I basically called my mom for help. Except when I say mom, I mean an esthetician.
At the ripe old age of 26, my lips are already reaping what I’ve sown. Or in this case, sucked.
I blame it on my bad choices: cigarettes, straws, servicing and sun-tanning. Not all at the same time, of course. I keep it classy.
A gnarled smokers’ mouth--think the talking tree in Pocohantas--is my inevitable future and my worst nightmare. It’s pretty much common knowledge that smoking and tanning leads to premature aging. I was more of a tanner than a smoker in my youth (reverse that for present day), but it doesn’t matter how I slice it—both are bad choices for my skin. Young people reading this article: knock it off.
As for the other two of the aforementioned culprits, repeatedly pursing my lips probably didn’t help. I’m pretty sure that sucking on straws was more rewarding than sucking on, you know, other things… but I digress.
Either way, aging leads to loss of collagen, which leads to wrinkles. Smoking and tanning and sucking just speed up the process. Get excited.
So, until I can save up the money for a squirt of whatever injectable is the cheapest, here’s how I’m trying to atone for my lip sins.
I like Caudalie Pulpe Vitaminée Eye and Lip Cream. I pat it under my eyes and on the tops of my lips (where the lip meets my skin) at night and wake up with fewer fine lines. It’s dual-purpose, but I actually get the most bang for my buck when I use it on the fine lines under my eyes.
I should probably let you know that it’s a little on the expensive side. And, um, I should probably also let you know that I’ve never actually purchased this product. Wait! It’s one of my favorite Sephora samples and I’ve been sampling it on and off for about two years. Hey, I’m wrinkly and cheap. Doesn’t mean that it doesn’t work!
If you’re also cheap and want similar results (on your lips, not your eyes), try using any old wrinkle cream. I saw some definite line reduction using Neutrogena Ageless Restoratives Anti-Oxidant Day Cream (AKA my favorite moisturizer ever). I almost cried tears of frustration last week when I found out it was discontinued, but crying makes for wrinkles and red noses, so I held back.
After a couple of days of stress-smoking (ain’t relationships a bitch), the lines above my lip are especially pronounced.
When I’m feeling especially gnarly, I’ll ditch the nightly wrinkle cream routine and use Perricone MD Lip Plumper. Don’t confuse it with a plumping gloss; it’s actually a lip “treatment” with alpha lipoic acid and DMAE (I’ll let Marci explain). It’s like a wrinkle cream for your lips!
I always smear some Vaseline on my lips before applying, because this stuff dries me up faster than being hit on by a broke man. But while frequent use chaps my hide, this product doesn’t tingle or burn when applied. My mother tried it a few weeks ago and texted me to say that she felt “like Angelina Jolie with chapped lips.” A small price to pay, I think. Just don’t use it liberally, unless big, fat chapped lips are your thing.
Also, do a mirror check if you’re using it during the day. It’s a white cream, and if you only apply it on the tops of your lips like I do, people might think you’re nursing some mean cold sores.
OK, this one is just something I probably made up because I’m neurotic. I don’t want to see those lip wrinkles when I look in the mirror, so I use YSL Touche Eclat to draw attention elsewhere.
To be honest, I have no idea how to “correctly” use this product, but the lengthy instruction leaflet informed me that I can use it above my lips. I think it works, though sometimes the highlighter settles in the cracks and that’s no good.
Oh, and my upper lip is now a shade darker thanks to my birth control pills, so I usually just dab it on my philtrum (ugh, what a word) to avoid looking like I have a concealer mustache.
This is me just being a crazypants again. I slather on some lipstick so I’m not immediately drawn to my wrinks when admiring (read: scrutinizing) myself in the mirror.
If you have pronounced lip wrinkles (and don’t worry, I’m well on my way), you’ll want to use a clear lip liner before applying your lipstick to prevent feathering. I find that a bright lipstick distracts me and pulls my gaze to the middle of my mouth instead of the outside.
I like Bite Beauty Matte Creme Lipstick in Pastille Lavender. It’s creamy-dreamy, super-moisturizing, all-natural, and lasts a decent amount of time. It’s also got an antioxidant (resveratrol, which apparently is also found in red wine) and we all know that antioxidants = anti-aging. Hell, try it even if you don’t have wrinkles.
So do your lips give away your dirty secrets? Do you think I’m nuts for worrying about this at my age? Do you think it’s partly hereditary?