eyebrows or loud lips that add sass to your smile, confidence will radiate your beauty from the inside out. 

PS Maxie has a birthday this week! Tweet her Happy Birthday 😉
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Colorful Lips are my go to.
Something about a bright lip just makes me feel even more confident.
Go for the bold lip Carly you will never want to go back!



great tips! I totally felt like everyone was looking at me when I started wearing lip color. I remember I got a tinted lip gloss from mac and tried it on and told the lady I felt like I looked like a clown-she was like "I can't even tell you have color on your lips" lol. now I love pink/hot pink colors, especially in the summer!

Amy Marie

Great tips – I love using white/clear lip liner! (Found at any drugstore – pretty sure mine is maybelline) It is so great because I never have to worry about the color matching. I line my lips with it, and then fill in my entire lip with it. I defiantly notice a huge difference!



I love this post! I was so nervous the first time I wore lipstick for all the reasons you listed. Now it's an everyday accessory for me!


Kira T.

Lipstick is definitely a big step from a statement necklace. But, it is a wonderful tool to use to dress a certain attitude.

xo, Kira