How to Get Perfectly Pouty Lips: Smoothe, Moisturized Lips

How to Get Perfectly Pouty Lips

One of the more frequent questions I get asked is, “How do you keep your lips looking nice?” I’ll share my own routine, any secrets I have that I use on my own lips, and additional beauty tips to keep your lips in tip top shape.

The Perfect Pout Toolkit

It is important that you have the right tools in your beauty stash to help your lips stay pretty, so you should make sure to have these on hand at all times…


  • Product Suggestions: Jojoba Oil + Sugar, Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment ($23), Sara Happ The Lip Scrub ($24)

Daily Lip Balm

  • Product Suggestions: Yes to Carrots Lip Butter ($3), Rosebud Lip Balm ($7), Smashbox Lip Treatment ($15)

Nightly Lip Balm

  • Product Suggestions: Carmex ($3), Vaseline ($5), Philosophy Kiss Me Intense Lip Therapy ($20.00)

The Perfect Pout Routine

In the morning, check to see if your lips are dry, cracked, or flaking. If it seems minor, putting a little toner on a cotton pad and wiping lips always helps me. (For this, I love NARS Hydrating Freshening Lotion ($36), because it’s very lightweight and never pulls moisture from my lips; it also has grape seed oil and aloe in it.) You can also take a soft-bristled toothbrush and a little warm water or an oil like jojoba oil and softly brush against lips for an easy, at-home scrub. If it’s not a big deal, go easy and just be gentle; you want to get dead cells off, but you don’t want to over-do it. I usually don’t find myself needing to do this step daily, but I might do it before I do several lip swatches or as needed.

  • To-do list: gentle, morning exfoliation when lips seem to need it

During the day, apply a good daily lip balm every few hours. You shouldn’t have to reapply hourly, and your lips shouldn’t feel like the moisture has been sucked out of them after a few hours, either. You want a lip balm that helps to protect your lips and retain moisture. The more emollient a lip balm (often oil-based or with a waxy base), the more likely it is to create a better, thicker barrier against the elements. If you’re going outdoors or into cold weather, opt for a thicker lip balm and slick it on more often than you think you need to. Make sure you’re drinking several glasses of water/liquid throughout the day; it’s good for, well, pretty much everything beauty-wise, but it also helps keep lips from drying out.

  • To-do list: apply a moisturizing lip balm three to four times a day, protect lips from harsh conditions and cold weather

At night, I like to do a more intensive exfoliation or scrub down two or three times a week. I personally use The Lip Scrub by Sara Happ ($24), which is a sugar-based scrub that you gently work onto lips and then wipe away with a tissue. I also use a warm washcloth that’s been wrung out to remove the scrub, though. Gently remove it, though – you don’t want to violently wipe away any bits! You can always make your own scrub using any thick lip balm or oil (again, jojoba oil is my favorite to use) and add in some sugar.

  • To-do list: exfoliate/scrub lips once to three times weekly

Before bed, apply a thick lip balm. The thicker the better! I often use Vaseline ($5) or Philosophy’s Kiss Me Intense Lip Therapy ($20), and don’t be shy about how much you use.

  • To-do list: apply a thick, emollient lip balm or treatment before bed

When You Wear Makeup

Before you apply lipstick or gloss, make sure your lips are moisturized. I like to apply a jellyish lip balm on my lips about a half hour before I apply lipstick, then I kiss the back of my hand to remove any excess, then apply lipstick or gloss as usual. If you’re applying a gloss, I’ve found that you don’t need to remove as much excess beforehand; with lipstick, the oil from lip balm often breaks down the product faster, which is why removing excess is important. It is also important to use lipsticks and glosses that don’t dry out your lips! I know I’ve personally found that many lipglosses dry out my lips and cause them to peel, which is both painful and ugly to go through, so I often go for lipstick (even something sheer) underneath my gloss so that doesn’t happen.

