Of course, any time you exfoliate, you’ll want to follow up with moisture. Patinkin recommends applying a hydrating balm a few minutes before reaching for the lip stain—just remember to wipe off the excess, since any lingering butters or oils might make the color too slippery.
Finally, when you do apply your lip tint, know that less is more—loading on the lip stain will only lead to a drier pout. “The best way to apply a stain is from the center of your lip and work outwardly,” notes Halperin. Dot the stain in the middle of your lip to concentrate most of the color center, then blend outwards to create that diffused, popsicle finish. “To achieve a more intense color, reapply the tint a few times and pat the color down with your finger or a brush to seal it in,” Halperin adds.
If you do notice your lips withering up throughout the day, feel free to pop on a layer of lip balm to add some much-needed moisture. “It’s better to apply a balm on top of a stain over the course of the day to add more moisture instead of doubling down on drying ingredients,” Patinkin notes. The pigment should last all day (these lip stains don’t dare budge!), but you could opt for a tinted lip balm in the same color family to keep the hue looking vibrant.