Face mask on? How to repurpose your favourite lipsticks

From Diana Vreeland to Lucia Pica, we find inspiration on how to repurpose your lipstick for bold and blushing beauty looks 

Noto Botanics lip stain used as blush. Just one of the ways lip colour can be repurposed for new beauty looks.
Noto Botanics lip stain used as blush. Just one of the ways lip colour can be repurposed for new beauty looks.
(Image credit: press)

The rising use of face masks has meant that many connoisseurs of multi-hued pouts have seen lipsticks, glosses, and liners go unused for months. Rather than letting those products languish in your makeup bag, we provide some tips below on how to reinvent them for other uses across your face. 

Perhaps the most obvious second-life for lipsticks is as blush. Many brands already offer sticks and tinted oils designed for duel usage, like Rodin’s lip and cheek oil or Noto Botanics multi-bene stain. That said, you can always try getting more mileage out of your standard lipsticks by playing with the colour on your cheeks. Powdered pinks or soft corals can be dotted on either side of the nose and brushed upward towards the ears for a subtle flushed look, but reds are equally usable.

Diana Vreeland, former Vogue Editor-in-Chief and pioneer of the modern Met Costume Institute, shot by Andy Warhol

Diana Vreeland, former Vogue  Editor-in-Chief and pioneer of the modern Met Costume Institute, shot by Andy Warhol

(Image credit: Andy Warhol)

Take a note from the grande dame of style herself, Diane Vreeland, and cosmetically set your face ablaze with vibrant reds on your cheeks, temples, and ears. To achieve this, pucker your mouth and draw a red line upward along the cheekbone and brush upward with your fingertips. Then dab a bit of colour on each temple and tops of ears and gently rub into skin. 

Matte brown and nude lip colours like Pat McGrath's ‘1995' MatteTrance lipstick or Gucci's ‘Elliott Brown' shade can easily be applied to eyelids for a natural look but, here too, reds are perfect. Chanel's makeup and colour designer, Lucia Pica, has been instrumental in championing the use of red eye colour. ‘Putting red on the eyelids brightens the eyes and the complexion,’ Pica says, ‘it doesn’t make you look sick or tired… it’s very wearable and suits all eye colours.’ 

Red eye colour by Chanel 

Red eye colour by Chanel 

(Image credit: Chanel)

For a smoky eyeshadow look, rub the lipstick onto your hand and then apply to the eyelid with your fingertip. Or, for a more defined shape, use a soft eyeshadow brush to apply the lip colour outward from the inner ridge of the eye outward. Alternatively, go bold and draw the lip colour right onto the eye, smudging as necessary. Try running the tip of the lipstick along the bottom rim of the eye and smudging slightly with your fingertip for greater impact. 

Enhance a red eye with a matching red lip-turn-eye liner, or get experimental by adding some gold shadow along the eyelash line. Liquid lipsticks can also serve as an inventive stand-in for cream shadow and most wands work for easy application. Burberry Beauty's 'Liquid Lip Velvet' line is a perfect example of a rich matte texture that can be used on eyes or lips. With the colour complete, extra chapstick or lip moisturizer as a wax to define eyebrow shape or before applying powder. 

Have a play and see what works for you, but always be careful to try patch tests on your skin first to avoid irritation.


Writer and Wallpaper* Contributing Editor

Mary Cleary is a writer based in London and New York. Previously beauty & grooming editor at Wallpaper*, she is now a contributing editor, alongside writing for various publications on all aspects of culture.