Thursday, October 26, 2017

Cracked Lips and Liquid Lipstick... and a product review...

In searching for makeup inspirations on YouTube for my upcoming Halloween costume, I saw a few videos that had "do's and don'ts" of liquid lipstick application... and, yanno, the don'ts ones all looked cracked whereas the do's ones looked super smooth... and I went uh oh. You see, I am madly in love with the metallic liquid lipstick that's quite in right now but the shine is very unforgiving for your lips and any crack will show. One look at this picture from last week on Instagram told me that I needed to watch those videos... STAT!

The lip is super cute... but the cracks apparently don't have to be this apparent. Doh!

Some of the advice on the videos was no brainer stuff like apply a lip primer and line your lips... which I was already doing. So I was not completely devoid of lip skills. I use Prep + Prime Lip by MAC for my lip primer and like it quite a bit. I have a bunch of lip liner pencils from different companies and, in my experience, pretty much any lip liner will work, provided that it's pigmented enough. I tend to gravitate to the ones by MAC. The one from this pic is actually from the Sephora brand, though.

Watching the videos, I noticed that my application of the liquid lipstick itself wasn't up to par. Mostly, it was because, while I generally sweep the wand sideways as they were doing, I wouldn't apply enough pressure. I'm not saying that you need to press super hard on the lips but I noticed that I probably was applying the product too much just on the surface. So I tried re-applying the same liquid lipstick as above but with more pressure to see if that would make a difference and I realized that it actually helped deposit some of the lipstick in the lines, thereby making the lip appear smoother. I took this picture after the re-application. It's subtle but you can see a bit of a difference already (granted, it was a different day).

A habit that I have that was a big no no in this video was that I do tend to press my lips together too soon after applying the liquid lipstick. And I see what the lady is saying and, yeah, I'm trying to correct that tendency but it will take a bit of time.

Another recommendation was of course to exfoliate the lips. I've been using the Lip Scrubtious by MAC in Summer Berry and I like it just okay. I'll likely switch to something else soon. While it does exfoliate, my main issue is that it is more of a mix between a scrub and a lip balm and, as such, I wish that there was more scrubbing power per dab. (I do tend to have very flaky lips at times so I may need something a little scrubbier).

After lips are scrubbed, they are understandably dry and need some moisture back. I have this lip balm with shea butter that seemed to be doing okay... but I was starting to think that it wasn't enough, especially as the season is cooling down and we are dealing with quite a bit of wind around here. The most frequent recommendation to moisturize lips is using Vaseline but I really hate the feel and even more so the taste on my lips so decided to research other options.

I found the Agave Lip Mask by Bite Beauty via Sephora and the reviews seemed interesting enough for me to check it out. I sampled a little bit on my hand and liked the texture enough to give it a try. I have only applied it twice but my lips already feel so much better! It is a little pricey at $26 and you may find the tube really tiny for the price but you don't need to apply much at all on the lips so that little tube will last a long time. But, yes, Vaseline is an option still and much cheaper. So it's up to you. I will say that my lips feel less dry already today even with just the few applications of the lip mask. I had (wrongly) assumed that lips were bound to feel dry with lipstick on.

This picture shows my lipstick with the Agave Lip Mask on. It really helps smooth the lines on the lips and, thus, the liquid lipstick appears smoother. And this is a copper metallic color so it shows all flaws. We still see a bit of lines but I've just begun applying the lip mask and I suspect that it will get increasingly better with added time.

Here's what my (new) routine is around my lips, regardless of whether it's regular lipstick or the liquid formulation:

In the morning:
  1. I apply the Agave Lip Mask after having done my facial routine and before applying the face primer. The reason here is to allow some time for the lip mask to be absorbed before applying the lipstick.
  2. After all my makeup has been applied, I apply the lip primer all over my lips and a little outside of the lip area. (It helps prevent lipstick bleeding.)
  3. If the lipstick is too pale compared to the natural pigmentation of my lips (they are quite pigmented), I will apply concealer all over my lips to mute my lips.*
  4. I line the lips with a lip liner pencil.
  5. I apply the lipstick.
  6. I essentially kiss a tissue or perhaps rather gently pat the tissue to my lips. This helps smooth the lips.
  7. I apply a second coat of lipstick.
  8. (I sometimes will do another set of smudge/kiss with a tissue and apply a 3rd coat. It depends on how the lipstick looks after the 2nd coat.)
  9. I re-line the lips with the lip liner pencil.
* I had applied concealer over my lips for the examples above with the pink metallic lipstick. It was not needed however for the copper lipstick.

It sounds like it's a long process but it really takes only like 2 minutes.

To re-apply during the day:
I personally don't carry the lip mask with me and I often have quite a bit of lipstick left anyway so that would require taking the lipstick off and reapplying... so I just essentially touch up. First, I assess my lips to see if there's any lip liner left on. If there isn't, I line the lips first. If there is or after having re-lined the lips, I apply a coat of lipstick. I will likely do the tissue kissing again to smooth out the lipstick (as some is older and some is newer) and then apply a 2nd coat. I often will re-line the lips afterwards but not always. It depends on what it looks like and, if I'm happy with it, I'll leave good enough alone.

To remove the lipstick:
If, by some miracle, I still have some lipstick when I remove my makeup (it happens more with the MAC liquid lipstick), I simply use eye makeup remover to remove the lipstick. And then I rinse my lips with water. Trying to remove the lipstick by just using a tissue will only smudge it and irritate your lips.
TIP: You want to remove your lipstick before brushing your teeth or else your toothbrush will have some color on the handle.

To condition the lips at night:
  1. I apply the scrub over my lips after I've done my whole facial routine.
  2. I wipe it off with a tissue.
  3. I apply the Agave Lip Mask.

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