Winter. Ugh. I hate it. In fact–I hate it so much–I really dislike the fall because I see it only as the season that’s knocking on winter’s door.
And one of the worst things about winter–aside from fearing my bones might actually shatter while I’m walking to work–is the damage it does to my lips.
I’m a lipstick girl. I love a bold lip (perhaps because I’m not a huge fan of my eyes, so I’m happy pulling focus somewhere else…) But if I don’t pay special attention to my lips in the winter, wearing any lipstick becomes problematic.
Winter is harsh and flaky lips are a bold lip bummer. It’s hard to spread an even amount of product over flakes and bumps. Plus I’m a nervous lip picker. Gross, I know. And one small flake can turn into a bloody mess rather quickly in my world. So it’s best if I just keep my pucker soft and covered with pigment to save me from myself.
To help my lips fight back against winter, I’ve come up with a lip care regimen that I’m really quite proud of and I hope it works for you. (Editor’s note: writer may suffer from lip care OCD. so there’s that.)
1) Only use moisturizing lipsticks and glosses. If your favorite color dries out your lips, see item number #4. Try it with a primer and see if that fixes it. If it doesn’t, get rid of it. Even if it’s the only red you’ve ever looked good in (which is not true–and we’ll work on that later) or you spent a million dollars on it (I’m looking at you M.A.C Ruby Woo) pitch it, return it, give it to a friend who lives in the tropics. Whatever you need to do. Do not let it live in your bag–it will become the only lipstick you can ever find. Trust me.
2) Exfoliate. This is one of those steps that people always tell you to do, but it feels like one more thing. I’m telling you–it’s worth it. You can use a dry washcloth or a soft toothbrush (so I hear.) But I need to have a product in my face as a reminder. So I keep a lip exfoliating scrub in my shower. I use this one by Sara Happ in Brown Sugar. They are now selling it at Velvet Waxing Studio in Madison. I’m sure you could also make this at home, but I would never actually do that, so I just buy it. I put this on in the shower a couple times a week after I put conditioner in my hair and then I leave it on until I rinse out the conditioner (TMI?). The sugar removes flakes and the oils make your lips super soft. And you can eat it–which is kinda fun. (Don’t really eat it.)
3) Moisturize every night before bed. Every. Single. Night. I recommend using the Fresh Sugar Advanced Therapy Lip Treatment (pricey but awesome!) or ChapStick Hydration Lock (thank you, Birchbox!). If your lips are in serious condition, Eucerin’s Aquaphor Healing Ointment is kind of a miracle. I had a doctor recommend it to me when I came back from an 8-hour flight where I was crazy sick (pneumonia, oops!) and only had toilet paper to blow my nose. My face was a disaster and this totally fixed it. It’s made with petroleum though, so I’m nervous about using it daily. Maybe that’s just me.
4. Apply a lip primer. A lip primer kinda seems like a marketing gimmick for product suckers like me. But it’s the real deal. Similar to an eye shadow primer or face primer (you don’t use these? seriously–you should use these.) it creates a base layer your lipstick can hang on to and it protects your lips at the same time from any of the drying properties a lipstick might have. And in the end–the extra expense for the primer will save you money–you can use those lipsticks you avoid in the winter because they are too harsh. (I can truly rationalize any makeup expense at any time. Try me.) I really like this one from Bite.
5. Hydrate. Like, drink water. Lots of it. All the time.
I hope these tips get your lips in tip-top shape so you, too, can rock a bold lip on a lazy Sunday–even in the winter. (Because one of the only good things about winter is the excuse to be lazy.)
Am I missing anything? Any great tips you have for soft lips in the winter? Share them below!