Fred’s Head from APH, a Blindness Blog

Fred’s Head, offered by the American Printing House for the Blind, contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Our blog is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni, renowned for answering a seemingly infinite variety of questions on every aspect of blindness.

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Monday, May 16, 2011

Spice Up Your Smile with these Sexy Summer Lip Tips

by Sassy Outwater

I was watching TV last night; in the space of one comercial break, I heard ads for three different brands of lipstick. One stays on all day. Another comes in 52 luscious must-have shades. The last one hydrates for that perfect soft sweet kissable look…

Choosing the right lipstick for your perfect Summer look isn’t as hard as you might think. And you don’t have to buy up half the store and switch colors with every dress. A few colors and glosses mixed and matched together will compliment any outfit like icing on a cake. Here’s how:


Before putting on lipstick, apply foundation to the whole face, and do the rest of your makeup. I say save the lips for last. If you’re doing an eye shadow that stands out, like a blue, green, purple or other eye-catching color, pair it with a softer, more neutral lip tone. Or vice versa. Pair soft pink, gray, and brown eye shadow colors with a lip color that pops. The two most arresting features of the face are the eyes and the mouth, so highlight one. If you are going out for the evening, it’s okay to go darker on both lips and eyes, but for day wear, choose one.

Place a light layer of moisturizer, such as a lotion or cocoa butter across your lips. Then put your foundation across your lips in a light coat. Once the foundation has set, dust it with powder. This gives something for your lipstick to hold onto, making it last longer.


Lip liner is not always necessary. The most important step to lining the lips is matching lip liner to lipstick. Do not use a liner darker than your lipstick. Lip liner gives definition and shape to the mouth. Many women never bother with it, preferring instead to use the tip of the lipstick to draw a little definition at the edge of the mouth. Lip liner pencils are the easiest and least messy way to line lips when you can’t see. Find the edge of your lip, just where your lip curves under, and gently run the lip liner pencil along this area in small precise strokes. Use a light hand, and after completing one lip, rub sofly with the tip of a finger to blend. Be careful to be especially light in applying lip liner to the corners of your mouth.


Lipstick comes in many types. Choosing Which color is right for you is a matter of your own coloring. If you are fair-haired, then pinks, warm reds, or soft berry purples will be the most natural colors for you. If you are dark, then richer tones, like deep reds and purples, lemon yellows, rich browns and deep burgundies will be your colors. If you are a redhead like me, we look our best in peachy corals, coppers, oranges and mixed colors like berry browns and peach-reds.

For Summer, a favorite look is a warm base of a pink, ddeep berry purple-brown, or soft red, with a frosted lighter color on top just to ad a bit of flirt to your smile. Frosts, shimmers and glitters can not only spice up your smile, but can soften a darker color and really bring your lips to life.

Lipsticks are either glossy or mat finish… Lip glosses are shiny, younger-looking, and fun, whereas mat lipstick is under-stated chic elegance. Pick which suits your mood.


Apply the curved side of the lipstick, or the unbristled side of the lip brush between your lips, and carefully coat the center of the mouth. Do not go all the way to the corners of the mouth.

Make sure the lipstick extends out to the lipliner line, but does not go past it. Your lip liner should still be slightly sticky to the touch and easy to find.

Rub your lips together to blend the lipstick, and then gently press a Kleenex between them to remove any excess product.

My personal opinion:

There are many cosmetic companies out there who make lipstick and lip gloss with menthol, the theory being that this will plump the lips. I don’t know about that, but the menthol for us blind girls serves a better purpose. It’s like a built-in lipstick radar. The moment my lips feel the menthol, they tingle, not unpleasantly. It guides me. If I have gotten lipstick in the wrong spot, I instantly know it.

My favorite menthol lipstick is the Buxom line of lipsticks and glosses by Bare Minerals. I cary one gloss and one mat lipstick in my purse at all times. Two colors, one for day wear, and the other a flirtier, deeper nighttime color. A light frost over both and my smile is rockin’. The Bare Minerals lipsticks are creamy and do not rub off easily. Be careful when applying them, but enjoy their long staying power. It’s also easy to feel if you have gotten any on your teeth. Whenever you finish putting on lipstick, it’s a good idea just to run your tongue over your teeth to make sure you didn’t inadvertently paint your front teeth too. The Bare Minerals lipsticks come with a lip brush, which I find easier to use than a regular rub-on tube of lipstick. The menthol tingle and warm flavor of the Bare Minerals lip collection works well for me… The key to good makeup when you can’t see what you are doing is routine, and owning products you know work for you. Find what feels right to you and stick with it.

Lastly, I keep two or three tubes of lipstick in my purse that all feel exactly alike. There are two ways to label your lipstick, or any makeup for that matter. I use a sharp pointed object such as a knife or scissor blade to scratch lines in the base of the lipstick. The lightest has one line, the next darker shade has two,the third, three, etc. Another way to label tubes is with dimo tape. Quick color abbreviations, like R for red, or pc for peach stuck onto the bottom of the lipstick tube, eye shadow or nail polish save you from color disaster. If you have other labeling techniques, please share with me. I’d love to read your ideas.

You don’t need ten thousand lipsticks, just one or two you trust, day in and day out, with a couple hits of frost or gloss to liven things up when necessary. Try it out, and savor the result! May your month of May be full of Summer kissability!

To ask makeup or fashion questions, or to find out about me and my crazy life, visit me on Twitter: -Sassy Outwater, Musician, writer, yoga instructor, health and style junky, and blind chick

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