The Lipstick Story


When I shared the picture above with another post this week, I received many questions; I decided to do a whole post about applying and choosing a lipstick.

Lip color can improve our mood and make us look vibrant and healthy. I wear it every day, even when I am not wearing any other makeup.

As I age, adding a brighter lip color works well to lift my face. Notice I said brighter, not darker. I have made the mistake of wearing a dark red, but that only made me look scary because it was too harsh and made my teeth look not so white anymore.

The steps I took to achieve this look are as follows.


1. Line your natural lip line with the same color of a lip pencil as the lip color you are using. (red with red) (plum with plum) (peach with peach). Next, I fill in my whole lip with the pencil and then blot. The pencil shown here is from Lancome.

2. Apply the lipstick color and use a lip brush to smooth it over your lips evenly. Blot with a tissue. Repeat this step. The goal is to stain the lips rather than have goopy color sliding around and traveling into the lines around the mouth. The color I have shown is a discontinued one, but this one (color 160 Rouge Amour) is very similar.

3. Apply a small amount of lip butter (not gloss) to the middle of your bottom lip to give you just a hint of softness. When you blot the lipstick, you are removing the oils. When you use the lip butter, you are controlling how much is deposited back onto your lips. This balm/butter The color is Shine Lover 120 O MY ROUGE. It is also by Lancome.

4. Choosing the best color for your skin tone is easy. If you look best in silver jewelry, wear clear, vibrant red lip colors with no yellow undertones. If you look best in gold jewelry, a warm color of orange-red would be best for you.

I hope this little tutorial helps you apply the correct lip color that lasts until you take it off.

  1. Thanks for the tips, Susan! I’ve been wanting a red to wear again, & this info certainly helps. Addressing colors compatible with what tone of jewelry you are wearing is also a Big Plus!!
    My hair is mostly grey now, & as I was shopping for new tops recently, I tried on one that I didn’t end up liking enough to buy, but discovered that this tone of red enhanced my face & hair! I purchased another top I loved – the fabric & flow was wonderful, color was a steel grey, & I knew I could accessorize it with bold colors. Thank you again for the MANY ways you help us with beauty tips as we transition to another season in life! I’ll say it again….you’re a Rock Star!!!!!

  2. My comment disappeared after I filled in name & email addy, then clicked on submit…..arrrg! Suffice it to say, I was thanking you for the MANY tips you share with us, as we transition to another season of life. I appreciate these tips, as I still want to wear a red lipstick but have held off, for fear of buying something that makes me look & feel ridiculous. I’ve stopped coloring my hair, & embracing my gray, but have begun to put more emphasis on my eyes, as I feel washed out, with pale skin & now hair! Been wanting to find a good red for my lips, & what you’ve suggested sounds like a winner – Thank You!!! It’s refreshing to see women in our age category finally embracing this season of life, but not letting it kick our butts to the curb. Taking the time & effort to enhance what we have to work with is always a pick-me-upper! I’ve said it before….you’re a Rock Star, Susan!!!!!

  3. I just wanted to tell you I love the design of the new blog. The size of the pictures is wonderful and so clear. I wish more blogs would go to this style, some have pictures so small I feel like I need a magnifying glass to see them. This design style puts the focus on the photos, love it.

    I need to try using a brighter lipstick, thank you for the tips. You look amazing as always!

  4. I love your lip color! It’s always the first thing I notice about your makeup because you have the perfect balance of eye color versus lip color so that neither one is too much. What shade is your lip liner and lip butter? The colors are so pretty. I’ve tried so many shades of red in the past and so far I’ve yet to find one that works for me. I’d like to see the shades you use in person next time I’m at Dillard’s and can check the Lancôme counter. I’m turning 60 in late October and I appreciate all the wardrobe and makeup tips you give. Thanks so much!

  5. Great tips! I just purchased a beautiful red lipstick that is a bit sheerer than the one you are using. It is Dior Addict #951. I also sometimes use the Dior gloss in Mirror when my lips get a bit dry during the day. For some reason the heavier formulas of red lipstick look too much on me.

