Valentine's Day is nearly here, so this week I'm sharing tips to scrub, condition and gloss your way to soft, supple and kissable lips. Here are the five things you must do to turn your lips into weapons of mass seduction this Feb. 14. Deciding who to target is entirely up to you.
You apply moisturizer for your face daily, you dab cream delicately under your eyes religiously, but the skin on and around your lips goes totally unattended. The first step on the road to oh-so-pretty puckers is to start treating lips daily with a product designed to soften vertical lip lines and prevent premature aging. I'm newly addicted to Dermelect's Smooth Upper Lip and Perioral Anti-Aging Treatment because, used daily, it targets signs of aging on and around the lips. Get it for $38 at dermelect.com.
Patches of dry skin, aka "lip bits" must be avoided in the quest for kissable lips. The first step in eradicating dry skin on lips is gentle exfoliation daily with either a DIY lip scrub or an over-the-counter treatment. You can make a sugar scrub at home by combining a teaspoon of baker's sugar and a few drops of water or purchase a gentle OTC exfoliant such as Aveda's Botanical Kinetics Exfoliant ($20 for 5 ounces at Aveda Salons and Spas). Just apply a few drops to a cotton ball and swipe across lips to remove dead skin.
Chapstick, SoftLips, Burt's Bees ... whatever your balm of choice is, moisturizing lips regularly is a must. I'm a fan of Lip Therapy from Rain Cosmetics, a non-stick lip-conditioner that hydrates and heals lips. Sold in sheer tones with a hint of flavor, the clear, raindrop shaped container that houses Lip Therapy has become a staple on my vanity. Get it for $14 at raincosmetics.com.
Applying the right product pre-makeup can mean the difference between lips that look gorgeous and lips dressed in feathering, bleeding color. My secret weapon is LipFusion XL Lip Contouring Pencil ($28 at Beauty.com). I use this contouring and plumping pencil before color every day to stop lipstick from going south as well help plump lips and fill in vertical lip lines.
The perfect ending to our lip-smacking romance is, of course, applying the ideal gloss to your newly soft, smooth lips. One to try is Moisturizing Lip Gloss from Jouer ($20 each at jouercosmetics.com). Chock-full of vitamins A, C and E, as well as shea butter, jojoba oil and pomegranate seed oil, these long lasting glosses slick on ultra-shiny and offer up substantial staying power. Glisten, a sheer, shimmering pink, serves up shine that no mere mortal can resist. Who needs Cupid when you have sparkle like this?
— Carolyn Brundage is the founder of tampabay.prettycity.com, a guide to the best in local beauty. Need beauty advice? Tweet up with Carolyn on Twitter @tampabaypretty.