(Beauty Report Card)

The Two-Tone Lipstick Hack I Swear By For Summer

Smudge-proof approved.

by Natasha Marsh
Natasha Marsh
Natasha Marsh lipstick mirror selfie

To date, I have 63 lipsticks in my collection. Zero exaggeration — I just counted. As someone who wears minimal makeup (mascara and the occasional foundation swipe), lipstick is the way I express myself. I have reds, pinks, oranges, browns, purples, and blue hues. And despite what my sisters might think, each shade is a little bit different. Some leave a matte or gloss finish. Others are highly pigmented and great for a show-stopping entrance at a dinner event, while others are lighter, more subtle colors, perfect for important work meetings.

The point I’m trying to make is, I love lipstick. I love the confidence it brings and the way it can totally transform an outfit. With this obsession in mind, you can imagine how weird (read: depressing) it was for me to not be able to sport a lip pop over the last 18 months of sheltering-in-place. Equally, you can imagine my excitement when businesses started opening again and my social calendar started to repopulate — making lipstick an option once more.

Because I’ve missed lipstick so much, I’ve been experimenting with all my colors to come up with the perfect shade combination. Lately, I’ll wear one color on my lips and a different color in the center of my lips to achieve the perfect two-toned lip. “It’s like you sucked on a lollipop for three months,” says Maxine Christians, makeup artist and global brand ambassador for Jillian Dempsey, of the look. It gives your lips a really playful, glowy center that can easily be worn throughout the day, regardless of the occasion.

A two-tone application is great for showing a multitude of colors, as depending on where the sun hits you, you might see more of one shade or a mixture of the two. Achieving the look is quite simple. First, apply your outer color. Then, pucker the lips together and apply your favorite lipstick or lipgloss to the center of your mouth. “Dabbing the inside of the O, you can control how it bleeds out into the rest of the mouth,” Christians adds, “but, keeping it in the center will create that summery lippie!”

Ready to try the look? Ahead are my favorite lipsticks and lipgloss options. Some are new, some are tried-and-true, but all will give you that perfect sun-kissed summer lip.

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Long-Lasting Flex

Because I’ve been staying out longer, with less time at home, I’ve found myself needing something that will last a minimum of eight hours. After testing out more lipsticks than I can count, I’ve discovered that matte formulas have the best staying power — and these four are my favorites.

Waterproof Vibes

With summer travel very much an option this year, I’ve been investing in waterproof colors in the event that I find myself on the beach somewhere (yes, you can absolutely wear a lip to the beach). Waterproof lipsticks are smudge-proof and can last up to 12 hours.

Lipgloss and Sheer Glow

As lipgloss tends to make the lips appear more plump (since it’s a bit shinier and can catch the light more easily), I like to add just a dab of gloss with my finger to the center of my lips to give a bit more oomph. Sheers and tinted lip balms are great for hydrating the lips throughout the day as well.