Glamour, Lips

Perfect Pout

Posts have been deep lately with a heavy focus on the hope and joy part of my mission. I wanted to share a little of the beauty part too. I believe it is easier to be good when you feel good, and easier to feel good when you look good. For better or worse, for many women in our culture that includes a little make-up.

If you are looking for super glam, change the entire shape and color of your face, perfect makeup tutorials, I’m afraid that is way beyond my skill level. But if you are looking for simple tricks that can polish your look, bring out the best of your natural features, and still be applied with a toddler attached to your leg, I’m your girl.

Let’s start with a smile and work our way up from there.

Lipstick is a feel good product for me. Although I was once very timid about wearing lip color, now a bold lip is my go to pick me up. Red lipstick and a little mascara and I feel unstoppable.

Keep lips healthy

The first step in getting a perfect pout is to keep your lips healthy and moisturized. These tips will help your lips look and feel great with or without color.

  • Drink a lot of water: Hydrate your lips from within. A good guideline for how much water to drink is half your weight in ounces. More if you are especially active or feeling ill. Don’t drink it all at once or your body will pass most of it though, just drink consistently throughout the day.
  • Use the right moisturizer/lip balm: Avoid balms with alcohols, menthol, camphor, or salicylic acid in them. Look instead for ingredients such as vitamin E, beeswax, shea butter, coconut oil, mineral oil, petrolatum, or squalene
  • Try a lip scrub: Just like your face and body need occasional exfoliation, so do your lips. Rid them of dry, dead skin regularly to make sure that your moisturizing balms are reaching the live skin underneath. Be cautious not to over exfoliate (your lips should not feel irritated or raw afterward) and always follow up with your preferred lip balm.
  • Don’t forget SPF: Your delicate lips are constantly exposed to the sun. Keep them healthy with a sheer SPF and remember to re-apply often when you are outside. This winter don’t forget that snow reflects the suns rays back at you intensifying the effects of the sun.

Tip: I use my heavier balms and emollient creams on my lips at night, to give an extra punch of moisture while my skin rebuilds itself and opt for more light-weight moisturizers during the day for a more polished look.

Power Up with Color

When choosing the type of lip color there are several things to consider based on what your color desires are. For a special occasion you might be looking for a long-wearing bold color, for daily errands maybe you just want a hint of color and shine. When making your choice remember that more moisture means a shorter wear time.

  • Tinted lip balms: I love tinted lip balms for outdoor activities or when my lips need a little extra TLC. The hint of color doesn’t last very long, but is easy enough to put on without a mirror before any photos.
  • Lip Gloss: Lip gloss are not as heavily pigmented as some lipsticks, but add lots of power with shimmer and shine. I find that glosses wear quickly but evenly if you are away from a mirror. If you are ready to make a statement with your smile, but are not ready for a bold color, a lip gloss may be your solution.
  • Sheer Lipsticks: Sheer lip colors will bring out a little more color without being overpowering. They have a little shine without being over powering. Sheer lipsticks can work in any situation. The sheer finish also tends to be a little more forgiving on lips with uneven texture or dry spots.
  • Gel Lipsticks: Highly pigmented shades provide intense, stay-true color thanks to the clean gel base. This base is also absorbed more easily by the skin providing long-lasting wear without drying lips compared to traditional cream formulas.
  • Cream Lipsticks: Cream lipsticks come in a variety of colors and finishes and are probably what you think of first when you think of lip stick. This classic lipstick can easily go from day to night. Intensify the color by adding more layers.
  • Matte Lipstick: These are your high drama, long wearing shades of lipstick. Applied properly I’ve gotten a good 6-8 hours without needing to touch up. No shine, all color, these lipsticks wear best on well-moisturized healthiest of healthy lips.
  • Lip Stain: Stains do exactly what the name implies, they stain your lips. They tend towards bold colors and are very long lasting. I find the application to take a little longer because you have to let it dry completely before smacking your lips, but that could just be my perception because I am sitting there being inactive. Once this it is dry it is not going anywhere, no transfer, very little fading. You may need make-up remover to get it off at night. Stains are my favorite because I find it very easy to evenly touch up if needed, and they are a fantastic base for other lipsticks or glosses.
  • Lip Lacquer: This is another ultra long wearing choice. My experience with them has been kinda “eh”. The color is fantastic, but as is the issue with most long wearing colors, formulas tend to be drying. The color stays a long time, but when it goes it gets flaky and leaves a heavy demarcation line. I don’t find these very easy to touch up because of the texture issue. That said I know there are women who swear by lip laquers, and once they are dry they stay put with no transfer. Many lacquers come with a gloss to wear over the color to amp up the look. I like a lip lacquer for an occasional night out or special occasion.

Awesome Application

Once you’ve picked your color and your formula it’s time to apply.

Applying traditional lipsticks or lip gloss

  1. Exfoliate as needed: Depending on your lips you may do this daily. Mattes, stains, and lacquers require and even texture before application, while glosses are more forgiving. Use your best judgement based on your personal preference and the current state of your lips.
  2. Moisturize: Start by moisturizing your lips. I do this when I moisturize the rest of my face to allow time for the moisture to be absorbed by my lips.
  3. Wipe excess moisture from your lips: Allow your lips time to absorb your lip balm, then wipe them clean. Excess moisture will decrease the length of time between touch ups.
  4. Lip Liner: Lip liner can be used to make small changed to the shape of your lips by tracing slightly outside or slightly inside your natural lip line. It also can provide a long lasting base for traditional lipsticks and help to prevent feathers or smearing. I line my lips then gently smudge lip liner over the rest of my lips using my finger. I typically use a nude lip liner very close in color to my natural lips, but will occasionally use a colored liner to deepen the look for a special occasion
  5. Apply a thin coat of lipstick over your entire lip. You may find that a small cream color or lip brush offers the most control, especially if your three-year-old smashed your favorite color you are running low on your favorite color. Using your finger may also work to keep layers thin.
  6. Blot your lips on a tissue: This helps to remove excess color.
  7. Repeat steps 5 & 6: adding more thin layers of color until you reach your desired color level. Several thin layers will stay put much better than one heavy layer.

Applying Lip Lacquer or Lip Stain

  1. Exfoliate as needed.
  2. Moisturize
  3. Wipe excess moisture from your lips
  4. Apply stain or lacquer to clean dry lips using the provided applicator
  5. Allow stain or lacquer to dry completely: This may take several minutes. It is very important not to blot your lips at this time as it can cause uneven spots of color.
  6. Add a gloss as desired.

I hope you find this guide helpful, but for best results speak with someone trained to help you find the right products and get the most from them. Your local Independent Beauty Consultant has an abundance of products to specialize your skin care and makeup to meet your specific needs. Don’t have an Independent Beauty Consultant? Ask your questions here!

Finally, tell me, what are your favorite products and colors on your lips?

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