Lips are the instant way to look party-ready. Lisa Haynes reveals how to work a statement pout.

By Lisa Haynes

Natural beauties look away now, the season of excess is upon us.

But if you prefer to leave the glitter and sparkle for the Christmas tree, then look to lipstick for a festive beauty boost.

"Lipstick provides an easy way to change your look, taking you from girl-next-door to sexy siren with just a swipe of colour," says Jemma Kidd, make-up artist and author of Jemma Kidd Make-up Secrets. "It's an instant pick-me-up."

Prime your pout for mistletoe kisses with irresistible statement lips.

Wearing it well

The power of your pout should never be underestimated - it's the main focus when we talk, laugh, drink and kiss, making lips a prime candidate for a party makeover.

"A fully made-up mouth can be the finishing touch to your look, and some women feel naked without their signature lipstick," Kidd says.

"It is probably the safest way to go bold. The rest of the face must be flawless, with minimal make-up in neutral tones so that the statement colour really stands out and you don't look overly made-up."

Take your lip size and shape into consideration when you're choosing textures and colours. Satin-finish lipsticks are flattering for most due to their creamy coverage and slight glossy finish.

"Matte colour can make a bold statement that looks stunning on fuller mouths, especially in classic Hollywood starlet red, but be careful if you are older, or if you have small/thin lips as matte finishes can look harsh and ageing," Kidd warns.

Creative colour

Unless you're working a strong eye, give the nude tones a wide birth if you want your lips to be the star attraction this Christmas.

"For the most wearable brights on the mouth, go for red, pink, purple or orange," Kidd advises.

If you have porcelain skin, stick to cool pinks and blue-toned reds. Those with olive complexions should opt for berry or plum tones, oranges and warm, orange-toned reds. If you have dark skin, Kidd recommends experimenting with rich browns, strong oranges and deep plums.

When trawling the lipstick stands in search of your perfect pout match, avoid testing on the back of your hand.

Kidd explains: "If you can, try a lipstick on your lips to test the true colour (use a cotton bud to apply), or try on your fingertip, which is closer in colour to your lips because of the concentration of blood vessels there."

Lip longevity

All that prosecco supping and mistletoe pecking calls for extra staying power during the party season. With the right preparation, you can make your lipstick last longer.

"Use a lip primer, or a dab of foundation or concealer," Kidd reveals. "After outlining your lips, apply lip liner over the whole surface to provide a smooth, even undercoat of colour and a waxy base for the lipstick to adhere to."

It's winter, so think layering. One coat of lippy isn't sufficient so apply your lipstick once, blot with a tissue and then layer on another coat. If it feels too bold, blot with your finger for a pressed-in stain effect.

Kidd recommends a light dusting of translucent powder or blusher patted on top of the lipstick for a matte finish and extra staying power.

Pigment-packed lipsticks can be drying on the lips, especially long-lasting formulas. Use a lip balm under your lipstick to avoid the dreaded cracked look.

Pout perfection

If you're ready to take the pout plunge, Jemma Kidd has these golden lipstick rules:

:: Dark colours are generally harder to wear than paler shades. They can be more draining and ageing, and you also need to be more accurate in your application as any slips will be obvious.

:: Bright lipsticks will be more flattering if you have a small mouth or thin lips.

:: When you are wearing a dramatic, bold lipstick, keep the rest of your make-up minimal.

:: If you buy a shade that turns out to be too dark or bright, blend it with another lipstick or gloss to achieve a bespoke colour that suits you perfectly.

:: Oily lipsticks, liquid glosses and stains tend to migrate beyond the lip line, so choose thicker, drier and less greasy formulas if 'bleeding' is an issue.

:: To achieve the illusion of bigger lips, use a lip liner in a colour that matches your lipstick and outline your lips just a fraction outside your natural lip line.

Tried & Tested

Lauren Taylor tames her mane with a DIY blow-dry masterclass.

Like a lot of women, my hair just won't do what I tell it to. If only there was a way to recreate that just-left-the-salon feeling at home... Now Saks are offering a blow-dry menu with the chance to learn techniques you can reuse at home, and I went to watch Saks's creative director Alison Dace demonstrate four different blow-dry techniques. First, the 'Tjuz It' tousled look was created by blow-drying the roots with a rounded brush. Using a only a splattering of mousse, the stylist worked the roots to give lift and volume. A backcombing technique was demonstrated to make sure it looks subtle and sophisticated, by not taking the comb all the way through the hair so the top layer is left straight. Next there was the 'Wrap It' technique - the stylist dries the hair flat and downwards against the scalp, using the shape of the head to wrap the hair around. Another technique was the simple, straight 'Polish It' look, and the final masterpiece was a Kate Middleton-esque 'Bounce It' style; loose curls achieved with a large barrel curling tong. The masterclass was a helpful insight into new things to try with my tresses. It's a great idea to get your stylist to talk through their techniques step-by-step - I recorded my favourite look with my smartphone. When it comes to blow-drying like a professional, a lot of it comes down to investing in a good big round brush, mousse - and lots of practice in front of the mirror.

:: A Saks blow-dry starts from £22. For information visit

:: Request a one-to-one blow dry masterclass with your local salon. Visit

Buy it now

Don't panic if you've missed out on Maison Martin Margiela's collaboration with H&M. Style up your Christmas table instead with the designer's newsprint beauty crackers. Each contains a 7ml bottle of Maison Martin Margiela's Untitled fragrance, £40 for six, available at Selfridges (

Beauty bulletin

:: Movember map -Tache

With Movember in full swing, no doubt you've spotted a lot more men sporting moustaches than usual. The campaign, in which blokes forgo their razors for November, raises vital funds and awareness for men's health charities. But did you know the shape of a man's moustache can determine where they're from? According to a recent Debenhams survey, men in the north favour a 'trucker tash', with a full moustache that plummets straight down either side of the mouth and frames the chin, while guys in the south tend to grow the 'rock star' - a full but neat moustache with enough length at the ends for a slight flick.

Recessionista alert

Designer storage anyone? Jimmy Choo Parfums is offering a free Jimmy Choo luxury shoe case with any purchase of Jimmy Choo 60ml fragrance, from £44. Available in department stores nationwide now.