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If ever in doubt, just pout

Want a pout like Priyanka Chopra? Shahnaz Husain suggests some cool make-up tricks, lip-plumping ingredients and techniques for fuller lips

Most women want fuller lips and an eye-catchy pout! Of course, fuller lips are also desired by those who have thin lips. With age, one’s lips may get wrinkles at the edges and their shape becomes less defined. So, older women, too, want ways to make their lips appear fuller. From cosmetic surgery and collagen injections to lip products, there are all kinds of ways through which one can get full or pouty lips. Here are the details:

• Surgery: Lip-plumping lipsticks have a temporary effect. These are products that cause the lips to swell and look fuller. On the other hand, one can go for a more permanent solution like lip implant surgery. Dermatologists and plastic surgeons also use injections to plump up the lips. Hyaluronic acid fillers or bovine-extracted collagen are injected for lip augmentation. However, I always feel that surgical and invasive procedures should be adopted with some amount of caution. Also, the skin of the lips is thin and delicate. That is why certain ingredients can irritate the lips and make them swell slightly. For example, ingredients like camphor and menthol are used in lip plumpers because they cause a slight swelling of the lips. Some of the lip plumpers contain moisturisers that make the lips appear smoother, while others are like a foundation. It is first applied on the lips and when lipstick is applied over it, your lips look fuller. Lip gloss, which is said to make blood vessels dilate, is also used to make lips look more full.

• Essential oils: Essential oils like cinnamon and ginger are also used to make lips look fuller. If applied on the lips, they irritate the skin mildly and cause blood to rush to the lips. This makes the lips swell up slightly and thus look fuller. However, essential oils should not be used by themselves. Look for lip balms or lip creams containing such essential oils. The effects of such products are temporary.

• Lip plumpers: Other ingredients like niacin and retinol also cause the blood vessels to expand and increase blood flow to the lips. In fact, retinol and ingredients like alpha-hydroxy acids help to increase collagen and give fuller lips over a period of time. Alpha-hydroxy acids occur naturally in fruits and milk. However, using fruits directly on the skin will not have the same effect. In the case of AHAs, the active ingredients are specially extracted and broken down into a form that can be easily absorbed by the skin. The way lip plumper may be applied depends on the particular product. For example, it may come in a tube with a long foam-tipped applicator. Plumpers which are more solid may be applied with the fingertips or a lipstick brush.

• Homemade remedies: For a homemade lip plumper, you can add two drops of cinnamon essential oil or clove oil to your lip gloss. Or, melt two tablespoons of beeswax and one tablespoon of olive oil. Add to this one teaspoon of ginger juice. Store it in a small jar in the fridge. The effects of such home remedies are temporary and therefore, short-lived.

• Make-up tricks: One can also take the help of make-up to make the lips look fuller or pouty. To give the illusion of a pout, apply lipstick all over the lips, leaving out the centre. Then, apply a light-coloured lip gloss on the centre. To make lips fuller, first, apply foundation that is one shade lighter than your normal skin colour. Apply a light touch of powder to ‘set’ the foundation. Wait for a few minutes. Then, outline the lips just outside your normal lip line. Use the same colour lip pencil as the colour of your lipstick. Then apply light coloured glossy lipstick on the lips, using a lip brush. Avoid matte lipsticks and use glossy ones to make the lips look fuller.

(The author is a beauty expert)

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