I love wearing a bold, bright lip. But honestly, sometimes a bold, bright lip doesn’t love me back. Chapped, dry lips are the enemy of bright lipsticks and glosses. There’s no better way to point out “HEY, I’ve got dry skin issues” than to slather on a creamy matte lipstick, pre-exfoliation. It’s like pointing a big arrow to all of the flakes and roughness your lips may be dealing with, post-winter. What’s the solution for a flawless lip, no matter the season? Lip exfoliation is essential. External and internal moisture both play a role. Feel free to go bold with a hot red, orange, pink or purple lip after following these four steps, brought to you by my number one go-to makeup artist in NYC, Tara Lauren. She’s gotten my face TOGETHER for some important events, and her tips are on point – I speak from experience! Take it away, Tara!

Before trying your favorite lip color of that shade you have been dying to try, here are 4 tips that will not only improve wear but take your lippy to another level.


Sugar Lips pic via Shutterstock

Sugar Lips pic via Shutterstock

1. Exfoliate: The beginning to epic lips is right in your kitchen. Exfoliating your lips before application is a great way to get rid of dry dead skin that is common in the cold months. Mix equal parts honey and coconut oil (make sure it’s solid enough to scoop, almost paste like) and brown sugar, and gently rub in a circular motion on lips. Wash off gently. Now say hello to amazingly soft lips that are prepped and ready for color!


Black beauty photo via Shutterstock

Black beauty photo via Shutterstock

2. Groom:  Lip color can often bring out more than your beautiful eyes. It can also bring attention to your facial hair. Peach fuzz or mustache hairs can look more pronounced with certain shades, especially for ladies with darker hair color. With many methods of removal including waxing, threading, or at-home cream hair removal, grooming that area can guarantee that your lips will be the focal point and not what’s growing above it.



Photo via Shutterstock

3. Brush it Up: Introduce your lipstick to its new best friend. Lip brushes are not just for pros; they’re a great way to get amazing coverage and precision with every application. A lip brush will allow you to get the perfect application and provide a clean look fresh from the tube. An added bonus, when your lipstick is down to the line, there is so much more in the bottom of the tube that you can now get to easily get to with your lip brush.



Woman drinking water photo via Shutterstock


4. Hydrate: With the cold winter weather and dry air indoors from heaters, dryness is definitely something to be aware of. Your lips being dry can be a pain when it comes to sporting color. So drink that water! Moisturized lips will be more supple leaving a great texture to slide on your favorite shade. Water is an essential beauty tool. It will keep you hydrated and get your skin glowing!


Follow those 4 steps to a glorious springtime fresh lip look! Thank you, Tara! Look out for her tips, appearing regularly on Afrobella.com.



Tara Lauren is a New York based makeup artist. She describes her style as clean, modern and chic. With a belief that makeup is an enhancement to natural features, Tara enjoys sharing her makeup knowledge with clients as well as the everyday woman. Her goal is for her clients to enjoy the process as well as the end results. When Tara is not pushing her kit around New York City or researching the latest beauty trends, she is probably enjoying a Netflix marathon. Her work can be viewed at TaraLauren.com and follow her on Instagram at @TaraLauren.


pets says:
March 25, 2015, 3:11 pm
Great tips! Love to wear bright lips so I will follow this advice.
Ally says:
March 26, 2015, 8:38 am
I'm a huge fan of the red lip as well as being super lazy and I've found that slathering my lips the night before and then running my toothbrush over my lips before works just as welll as a scrub.
Rebecca says:
April 10, 2015, 7:06 am
Exfoliating really helps the lipstick to wear evenly, I find
Eliza says:
April 18, 2015, 3:51 pm
Hmmm, I never thought about exfoliating my lips. That is a good tip that makes good sense. Thank you for the tips!