If your idea of proper lip care is slathering on that same lip balm that’s been knocking about in the bottom of your handbag for at least a few months, you’ve come to the right place.
There are far too many things we expect lip balm to do; wanting it to feel good, look good, moisturise throughout the day, walk your dog, do your taxes – the list goes on. To put it simply, lip balm just can’t do all those things.
Luckily though, we’ve found out what can (just about). For everything you wish your old faithful could do, here’s the ultimate lip routine.
Step 1: Exfoliate
First on the list is unearthing those baby fresh lips we were all born with. That harrowing combination of dry weather and neglect we put our lips through results in a cracked and flaky appearance. Exfoliating not only makes an instant difference in how your lips look and feel, but it also allows any products you apply to actually penetrate the skin. Now before you grab a toothbrush and go a-scrubbin’, the key is to be gentle as the skin on our lips is thinner than the rest of the skin on our face.
Step 2: Hydrate
Now that you’ve prepped your lips, apply something fast absorbing and ultra-nourishing. A light cream applied under rich balm can lock hydration in, allowing lips to feel and look supple for longer. Mornings call for a hefty mixture of heavy and lightweight oils, such as Elizabeth Arden’s Eight Hour Cream. Or a cream rich in hyaluronic acid to provide moisture through the day, like Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare’s Hyaluronic Marine Collagen Lip Cushion. Lip masks like Clinique's Pep-Start Pout Restoring Night Mask work well as overnight treatments.
Step 3: Lip balm!
OK, now you can apply a lip balm, though it’s worth telling you to choose wisely. Not all lip balms can do everything they need to. If you prefer a stick balm, Kiehl's Butterstick lip treatment is a good option for its nourishing blend of lemon butter and coconut oil (which also happens to be fairly traded). Nuxe Rêve De Miel Lip Balm is a great potted balm which contains honey and beeswax that help nourish and repair lips' natural moisture barrier. If you prefer tubes, Lanolips 101 Ointment The Original Multipurpose Superbalm is what you need.
As tempting as it is to consume all that fruity-flavoured balm you’ll be applying, you must resist. Licking off balm or even just licking your lips can worsen chapped lips as air causes the moisture to dry out. Keeping your balm on locks in moisture and protects from harsh weather conditions.
Step 4: Colour
To keep your lips feeling happy, choose a product that combines colour with rich lip care. Lip oils sit well over balms and keep lips feeling healthy and hydrated. MAC’s Shot of Colour lip oil is perfect for a pigmented pout, while NYX's #Thisiseverything lip oil provides a soft dreamy tint. Or, if you prefer a lighter approach, Fresh's Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment feels hydrating yet light on the lips, and depending on swipe strength, the colour can range from a sheer tint to a juicier, more saturated sheen.
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