“Those lips that Love’s own hand did make.”
Shakespeare is referring to lips that the goddess of Love crafted with her own hands. Lips have always been an important feature in beauty, across time and cultures. Smooth, full lips can be attractive suggest youth and sensuality. Because we look at lips when people talk, they are a prominent feature on the face. Here are 5 tips to have beautiful lips.
1. Lip Plumpers
Young women don’t have wrinkles, but they sometimes like to have fuller lips. Lip plumpers are an ingenious cosmetic trick to give you fuller lips. The skin on your lips is thin and the lips have an impressive blood supply. Lip plumpers are hot pepper or other irritants that penetrate this thin skin and cause dilation of the blood vessels. When the blood vessels dilate, the lips fill with blood like balloons, giving you an instant fuller look. They have the added bonus of giving your kissing partner a tingling sensation that he will certainly feel long after you stopped kissing him.
A second cosmetic concern for lips is that they can be flaky or scaly. This can happen from excess dryness (chapped lips) as well as from sun damage. Use a fine scrub or mild exfoliator to buff your lips to a smooth pink. This should be done in moderation though, as it is easy to over exfoliate lips and develop irritation that will be neither attractive nor good for kissing.
3. Moisturize and Protect
Once you have exfoliated your lips, it is important to moisturize them. Because the skin is thin and because your lips are subject to constant wetting, they dry out easily. Use a lip balm regularly throughout the day to keep moisture locked in and prevent dryness. Always choose a lip balm that has a sunscreen. The thin skin on lips accumulates sun damage over the years leading to hard scaly spots (called actinic chelitis) and even skin cancer such as squamous cell carcinoma.
4. Stop Smoking
This seems like a no-brainer, but it is important to mention here. Smoking is bad for lips for two reasons. First, smoking causes wrinkles and lips are prone to developing fine vertical lines that give lips a crepe paper look and make it nearly impossible to get a nice smooth line of lipstick. The actual act of smoking can itself worsen these wrinkles as the vertical lines form from puckering your lips on the cigarette. Some people take this as far as to never drink out of straws for the same reason; I don’t think that is necessary though (unless you are working on a super thick shake from In-and-Out Burger which is nearly impossible to suck up).
5. Fillers and Botox
Last, cosmetic procedures can be done to improve problem lips. Specially fine line fillers can be used to smooth the vertical wrinkles around the lips as well as to fill the lips themselves for a poutier look if desired. Botox in small doses can also be used to relax the fine lines around the lips and can smooth out wrinkles here for months at a time. Although many MediSpa’s advertise for lip fillers, not everyone does this well. Lips that have been treated with Botox or fillers should be barely noticeable, not like two hot dogs without buns. Ask to see photos of before and after treatments to be sure that your physician can provide results that look like “Love’s own hands” created.
Photo: Ibrahim Iujaz (flickr)