An Almanac For The 21st Century

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Perfect Pout Product Roundup

Perfect Pout Product Roundup

Once, while I was living in San Francisco, my friend Peter came to visit. Our apartment was pretty cramped, and there was nowhere for Peter to sleep but in my bed with me. This was fine with me; Peter and I are best buds, and the fact that he had a boyfriend meant there wasn't really a chance of any funny business going down. Before we went to sleep, Peter said to my roommates, "If you hear me scream in the middle of the night, don't worry. I probably just rolled over and Sarah's lips where in my face like, 'BOO!'" This is a convoluted way of saying that I've got noticeably large lips.

Another story: My friend Jackie and I were once chatting, and she said, "I need to get my winter lip balm soon." Always interested in talking makeup, I responded, "Oh, do you use something different in the winter? What is it? Any recommendations?" She looked at me like I was asking if she had any crack, and then explained that she only wears lip balm in the winter, when they're more likely to get chapped and flaky. ONLY in the winter?! That's crazy. My mouth takes up so much facial surface area that I can't wait until my lips are chapped to treat them. I have to be vigilant about an all-day, all-year nasty-lip prevention plan.

Nowadays, giant lips are coveted. There are so many plumping glosses and injectables and even lip implants (a la Taylor Armstrong). But I'd rather not have people stare me straight in the mouth. I have a few tactics for downplaying my giant gob. I never wear lipstick, for example. That just draws too much attention. And super shiny gloss? Forget about it.

Nevertheless, I'm a girl who loves makeup and I want to wear lipgloss and lipstick just like the normal-lipped girls. I'm constantly on the search for tinted lip balms, not-too-glossy glosses, and lip stains. I've tried so many, and I've found a few that are pretty great.

I tend to stick to tinted balms, since they don't get my lips too shiny or too tinted. I also favor drugstore brands. The way I go through lipgloss, it's better that I don't splurge on high end stuff (although I do covet it). Plus, I like the easy access a drugstore brand can provide. If I ever need more (I always need more) it's just a quick stop at Target or Walgreens, where I'll probably be going anyway. Sephora's my Mecca, but it's a little more of a shlep.  I've tried pretty much every lip product out there, and these are my tried and true personal favorites.

Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Balm $7

Burt's Bees makes a great balm. Their plain beeswax lip balm is a great everyday pick for everyone. Even if you're allergic to beeswax, it'll just give you that perfect plump pout that's so coveted these days. This balm provides protection, a slight gloss, and a subtle tint. I use Rose, but there are six different shades to choose from. I love that it comes in a regular Chapstick-style tube. No risk of leaky gloss, so it's purse and pocket safe. Plus, the packaging is quite attractive. I'm a sucker for good packaging.

Maybelline Baby Lips Balm $3

I just recently bought a tube of Baby Lips, and it's pretty excellent. I'd say this is the glossiest balm you'll find without using a full on lip gloss. It also comes in great shades, and not-too-overpowering flavors. (I use Cherry Me Baby) There are also two non-tinted balms, in case you want baby lips without the ladylike tint. Baby Lips Balm was recently on sale at Target, and when I went to get some, they were sold out of EVERY color. In my opinion, that's the best endorsement a product can get.

eos Smooth Lip Balm Sphere $3

I initially bought this balm solely because of the packaging. I told you I was a sucker for nice packaging, and I wasn't lying. But then I tried this balm (in Summer Fruit) and it was AWESOME. This is my go-to for when I need a little lip product but don't want a tint or too much shine. That little sphere is so much cooler than a stick of plain Chapstick.

Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey $15

This is a no-brainer. Black Honey is the ultimate lipstick/lipgloss hybrid. If you haven't tried it then, really,  what have you been doing with your life? WASTING IT, that's what. As I mentioned above, I'm very weary of lipstick, and Black Honey looks super dark in the tube. But it goes on pretty sheer (you can always layer on more for a stronger look); so sheer you can put it on without looking in the mirror. I'd go so far as to recommend buying a few tubes; one for your bag, one for the powder room, one for your desk, etc. It's that great.

Aquaphor Healing Ointment $3

This is the most amazing stuff. It's not just a lip product, but an all-over miracle elixer. I slap some on my lips every night before bed, but I've also used it on my face when my skin gets super dry. It's not remotely attractive to go to bed with a face covered in what is essentially petroleum jelly, but it works WONDERS. You can get Aquaphor Healing Ointment is a huge tub, but I like the smaller tubes, since I use it mostly as a lip balm. I've even seen it sold as an actual lipgloss, but it seems like the same stuff, and you get two tubes for the same price if you buy it as ointment instead of lipgloss. I don't usually use this during the day, since it's super shiny and I feel like it makes my lips look cartoonishly huge, but it's great for a nighttime treatment or an everyday plain gloss for the smaller lipped among us.

Real Simple Slimline Hangers

Real Simple Slimline Hangers

American Apparel Super Sheer Circle Scarf

American Apparel Super Sheer Circle Scarf