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The Ultimate Guide to Lips: Care & Color

The Ultimate Guide to Lips: Care & Color

Your lipstick has missed you!

As COVID-19 restrictions and guidelines lift nationwide, it’s time to focus on the part of your face that have been hiding for the past year — your smile in particular!

Lipstick, lip gloss and other lip products have been relatively unimportant for the past year or so with social events and gatherings limited, and face mask mandates enforced nationwide. For those of us who enjoy wearing lipstick, lipliner or lip gloss, the lifted restrictions are a relief. No more makeup smearing across your face or sticking to the inside of your face mask!

Before you pick up your favorite lip color you never got to wear last year, consider an update and refresh of your products. Many forget that makeup can expire, and it’s important to occasionally replace your products.

Here is your ultimate guide to lip products, color, care and everything you need to know as you shed your face masks and begin rocking your favorite lip look again!

MAC Lipsticks in six different shades

Does lipstick expire?

Before we begin applying our lip products again, it’s important to consider the shelf life and expiration of our beauty favorites.

Yes, lipstick can expire! According to Healthline, most lip products can last up to two years (if unopened and stored properly), but any products that have been opened might have changed in composition or color during the pandemic. Additionally, opened products are prone to things like bacteria or mold, which can be harmful. If you notice any changes in the texture, smell, or appearance of your lip products, it’s time to replace them!

Different Types Of Lip Products

There are tons of lip products on the market including lip balms, glosses, colors and treatments.

Lip balm: Don’t forget that moisture is the key to healthy skin and lips! Lip balm nourishes lips to keep your skin from drying, flaking or cracking. In the long run, this will make for better lipstick application!

Lipstick primer: For long-lasting wear and smooth application, be sure to prep your lips with a lip primer for a picture-perfect color that won’t bleed or smear.

Lip tint/stain: Lip tints and stains are relatively new, innovative products for those who want the color of a lipstick or lip gloss, but don’t want the feel of a heavy product on their lips. Tints are designed to temporarily dye your lips for a natural color without the weight of a thicker product.

Lip gloss: Lip gloss is a thinner lip product that provides shine and sheer color. Lip gloss is best for a high-shine look. If you are looking for a bigger pout, try plumping lip gloss for some extra volume without getting expensive procedures like lip injections or lip fillers.

Lip liner: Lip liner is like an outline for your lip color. Applying lip liner around the edges of your lips will not only create a cleaner look, but will make applying lipstick or lip color easier, acting as a template. Try to find lip kits that match your lipstick or color to your lip liner to cut out the process of color matching.

Lipstick: Lipstick has been around for ages, but is still used today to get a rich, pigmented lip color. Depending on your desired look and texture, you can choose between high-shine lipstick, liquid lipstick, or matte lipstick. Some lipsticks are formulated to change color based on your pH, like Lipstick Queen’s Shade Shifter.

Lipstick Queen Shade Shifters
Buxom Lip Liner and Gloss

Lip Care Routine For Healthy Lips

For smooth, hydrated, nourished lips, follow this step-by-step lip care routine:

Step 1. Lip Scrub

About once a week, you’ll want to use a gentle lip scrub (or other exfoliant) to remove the dry skin cells from your lips. This not only encourages natural nourishment, but creates a smooth surface for lip color application!

Step 2. Lip Masks

It’s like a face mask for your lips! Just like a face mask, use a lip mask about once a week for benefits like hydration, plumping, smoothing and softening.

Step 3. Lip Balm

After exfoliating or doing any kind of lip treatment, be sure to fully moisturize afterwards. I recommend a moisturizing lip balm or a product like Vaseline (my secret beauty weapon) to condition your lips.

Lipstick Queen Lip Scrub
Laura Geller Prep-N-Go Lip Tint and Scrub

Before picking out your favorite lip shade, decide what kind of texture you want. If you are looking for a high-shine glossy look, or a no-shine, matte pigment, be sure you are getting the correct type of lip product.

With an infinite number of color options to choose from, lip color can be a difficult thing to shop for. If you are unsure which color or shade looks best with your skin tone, I recommend doing some online research and/or doing a virtual color try-on. Makeup is meant to be expressive, so if you like the way a color looks on you, rock it!

How To Choose Lip Color Based On Skin Tone

Lightest: If you are going for a natural no-makeup look, try a sheer or nude lip color with neutral undertones. Top a light color with a clear or sheer gloss for a naturally moisturized pout, or try a tinted balm.
Light: For light skin tones with cool undertones, try picking a lip color that’s just a bit darker than your natural lips. This might be a pale pink with blue or purple undertones, depending on your skin tone.
Medium: For medium skin with warm undertones, try warm lip colors like reds and oranges.
Bold: If you have a darker skin tone, or just want a bolder lip color, try darker shades like purples or browns.
Boldest: For the deepest skin tones, consider deep, bright colors that pop. Depending on your undertones, you may want to try deep purples, bright reds, or even grays. Neons and bright colors with a matte finish are striking on darker skin tones.

Clinique Chubby Stick in 3 Shades of Pink

About The Author

Kari Emerson

Kari Emerson is a NYC-based blogger and model. She is the writer and creator of The Important Things blog, chronicling her experiences navigating life as a 20-something in New York City. Her goal is to help her readers attack “adulting” in a stylish and resourceful way.

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