The other day, in the post about my favorite drugstore lipstick range, I professed my love for bolder shades. Neutrals won’t really do it for me, but give me a new red, orange, fuchsia or plum lipstick and I’ll start jumping up and down like a puppy that’s about to be taken for its walk.
Not only does my ideal lipstick have to be bold and intense in pigment, but it also has to be matte in finish. Now, all those of you who have worn products fitting that description will know that lips have to be in tip-top shape for them to look flattering and feel comfortable.
My lip care routine is really simple, yet perfectly effective. Every single day I:
For regular daily exfoliation I simply use my toothbrush. When I’m done brushing my teeth in the morning, I gently scrub my lips to get rid of any dry patches. Then I moisturize with a clear lip balm and go on with my skincare and makeup routine. By the time I am ready for lipstick, the balm will have sunk in (if it hasn’t, I massage it in with my finger) leaving a perfectly smooth canvas to apply lip color.
Both these steps are crucial, but, while any toothbrush will work for the purpose (just apply a lighter pressure if the bristles are very firm), I think you need to be more careful when purchasing a balm. I personally am a chapstick hoarder and have tried a great deal of them in my life. After years of trial and error, I think I’ve finally understood what works for me and what doesn’t.
In my experience, anything containing Paraffinum Liquidum (Mineral Oil) only gives a momentary feeling of comfort, but as soon as it has absorbed, I feel the need to reapply it. It is not hydrating, it just creates a sort of barrier that makes my lips feel comfortable as long as I have it on.
The balms that work best for me are those containing one or more (usually more) of the following plant oils: Jojoba, Castor, Sunflower Seed and Argan. These usually leave my lips supple even after they’ve sunk in (although, technically, they have the same function as Mineral Oil – that is creating a barrier).
My favorite clear chapstick is the Coconut Lip Balm from a super affordable Italian brand called I Provenzali. For days when I don’t wear lipstick, but still want my lip to have some color, I like using a tinted balm. My favorite ones are Fresh Sugar Lip Treatments, which are definitely on the pricier side, but I still haven’t found a cheaper option that compares in terms of hydration and color longevity (for instance, Maybelline Baby Lips are a big NO-NO for me!).
If rough weather or the wrong lipstick formula have made my lips seriously chapped, the toothbrush trick is usually not enough, so I like using a lip scrub that is nourishing as well as exfoliating. I love my Collistar Scrub Balm, which combines sugar crystals with Shea Butter and Vitamin E for nourishment. You don’t really need to spend money on this type of products though, as simply using brown sugar mixed with honey will work wonders.
What are your favorite clear and tinted lip balms? Do you have any more tips and tricks for soft and supple lips?