The first thing that any professional makeup artist will tell you about application is to start with a clear, blank canvas.
We’re not saying there won’t be times that we’ll lazily apply a second base layer without removing the previous but if you’ve ever done this, you’ll immediately notice that it just doesn’t sit as well. That’s why your skincare routine should be considered in equal importance, from cleansing to the exfoliation (be it chemical or physical). The same is true for lips.
To perfect your pout and encourage your lipstick to have real lasting power, begin with a scrub. This is an often overlooked part of our regime but the results are worth the initial modest outlay. A good scrub will not only encourage blood flow, but it will leave an even base for the pigmented product that follows.
Even if you don’t regularily apply lippy, this scrubs will have a gentle buffing effect that leaves your lips feeling soft, smooth and prepped for hydrating balms that will be better absorbed. Caglar Odabasi, Head of Education UK & Europe at Fresh explains, “This is important because dead skin cells can make your lips appear dry and flaky. Exfoliating your lips will also help in protecting against environmental damage and even fight fine wrinkles.”
He adds, “Exfoliation is just as important for our lips as it is for our skin. Although applying rich, moisturising balms can help to rejuvenate and hydrate your lips, it is important to remove and buff away dead skin cells to improve the texture and appearance of your lips and allow your lip treatment products to penetrate better.”
The scrubs could not be easier to use. Odabasi reveals that the way in which you apply “depends on the formulation”, but he stresses that “how much pressure you apply will determine how deep the exfoliation is but keep it gentle as the skin on the lips is delicate”.
The skin around your lips is 10 times thinner than the rest of the face and the body so it’s worth considering this when choosing the formula. Odabasi says “The skin on the lips has very few glands that produce oil leaving them vulnerable so choosing gentler ingredients which add moisture to the skin, while exfoliating is important. Our sugar lip polish is blended with shea butter and jojoba seed oil to ensure ultimate moisture while exfoliating”.
Shop the best lip scrubs below
Fresh Sugar Lip Polish
Using sugar crystals for a natural exfoliator, Fresh’s lip scrub is a cult classic and a stalwart in professional makeup kits. The named ingredient gently buffs away dryness and flakiness to leave your pout ready for next application. It will also offer a moisture boost at the same time thanks to the nourishing benefits of shea butter and jojoba oil.
Buy now £15.00, Sephora
Fenty Beauty Pro Kiss'r Lip Loving Scrubstick
You’ll always want to keep this Lip Loving Scrubstick on hand or slipped into your bag for those parched pout emergencies. Before you apply the famously long-lasting Fenty Beauty matte lipsticks, you’ll want to start with this in order for the product to glide on with ease and sit flawlessly throughout the day and into the night. It has been created with apricot seed scrubbers that act as the gentle exfoliant to give your look true staying power.
Buy now £18.00, Boots
DIOR Lip Sugar Scrub
Forget the messy scrubs of time gone by, DIOR has brought its signature luxury touch to the first step in your lip makeup routine to smooth chapped lips, which upping the moisture levels. It achieves this through tiny grains of sugar that are embedded in the balm, buffing while imparting a subtle sheen and a pop of pink tint.
Buy now £30.00, Sephora
NCLA Beauty Sugar Sugar Watermelon Lip Scrub
In an array of deliciously scented flavours, from watermelon to marshmallow, the NCLA Beauty scrub has a nostalgic feel reminiscent of the chapsticks of our childhood. The entirely vegan formula is powered by a nourishing cocktail of avocado and coconut oils with vitamin C, E, agave nectar and shea butter that work in tandem to revive the lips, soften and hydrate.
Buy now £14.00, Cult Beauty
Burt's Bees 100% Natural Conditioning Lip Scrub with Exfoliating Honey Crystals
When you’re prone to dry, chapped lips, the changing weather, central heating and biting winds only serve to exacerbate the situation. That’s why you’ll want this lip scrub from Burt’s Bees on your desk, bedside table, dressing table or makeup bag. The brand’s uses its signature beeswax alongside honey crystals for the polishing effect and the nourishment that your lips will thank you for. The formula is entirely natural.
Buy now £5.24, lookfantastic
MAKEUP BY MARIO Perfecting Lip Scrub
For soft and smooth lips in one fell swoop, call on this lip scrub from the expert collection of makeup extraordinaire Mario Dedivanovic. The Instagram sensation and entrepreneur has infused the formula with conditioning coconut oil, protective vitamin E and sodium hyaluronate to give hydration that will last. Massage into the lips for best results.
Buy now £28.00, Sephora
Frank Body Cherry Lip Scrub
Coffee seed grinds and raw sugar are at the heart of this product from the scrub specialists at Frank Body. The kind-to-skin, kind-to-planet formula harnesses the best of nature for soft, supple and most importantly, kissable lips. There’s also ethically-sourced beeswax and cold-pressed macadamia oil which act as the moisturiser and you can choose between a glossy shimmer or our personal favourite, the red tinted cherry.
Buy now £11.95, Cult Beauty
Lanolips Lemonaid Scrubba-Balm
This is a two-in-one product that is not just a scrub but a balm too and so is ideal for those looking for a gentle buffing, while also packing the parched area with a whole lot of moisture. The brand uses its signature Ultra Medical Grade lanolin that mimics the oils naturally found in the skin and is then easily absorbed by the lips after the dead skin flakes are removed by the fine sugar crystals that forms the scrub. The latter is combined with lemon oil and orange peel to encourage exfoliation without tearing or causing irritation.
Buy now £13.00, Cult Beauty