Midnight Make-Out Madness: A Lipstick Guide To Take You To 2012

Whether or not you have a New Year's kiss picked out, this guide will help you sort out your pale, chapped lips.

All decked out on New Year's Eve 2009, wearing Avon ExtraLasting Lipstick in Eternal Flame.

Whether you're single or not, planning to go out with friends or you've decided to stay in with your mate, New Year's Eve is, in my opinion, a time to look your best. For me it's all about glitz and glam, doin' up my nails and my hairs, and flawless looking make-up.

Part of this whole thing is dolling up your lips. Hey, if you don't have anybody to kiss on NYE, that's nothing to be ashamed of. But you still might want to take care of your lips because Winter does a number on them, and wearing fancy lipstick is fun, regardless of your romantic entanglements. I've decided to compile a little guide featuring my favourite items for both freshening up your mouth and decorating it.

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Step One: Exfoliation

Lips get so dried out and cracked in the middle of the Winter. The air is dry and disgusting and we all have gross colds and we're constantly blowing our nose and licking our lips and really, it's just gross, and our mouths show it.

Exfoliation is important from head to toe and you shouldn't be leaving your lips out, either. It's important to be gentle though. A good lip scrub, like Lush's Mint Julips Lip Scrub ($8.95, lush.com) will work wonders. Apply it to lips and then scrub gently in a circular motion with a warm washcloth or an old toothbrush. Also, to those of you who have a Clarisonic or similar electronic face brush, those puppies will gently get rid of dead skin on the lips, too. The more you know!

Step Two: Moisturizing

After you've de-flaked your mouth, it's important to apply a moisturizing balm. Plain old Vaseline will work, but one of my recent favourites has been Lumene's Sensitive Touch 5 Min S.O.S. Cream ($19.99, CVS stores). It's this all-purpose lotion that is intended for sensitive faces, elbows, knees and whatnot, but the box suggested applying it to dried-out lips, so I did, and it works amazingly. It soaks into the skin on your lips and coats them with this light layer of balmy lotion before disappearing and leaving your mouth soft.

I'm also really loving Korres' Lip Butters ($12, sephora.com), which offer a nice emollient moisturizing base, plus a tint of colour for those of who don't want the heaviness of a lipstick.

Step Three: Colour, Colour, Colour

If you're planning a night out for New Year's, that usually means eating, drinking and possibly kissing one or more other humans. That means you want to be having fun during said activities, instead of worrying about your lipstick smudging or fading.

One of my favourite long-wear lipsticks is L'Oreal's Infallible Never Fail Lipcolour Compact ($11.99, drugstores). It comes in 24 shades, from basic nudes and pinks to dark reds and wines. You apply the colour first with the sponge tip applicator, let it dry completely (this is important), and then smooth on the balmy topcoat to keep everything soft and somewhat sheeny. This stuff is likely to last until the next morning if you apply it properly. When you're ready to take it off, scrub at it with a baby oil soaked cotton ball and it should glide off. It's pretty serious business.

Now, tell me what lipstick you'll be wearing on New Year's Eve. Or alternatively, who you'll be kissing at midnight. I REALLY WANNA KNOW.

Last New Year's Eve, wearing Dior's Rouge Dior in #999 Ara Red.