Guide To A Perfect Pout

Happy Monday, lovelies! Hope you had a kickass great weekend and are ready to get this week going!! With the sun moving into Leo, the energies are all about loving yourself, exuding confidence and tuning into your sultry, seductive side. The epitome of a classic bombshell, Marilyn Monroe once said "a smile is the best makeup any girl can wear" - and I couldn't agree more! What better way to launch the Femme Fatale series of beauty posts than with tips and tricks for best displaying one of our most intimate features?

Often overlooked, lip care should be interwoven with your daily skincare routine! It only takes an added minute, if necessary, and is vital to keep your lips in perfect, kissable shape.

Here's your guide to your most perfect pout:

Drink your daily 8 glasses of water. Not only will every part of your inner and outer body thank you, but it's important in ensuring your lips stay well hydrated and nourished... and an especially vital step if you wear lipstick or gloss!

Do moisturize often. Make it a habit. Always, always, always have a chapstick, lip balm, etc on you! Whether in your handbag, car, or stashed in drawers of your office and home - keep some handy, apply throughout your day, and every night before you go to sleep! And good news, adding a layer of lipstick before you step out helps further protect your lips from the elements.

Use something with SPF. Your lips can easily burn as they lack melanin, the pigment known for it's tanning effect on the body - and more importantly, what naturally shields our skin from the sun. While a bit excessive if you'll be indoors, if you have particularly sensitive skin or are going to be outside for a few hours or more, definitely apply a layer of a protective product! J'adore "Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm  SPF 25," in addition to SPF and vitamin E, it has green tea extracts, shea butter and avocado oil, making it the ultimate multitasker!

Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate! When brushing your teeth in the morning, gently massage your lips with your toothbrush afterwards to increase the blood flow to your lips and give them a reddish hue! Or, forgo the morning addition and scrub your lips at least twice a week to prevent darkening and keep your pout happy and healthy. Store bought scrubs can be wonderful, but I like to make my own at home using a teaspoon of sugar, honey and olive oil each. Mix the three ingredients together, gently massage the scrub onto your lips, rinse well and finish with your favorite chapstick or lip balm. My absolute personal favorite is "Försvarets Hudsalva," a lip balm/ointment originally developed by the Swedish military more than 50 years ago - and still used today! You can find it pretty much anywhere in Sweden, or buy it online for $8- through shops like Amazon.

Don't bite, touch, or lick your lips! They don't have any protection of their own so they're directly affected by your actions and environment. Biting your lips constantly will leave them dehydrated and even worse.. darkened. And albeit second nature, resist the urge to lick your lips! Saliva dehydrates them and will only make them feel more dry with each lick. Instead, grab your favorite chapstick or lip balm asap, and slather it on to prevent and then reverse aggravation.

Avoid expired, cheap, long-wear and perfumed lip products. These will only serve to make your lips dark and dry. Besides, isn't there something feminine and sensual in having to reapply your lipstick? And as far as perfumed products go.. I assure you, no one can or wants to smell anything beside your sweet breath when that close to you anyway. *wink*

Don't pick at flaking lips! You'll only make them bleed, and possibly hurt. If they're really chapped, apply a soothing lip mask like a mixture of a teaspoon of plain Greek yogurt and half a teaspoon of raw unfiltered honey and leave on for ten minutes. Then rinse and apply a lip balm! If they're manageably chapped: gently exfoliate using the sugar/honey/olive oil mixture recommended above, or gently rub a soft toothbrush in small circular motions against your lips to remove the dry flakes. Rinse and apply lip balm.

Invest in a humidifier. Making the air in your living space less dry will reap amazing benefits! I was a bit skeptical before using one, but if you live in a city, dry climate, wear a lot of makeup, or travel often - make the investment, seriously. Your skin, and therefore lips, will thank you ten times over!