It happens, even to the best of us: mid-lipstick application, the slightest slip, bump, or twitch sends your doe-foot or bullet flying. And more often than not, it’s the corners of the mouth that see the most damage (and by damage, we mean smeared lipstick). The crafty makeup geniuses on TikTok just found an easy, low-budget solution to this problem — one that comes from a rather unexpected source.
Have a pack of cotton swabs lying around? Grab one and place the handle right between your lips so that only the tips poke out at the corners of your mouth. Then, apply your go-to lipstick, as usual, using the ends of the swab as a safeguard against slippery corners and crates. Once you pull it away, you’ll supposedly find mess-free lines, even in those hard-to-reach spots.
This trick comes from none other than Huda Beauty founder Huda Kattan, who tried it on her sister, Mona Kattan, all the way back in 2018 during a YouTube video full of other beauty hacks. Back then, Huda wasn’t totally enthralled by the tip, which she says she originally discovered via the 5-Minute Crafts channel. “I don’t know if this is a hack that I find to be phenomenal,” she says in the video, questioning whether or not it would really change anyone’s life. Mona, on the other hand, loved it for her admittedly “messy” lipstick habits.
A short clip of the sisters using this lipstick trick resurfaced on TikTok in May when it was reposted by user @theanoughceke — clearly, the masses were impressed because it’s earned more than 1.5 million and counting views, plus a slew of reactionary stitches.
And sure, you could apply lipstick the normal way and just be a little more careful around the corners, but it never hurts to have a little help, right? Especially when that help comes from an affordable bathroom staple you probably already own anyway. You could also invest in a dense, tapered lipstick brush, which might not seem super helpful but can definitely supply some added control to your application. Sonia Kashuk Retractable 2-in-1 Lip Makeup Brush No. 401 and Chanel Dual-Ended Lip Brush N300 are a couple of Allure‘s favorites.
So if you’ve ever wondered to yourself, “why the hell can’t I get the corners right,” this extremely simple solution could be the perfect fit. And maybe, after a while, the motions will become reflex to the point that you won’t need the barrier after all. A bulk pack of cotton swabs only costs about eight bucks. What’s to lose?
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