How to Keep Fall's Dark Lipstick Smudge-Free

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Put in a little prep work before swiping on your shade of choice.

This article originally appeared on InStyle

Pumpkin Spice Lattes aside, fall is also prime time to break out the dark lipstick. Whether you’re a pro or novice at rocking a vampy bullet, no one is spared from annoying smudges. 

We turned to N.Y.C.-based hair and makeup artist Abraham Sprinkle, to fill us in on how to get through the fall season with a smudge-free pout.

If this fall is going to be your first time rocking a dark lip, Sprinkle recommends sticking with a semi-matte or liquid matte formula.

“Glosses can get tricky for new users. Semi-mattes or liquid mattes adhere better to the lip and have less movement.”

Bullets aside, the biggest key to keep your lipstick perfect throughout the day is putting in a little prep work before swiping on your shade of choice. “One of the biggest triggers to smudging lips is improper prepping,” says Sprinkle. 

“If the color is applied on a lip that isn’t hydrated, you risk bleeding in the cracks. On the other hand, an over-hydrated lip (too much balm) will cause the lipstick to move everywhere.”  

Dip a mascara wand in a lip balm such as Fresh’s Sugar Nourishing Lip Balm Advanced Therapy ($30, sephora.com) to wipe away dead skin and create a clean canvas for your lipstick, and follow by lining the lips using a matching colored or clear liner for extra insurance against bleeding.

When it comes time to apply, Sprinkle suggests using a lip brush like Charlotte Tilbury’s ($26, nordstrom.com) to ensure even product distribution. Once you have your lippie on, outline it with a creamy concealer such as Becca Aqua Luminous Perfecting Concealer ($30, sephora.com). 

“If you use concealer at the end of the application to outline the lip, this really cuts down on smears,” explains Sprinkle. “Sometimes, I will also put on loose powder over the concealer using an eyeshadow brush to further set it.

If you do encounter a mishap, don’t sweat it there is a quick solution to fix the mess without wiping off everything and starting over. Sprinkle says to simply dab a Q-tip in face or body lotion and use it to blot off any unwanted color. “This helps remove the dark pigment and keeps it from staining.” 

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Filed under: How-To