Valentine’s Day is right around the corner so let’s get those lips looking super smoochable in time for Cupid’s big day!
Luscious, full lips are a prominent indicator of attractiveness. A plump pout is seen as a sign of youthfulness and fertility (aka sex appeal). One look at Scarlet Johansson and you will know exactly what I’m talking about! For those of us who were not blessed with such pout perfection, thankfully, there are other options out there.
As I was writing everything I want to tell you about lips, I realized this post was getting so long that I got worried you would fall asleep on me! So I will break it up into two parts. This post will be about how to avoid things that make lips look less youthful and voluptuous. Part 2 will focus on how to apply makeup so that your lips look fuller. Think of it as sort of a Do’s and Don’ts list, only in reverse!
Let’s start with some no-no’s that will completely obliterate the luscious, full and youthful look:
- Dry, chapped, flaky or cracked lips. Duh. Who wants to make out with sand paper?! No one. Take care of your lips the same way you care for the rest of your skin. Slather on a good lip treatment at night (ALWAYS wash off all your lipstick/makeup before bed). I like Rodan + Fields Lip Serum. Be sure to apply it to the area above the upper lip that is prone to fine lines. Want to avoid those fine lines as long as possible? In addition to moisturizing, don’t smoke (of course!) or drink from straws on a regular basis. Too much puckering will cause more lines so let’s save that pucker for kisses only. If you already struggle with those fine lines then Botox is an option for temporarily getting rid of them. When you are not wearing lipstick, be sure to wear a lip treatment. EOS makes a yummy sweet mint flavored one. If you want a little color try a tinted lip balm such as Burt’s Bees or Baby Lips by Maybelline. Always wear sunscreen on your lips if you will be in the sun. Carmex has SPF 15. It comes in a vanilla flavor that is hard to find, but worth the search! I order several at a time from Walgreens.com. In the morning, exfoliate your lips with a lip scrub (Philosophy makes a good one). If you need extra exfoliation to remove the flakes, use a baby toothbrush to gently scrub them away.
- Dark lipstick. I’m not saying there aren’t some really fun dark lipstick colors out there. What I am saying is that dark colors make things look smaller and we are trying to make our lips look fuller. You know how that favorite little black dress or pair of pants make you look a size smaller? Dark lipstick will make our lips look a size smaller too and that’s not our goal for this particular body part!
- Unusual colored lipstick. If you are young, then perhaps you can play around with odd lipsticks without looking foolish but it is a little hard to pull off unnatural colors if you are older. At any age, shades in the pink family will make lips look more naturally full. Purple colors make you look like you are suffering from hypothermia. Orange can be clownish and most guys, other than Bozo and Ronald McDonald, aren’t so into that look. Mauve often appears dreary and depressed. Nude colors are all the rage right now but make sure that you find the right shade or else you will look tired and washed out. Red is classic, and can be very sexy, but it can also accentuate dark under eye circles. Light to medium shades of pink are the most universally flattering and also the best color for making lips look youthful, larger and fuller.
- Lipstick bleeding into fine lines. That is just a mess. The only excuse for having lipstick anywhere else besides on your lips is that you just had a killer make-out session. In that case, we will give you a 5 minute hall pass to get yourself to the bathroom to fix it. Otherwise, let’s avoid this like the plague. To prevent it from happening, start by priming lips with a primer or foundation. Line the lips with a firm, waxy lip liner pencil that is one shade darker than your natural lip color. Be sure to keep your lip pencil sharpened at all times so that you have a thin point to create line only where you want it. I use MAC lip pencil in the color Whirl. Next, blend the liner towards the inner lip to soften the line, or fill in the entire lip with the liner. Dust a light coat of fine, colorless, translucent powder on top. Be very light handed with the powder. The goal is just to set the makeup so it won’t bleed. Too much powder will cake up and accentuate the fine lines. I use the powder that I use under my eyes because it is extra fine and is made with the purpose of not settling into fine lines. I like Laura Mercier’s Secret Brightening Powder. When you apply your lipstick, take it just up to, but not over, the lip liner. The lip liner will act as a border to keep the lipstick from straying. Remember when you were a kid learning how to color and your mom used a sharp crayon to trace around the inside of the picture so that you could fill it in without coloring outside the lines? She was really just preparing you for this.
- Obvious lip liner. No one looks good with just an outline around where your lips are supposed to be. See above…make mom proud. She bought you that big box of Crayola’s with the sharpener on the back, this is the least you could do for her.
- Overly matte lipstick. A shiny or glossy finish will make lips look bigger and softer (aka more kissable)!
- Obnoxiously fake plumped lips. Everything in moderation, ladies. Overload on the injections will age you more than thin lips will (even if you are young)!
Stay tuned for Part 2. Cupid is coming to town!