Glitter lips

How to Prep Your Lips – So They Look Fab Under Lipstick

Think devouring a sandwich is the top culprit for ruined lipstick? Think again—it’s dry, flaky lips!

Sure, you could exfoliate and use lip balm and call it a day. Or, you can nab pillowy-soft, plumped-up perfect lips using these five holistic tips. Here’s how to pamper your pout for a soft, sexy, supple look, even under the boldest lipstick.

1. You Are What You Eat

Your lips, like the majority of the body, are a reflection on the outside of what you put inside it.

Eat a lip-friendly diet, rich in produce and nutrients. Include vitamins B and E (deficiency in these can trigger dry lips), whole grains, dark leafy greens, almonds and sunflower seeds. Limit salty, spicy and acidic foods which cause irritation and/or dryness.

2. Hydration Is Key

The skin on lips is super-thin and sensitive, making it prone to dehydration-related dryness and redness that even the glossiest lip products won’t cover. By now you know that drinking plenty of water is key to maintaining a healthy, balanced body. Drinking plenty of H2O is equally as important for your precious pucker! Lips are similar to a sponge. They absorb water and plump when moisturized and dry out/shrink when dehydrated.

Bonus points if you avoid licking your lips; enzymes in saliva can make lips all the more sensitive and even drier.

3. Protect From Damage

Use balms with hydrating ingredients such as shea butter, coconut oil, Vitamin E or honey. When exposing lips to the elements, choose one with SPF to shield sensitive lips from sun damage. Oral hygiene is your next line of defense: Brush with a toothpaste free of SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate) . The chemical can trigger or irritate existing sensitivies or allergies, is drying and can cause flaky, chapped lips. Carmex lip balm is my favourite!!

4. Think Outside the Exfoliation Box

Ditch the same old toothbrush and exfoliating routine! Instead, be a kitchen beautician and pair a DIY natural scrub with a cleansing brush designed specifically for lips, such as the Clarisonic Lip Cleansing kit, which includes a radiance brush head for soft, smooth, primed lips. Whip up a natural ingredient mix of sugar (which acts as the exfoliant) and honey (maintains and retains moisture) to gently scrub lips, eliminating any flaky or dull skin.

5. Choose Color and Consistency Strategically

If your lips are parched (and you’re still in the process of turning those raisin lips into grapes), stick with glossy or shimmery shades, which help conceal residual dryness thanks to their light-reflecting properties. (Matte, dark hues will emphasize flakes.) After exfolating lips, prime them for color with a moisturizing balm. Softly smudge the border of lips first–the diffused finish boosts dimension for fullness. Voila!