9 Tips For Making Your Lips Look & Feel Their Best

We’ve studied the YouTube beauty tutorials, flipped through the magazines, and paced the beauty aisles looking for the secret to getting kissable lips. And guess what? It’s literally been right under our noses this entire time. First of all, if you have lips, they're kissable. But if you're looking to make them a little softer or more moisturized (especially during colder months), it's totally possible. And contrary to some of the viral trends of this year, you don’t have to partake in the terrifying #KylieJennerChallenge, drown your lips in plumpers, nor invest in lip injections to make your lips more kissable. So we can’t all be blessed with the full lips of Scarlett Johansson or Angelina Jolie, but quite frankly, that doesn’t really matter.

All it really takes to make your lips to the next level is some old fashioned TLC. That may sound like a load of happy-go-lucky BS, but I’m about to break it all down for you. By investing the little bit of extra time and care into healthily maintaining your lips, without even needing to do much, they’ll naturally look more supple, vibrant, and enticing. Add in the right color and maybe gloss on that extra shine, and bam — you’re about to become the ultimate seductress of smooching. So read on for at least nine easy and healthy ways you can treat your lips to make them more kissable.

1. Hydrate

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You've probably seen this tip on just about every list there is out there, at which point you may roll your eyes, dismiss it, and move on. Because yeah, yeah, we get that water is good for you and you have to make sure you're drinking enough of it each day. Tell me something I don't know, right? Well good, I'm going to say it again. Whether you're trying to get healthier hair or naturally glowing skin — before you do anything — you have to make sure you're drinking enough water. As pointed out on Livestrong, not only does water hydrate the inside of your body, but the small amount left over on your lips after taking a sip is what helps maintain fluid balance. Especially during the winter, when that cold air sucks the moisture right out of your skin and lips, you'll want to rehydrate like it's your job.

2. Moisturize

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So you've got that internal hydration down. Now it's time to focus on a little external moisturizing to further prevent your lips from drying out. You definitely want to have some lip balm handy throughout the day and especially before applying any sort of color. This sets your lips up as the smooth canvas needed for the perfect pout. And what's great is that there are so many moisturizers out there. Cosmopolitan listed 33 of some of the best lip moisturizers you can try. Or you can always tap into your DIY game and make your own! Here's a useful chart providing some of the top home remedies for chapped lips by using ingredients like honey, aloe vera gel, and coconut oil.

3. Exfoliate

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Exfoliate your lips to get off some of that dry dead skin. Vogue suggested designating a soft toothbrush and pairing it with a nice sugar-based lip scrub to properly exfoliate your lips. According to OralLabs, since sugar is a natural abrasive, it works beautifully as a natural exfoliant for your lips. Leave it on for about a minute or so, and then wash it off with a damp wash cloth. And make sure your lips are decently moisturized beforehand. You want a firm exfoliation, but nothing too rough that may irritate your lips.

4. Polish

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You can use a lip gloss to help add a sheen to your lips that will make them subtly yet noticeably pop. Whether you're using the gloss as your colored base or just adding a clear coat, because gloss picks up the light, your lips are about to look great. As dermatologist Dr. Gervaise Gerstner told Daily Makeover, applying lip gloss to the center of the lower lip is most effective, and gives your lips that natural looking polish.

5. Plump

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There are so many natural ways you can plump up your lips without resorting to those chemically overloaded products, medical procedures, or weird viral Internet challenges. Among some of the most popular ingredients you can use to make your lips naturally fuller include cinnamon, peppermint oil, and cayenne, as recommended on YouQueen. These all work in much of the same way, by stimulating the capillaries in your lips and enhancing blood flow, making them fuller and rosier. But be careful — use sparingly! Just the tiniest amount will do the trick.

6. Line

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Before applying any sort of color, use a lip liner to help shape your lips. This will guarantee that they'll look fuller because it gives you the control to alter their shape and size a bit. As Seventeen magazine suggested, trace just slightly outside your natural lip line and then fill your lips in with lipstick. You can also just use the liner for your whole pout. For an even bolder look, use concealer to hide your lip line.

7. Color

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To really accentuate the fullness of your lips, Seventeen magainze also advised that it's best to avoid dark lipsticks. Now mind you, those dark and sultry red lipsticks will always and forever hold a special place in my angsty heart, to the end of time, no matter what anyone says. But opting for a nude or pale pink pout is definitely something you should consider, as darker shades do tend to flatten your lips a bit more. Along with this, as Gerstner also advised Daily Makeover, try using lip tints and lip stains instead of lipsticks. They're guaranteed to last longer, and won't run the risk of drying your lips out and giving them that cakey and flakey appearance that so often happens when the clock strikes midnight.

8. Seal

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Another way to make your lipstick last longer and therefore, make your lips look all the more kissable, is to seal 'em. Not with a secret and not with a kiss (well, not yet), but with powder. As per Lauren Conrad's suggestion on her blog, after applying whatever lipsticks, glosses, or tints that you've applied, hold a tissue over your lips and lightly dust translucent powder over the tissue. The powder will help set whatever is on your lips just as it would with makeup

9. Smile

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And of course — what better way to show off those lovely lips than with the complement of a beautiful smile? Taking good care of your teeth and rocking that set of pearly whites will take you from a simple pout and pucker to pure radiance that brings out the best in whatever color you're wearing on your lips — from natural to vampire red. Get to know your dentist, brush and floss regularly, avoid foods that stain, and read up on some of the best and tips and tricks on how to whiten your teeth.

Now go find someone to kiss!

Images: Giphy (9); Pexels