Applying lipstick with a perfectly straight edge is a triumph second only to achieving an even set of cat eyes on the list of beauty plights. Leave it to Reddit to get into the nitty-gritty of breaking down this lipline woe: a post in the r/MakeupAddiction subreddit spurred a plethora of tips on applying lipstick for those with unsteady hands.
The initial post, titled “For anyone struggling with lipstick application: there’s a light at the end of the shaky-handed tunnel,” features before and after images of the same pair of lips (wearing Kat Von D Exorcism) taken mere months apart. The stark improvement in the second image will make those with unsteady grips say, “show me your ways.”
1. Use both hands.
User MarxistLesbian — who notes that her arthritis and anemia are to blame for less-than-flawless lines — says the transformation happened through lots of repetition (sigh). “I practice pretty much every day,” she reveals. Nevertheless, she does share her favorite technique: “[I like] holding my wrist with my other hand to stabilize the applicator while I move my mouth instead of the wand.” (Um, genius) When all else fails, “…clean up with a lip brush,” she advises.
2. Utilize cotton buds and lotion.
Another user, hotdancingtuna, swears by these tapered cotton swabs, “Put a dab of face lotion in your palm and roll the tip of your q tip in it so that it has a light coating of lotion.” Next, “run [the coated q-tip] lightly along the natural [lip] boarder.” Voila — a clean (and soft) lip line.
3. …Or clean up edges with foundation and concealer.
If you’re in a rush, take advice from Lunarrphase, who loves to “use concealer or foundation to clean up the edges!”
4. Break out the power tools.
User Fakemoose believes a step-by-step process using a liquid lipstick formula creates the crispest lines. “Use lipliner and a brush,” she advises. “Do an X the top where the V is first, then the bottom half, then the rest.” She suggests using this tutorial from thebeautydepartment.com as a guideline.
5. When in doubt, use lip liner.
“I finish lining with the liner pencil or lipstick on a lip brush (whichever you were already using), fill in most of the way with the lip brush, then use the applicator to finish coverage,” Fakemoose notes. So many different applicators, but we’re willing to give it a go.
Read more lipstick tips:
- Here’s the One Lipstick Hack Makeup Artists Think You Should Know
- 10 Commandments of Lipstick
- This Is How Kylie Jenner Applies Lipstick
Watch 100 years of lips: