Pillowy Lips: 4 Steps to Achieving the Dream

23 February, 2022 / words by Alicia Lartey

Image by @_Raihanna


Pillow-soft lips are easily achievable once you know how! We can all agree that lip care is a staple in most people’s lives, whether that is a lip balm or a random unmarked tin of petroleum jelly; moisturised and dead skin-free lips are as non-negotiable as brushing your teeth. Our lip care routines have become more glamorous as new and exciting products enter the market daily. The influx of new products can also be somewhat overwhelming and understanding the need or use of each makes for a successful lip routine. Whenever I am adding something new to my beauty regime, understanding the reason behind it allows me to be more confident in my choices and that is no different for lip care. Lip care can sometimes be a throwaway category, but I like to take pride in choosing products that benefit my lips as well as making them look good. 

The skin on the lips is significantly thinner (about 3 times thinner) than the skin on the rest of the face, which is why it must be handled delicately; it is also an area that is prone to damage from heat, friction and abrasions. A common misconception about the lips is that they do not need sun protection or additional hydration – totally false. Just like any other part of the body, both sun protection and hydration help to maintain healthy skin and prevent a compromised skin barrier. A great additional step to have in your lip-care routine is exfoliation. As an avid lipstick-lover exfoliation is the key to a flawless application that lasts the whole day, it is one of my best-kept secrets and I credit my immaculate camera-ready lip glow to beginning my lip care routine with an exfoliating step.


Step 1 – Exfoliating

BITE Beauty

Agave+ Weekly Lip Scrub

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Lip scrubs are the most popular form of lip exfoliant though it can be somewhat controversial due to the abrasive nature of most scrubs on the thin layers of the lip, but it is still my guilty pleasure. I tend to favour a sugar scrub that is suspended in a serum-like solution, for those reasons the inevitable choice for me is the BITE Beauty Agave+Weekly Lip Scrub. The exfoliating particles are quite large and I would suggest using light pressure in circular motions for no more than 20 seconds.


Sugar Wonder Drops Lip Primer

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If you are not a fan of physical exfoliants, I would suggest the Fresh Sugar Wonder Drops Lip Primer as it utilises alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) to gently exfoliate and brighten the lips. AHAs are an excellent choice of exfoliant as they can also act as a humectant to prime the lips with plumpness.

Step 2 – Hydrating



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Following exfoliation, the lips require hydration to ensure they stay healthy, ESHO. Drench is a great choice to keep the lips hydrated on the go and can be used three times a day for maximum hydration. I like to focus the balm on the corners of my mouth and my vermilion border (the outer border of the lips) where dryness is typically the most noticeable. Drench features glycerin (humectant), lactic acid (humectant), squalane (skin conditioner) and saccharide isomerate (soothing emollient).


Step 3 – SPF

hello sunday

Lip balm SPF 50

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The final ​​step in my lip-care routine varies day-to-day. I would love to say I am consistent with my lip SPF (I try my best), but that would simply be untrue. When I do remember to use a lip SPF I always reach for the Hello Sunday Fragrance-Free Lip Balm: SPF 50, it appears completely clear on the lips and has such a radiant shine. Out of all the SPF lip balms I have tried this has the most pleasant application. 


Step 4 – Oil


Lip comfort oil

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When I am getting ready for date-night I like to end my skincare routine on a non-sticky note and opt for the Clarins Lip Comfort Oil in a shade that is complementary to my outfit for the evening. I made the choice to completely ditch lip gloss as the search for one that was not uncomfortably sticky became endless, using a lip oil gives you all the benefits of a gloss but without the velcro lip look. The Lip Comfort Oil utilises the emollient and texture enhancing properties of propanediol and jojoba seed oil to create an enjoyable lip experience whilst supporting skin health.


Having a lip-care routine may feel overwhelming but spending those extra few minutes a day to hydrate and protect your lips makes all the difference in the long run.


Alicia Lartey


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