‘Tis the season we all look forward to with the eagerness of school children regardless of our age: summer. Regardless of whether you thrive in the heat and extended daylight or not (that distinction is almost as telling as the Bronte test: Charlotte vs. Emily), these lazy days bring out a yearning in all of us to sit back, relax, and have some well-deserved fun. As grown-ups, or even almost-grown-ups, two of the most obvious ways that summer fun manifests itself are romance and food. In both cases, you’ll need to have a pout that’s primed for serious action. The summer loves, juicy slices of watermelon, and colorful cocktails your lips will encounter over the next few months deserve to be treated with care and love—on top of, of course, looking their best.
Between super-humidity and desert-like heat waves, however, it can be hard to keep up the right moisture balance for your lips, and skin overall, during the summertime. In general, lightening the kinds of oils and moisturizers you turn to will help all parts of you, inside and out, stay hydrated and glowing. When it comes to lips, this delicate area requires even more special attention than other parts of your body. That doesn’t mean you need to adopt a 10+ step routine to achieve the perfect pout. Incorporating these 4 easy steps into your daily and weekly self-care is all you need, giving you more time in the sun, and more time to have all the fun you want.
1. Exfoliate: Here’s where the gentle factor really comes into play. Whereas other parts of your body—like your limbs or even your face depending on the day—can handle rougher exfoliants, you want teeny tiny particles only to be gliding over the surface of your lips. Although it seems counterintuitive that you’d have any dry skin to slough off during steamy summer months, dehydration can still take a toll and exacerbate the regular turn over of skin cells happening all the time. Products like French Girl Cosmetics‘s Rose Lip Scrub use a gentle hit of natural cane sugar combined with moisturizing shea butter, coconut oil, and castor oil to whisk away dead skin while leaving behind a smooth finish and a subtle hint of minty freshness. Just rub a small amount into your lips with your finger, or use a soft toothbrush to help work the product into your skin, rinse, and smile.
2. Moisturize: After you’ve removed unwanted skin, you’ll want to seal in and protect your lips’ refreshed state with moisture. Here, simple is best. You could spend many hours and many dollars on lip balms and chapsticks (as I have), but a basic beauty balm is a great all-purpose investment that will treat your lips and any trouble areas all year long. Before bed, smooth on a balm like Pelle Beauty‘s Luxe Beauty Balm, formulated with floral-infused oils including avocado and cocoa butter. Despite the abundance of tuberose, jasmine, rose, and neroli, this balm has a fairly neutral but fresh scent that won’t overpower or cause irritation, which is especially key during the summer. 3. Protect: Lips are skin, too, so they’re in need of as much sun protection year-round as the rest of our bodies. Finding an SPF for your mouth that won’t make you sick (literally and figuratively; chemically-based lip products are especially dangerous because of how they’re ingested when you eat and drink and lick your lips, or others’…) can be a challenge. Hurraw! offers a full line of vegan lip balms, including an SPF 15 sun balm and a dosha-specific formula (for those Ayurvedic-minded folks like myself). With a refreshing tangerine chamomile scent, it’s basically made for summer.
4. Tint: The last thing you want to do during the summer is cake on a think layer of creamy lipstick to give your lips the attention-worthy hue they crave. In the spirit of makeup minimalism, a lightweight, sheer lip color will give you the effect you desire without all the fuss. This year, I’m incredibly excited to use my RMS Beauty Signature Set in Mod, which includes products that will achieve steps 2 and 4 all in one white little box. The multi-purpose highlighter, rose gold master mixer, two bendable shades of pink for lips and cheeks, and the neutral cocoa lip and skin balm can be combined or used alone to achieve any number of colors on the pink spectrum. Josie Maran‘s Argan Love Your Lips Hydrating Lipstick practically screams summer: just look at that clear outer casing around the ultra-pigmented core and you’ll be in Creamsicle land in no time.
Scrub, hydrate, and pucker up your gorgeous summer pout!