Lips. Some people love or hate the ones the have. I happen to get along with mine just fine. I recently acquired the book Blow Me a Kiss by Alice Harris and started giving a bit more thought to the power and influence a set of lips have in our past and present culture. The book contains pages with images of photographs, paintings and film stills all representing lips in various legendary kisses and pouts. The stunning images definitely speak for themselves.
Lately, my lips have been dressed up in minimal balms or pale glosses to go with the laid-back makeup I generally wear in the summer. My lips are already super pigmented (something I hated as a kid when I thought it always looked like I just ate a red popsicle) so I rarely feel the need to make them pop with more color unless I’m in the mood for a vibrant red or shocking pink. As long as they are hydrated or have a little gloss to them, I’m set. Here’s what’s been in my tote, handbag or clutch at all times:
Aquaphor: My esthetician at Renée Rouleau recommended I use Aquaphor to treat a small area on my face that was red and irritated. I usually use bacitracin to heal cuts or minor irritation but I followed her advice and the red, angry patch on my face cleared up almost overnight. Since then, I’ve been using the healing ointment on other red spots (for after I pick at a pimple, which is gross, but I do it and this stuff totally takes away the redness) and always on my lips before bedtime and when I wake up. It is so hydrating but not goopy or too slick feeling (like how Vaseline can sometimes feel).
Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Swivel Stick: In college, my friends and I were all addicted to this stuff. We always found ours at CVS or Walgreens on the bottom shelf and bought it in bulk. Due to its size, people always asked, “Is that a glue stick?!” when we whipped it out and I for one always got excited to explain that no, I wasn’t putting glue on my lips but applying soothing cocoa butter formula that smelled amazing. Think of it as glorified chapstick that’s better than anything you’ve ever tried and only $3. You can tell my current stick is very loved with the label all scuffed and barely visible. It’s just heavenly stuff and I think you need some.
Clarins ‘Eclat Minute’ Instant Light Perfector in 01: I found this stuff while shopping with my mama last time she was in town. I was wandering around the beauty department at Nordstrom, bored because I didn’t need anything, and randomly tried this. Then I bought it. Because it acts like a gloss but has zero stick (because it’s really more of a gel than a gloss) and it smells like cake batter but not in that fake, sickly sweet way. The beauty guru at the Clarins counter explained that the perfector has macadamia and Shea oils (hence the relish smell) that work to plump and smooth out the natural lines lips get for a hydrated, youthful look. The pale pink color I chose adds just a teeny bit of color which makes it perfect for when Sal and I are taking pictures.
AERIN Beauty Lip Gloss in Sunset: Nude lips are my favorite for a night out. Because I’m obsessed with my eye lashes, I generally like to make my eyes stand out and a nude lipstick or gloss makes my full lips take a back seat. I also just think nude lips are understatedly sexy (hate that word but it’s all I can think to use right now). I got this AERIN gloss as a gift and forgot about it till a few weeks ago…shame on me. It’s the perfect nude gloss because it’s sheer and has almost zero stickiness to it. Also, it smells like flowers. Like roses. And that makes it very fun to put on. The pretty and simple packaging doesn’t hurt either.
Image taken by MBM for A Piece of Toast