Not too long ago, most women had only a small handful of lip products: a pink lipstick to look put together, a red lipstick to entice, and a lip salve to repair. These days, most women can’t even open their makeup drawer without an explosion of lip products. Does anyone really need 16 red lipsticks, 22 nude glosses, and enough chapstick to keep a small village moisturized?
Considering that most lip products only have a 1 year lifespan before they expire, it makes more sense to keep only a small amount at a time. This way, you don’t waste money on something you already have a dozen of, and you don’t risk the chance of having a product go bad before you even get to use it.
These 5 products are the lip essentials that will get you through any situation. Use this list to help declutter your makeup stash, build a foundation of makeup essentials, or pack the perfect makeup travel bag.
1. Lip Liner slightly darker than your lips
A good lip liner will keep your lipstick from moving, feathering, or bleeding. It can also be used to enhance or reshape the lip line to make your lips look plumper or more symmetrical. The best color is one slightly darker than your natural lip color. This will make it look more natural and less “drawn on”.
Just don’t get too crazy with it or you might end up looking fake.
2. Colorful Lipstick
While you do not need 22 red lipsticks, you really should have one; maybe two (in different shades) if you are avid about red lips. A bold pink or a fushia is also very flattering and is a great way to bring warmth and radiance to the face.
My favorite lipstick is Bite Beauty’s Luminous Creme Lipstick Duo. It is super pigmented, lasts a long time, doesn’t bleed or dry lips out, and fades evenly. Best of all, since it’s double ended, it only takes up the space of 1 lipstick but you get 2 colors so you can switch it up depending on your mood.
3. Nude gloss
For the times when a colorful lipstick is not a good idea (before eating, when rocking a smoky eye, when there’s a lot of kissing involved, etc.) and you want a more natural look, you need a nude gloss in your arsenal. One advantage a nude gloss has over lipstick is that it creates the illusion of fuller lips. The shininess of the gloss catches and reflects light making your lips look plumper.
I highly recommend NYX Mega Shine gloss. It’s not sticky (no more dreaded hair in mouth situations), smells like dessert, and is only $5.
4. Lip Scrub
Perfect lips require maintenance. Once a week, you should be using a sugar scrub to get rid of flakes and dead skin. This helps lip balm absorb more effectively and lipstick look smoother.
You can either buy one or make one yourself using vaseline and white sugar. Lush’s bubblegum one smells and tastes heavenly.
5. Lip Balm
Dry lips are the worst. A good lip balm can bring new life into your lips and restore them to their fabulous moisturized glory.
There are an endless amount of lip balms on the market so your optimal lip balm depends on your lifestyle. If you have a tendency to lose every lip balm you have ever owned, go for a drugstore version such as Nivea or Aquaphor. Both are very hydrating but cost less than $5. If you can hold on to your lip balms and would like to treat yourself, Fresh Sugar Lip Balm is as luxurious as it is moisturizing.