I was 15 or 16 the first time I wore bright red lipstick out in public. I felt really ostentatious and awkward, like I might be doing something dumb, and I felt like for sure everyone was looking at me. It was the same sort of scary feeling I’d experienced the day I debuted my rhinestoned cat eyed white sunglasses into the world.
Scary, but SO RIGHT.
I’ve been in love with bright lip colors ever since then. There is no better way to insure that I will spend lots of time pouting at myself in the mirror than to hand me a tube of red lipstick. I will stand there, making erotic mouths at myself, all day.
(Photo of my own sexymouth that was already on my phone.)
(I should be embarrassed.)
I like to wear bright lipstick as often as I can. Unfortunately, I also like to sometimes gnaw my lips into a shredded disaster area. Luckily, these two hobbies of mine CAN coexist thanks to my ultra effective lip repair regimen. I do these steps almost every time I decide to wear a bright or creamy lipstick.
STEP ONE – We can have lots of fun. Moisturizing.
For day to day wear, not all lip balms are created equal. But for this, you can use anything that will moisturize your lips. The goal is to get all that dead skin and gross crud really soft and ready to be sloughed. Get that Chapstick, butter, or whatever and apply a generous amount – really pile it on. Now, go do something else for at least ten minutes.
STEP TWO – There’s so much we can do…to exfoliate your lips.
OK. We let our mouths get a good soak in all that grease. It’s time to scrub it all off! You can use a wet, warm washcloth, your toothbrush, or one of the many available lip exfoliants. I prefer to use LUSH’s Mint Julips Sugar Lip Scrub; it’s good and scrubby, it doesn’t dissolve right away, and it’s zero Weight Watchers points. I mean, probably, right? That’s what I tell myself when I’m eating it off my own mouth anyways.
Take your exfoliator, a little bit of warm water, and gently scrub your lips in circular motions. Scrub them until they feel nice and smooth. Sometimes, if my lips are especially chewed up, I’ll apply more lip balm and come back and exfoliate again a few hours later.
STEP THREE – It’s just you and me. (Me, in this case, is your chapstick.)
After you’ve given your lips a rough, but loving exfoliation, you need to apply more moisturizer. They’ll be super soft and pillowy, so now is when you want to use something good, and not something that dries out your lips. My very favorite lip moisturizer is Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment. It’s a little higher priced, but since I started using it, my lips have never been so consistently soft, even when I’m not wearing it. Smith’s Rosebud Salve is also a really great product. It’s only $6, and you can use it on your cuticles too. Whatever you use, slather it on those smooth kissy lips!
STEP FOUR – I can give you more…opportunities to wear dramatic lip colors!
I do this moisturize/exfoliate thing about once a week. Sometimes, in the shower, I’ll just run whatever face exfoliator I’m using over my lips while they’re soft from the warm water. The trick is to make it a part of your regular routine. The couple of minutes of hands on time is worth it for how good it makes your lips feel, and for the joy of putting on a hot lip color and having it not look like shit.
STEP FIVE – Don’t you know that the time has arrived.
FOR ME TO STOP WITH THIS TERRIBLE NEW KIDS THING I STARTED.
(L to R: my boyfriend, Jordan, Monkeyface, poor Jonathan, Ugh. Donnie)