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Think you can't pull off a perfect loud lip? Follow our step-by-step guide to a bold, bright, beautiful lip

I never liked the idea of my lips being a focal point or topic of conversation -- regardless of trends or whether I found the perfect match for my skin tone. I'm not on tour or walking a red carpet. I want people focusing on what I'm saying, not the shade on my lips.

At least, that's what I always told myself. It felt more righteous than admitting I seriously lacked the skills to get that dramatic, perfect lip, and the thought of applying a bright, bold color freaked me out. Sure, I caved and added MAC's Riri Woo to my makeup collection, along with a bright shade from Aveda's Nourish-Mint Smoothing Lip Color line. But the truth is, I was afraid to set foot out of the bathroom with them on -- fear of clown mouth and having anything less than the flawless, smooth finish I see on the red carpet. I've attempted a bold lip countless times on my own, but inevitably, the daring swatch of color ends up on a wad of toilet paper.

So here's my solution: When in doubt, call in the pros. I asked celebrity makeup artists Melanie Mills and Kate McCarthy for their essential steps to prepping lips and applying a bright, in-your-face color to create the perfect bold lip. Here's the step-by-step guide to putting it on and pulling it off.


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