Perfect pout: Isamaya Ffrench’s lip priming technique is a winner


By Redzhanna Jazmin

Perfect pout: Isamaya Ffrench’s lip priming technique is a winner

If you’ve long struggled with smeared lips and regrets aplenty, rest assured that you are not alone. We’ve all been there: Maybe you went a little too hard on the lip balm, leaving your once crisp lip line completely misshapen. Or, perhaps you’ve taken off your mask to find your lippy smeared all around your mouth, making you look like—for lack of a better word—a big ol’ mess.

This is not a roast; it’s a support group. We are here for you, we understand, and we’ve got a potential solution to your problems. We’ve had a chat with Burberry Beauty’s Global Creative Director Isamaya Ffrench, who gave us the perfect bleed-proof lip priming routine. And, just in case you’re still a sceptic, we’ve also put the routine to the ultimate test—find out how it fares with all-day wear (and a little mask action) below!

READ5 minutes with Burberry’s Global Beauty Director Isamaya Ffrench


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As it turns out, the road to perfectly primed lips is actually surprisingly short. In fact, all it takes is just three steps:

  1. Use a lip scrub to buff and smooth the lips
  2. Apply a tiny bit of lip balm (just enough to moisturise the lips) and blot away any excess
  3. Apply a thin layer of loose powder around the lips

From there, simply apply your lip products as normal; begin with an optional lip liner to really define the edges, then fill in the rest with your lippy of choice. The result? A stunning lip look that is baby smooth and primed to stay put all day.

The idea behind the technique is sound—scrubbing the lips removes any dead skin cells, preventing your lipstick from clinging to dry areas. Then, using a lip balm reintroduces moisture into your skin, ensuring a hydrated base for your lippy. Blotting the excess away then takes away any “slip”—a necessary step in preventing the dreaded bleeding lip line. Further, setting the balm with a layer of powder gives your lip products something to “grip” to, lengthening your wear time.


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Here is one writer’s experience with the hack:

“As someone whose must-have makeup essentials includes a good lippy, I’m always on the lookout for new hacks. In particular, I struggle with chapped lips, which makes it difficult for me to achieve a smooth, even layer in my application. You see, the product may initially go on nicely, but a day of wear will soon reveal dry flakes and uneven pigment galore. Further, I do also have trouble with fuzzy lip lines with all-day wear, and the humidity under my mask certainly doesn’t help with the situation. So, when I learned of this priming routine, I immediately set out to give it a shot.

“To prep for test day, I exfoliated my lips with a homemade sugar scrub, applied a thin layer of my Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask in Berry (and blotted, of course), following up with a light dusting of Laura Mercier’s Translucent Loose Setting Powder around the perimeter of my lip. Then, to finish the look, I applied a generous coat of my Burberry Kisses lipstick in the shade Burnished Red. I wanted to test three things: 1) How it looked upon first application; 2) How it wore throughout the day; 3) How it fared under a mask.

“I have to admit, I absolutely loved how it looked at the start of the day. My lips were nicely moisturised, but they didn’t feel slippery. Also, I was fully expecting the powder to dry out my lips, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that the lipstick actually felt very comfortable over top. This routine is definitely not transfer-proof (nor is it meant to be) but I must say that, despite wearing a mask for five hours straight, the lipstick fared much better I thought it would. Better yet, it stayed within my lip lines despite the heat and humidity under my mask—no bleeding whatsoever! Plus, I think the powder definitely adds some much-needed grip—while most of my lipstick had rubbed off by the end of the day, I was still left with a very pretty and even lip tint as opposed to a chapped and patchy mess.

“All in all, I am a fan of the technique for my more slippery, hydrating lippies! That said, if you are planning to wear this technique under a mask all day, do make sure you’re opting for a KF94 mask as opposed to the standard design—as I mentioned, it’s not transfer-proof. Rather, it’s just an extra step to keep your lips looking their best throughout the day.”— Redzhanna Jazmin, Beauty Writer

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