Beauty: Lip Service

My lips and I have always had a bit of a love-hate relationship. While having fuller lips is often considered a good thing, they can be a bit troublesome to maintain. I’ve always found it difficult to find a lip product that will stay in place and not end up in disintegrating into fabulously unattractive clumps. However, I’ve recently tried a lip regimen that seems to be holding up against this ridiculous winter weather.

1.  Smooth canvas
First things first, in order to avoid weird clumps from dry/dead skin on the lips, lightly exfoliating the lips is key. I’ve taken to using a homemade honey sugar scrub (1 tsp honey mixed with 1 tsp sugar, which you can save and lasts you a fair while). Rub it over the lips gently and rinse off. I’ll usually finish off with a damp washcloth to smooth things out and remove any remaining sugar.

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2. Moisturize
Finding a lip balm that actually does its job of retaining moisture in my lips for longer than the time it takes me to put it on and leave the apartment has been a challenge. I’m currently loving Aquaphor, which is actually a healing skin ointment for dry or cracked skin and protecting burns and minor cuts. I apply a light layer, and my lips feel smooth and protected. I’ve definitely tried wearing just Aquaphor for the day, and it had good lasting power (survived my roundtrip to campus in -25 C windchill and a long meeting with my advisor) without disintegrating and clumping up on my lips.

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3. Define your canvas
Once you’ve exfoliated and moisturized, you can apply your gloss or lipstick of choice. Today, I’ll be dealing with a bold red lip, as those are often the trickiest to deal with and the same principles apply to other types of lip colour. I will always line my lips when doing a red lip, so that a) the lipstick doesn’t feather, and b) it clearly defines the space you need to apply the lipstick. I often will dab a touch of foundation on the lips before lining to even out the canvas. Take a lip pencil that matches your lip colour (or one that matches your lipstick, if you happen to have it) and line the lips using small, short strokes. To give your lipstick a bit of extra staying power, you can lightly fill in your lips with the pencil.

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4. Colour!
Fill in with lipstick (for real precision, use a lip brush), being sure to place colour right up to the liner you’ve drawn.

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5. Final touch-ups
I will often go back over the lip line with liner to crisp up the edge or fix any issues. For real lasting power, place a tissue over your lips and take some translucent powder on a brush and brush over top of the tissue. Enough powder will filter through to set the lipstick without leaving it obviously powdered and dry.

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6. Liquid lipstick
I’ve typically been partial to traditional tube lipstick, but I finally got around to trying Stila’s Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick. After lining the lips (as above), the applicator makes it quite simple to apply precisely all over the lip. I will say it does have excellent staying power, surviving the Chicago winter winds for at least 4 hours or so. It is perhaps a touch drying, but on a well-moisturized lip prior to application, it doesn’t feel overly dry.

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Products used:
Aquaphor Healing Skin Ointment
MAC lip pencil (Ruby Woo)
Maybelline lipstick (Red Revival)
Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick (Beso)

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