Alexandra Engler

mbg Beauty Director

By Alexandra Engler

mbg Beauty Director

Alexandra Engler is the beauty director at mindbodygreen and host of the beauty podcast Clean Beauty School. Previously, she’s held beauty roles at Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire, SELF, and Cosmopolitan; her byline has appeared in Esquire, Sports Illustrated, and

woman applying red lipstick in a mirror

Image by ZHPH Production / Stocksy

July 9, 2023

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We’re in the throes of summer, in all its sunny glory. If you’re anything like me, you are currently taking full advantage of the heat, so you don’t miss it by the time colder months roll around. And with such indulgent temperatures, things start to get a bit more minimalist elsewhere. Clothing choices become simpler and involve less fabric. Accessories are brought to the bare minimum. Makeup and skin care products are reduced to light touches—if anything at all. Who can be bothered with mascara at a time like this? 

Minimal makeup is ideal, until it’s not. With summer being the height of wedding season and outdoor parties, sometimes you simply need a bit more of a bold look. So then the challenge becomes how do you keep your makeup in place when the weather has other ideas?


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Well, pros have been mastering this for years—here’s what they have to say about lipstick in particular.

Prep the skin

Lips are skin, and deserve a skin care routine like the rest of your face. You wouldn’t apply foundation on an unwashed and unmoisturized face, no? If you’re committed to any lip pigment, you’ll want to exfoliate and moisturize beforehand.

Gentle exfoliation will remove flakes and rough, dry skin, so you have a clean canvas to later paint on. Exfoliation also helps smooth fine lines, which will keep the lipstick from feathering as you wear the lipstick. “Exfoliating your lips can be helpful if you’re starting to see some lip lines,” board-certified dermatologist Loretta Ciraldo, M.D., FAAD, founder of Dr. Loretta Skincare, tells mbg about lip exfoliation

Immediately after exfoliating, you’ll want to apply a moisturizer—such as a lip balm. The lips, again like the skin, need hydration to remain plump, and supple. A well-formulated lip balm can attract moisture into the skin, heal microcracks and chaps, and help improve water retention with occlusive ingredients. 

I recommend doing your lip care routine a few minutes before you apply the lipstick itself, so the balm has a chance to settle in and absorb.  


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Double line the lips 

To keep lipstick from smearing and sliding, lip liner is your best friend. Lip liners are waxier, sturdier formulas that keep the more malleable lipstick within the bounds. They’re a bright lip’s best friend—especially on a hot summer day. 

And you can make your lip liner work even harder with the strategic help of some concealer—with a trick called double-lining. 

First lightly apply concealer around the lips, and blend it in shading outward. This creates something of an outside barrier, which you’ll then work inside with your lip liner. 

As for the lipliner itself, find a product that matches the lipstick of choice. Or if you’re going for a no-makeup makeup look, grab one that matches your lip shade or one darker. Trace along just the outside of your natural lip line, carving the desired shape. Then lightly fill in the lips with the waxy pencil.   

“This creates a base color so that when any lipstick or gloss applied on top of it wears away, you still have a nice color and shape left,” makeup artist Jenny Patinkin told us about applying lip products in order. 

Use satin or matte formulas

For longevity, satin and matte formulas stick around longer than glossy or high shine formulas (which tend to have more slip).

“It is best to use a matte lipstick. Find one that’s a highly pigmented liquid lipstick that dries down to a lightweight transfer-resistant matte finish. But it’s important to find an option that never feels dry on the lips. This matte lip stain contains plant-based oils that condition and protect,” makeup artist Nechelle Turner previously told mbg about matte finishes. 


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Set with powder

Setting powder is a go-to for foundation longevity. Having a thin layer of translucent, mineral powder can help absorb oil or moisture throughout the day—and comes in handy when you need to tap away shine midday. 

It also comes in handy for lip products. Take a thin piece of tissue paper and lay it over the lips. Then load up a light amount of translucent powder on a fluffy brush, and gently press it over the lips, with the tissue as a buffer. This will ensure only a small amount of powder makes it on the lips, but will help set the pigment.  

Touch up as needed

Do be fully transparent with you: Touch-ups are going to be necessary no matter what. Makeup is not permanent, and even longwear formulas fade when you’re drinking, eating, and chatting. It’s not a failure of the formula, it’s just life!

So the tip here is: Just come prepared. Bring whatever products you need so if needed you can slip away to reapply. As a self-diagnosed Hard Core Introvert, I love stealing these moments away for myself: Oh you mean I get to go have a moment alone and not talk for a minute while I apply makeup? Don’t mind if I do! 


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The takeaway

A bright pop of color on the lips is the perfect summer statement—it just comes with some extra care during application, so the pigment can survive the heat. With these pro-tips (and a reapplication or two) you’ll be just fine.