This season, plump up your lips with heat-activating ingredients, such as cinnamon, ginger and mint (try DuWop Lip Venom). These natural stimulants warm up the skin tissue, causing capillaries to expand and presto! you've got a subtle plumping effect that lasts for hours. If you really want to get your blood racing, look for products with L-arginine, such as Get Lip by Jeni Lee Cosmetics. L-arginine, an amino acid used in sex-enhancing products, increases blood flow to the area where it's applied so it'll plump your lips to perfection. Others to try: Eyeko's Supersize shine; Caryl Baker Visage Liquid Kiss Lip Gloss. (Check out our fave lip products here!)
Lock and load
When your skin is dehydrated, it loses its fullness and glow. The same goes for your lips. However, the skin on your lips is thinner, which makes it more prone to dryness and chapping. There are two ways to combat the problem: first, add moisture to your lips; second, lock the moisture in. Humectants, such as hyaluronic acid, replace lost moisture, explains Dr. Paul Cohen, a Toronto-based dermatologist. Emollients, like beeswax, sesame oil, honey, shea butter and vitamin E (try Lise Watier Spa Fondant Vitamin E Moisturizing Lip Therapy), lock in moisture. Apply one product over the other and you'll be on your way to supple sexiness. Moisturizers to try: Z. Bigatti Re-Storation Lip Pout; N. V. Perricone M.D. Cosmeceuticals Alpha Lipoic Acid Lip Plumper. Emollients to try: Avon Beyond Color Nutralush Plumping Lipstick; H2O Plus Line Defense Lip Plumper; Yves Rocher Lip Contour Wrinkle Smoothing Concentrate.
As you age, collagen and antioxidant production slow by one percent every year, causing a relative rise in free radicals. Luckily, your lips contain a higher concentration of capillaries than the rest of your face, which means they can absorb anti-aging products better than facial skin.
Products containing pure collagen, oligopeptides or a collagen stimulant can help replace lost collagen (try Modele Collagen Lip Treatment). To build up antioxidants, select products that contain lactic acid (try Joey New York Super Duper Lips) or retinol (try Dior Capture Lèvres Lip Contour Wrinkle Crème). "Lactic acid and retinol may actually alter the structure of the skin cells to rejuvenate the cellular process and improve the appearance of the lips," says Cohen. Others to try: Clarins Extra-Firming Age-Control Lip & Contour; Molton Brown Wonder Lips Booster.
Wrinkles and fine lines around your lips can make them look thinner. When you're young, your skin produces sufficient quantities of collagen and antioxidants. Collagen supports and firms the skin's tissue to prevent wrinkles; antioxidants fight free radicals caused by sun, pollution, smoking and stress, which, in turn, cause wrinkles.
For luscious-looking lips, try these tips:
To start, gently exfoliate your lips with a mild face scrub or a toothbrush, advises CARGO makeup artist Robin Siegel. Apply an anti-wrinkle lip product with sunscreen (try NeoStrata Lip and Lip Contour Treatment SPF 15) to smooth fine lines and protect your lips from further wind and sun damage.
To build up your lips, apply a base product (try BeneFit Lip Plump). Then, use a flesh-toned lip pencil (try Elizabeth Arden Smooth Line Lip Pencil in Blush) to draw a line slightly outside your natural lip line. With your finger or sponge tip, blend the line into the skin around your lips. "This will make the pink part of your lips look more pronounced," says FACES makeup artist Michael Kovalik. Next, apply a lipstick sealer (try FACES Sealed With a Kiss) to keep your illusionary work intact. Top with a light-reflecting lipstick (try Estée Lauder Pure Color Crystal Lipstick) or a pinky-beige gloss.
For the pièce de résistance, highlight the Cupid's bow (the dip below your nose) and under the centre of your bottom lip with a skin-illuminating pen (try M.A.C Studio Lights). As the light reflects from these points, everyone's attention will be drawn to your new-found luscious lips. So you can sit back, smile and sip your favourite cocktail ... through a straw!
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