That Really Chaps my Lips…

Here we are, mid-January, smack dab in the middle of indoor heating season and sub-zero temperatures outside. Despite gulping down as much water as I can stomach each day, and even with diligent application of lip balms and glosses, I’m being plagued by a persistent case of chapped lips. Even my trusty ol’ standby Burt’s Bees isn’t solving the problem. Here, some helpful hints on how to heal (and prevent) chapped lips.

1. Exfoliate. There are many ways to do this, and you may want to vary your technique depending on the severity of your situation. You can gently brush a dry toothbrush over your lips, or rub a dry, rough wash cloth over them to loosen dead skin and create a smoother, less irritated surface. If your mouth is really dry and burning, you can get some relief from Laura Gellar Lip Strip, a cooling sugar scrub designed especially for exfoliating dry lips. After massaging the scrub over your mouth for 30 seconds, you will enjoy a pleasant cooling sensation and a noticeable reduction in any flakes of skin that might have formed on your mouth. It is not a permanent solution, though, and you will definitely want to follow up with a balm of some sort.

2. Moisturize. Keep adding balms and glosses to your mouth to ease the dryness and help create a barrier against elements that worsen the situation. Right now I’m alternating between Burt’s Bees, an Avon lip moisturizer, and Philosophy Red Velvet Cake gloss (see page Glosses & Balms for more info). When my lips are really dry, I find that layering vaseline or a thick lip gloss on top of Burt’s Bees before bed is an extremely effective way to heal and moisturize chapped lips. After a few nights of that treatment and you should be back on track.

3. Hydrate. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, drinking plenty of hydrating fluids can help boost your health and your beauty. It helps keep your immune system up, keeps skin (and lips!) from becoming overly dry, and really adds a nice glow to your overall appearance. Keep a water bottle on your desk. And to all of those water-haters out there, do your skin a favor and try Crystal Light or some other on-the-go water flavoring trick. For about 5 calories you can turn a bottle of plain water into a delicious fruity drink. All while saving yourself the trouble of having to repair your poor chapped lips.

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Lazy Beauty

Maybe it’s the sweltering mid-August heat, or maybe it’s just that I’m way too busy these days, but lately I’ve been practicing what can only be called lazy beauty. My once meticulous nighttime skincare routine of cleansing, moisturizing, and doing regular at-home chemical peels (I like Anew Clinical Advanced Retexturizing Peel, available from Avon) has fallen by the wayside. I’m lucky if I can be bothered to wash my face before falling into bed. Fortunately for my face, I recently tried the new EZ4U 2 GO 4-in-1 facial towelettes from mdskincare. They come in convenient individual packages and are about as easy to use as it gets: remove from package, swipe over face, pass out. The package claims that they cleanse, balance, treat and moisturize in one step, and I have to say, my skin has glowed every time I used one. And, unlike most of the other facial towelettes I’ve tried, these don’t dry out my skin.

Other time saving, multi-tasking products I’ve been using? Venus Spa Breeze disposable razors, which have bars of shave gel built in. In my experience, they don’t give you as close a shave as traditional razors, but they make shaving so much less of a pain that I don’t mind shaving a little more often.

Since it’s summer, I’ve also been skipping out on body lotion (come fall I will have to go back to slathering on a layer of the stuff every time I step out of the shower) and instead have just been spritzing on Victoria’s Secret Beauty Rush Body Double Mist. The perfumed body spray has skin conditioners in it to make you soft while you smell good, and it comes in a variety of scents. My favorite is Coconut Craze.

As far as makeup is concerned I’ve been taking the very easy road: tinted moisturizer, lip gloss, and a little powder on my nose. To give myself a little color, I’ll dust blush on my cheeks and eyelids for a natural, all over pick-me-up. My favorite blush? The classic, can’t-go-wrong shade, Nars orgasm.

I’m not the only one paring down my routine. My boyfriend recently starting using Nivea for Men Active 3 Shower Shampoo and Shave, and 3-in-1 product that, you guessed it, can be used as a shampoo, body wash, and shaving cream. He loves it, and I’ve gotta rave about it too. His hair is soft, his skin is smooth, and boy does it smell fantastic.

Lazy never looked (or smelled) so good.