When considering experimenting with fun lip colours –
liners, sticks, liquids, glosses, etc. + see one of my favorite classic matte reds below –
you’ve got to start by taking care of what’s underneath,
so, let’s 👏 talk 👏 about 👏 lip 👏 care! 👏
The skincare-first movement has taken the US beauty market by storm over the last few years – undoubtedly inspired by gracefully aging parents (hat-tip to my mama & aunties 🎩) and a self-care information diaspora (especially from cultures through Asia & Europe more focused on long-lasting preventative measures rather than quick, cosmetic fixes), which has made best-practices, product reviews & recommendations available at all of our finger tips. If you zoom in from that lens, there’s also an incredible, growing natural & organic beauty movement as well that is specifically focused on products crafted with the best natural & organic ingredients. If we’re going to put a lot of care into the quality of foods we consume, there’s no reason we shouldn’t have similar considerations for products we use that we breathe in or apply to our skin right?
[For a great resource on natural & organic beauty, check out my friend, Mikaela’s, site & her YouTube channel; she shares a lot of great information on the topic! What I also love is that with her background as a makeup artist, she draws a great balance between natural & organic wellness regimens while still sharing fun looks & occasion ideas from her full kit that she uses on clients.]
Anyway, from what I’ve seen, lip care can often be an overlooked detail of this “skincare-first” movement. “Lip care too?!” one might think – after all, skincare alone can be a big investment and also daunting when you don’t know if a product will work for your skin type (I’ve had girlfriends who’ve dropped $$$ on luxury products that have caused allergic reactions like hives & swelling).
*Also to be clear, I think lip care is important for guys too. No one wants to smooch your crusty lips, dawg.
So, as a full-lipped gal,
I wanted to contribute my 2¢ into the lip care information diaspora
because I’ve really come to appreciate the significance of
our too-often-neglect lips
despite their central existence on our faces
from which we speak to each other, eat & drink to nourish our bodies, and of course, smooch with 😘
🙊 I haven’t always been so pro-lip though… 🙊
When I was just a wee baby Huckleberry, one of my nicknames was “mỏ chu”, which loosely translates to “pouty lips” but in a playful way because “mỏ” is usually used to describe a bird’s beak or snout 😹. So I’ve always had full lips, but I definitely spent many years trying to hide them. I never used to put anything on them – not even a balm & especially not any colours or glosses – and actually went through a phase during my teens of kind of concealing them because I just thought they were too big & stood out too much for my face.
Baby Huck with big bro:
⚡️ And around I came, struck by the bolt of self-love I needed to embrace my “mỏ chu” smoochers ⚡️
Over the last few years, I’ve had a lot of fun experimenting with many bold to natural lip looks as a way to play around with my creative physical expression. And through these experiments, I have really learnt the significance of quality lip care and wanted to share a few of my lip care best practices & experiences with products.
Huck’s Lip Care Best Practice #1: Stay hydrated!
Ok, this one’s kind of an obvious one – like any part of your body, if your lips are dehydrated you’ll be able to both feel & see it so drink up that H2O y’all! The amount of water a person should consume per day to stay hydrated varies a lot depending on the environment you live/work in, your level of activity, what other things you consume, your physiological uniqueness (e.g. weight or fluid retention). If you’re like me and a frenzied schedule or forgetfulness can contribute to your dehydration, there are a lot of fun (and/or basic) hydration apps you can use on your smart phone. Here are some easy to use examples:
+ the native iOS Apple Health app
+ many fitness trackers like MyFitnessPal (iOS) include a water tracker
+ Personally, I’m loving Plant Nanny which is a fun hydration app that lets you grow a sweet lil virtual plant on your phone as you hydrate IRL!
Huck’s Lip Care Best Practice #2: Exfoliate!
