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'Lip Blurring' Will Help Color Survive a Hot Day

Jul 18, 2023Jul 18, 2023

When the temperatures are high enough that makeup sprints off your face like it's afraid of you, there are looks you can turn to for look and longevity. One of them is lip blurring, the diffused, matte look that's taking over our TikTok feeds. And according to celebrity makeup artist Neil Scibelli, it's super easy to achieve.

"Lip blurring is a way to still get lip color without it having to have a precise, overly defined, more structured finish," says Scibelli. "It's great in the summer months because when we're running around and it's hot already, it's likely that the lip color is going to start losing its shape and its structure. The lip-blurring effect sets you up for success in humidity and in warm climates. It can almost also act as a lip stain so that when you are out and about in those climates, you have this diffused stain on the lip and you can go about your day without having to worry about the lipstick being out of the line."

You can create this look using lip liner, lipstick, or both. "You could actually use a matte lip liner as the color and do a slightly overdrawn liner smudged into the lip," says Scibelli. "You could use the liner along the entire lip and kind of pat it in because a liner has more of that dry, matte finish to it and it also is less likely to budge too much."

Scibelli loves this creamy matte lip liner that comes in eight shades. It’s made with vitamin E and jojoba to allow it to glide across your lips with ease.

He also enjoys this lip liner from Nars that comes in eight shades. It has a super-pigmented matte finish and glides on smooth.

This Kevyn Aucoin liner is also at the top of his list. It’s a dual-ended liner that features a blurring blush on one end and a pencil on the other. It comes in six nude shades, aligning with Aucoin’s belief that liner should match your lips, not your lipstick.

If you want to use lipstick, "you want to look for lipsticks that have that velvety, slightly matte finish. It could also be in the middle of hydrating and velvety, but just nothing that's going to be glossy," says Scibelli.

Living up to its name, the Lip Blur from Saie is perfect for lip blurring. Available in six shades, it has a comfortable yet buildable matte finish that leaves you with a soft-focus effect.

These moisturizing lip crayons are a favorite of Scibelliu. “They create almost like a stain on the lips,” he says. “They have like this velvety, hydrating seal that you could blot, but the hydration will still stay on the lips ’cause you’re getting that from the ingredients,” which include shea butter.

You can also combine the two steps for more of a two-toned ombre look, like in the above TikTok.


"The way that you can create the blurred effect is you can dab the color on the lips or around the lip to create the shape that you want, and then you can tap it in either like with your fingers or a lip brush and start to diffuse the color of it so it's not super rich or pigmented," says Scibelli. "Think of watercolors get artsy with it."

Remove any excess product by blotting your lips with a tissue.

Optionally, you set the look with finishing powder to really get that blurred effect. "I know a lot of people were using just the tissue to blot, but I would blot and then just add a sweep of the translucent powder over it," says Scibelli. "Take a really finely milled translucent powder and just tap it over the color—sweep it across the lips as a finishing effect. This is especially important in the summer, to set the color and to prevent too much shine."

He’s a big fan of this powder from Neutrogena. “It’s a good one,” he says. “It’s translucent and it totally disappears.”

He also recommends the tried-and-true Laura Mercier powder. “It’s a staple in my kit,” he says.