Lip service: How to get the perfect pout

  Eyes may be the window to the soul, but lips are the ticket to sex appeal. Use these four easy steps to make sure your lips look and feel their best when they’re moving, pouting or –better yet — kissing: 

  1. Start by slathering your lips with an exfoliator. I prefer Tarte’s Maracuja Lip Exfoliant, which is billed as “a powerful resurfacing lip scrub that exfoliates lips then provides instant hydration—quenching lips with no greasy or filmy feel.” It features rough, sweet sugar granules that remove roughness and flakes and has a pleasant, slightly minty taste. 
  2. If you have stubborn flakes, let your exfoliant soak into your lips for a few minutes before using a clean toothbrush or cotton bud to gently slough them off. 
  3. Apply a rich, creamy balm designed to provide extra hydration and softness. I swear by Best Damn Beauty’s version, the Best Damn Lip Mask. It’s packed with soothing and anti-aging ingredients, including organic agave nectar, jojoba oil, vanilla CO2 extract and resveratrol. I wear it overnight and also let it absorb into my lips while I apply my facial makeup (my lipstick application comes last in my routine). 
  4. Apply your favorite lip product. Remember that bright and dark colors can make lips look smaller. If you have thin lips, it’s best to stick with lighter shades that give the illusion of a fuller pout. Matte lipsticks can also make lips look smaller; if you have small lips use a glossier formula or add lip gloss to make them look larger. Matte lipsticks can also accentuate lip lines, so choose a more moisturizing lip product if that’s an issue for you.  

Remember: Taking care of your lips is a critical part of your beauty routine. By following these four steps, you can ensure that your lips are plump, luscious and, mmmm, kissable. 

Tarte Maracuja Lip Exfoliant, $16, Sephora, Ulta and tartecosmetics.com

Best Damn Lip Mask, $26, bestdamnbeauty.com

Marc Jacobs Le Marc Lip Creme Lipstick in Clara, $30, Sephora and marcjacobsbeauty.com

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