A lot of folks skip out on this step but it’s a really important one especially for our lips that are getting a lot of use between talking, eating & drinking. Again the frequency by which you should add an exfoliating step into your lip care routine will vary depending a lot including your unique body, hydration levels, environment, or season. A super low-maintenance way to start exfoliating your lips a few times a week is with your toothbrush (apply any kind of balm to your lips, wet your toothbrush a bit & just brush away!). You could also go down the lip scrub route – either DIY (this PopSugar article has a simple recipe of sugar & Vaseline) or a pre-packaged sort. The following are a few notes on some great lip scrubbies I’ve tried lately:
1. Sara Happ’s Lip Scrubs (Trio of 2 scrubs + “Lip Slip” balm for $44 at QV) ♥️HUCKLEBERRY FAVORITE! ♥️
+ I’m in L👏O👏V👏E👏 with both the pink Grapefruit & sparkling Bellini lip scrubs from Sara Happ – the sugar is a lovely fine grain but still tough enough to get the job done, while the flavours are bright & fun but not overly perfume-y or artificial (this is important for my personal tastes, but also one of my ex-boyfriends really hated strong flavoured things – esp. the cherry version of balm dotcom I used to use often from Glossier 😿)
+ I just started testing out the Lip Slip, which is their super luxurious feeling nourishing balm (*this should actually go in the next “Nourish” section below); TBD how I feel about it. Though I like how thick it is, which I think will be good for chillier & drier seasons, the formula is a little too sticky for my liking.
This is what it looks like once you’ve worked the scrub into your lips:
And this is after using the balm “Lip Slip” by Sara Happ:
2. Fresh Sugar Lip Polish ($24 at Sephora) + This lip polish was my saviour during a weekend in LA this past summer. It’s an effective product with great ingredients – like most of what I’ve tried from Fresh. I only haven’t purchased it myself (I’d borrowed my friend’s while we were in LA) because it wasn’t available the last time in-store when I was at Sephora).
3. Beauty by PopSugar’s Be Smooth Sugar Scrub ($22 at Ulta) (*or in this $27 kit that includes the scrub + their Be Well nourishing balm)
+ Love the twist up format (unlike most lip scrubs that come in little pots), but it can get a bit messy with application due to this design choice.
+ Formulated with a finer grained sugar, I think this is a good option if your skin is more sensitive & you’re newer to the lip exfoliating game.
+ The designs on the outside of the packaging started to bleed/fade a bit after I carried it around in my bags for a while, which isn’t terrible but but also not ideal.
+ Havent tried their kit which includes the balm, but would be curious to check it out too!
Huck’s Lip Care Best Practice #3: Nourish (then protect)!
A lot of popular lip care products – like lip balms are meant to nourish and protect (though usually more geared towards the latter I think – but I think calling out the nourishing element is super key in taking care of your lips. You don’t just want something that’s going to sit on top; to nourish your lips better, you should use something that will absorb well – like creams & oils – in addition to your balms. Here are a few of my favourite lip nourishing products:
1. Drunk Elephant’s Luxury Marula Facial Oil ($40-72 depending on the size you get) ♥️HUCKLEBERRY FAVORITE! ♥️
+ Marula oil has become much more well-known for its skincare benefits – but what many don’t know is that this can extend to your lip care. I use this all over my face a few times a week, but most nights I’ll dab a bit on my lips to absorb in and make them super soft when I wake up in the mornings.
+ This lip cream is a game changer if you don’t like the feeling of a balm sitting on top of your lips like a film (balms are more for nourish+protect in my opinion). As an amazing nourishing step, Aesop’s lip cream will absorb into your lips and you can apply it before a more protective balm. I use this multiple times a day because it feels so nourishing & luxurious.
+ Who doesn’t love Aesop’s branding and packaging, right (see following photo)? but I will admit that the flexibility of the aluminum/tin? packaging for the lip cream did cause the end to burst while bumping around in my bags (so that was annoying when it leaked a bit, but I dealt with that by just rolling up the end like a tube of toothpaste)
3. Glossier’s universal balm dotcom ($12) *they’ll also often do a trio pack at a slightly discounted price
& as the Glossier slogan goes:
^ Just don’t forget about the lip care part of that too! ^
😘 Bonus: for fun, my current colour go-to’s:
+ Mac’s lip liner in Spice (Duo with lipstick & liner $34 from Harrod’s)