Start fresh. Exfoliate lips once or twice a week (Cantello uses a mix of salt and almond oil), then follow with balm. 

"Shimmer can look cheap," says makeup artist Troy Surratt. Look for lipsticks with a creamy finish. "Light reflection should come from moisture in the formula, not metallic pigments," he says. Two hydrating options: Dolce & Gabbana Passion Duo Gloss Fusion Lipstick and Clinique Butter Shine Lipstick.

Choose a bright shade based on your lips' natural color—not your skin tone. Women with pale lips look best in cherry red or coral; for naturally reddish lips, try hot pink, orange, or cranberry; for dark lips, brick red and burgundy are ideal. Try Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur Couture in 01 (for pale lips), M.A.C. Lustre Lipstick in Lustering (for reddish lips), or L'Oréal Paris Infallible Le Rouge in Bold Bordeaux (for dark lips).

The prettiest nude lip color is slightly brighter or deeper than your skin tone. If you're pale, look for something with a hint of pink, like Burberry Beauty Lip Cover in Nude Rose. Those with yellow or olive undertones or dark skin look best with sandy beiges, like CoverGirl LipPerfection Lipcolor in Delish.

Blue- or black-based shades that are too dark can be severe, aging, and even a little scary. Look for lipsticks with berry undertones instead. (Try Elizabeth Arden Exceptional Lipstick in Wild Winterberry or Rimmel London Moisture Renew Lip Colour in Burgundy Lustre SPF 18.

Liner is no longer a must—today's lipsticks don't bleed," says Surratt. To enhance your Cupid's bow or add symmetry, use a pencil that matches your lips, not your lipstick.

Careful application is good; clinical precision isn't. Just smudge the border of your lips slightly.


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