Does The Shape Of Your Lipstick Matter? Beauty Experts Weigh In With Their Advice

By Natalie Bickel

Lipstick is the ultimate accessory; one that has the power to add pop, elegance, and to brighten smiles. It’s not only a medium used to feel fierce, but a simple way to change up any look. The means to achieving these bold statements must result from proper application, technique, and care for the product. 

Looking at the image below, you may see somewhat of a phallic sculpture. As convincing as it is, it’s actually a real-life example of my grandmother’s lipstick after several uses. But does shape matter?

“I don’t think the shape can cause “harm” per se. It’s more about the pressure you’re using and the angle that causes the shape to morph. We all have our own techniques. If your bullet is getting compromised, you can just cut it off the stick and smush the lipstick into a container and either use your fingers or a lip brush to apply. Makeup artists actually often do this trick. They’ll create their makeup lip kits by putting a bunch of lipstick colors into a palette so they can mix and match and have easier access,” said Nicole Pearl, beauty and style expert. 

Using a palette is one way to achieve the desired color without having to find the exact match in a tube at the store. Instead, creating a unique blend allows for ultimate outfit coordination. 

“If your lipstick looks like that, then you should have replaced it months ago, maybe even a year ago. Lipstick can harbor bacteria if not stored properly which can lead to irritation, bumps on the lips and even pink eye!” said Alex Persico, celebrity makeup artist and founder of Alex Persico Cosmetics

Marie Claire recommends replacing lipstick once every 12-18 months, as the chemicals that ward off bacteria break down after that time period. Granted, I have no idea how long my grandmother has had her collection of lipstick, but the tubes I looked through didn’t look unsanitary or unusable, but rather abnormal. 

The phallic shape of Natalie’s grandmother’s lipstick

LUXIE in-house makeup artist, Pedro Gonzalez-Curiel, disagrees with Persico. “Lipstick bullets are made to look pretty when you buy them. From there it’s every shape for themselves. My suggestion with makeup is that you make your own rules. As long as you can achieve the look you desire, use a brush, lipstick, or even your finger. It’s about the power you harness once applied.”

My grandmother’s application of the lipstick is also unconventional, rolling the entire tube across her lips and coating the color between her closed lips creates this oddly graphic shape. While there isn’t one right way to put on lipstick, beauty experts encourage users to place their lips gently together forming a closed mouth for even coverage and pleasing texture. 

“When putting on lipstick, place it in the middle of your lips and work outward. By concentrating your lipstick to the fullest part of your lips, you’ll be able to control your application better and mitigate any mess-ups. If you have trouble making your lipstick look even, try drawing an “X” on the cupid’s bow with your lip liner. This will help you get a well-defined cupid’s bow, and also works as a guide to ensure that neither side ends up lopsided,” said Faye Dickinson, influencer and content creator. 

Pedro Gonzalez-Curiel has an encouraging message that shape (and size) don’t necessarily matter when it comes to coating your lips in color. ​”When things look different we worry that it’s being done wrong. It’s safe to say the shape of your lipstick only speaks of how much you love it. Your desired outcome is the focus here.”

No matter how you (or your grandmother for that matter) apply lipstick, the ultimate goal is to take ownership of the power you feel while wearing it. The tips from these beauty experts will allow for your lipstick to look better while lasting longer in the tube, increasing the longevity of your chic style. 

Natalie Bickel is an energetic storyteller and PR specialist who aims to move people to action with her words. She has a bachelor’s in communications with published articles in Glamour, Darling Magazine, The Celebrity Café, and The Louisville Cardinal and features in Stylist, Shondaland, Refinery29, Woman’s Day, and more. Through her journalism experience, she’s interviewed celebrities, worked with musical artists, and reported on current trends and events. When she’s not writing, you can find her taking film photos of her dog, pressing flowers, or blazing new trails with her husband.

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