How's this for multitasking? The best way to keep your lips soft and supple is to brush them every time you brush your teeth. After you're done cleaning your chompers, rinse your toothbrush to ensure it's free of toothpaste, which can be dehydrating, then use the bristles to gently abrade your top and bottom lips. Do this twice a day everyday and you'll notice your lipstick and gloss applies much more evenly.
When the humidity dips and colder temps sap moisture from skin, slather on a protective lip balm, preferably one that doesn't "taste" good. Licking your lips can leach hydration since saliva is drying. Look out for chapsticks loaded with conditioners like petrolatum or glycerin as well as sunscreens like oxinoxate or zinc to keep UV rays from scorching your pucker.
To plump up thin lips, use a liner that's similar in color to the lipstick you plan on using -- it shouldn't be more than one shade darker. Use the liner to fill in everything but the very center of your top and bottom lips: "This will make lips look fuller and will give the lipstick something to adhere to," says Mary Curran, who is a makeup artist and a stylist for Martha Stewart. Use a small brush to swipe on a few strokes of lipstick, starting with less than what you think you'll need and building from there. Matte lipsticks tend to last longer than their shiny sisters. Clinch your kiss with a dab of gloss right on the center of your pout.
For color you can set and forget, paint your pout with a lip stain, which temporarily tints lips much in the same way drinking Kool-Aid or eating a fruity popsicle deposits dyes. If your lips are dry and flakey, be sure to exfoliate beforehand since stains leave behind a matte finish that can make chapped lips look positively parched. As a finishing touch, apply a pop of shiny gloss to keep your kisser looking soft and shiny.
During the day, count on light pinks, peachy corals and nude beiges to keep your look work-appropriate. At night, turn up the heat with a coral that packs more punch by springing for a shade with bolder orange undertones like Estee Lauder Pure Color Long-Lasting Lipstick in Wild Coral, $24.
When you're face-to-face with the boss or meeting up with friends for a mid-afternoon coffee, stick with rose, mauve and berry tones that have a tinge of brown. To dial up the drama for date night, reach for a rosy red tone like Maybelline New York Color Sensational Lipstick in Very Cherry, $7.50. If you're a red rookie, apply this eye-catching color directly to the middle of your lips then use your finger to blend it outwards.
To spotlight your smile during the day, opt for sheer plums, chocolates, and rum reds. If you're not sure how to dark to go, look at the inside of your bottom lip where skin is more pigmented and use that as your daytime guide. Come cocktail hour, go bolder with a playful pop of purple in a more intense formula like Nars Pure Matte Lipstick in Volga, $25.
There's no reason to be embarrassed -- approximately 90 percent of people carry the herpes simplex virus type 1, which is the culprit behind cold sores. While outbreaks come and go, they tend to crop up when you're stressed, sick, sunburned, or hormonal. Although there's no cure -- the virus simply becomes dormant in the body -- protecting your lips with a broad-spectrum sunscreen can help stem eruptions. When a blister does arise, try applying lemon balm ointment or creams: in clinical studies, creams with this close cousin of mint helped heal the redness and swelling associated with cold sores in as little as two days.
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