Sealed with a kiss by Lipstick Queen Poppy King

The beauty industry's very own Lipstick Queen Poppy King exclusively answers some of your most common make-up questions

Poppy King has earned her crown as the Lipstick Queen – so much so that's what she named her own line. Here, she's taken time out of her busy schedule to answer your most burning beauty questions and reveal what's hot, what's beautiful and what not to wear…

Sealed with a kiss by Lipstick Queen Poppy King: Image 1
What do you think of the beauty industry at the moment?
I've been very vocal in wanting to challenge the standard of what we perceive to be beautiful. I see beauty standards used to sell products, rather than actually celebrate beauty, which comes in many unstandarised forms. To me, beauty means freedom.

You're known for your very glamorous look, what does glamour mean to you?
Glamour is not so much about age, physical structure or style, but more about spirit. It's a mind and body connection where the spirit shows through very small actions such as wearing a wonderful brooch every day – as is the case with former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright; it's such a simple, spirited and glamorous action.

How did you find your own style and how can other ladies do the same?
Don't ever think you need anyone's permission to go for it. The only person whose permission you need is yours. More than that, we're all human so reaching success involves much trial and error, and that's ok. You don't need to be perfect, you just need to keep trying to push past your doubts and find the path.

How do you find what lip shades suits you? What are the rules?
The key to finding the right lipstick, no matter your skin tone, is this: when you put on the right shade, it should brighten your face, as if the sun has come out. The deeper your colouring (hair, skin, eyes) the more pink-based reds will suit you and the fairer you are, look for more orange-based reds.

What's your best advice for making thin lips look their best?
It's all about the illusion of fuller lips and in order to achieve that you need a gloss that has the perfect ratio of shine to shimmer. The tiniest shimmer particles work to blur (instead of define) the lip line, which tricks the eye to see fuller lips. It's also worth mentioning that thinner lips look great with sheer. A lot of women with thinner lips think they can't wear colour but they can – nude or matte shades won't give the look you desire though.

I've been blessed with fuller lips – how can I make them look luscious?
Fuller lips look great with matte lipstick; anything too glossy can look a little obscene.

How can ladies achieve the perfect pout if they have no Cupid's bow?
Lip liner helps create a precision line if you're rocking a statement lip. It can also help you make the most of what you've got by really defining the shape.

What's the best thing to do if you have uneven lips?
I've found that very dark, but super-sheer shades look great; it works in the same way that sheer black stockings even out your legs. Black Lace Rabbit is one of mine and is great for ladies with this concern.

My mum is a slightly older lady and loves lipstick but tends to avoid using it as the colour bleeds. What should she try?
Lipstick Queen's invisible liner is the perfect product to prevent feathering and bleeding as it seals the edges and stops the product from travelling down any tiny creases or lines. Feathering and bleeding are entirely prevented with this product so it's a must-have for a precision lip look.

I never look great when do my own make-up – what's the best way to apply lipstick?
- When wearing red lipstick, minimize your eye make-up so your mouth does the talking.
- Before you apply, make sure you remove any flaky, dry skin on the lips with a spare toothbrush.
- If you're worried about bleeding, apply some under eye concealer around the edge of the lips beforehand.
- To stop your teeth from getting stained, pucker your lips and pull your index finger through. The excess lipstick will come off on your finger.
- If you want to wear liner, apply it after any product so you can easily touch up the edges. This is the best way to avoid a lip line. - If you want to accurately know what the shade will look like, try it on the inside of your index finger – that part of the skin is closer to your natural tone than the back of your hand.
- Never lick your lips as it dries them out quicker than anything, and remember to apply some product to your cheeks as well as this really brings the whole look together.
- If in doubt, smile! It's the best thing to do and it's actually been suggested that this simple action increases endorphins, which are the most flattering thing for a natural high ever.

I love the red lip look but the colour always seems to wear me! How can I choose the right shade?
We all have red tones naturally occurring in our lips, so there is a shade that will look good. If you're hesitant, try a sheer red first, to allow yourself to get used to seeing that shade on – Red Saint is a great example. Medieval is one of our best sellers because it's so universally flattering and brings out the natural berry tones that you already have.

I love lipstick but it never seems to last all day. What am doing wrong?
I'm a big fan of applying lipstick straight from the bullet as you get maximum intensity in pigment; using a brush tends to sheer it out.

Finally, what colours will be hot this year?
Rich, classic deep hues in matte, full-pigment textures are going to be a big trend. Think of shades like brown, burgundy or oxblood – shades that hark back to a different era. In these times of difficulty and uncertainty, we need more than ever to find comfort and reassurance from simple things that we can rely on to boost our mood or morale and nothing says Blitz spirit better than a solid, deep red lipstick.

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