Is a Lip Care Regimen the Answer to a V-Day Ready Pout?
Nourish your pout with love.
We are always interested in finding new ways to nourish our bodies—and because skin is our largest organ, extensive skin care regimens have become staples in many of our regular self-care routines. But what about our lips? There is a case to be made, particularly in the wake of Valentine’s Day, for lavishing some love upon our pouts.
As both the source of our smooches and a central feature of facial aesthetics, our lips certainly merit some extra TLC. Below you will find a makeup artist’s guide to prepping your lips for the perfect shade this Valentine’s Day. Plus, you’ll see that with just a few simple steps, you can make your lips plumper, smoother, more hydrated, and nourished, year-round.
Step 1: Exfoliate With a Scrub:
“Getting plump lips can be a little trickier in Winter months where our lips are dry and flaky,” says makeup artist Omayma Ramzy, founder of Omayma Skin. “It can be a hindrance if you have dry, chapped, flaky, or even sun-damaged lips. As a quick solve, doing some gentle exfoliation will clear the path for new products.” One lip scrub to consider is Henne Organics Lip Exfoliator, $24, which can be gently applied in circular motions to damp lips three-to-four times per week. For a deeper scrub or pre-makeup treatment, you can even use a soft toothbrush to rid lips of extra flakes; just remember to always do so gently.
Celebrity esthetician Olga Lorencin, adds that you can use a very mild lactic acid serum at night if you’d prefer to go the route of chemical exfoliation. “You can also make a mixture of 1/2 tsp honey, 1/4 tsp brown sugar, and a few drops of olive oil [to massage] into your lips in a circular motion,” Lorencin continues. Then apply a warm washcloth over your lips for 10 min before rinsing.
Step 2: Hydrate with a Lip Mask:
“If you use a lip scrub, it is so important if not vital, to follow up with a lip mask before using any lip products,” says Ramzy. For hydration, Ramzy recommends Patchology FlashPatch Hydrating Lip Gels, $15, which delivers Niacinamide, peptides, and catechin- and antioxidant-rich green tea extract to your pouts.
For next-level plumping and product penetration, Mesolyft Lips, $79.99, uses micro-needling technology to enhance lip volume, soften, and hydrate—even if your lips are chapped. “The micro-needling helps penetrate the treatment deeper, as well as giving the fastest plumping I’ve ever seen,” Ramzy explains.
Lorencin notes that you can actually apply your favorite eye cream to your pouts and that she is a big fan of Jao Lip Balm, $11.
Step 3: Plump and Apply SPF:
Ramzy explains that sun damage can exacerbate the appearance of “sandpapery” flakes and dryness on the texture of the lips while making them appear aged. Plus, biologically speaking, our lips cannot tan via the process of melanocyte-stimulation that is cued by UV-rays. “A super important step that is so, so easy to forget is to use an SPF lip product,” Ramzy adds. Hence we love the award-winning lip plumper, Dr. Lara Devgan Scientific Beauty Platinum Lip Plum SPF 30, $50, which incorporates SPF 30 and delivers before-and-after results that are unbelievably effective. The sheen and protection it provides make it a great product to use before applying lip color, or on its own, day or night.
Step 4: Apply Pigment
Ramzy reminds us to do our lips last when applying makeup. When you begin, start with a liner to provide shape — she recommends Kevyn Aucoin Lip Definer, $22 — before following with your favorite lip shade.
When it comes to pigment, we are in love with the completely clean, manuka honey-infused line of luxury lipsticks made by Madame Gabriela. “I absolutely love Madame Gabriela’s lipsticks,” Ramzy raves. “The shade Sydney at 8 AM is quite possibly the perfect nude, and glides on seamlessly,” she adds of our favorite day-to-night shade. Madame Gabriela Beauty Paris at 7 PM, $35, is also the ideal shade of red to make your teeth look extra white. Highr Collective is another luxurious indie brand to note, featuring a clean and sustainable line of five versatile shades made without microplastics, silicones, environmental toxins—or a carbon footprint.
If you’re more of a fan of the slick, glossy sheen afforded by a lip oil, Deck of Scarlet Threeway Lip Oil, $28, comes in an impeccable range of pigmented oils that can be applied throughout the day in thirteen different hydrating shades.
Long-Term Lip Care:
If you’re interested in making lip care a regular part of your beauty rituals, there are ways to address issues like wrinkles and lines on and around the lips. Dermelect Smooth Upper Lip and Perioral Anti-Aging Treatment, $38, offers a treatment to reduce the visible signs of aging around the lips. If you struggle with chronically dry lips, you can always add on a lip serum, like Odacité Aventurine Lip Serum, $48, that features a crystal rollerball, or the delectable, vanilla-scented Sahajan Lip Karma Vanilla, $19, for some sensual, nighttime hydration before bed. Never under-estimate the importance of proper hydration, either. It’s important to remember that beauty and wellness are intimately connected; the way you treat your body will impact your beauty goals, too.