As we age, our lips (like everything else) lose their natural collagen. It stands to reason then that even those of us who possess Angelina Jolie-like lips aren’t going to turn 60 and have the same lips we had at 16. Before you pull a Kylie Jenner and submit to a series of lip fillers, however, you can start taking better care of your lips now to ensure they look their best later. you may simply need to take a long, hard look in the mirror and change the error of your cosmetic-applying ways. Here are 7 mistakes to avoid so your lips–and your face, in general–always look youthful.
1. Not moisturizing/exfoliating lips. Treat your lips the way you would your skin–as a part of your body that craves hydration in order to avoid the dryness commonly associated with aging. “The first step before applying any lipstick, and most important, is properly moisturizing lips to help prevent fine lines from being accentuated, while also make lips appear fuller,” says makeup guru and founder/CEO of Skinn Cosmetics, Dimitri James. “This includes using lip balm and staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Buff any dry, flaky skin off chapped lips with Skinn’s Sugar Lips Scrub. Made with real sugar and special butter blend, the added exfoliation will leave lips smooth and create a perfect base for lipstick.”
2. Skipping lip liner–or wearing one that’s too dark. “Lip liner is often overlooked, but can be a girl’s best friend if properly used,” James says. “Darker-than-lipstick lip liner is a major no. Liner should be the same color as the lipstick! The best choice is to use a matte neutral lip liner and extend it to the lip line. Fill in with a matte lipstick like Skinn’s Plasma Fusion Four-in-One Lipstick. With an outer layer infused with Argan Oil and Rosehip Oil, lips are left soft and nourished and the richly pigmented color is guaranteed to last all day. Lips will look bigger and fuller, without the added age.”
3. Forgetting to remove long-wearing lip products. They might seem like an excellent idea in theory–long-wearing lipsticks promise to stay on your lips for hours and hours. But they can also make your lips flaky, which ages your appearance. “Long-wearing lip products can be very drying because they typically don’t have emollients in them which is what makes them stay so well. If you are wearing these types of lip products make sure you remove them when you get home and apply something nourishing to your lips–something with Shea butter, Vitamin E, or a special lip oil,” says Pearl Dworkin at Glamologie. “Stay away from strictly petroleum lip products as these are occlusive and don’t let moisture in or out which can ultimately be dehydrating–which causes premature fine lines to appear.”
4. Overdoing it with lip fillers. You can’t win sometimes. A larger pout can make you look more youthful, but acquiring the one-size-fits-all mouth you often see on reality TV stars can have the exact opposite effect. “Fillers can be aging and look fake if overdone,” Dworkin says. “There are new fillers for the lips that are specifically made for those fine lines and it doesn’t add as much bulk. If you are thinking about doing a filler it might be better to start with half a syringe since you can always add more.”
5. Sporting blood-red lips. It isn’t that you can no longer rock red lips after a certain age; it’s that you have to be cautious about the types of products you use. “Wearing lipstick that is too dark (especially on thin lips) can age you and make you look tired,” says makeup artist Margina Dennis. “If you want to wear a darker shade, try wearing it in a sheer gloss from or a sheer lip balm so that it isn’t such a stark look.”
6. Making ’em matte. Don’t worry about what’s in style at the moment–too-matte lips aren’t for everyone. “Lip color that is too matte can draw attention to aging lips,” Dennis says. “Either applying a lip balm before a matte lip color, or trying one of the newer matte lipsticks that have a suede texture, will minimize seeing the appearance of the lines on the lips.”
7. Forging ahead with frosty lip colors. Frosty or metallic lip colors may have worked in the ’80s (and they hardly did then, either), but if you were rocking the trend the first time around, it’s a surefire sign you should step up your lip game. “Wearing colors that have such a hard sheen can looked dated and age you,” Dennis says. “Moisturizing formulas are better.”