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Pucker Up - Lip Products to Kiss and Tell About
What is it about the celebrity photos we see in magazines that make these women so attractive? Yes, natural beauty and photo retouching has plenty to do with it, but you may also notice that most of them have a great smile highlighted by gorgeous lips. So what can you do to make your own lips lovely and kissable?
Beautiful lips are easier to achieve than you may think. A lot of your look will depend on the type of lip products you are using.
Keep them supple: One of the first steps to creating luscious lips is to keep them soft and smooth. That may be easy for those of you blessed with naturally moist skin, but most women need to turn to thick, soothing lip balms to help avoid cracking or roughness, particularly in very sunny, dry, windy or cold climates. The weather and environment can both wreak havoc on your lips, so look to products like Burt's Bees Beeswax Lip Balm or Lifeguard's Choice, which contains ultra emollient lanolin and almond oil to protect and restore lips. The Lifeguard's Choice balm from Burt's Bees isn't restricted to your lips either; it can be used on ears, nose and other areas prone to dryness and chapping, so it's a great product to having on hand. There are all kinds of great lip balms (sometimes also called lip conditioners) available. Many come in delicious flavors and colors, as well as it different formats - pots, tubes and sticks - so shop around until you find one that works well for your lips and that you enjoy using.
Definition: You've probably heard of lip liner but may be wondering if it's really necessary. The answer? It depends. If your habit is to slick on a light gloss, which needs to be reapplied fairly often, you probably don't want or need lip liner. If you wear lipstick, however, particularly in a bold shade, lip liner will give you a crisp, defined look with no smears or feathering. Plus, the liner will help your lipstick stay in place longer. Some women use lip liner to draw an outline at the very rim of their lips and then fill with lipstick while others draw the outline and then fill in the rest of their lips with the same color before adding lipstick for a more durable application. Lip liners come in traditional ‘pencils' (you'll need a small sharpener, too) and also in highly pigmented cream pens. M.A.C. Cosmetics offers a superb collection of both pencil and cream lip liners in a terrific range of long-lasting colors. Check out your local M.A.C. cosmetics counter or go to their website for more information.
Dazzling color: Once your lips are smooth and defined, it's time to add some color. Fashionable shades change from season to season, but a good rule of thumb to follow is to stick to a natural shade during the day, and go a bit darker at night. You may want to choose a totally dramatic shade of lipstick to highlight a special outfit or for a special occasion, but remember that the color appears to change under different lighting conditions. That daring shade of lipstick that looked so good under the mellow lights of home may take on a more garish look under sunlight or stark florescent lighting often found in retail outlets or office buildings. On the other hand, it may be the perfect touch to draw attention to your lips in a softly lit restaurant. Keep your destination in mind when choosing a lip color. Again, there is a huge selection of lipsticks and lip glosses from which to choose. Generally, lipstick has more staying power than gloss but choose whichever you prefer. If you're just starting out in the world of lipsticks, several companies offer a number of quality lipsticks designed for moisturizing, volume-boosting and durability.
Final touch -- plumping: Remember those magazine pictures? Look closely. Nearly every model appears to have plump lips. Again, there is a wide selection of lip-plumping products available on the market, but you may prefer a simple and more inexpensive trick to achieve fuller-looking lips. Once you've applied your lip color of choice, add a dot of shimmering white eye shadow (or eyebrow highlighter) to the center of your lips and blend it carefully toward the edges. Having a subtly lighter area where your mouth opens will give you the look of fuller lips