Lipstick helps to draw attention to the mouth, so for cheerleaders, it’s a must-have makeup product. Whether you’re a first-time shopper or longtime fan, here are some tips on how to pick out colors, apply the product, and maintain your lipstick longer. When you’re picking out lipstick colors, there are tons of options. There are glossy and sparkly lipstick options, which are great for game days and competitions, and there are also matte colors that work for everyday wear. The most common colors are reds, pinks, purples, and nudes. Whether you’re looking for a bright color like fire engine red or hot pink, or something more neutral, there is a wide spectrum of colors to choose from. It can be overwhelming looking for just the right shade. Pops of color like coral or lavender are perfect for spring and summer, but even if you’ve been wearing lipstick for a long time, jumping into a trendy color can give cause for pause. If you are a fan of designer makeup brands, there will always be professionals at the counters to give you guidance. As a drugstore makeup user myself, I like to try out colors from inexpensive brands like New York Color or Wet N Wild first. When lipstick colors are a dollar or two each, it gives wiggle room to experiment. This past winter, I got to try out some gorgeous plum and berry shades without worrying that I would spend a lot of money on lipstick that didn’t flatter me. One of the shades I tried – which I was drawn to right away in the tube – turned out to be way too dark when I applied it, but I was able to find some warm shades that were ideal for winter weather. Certain shades may look better on certain skin tones, but I’m a firm believer in wearing colors that you like. Don’t shy away from vibrant reds or soft purples if those are the colors you like. If your squad is coordinating for competitions, games, or events where your makeup is more uniform, consider a little sparkle or glitter. Wild colors like blue or green are also available from some brands and can be fun for pep rallies or fundraisers. To help your lip color last longer, there are a few other products you might consider. Take your favorite lip balm and apply it first thing when putting on your makeup to get that hydration and give it time to dry so that your lipstick doesn’t slip off. Then put your lipstick on last, after you’ve applied the rest of your makeup. That should be plenty of time for the balm to take effect. Some brands have lip primers to help lipstick last longer; be sure that the product specifies that the primer is safe to wear on your lips! Before applying lipstick, you may put on a lip liner as well. These come in a pencil or twist-tube forms and range in colors from natural lip tones to reds and pinks. Lining your lips might serve as a base for your lipstick or as an outline for a bold look. You can also line your lips in a darker color and use a lipstick that is a shade or two lighter. Apply the lighter lipstick only to the center of your lined lips and blend it out with your finger for a gradient effect. Lip liners are great for when you want long-lasting color. To top off your lips, you may want to add gloss. Lip gloss comes in a variety of colors as well. If you like the color of a matte lipstick and can’t find a comparable glossy shade, clear lip gloss is your friend. For casual makeup or everyday looks, many of us skip lipstick altogether and just go for a lip gloss color. After applying your lipstick, put your finger in your mouth and pull it out between your lips to take off any product that got on the inside of the lip and might stain your teeth. This two-second trick will keep your teeth clean even when you’re wearing your boldest lip colors. If you’re worried about the color bleeding off your lips, blot with a tissue, and then hold the tissue over your lips. Use a makeup brush to gently tap translucent powder over the tissue over your lips, and the powder will help reduce the moisture without dimming your color. Don’t be intimidated by fun lipstick colors or techniques, especially as we get closer to summer. Experiment with colors and brands and find what works best for you!