Kissing under the mistletoe, while ringing in the New Year, or over a romantic Valentine's Day dinner...winter sure gives us many occasions to use our lips while at the same leaving them dry and chapped. Here are my favourite products for ensuring that your lips are in perfect shape before your next special kiss.
For chapped lips in need of some exfoliation, the Jane Iredale Sugar and Butter Lip Scrub and Plumper ($28 at Spa Boutique) is a godsend. The grainy sugar-based exfoliator on one end scrubs away dead skin, while the super-hydrating lip plumper on the other end moisturizes and adds a lovely light pink tint. The all-natural formulas are packed with brown sugar, peptides, natural oils and shea butter, plus they smell scrumptious. I love the luxe gold packaging and how the entire product is about the size of a Chapstick tube, making exfoliation on the go a cinch. Apply the product at night before bed, or throughout the day in lieu of regular balm. By the time you need to put on lipstick, your lips will be smooth and soft.
I've raved about ILIA Pure Lip Care on this blog time and again, but I just can't get enough of their sweetly scented hybrid lipstick/gloss/balm formulas. They're not as pigmented as standard lipsticks, which makes them a bit more kiss-friendly. 'Arabian Knights' ($24.95 at BeautyMark) is a berry red hue that builds in intensity as you re-apply throughout the day, resulting in a pretty scarlet stain by the time date night rolls around.
Being a lipstick girl, most glosses are too sticky or not pigmented enough to be worth my time. But I do like Mary Kay's NouriShine Plus Lip Gloss in Rock n' Red ($14). The formula feels more like a thick balm than a sticky gloss, plus it has enough colour pigment to transform the look of your lips completely. The result: a perfect, glossy candy apple pout.
If your makeup case is filled with gorgeous lipsticks of every shade (ahem, guilty as charged), consider picking up an all-purpose clear liner like this one by Mary Kay ($12) to keep the edges of your lipstick looking sharp all evening. It's especially useful if your lipsticks tend to be creamy rather than matte.