  6. Dear Susan,
    I’m a few years older than you are. Just lately I have noticed that even with all of the above, I still was getting some feathering. A transparent anti-filage, anti-feathering lip pencil.
    Also, I love the color of your lipstick. Could you please tell me the name?
    Thanks, Sue Gharring

    1. I use two products most of the time. I brush both of them on with a light hand. Think of creating a shadow instead of a bold line. The first product is by Anastasia of Beverly Hills. I put this one in the middle part of the brow to fill in lightly. (I had dark blonde hair in my youth, so I use the blonde color. All the others are too dark for me.) I also use a pen by Kat Von D to create the look of the little hairs at the beginning and the end of each brow. I try to be subtle with all of my makeup, and I check my work in a lighted magnifying mirror when I am done. If anything looks too harsh, I blend, blend, blend.

  7. Susan, this is information I wish to pin but am unable to. Each time I try, it says blocked due to spam?????? Do you have any suggestions?

  8. I followed your advice on lipstick color and application. Today my husband, my brother and my boss each separately commented that I looked younger, fresh and put together – or words to that effect. I also followed your color advice about nail color for pedicure. Now I am bookended, lips and toes! Thank you for the advice you give and the work you put in to this blog. I appreciate you.

  9. I would be so grateful if you would share all the cosmetic products/colors (foundation, blush, shadows, etc.) you used in this photo… love the colors and how beautiful they look on you. Thank you so much, Rhonda Smith

    1. Thank you, Rhonda. I use the Absolue Lancome skin care line of products and makeup on my face. The colors on my eyes are blended as I go. I start with the darkest color near my top lashline. (Nothing goes on the lower lashline.) You should go to the Lancome counter near you to get a makeover in natural light. If you can find a counter attendant who is close to your age, all the better! My lady was at the Dillard’s store in Asheville, North Carolina. This practice helped me so much. I am sorry but I can’t remember exactly what I used on my face that evening.

  10. Hi Susan, so today I went to Dillard’s and checked out those lip colors at the Lancome counter. The red lipstick is indeed a beautiful shade of red, however, the lip butter color 136 Amuse Bouche is orange and the color in your picture is most definitely not orange. I’m wondering if Lancome changed the number/name of the shade your using. I showed the sales rep your blog photo on my phone and she was as puzzled as I was!

    1. I have several of those in different colors. Maybe I told you the wrong color. I’m sorry! I certainly wouldn’t go for an orange either. OK, I put on my glasses AND got a magnifying glass to check the tube. It is actually Shine Lover 120 O MY ROUGE. I had been going by the chart on their web page because I couldn’t read the labels. My apologies for getting it wrong.

  11. No worries, Susan! Thanks for your blog and all your awesome tips! You are my hero and you make me feel better about the fact that I will be 60 the 24th of this month!

  12. I just discover this site. Absolutely love it. Adds up to my other favorite blogs. Will continue checking it. Thank you and Merry Christmas!

  13. Hi Susan, I’m wondering if you would share what you use to get your lipstick and other makeup off at night. Even though I’m in my upper 50s, I’ve never been much of a makeup wearer. For the past few years I have been using a lip stain called outlast but it dries my lips out so bad. Now that my skin tone isn’t as even as it used to be, I need to start learning how to wear some quality lipstick and makeup. Thanks for all you do!!!

    1. I have used Neutrogena to wash my face for years. As I age, it is now too drying, especially in winter. I like the cleansing lotion from Lancome and also their eye makeup remover because it is much more gentle. I never use vaseline. I have noticed a lot of bloggers mentioning vaseline for use even around the eyes. Never put petroleum based items near your eyes.

  14. Really enjoy your blog Susan! Lipstick question- Silver suits my skin tone and looking for a lipstick that makes my teeth appear whiter- any recommends?

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I share tips and inspiration for using what you already have in contemporary ways. Defining words include effortless, classic, refined, discreet, and elegant. My style is chic, minimal, and timeless with a bit of edge.