Tips & Tricks

  • Sunscreen is always helpful in a daily lip balm, so consider picking up one that contains SPF — there are a lot more on the market nowadays compared to a year or two years ago.
  • If you don’t feel the lip balm, it might not be enough for you. Lip balm is often more of a protectant than anything else, so if it’s so sheer and invisible, it might not be doing the job you want it to. During the day, I like something thick enough to feel, but not so thick that it’s like a coat of jelly on my lips (e.g. Vaseline is too much during the day, but perfect at night).
  • Lip lines can be aggravating, particularly if color regularly sinks into them. Consider a lip plumper or line filler for use on the lips (I like MAC’s Prep + Prime Lip or Line Filler). A lip plumping gloss or lipstick can also help make lines look less noticeable and lips appear fuller, but be prepared for a sting if you do (it will vary from person to person, depending on their tolerance and sensitivity).
  • Soothe cracked lips by gently exfoliating away dry parts and by using very emollient, rich, and thick products — you may even find a rich cream works better than your average lip balm. Avoid licking, biting, or peeling lips, because these are all behaviors that exacerbate the problem rather than curing it. If you have a tendency to lick your lips, avoid flavored lip balms and glosses. I personally find MAC Tinted Lip Conditioner to taste like sunscreen, and maybe that’s a way to cure your desire to taste!

Share your favorite lip care tips in the comments!

Too Faced Spring 2010 Eyeshadow Duos

Too Faced for Spring 2010 Eyeshadows

According to Too Faced, the eyeshadow duos were their way of giving you the ability to repurchase your favorite shades from their Natural Eye Palette. I actually reviewed the Natural Eye Palette back in August when it first debuted. The shades they didn’t put into duo form were Velvet Revolver, Push-up, and Nude Beach (and by the way? Nude Beach is no loss, seriously!).

I think it’s cool that Too Faced–at least it seems that way–listened to their fans and made sure they wouldn’t run out of their new favorite shades. I personally prefer the eyeshadow duo packaging — more durable, less messy, and I like being able to tote just one or two around, rather than entire palette. The palette was cute, though. This is also a nice way to maybe grab one duo instead of the entire palette if you were looking for a particular shade. The palette retailed for $34 and contained three larger sized shadows (0.07 oz. each) and six smaller sized shadows (0.03 oz. each), and the duos are a good size — 0.08 oz. for each duo (I imagine it’s split pretty evenly down the middle). You get a better bang for your buck with the palette, but you might prefer the set-up and convenience of the duos (or maybe only want one!).

Smooth, buttery, and pigmented — these eyeshadows are particularly lovely, high quality, and they’re all easy to use neutrals. I actually much prefer these over the Fun in the Dark Palette and would put my money towards these instead!

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

Continue Reading

Look Book – What would you pair with Illamasqua Avenge Lipstick?

If you were using Illamasqua Avenge Lipstick?, what look would you create with it?

What shadows would you use? What would you use on cheeks? Anything added to the lips? Create a look using whatever you want, as long as you include today’s look book product!

Did you come up with a look you’d like to share featuring today’s product? You can link to your images, embed your images using HTML, or you can submit your images via e-mail to share them with readers to help give them inspiration on how to use the product!

Do you have a question idea? Submit yours here.

Old vs. New MAC Pigment Jar Packaging: A Tale of Comparisons

Make sure you also read the follow-up to this post, which compares Kitschmas vs. Kitschmas.

Old vs. New MAC Pigment Jar Packaging: A Tale of Comparisons

The news may be old, but the feelings are still raw. MAC has changed up their packaging for their pigments, which are loose color (often multi-purpose). The MAC website, just today, updated and not reflects the new jar packaging.

This post is extremely image-heavy (22 images, 4mb), so please be patient if it takes awhile to load.  If you like this post, please feel free to link to it, but we would really appreciate if you did not hotlink the images!  Thank you!! :)

Here’s why some are upset:

  • New packaging (we often do not like change, period)
  • Sizing has decreased from typical 7.5g/0.26 oz. to 4.5g/0.15 oz.
  • Pricing is the same ($19.50 U.S.)

Because this post is designed to give you a very detailed insight into the differences between the sizing and packaging of both the old and the new…

Here is a summary for those find this post too long to read.

After dumping a new jar and an old jar, seeing it in real life, looking at the heighths, widths, density, etc., I suspect you’re losing around 1/2 teaspoon worth of pigment.  It may be more, it may be less, depending on the pigment in question.  (I estimate roughly 4 teaspoons of pigment per old jar, on average.)  You’re still getting plenty of pigment for your money–likely more than the majority of us will use up in a lifetime. Pigments often differ in texture and density; they’re not all made alike. Some are very chunky (e.g. Kitschmas) while others are very smooth (Vanilla). At the end of the day, I think you’re still getting much more than you think (and you’re not getting as little as you think).

See my detailed comparison with LOTS of photos…

Continue Reading