With Valentine’s Day just a few weeks away, it’s officially time to start perfecting your pout. We’ve got you covered with our week-by-week lip boot camp that will whip your pucker into shape. First, it’s time to focus on getting your lips healthy, smooth, and plump so they’re looking and feeling their best by February 14. Read on for five ways to get them perfectly prepped — and stay tuned for how to choose your ideal lipstick hue next week.
1. Start a daily lip routine — just like you have for your skin. Dedicating just a couple of minutes a day to the health of your lips can make a noticeable difference. “Regular maintenance with daily scrubbing is the best way to keep your lips prepped,” recommends lip expert Sara Happ. As long as you use a gentle exfoliator and a light hand, your pout can handle a delicate daily sloughing. You’ll notice softer, pillowy lips — and your lipstick will go on much smoother.
2. Use a lip mask every single night. Step up your hydration game when the date night of the year is right around the corner. “Use a lip mask for a special pick-me-up before Valentine’s Day,” Happ says. “It’ll give you an extra dose of moisture and smooth, supple lips.” An option like Sara Happ Sweet Clay Lip Mask ($32) envelopes your pucker in a thick, tingly Bentonite clay-infused mask that majorly hydrates while gently exfoliating, leaving your mouth plump and polished by morning.
3. Give your pout extra TLC during the winter. Colder temps and low humidity can wreak havoc on our lips, so it’s important to find moisture any way you can. Using a humidifier in your room this time of year can help add extra dampness to the air so you don’t wake up with chapped lips.
4. Curb salty cravings ahead of the holiday. We get it: There’s nothing like gorging on a salty bag of potato chips, but the satisfaction does come with a price. Salty foods will draw what wetness you do have out, so do what you can to avoid or limit salty foods when you’re in Valentine’s Day lip prep mode.
5. Sport hydrating lip products only. Don’t compromise the levels of conditioning in your lips by wearing products that are drying — period. While matte finishes might be all the rage, avoid them for a couple weeks, as they can leave your pout looking and feeling parched. Instead, stick to hydrating, tinted balms to get your color and moisture fix in one.
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Illustrations by Yising Chou