I find it humorous that Valentine’s Day is in February. It’s a holiday where you’re supposed to get it on like rabbits…and yet we all have dry, chapped lips and skin due to the winter conditions. Suuuuuch an aphrodisiac.
Here’s my guide to getting lips that Kill Hannah would sing about. Having smooth, flake-free lips is a goal throughout the year, especially if you’re constantly wearing lipstick. Prep your pout like so:
- Exfoliate. Your lips need a good scrub just as much as your face does. And just like facial exfoliation, you can go about it either mechanically or chemically. If you use a chemical exfoliant, give your lips a quick swipe while going about your skincare routine. I wouldn’t do this more than once or twice per week, though. Although the thick layer of scales on your chapped lips would make you think otherwise, they’re actually quite sensitive, and the skin should be treated as such. If you’re wanting to go the mechanical exfoliation route, use something gentle + natural. Lush and Jeffree Star make excellent lip scrubs, but in all honesty, a DIY lip scrub is stupidly easy and beneficial. Take a small container, put in some sugar, and top with coconut or vitamin E oil. You can also use jojoba or avocado oil. Extra virgin, organic olive oil will work as well. Make a very small batch so it won’t dry out.
- Moisturize. Once your lips are exfoliated, apply a good lip balm. My personal favorite is Smith’s Rosebud Salve. I tried it once at Sephora years ago and have continually repurchased it. Even my hubby’s dream woman, Natalie Portman, loves it:
It’s important to note that you can get addicted to lip balm (discussed here, here, and here), so don’t get wrapped up in always keeping balm on you to keep dry lips at bay. Also, chapped lips aren’t only a product of moisture loss. Sun damage also creates the condition, so find something that has an SPF in it if you’re planning on being outside for a while. Notice I said “outside for a while”, not “in the sun for a while”. If you’re outside, you’re in the sun.
3. Hydrate. Although I previously discussed why loading up on water doesn’t actually help dry skin, it does play a part. Be sure that you’re drinking an appropriate amount of water!
4. Maintain. Don’t wait until you’ve got dragon lips to do anything about it. If you make taking care of your lips part of your daily skincare routine, you won’t need to do much more when chapped lips season comes around.
I’m an all-or-nothing kind of girl when it comes to makeup. If I’m going to take the time to put on makeup, you’re gonna notice: sculpted brows, full-coverage foundation, color correction, contour, winged liner, false lashes, and bold lips. “Subtle” will probably never be the word used to describe my makeup. So, I know a little bit about making lipstick last.
Whether you’re wearing a “your lips but better” shade or black, your lips need the same prep and finish. Here are a few things to remember:
- Exfoliate before wearing any lipstick and most glosses. You’ll get a smoother application and better pigmentation.
- Don’t skip the balm, but do avoid anything petroleum-based. You need a good, hydrating base, especially for liquid lipsticks. However, the oils in a petroleum-based balm will break down the lipstick’s formulation. If you don’t want to switch up your balm on the days you wear lipstick, try this: immediately after exfoliating your lips, apply a thin layer of your favorite balm. Finish the rest of your skincare routine, and all the other parts of your makeup. By the time you get to doing your lips, the thin layer of balm will have sank in enough.
- Line your lips. This is crucial to perfect lipstick, but often gets overlooked. You can buy a matching liner every time you buy a new lipstick if you’d like, or just find a few that are close enough in shade to your collection. If you have a wide variety of colors, I recommend getting a nude, a red, and a pinky purple. This should cover your bases. Unless, you exclusively wear black lipstick, like I do. Then find yourself a good black eyeliner JUST for your lips. Once you’ve lined your lips how you like (no judgment here for extending your lip line to get a bigger-lipped look), bring the liner onto your lips. This acts as a base for your lip color.
- Precision, precision, precision. When applying your lip color, whether it’s a liquid lipstick or a tube, take your time and be precise. Invest in a good detail brush to apply your lip colors.
- Blot any excess, if you like, but don’t do the old tissue trick we were all taught in middle school. This just leave lint in your lips. A cosmetic sponge works well for this. Just lightly dab over it.
- Seal it with powder if the color/texture allows. If you’re doing a black lip, LIGHTLY dust some matte black eye shadow on top. I suppose you could do the same with any lip color, but you don’t generally need to. The powder you use to set your foundation should do just fine.
- Clean it up. Dip a tiny, clean brush in your foundation to clean up around the edges if need be. And don’t forget to set this new foundation with powder as well.
TAKE IT OFF!!!
You’ve put in all this work on your kisser and now it’s time to dismantle it all. Before you aggressively scrub your lips, take an oil of some sort (vitamin E, avocado, coconut, etc.) and let it sit on your lips for a bit. It should wipe off pretty easily after that. Wash your face per usual, LIGHTLY scrub your lips if there’s any color stuck, and pat dry before applying a generous amount of balms. Although formulations have improved, lipsticks still tend to be very drying. So make sure you’re replacing hydration when you remove it.
What lip tips do you have? Do you have a default lip color? Let me know in the comments below!
Black lips image: http://41.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_mdgjstzkMb1qeey6fo1_500.jpg
Dark lipsticks image: http://www.mtv.com/news/wp-content/uploads/style/2012/10/dark-lipstick.jpg
Natalie Portman: http://coolspotters.com/files/photos/685228/natalie-portman-and-smiths-rosebud-salve-gallery.jpg?1357438476)