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Smiling Pretty: Kissable Lips

Martha Stewart Weddings, Spring 2005

"The lips are the frame for the teeth," says cosmetic dentist Golub-Evans. Beautiful lips can enhance your smile. Here's how to keep them looking soft and picture-perfect.

Exfoliate
If your lips are flaky, gently exfoliate them (not more than once a week). First slather them with petroleum jelly (or an exfoliating product), then use a damp washcloth to rub it off in a circular motion. A damp soft bristle toothbrush also works well, says New York City dermatologist Laurie Polis. When done, pat lips dry with a towel.

1. Kdent toothbrush.
2. Joey New York Super Duper Lips Kit, $26.
3. Comfort Zone Lip Blooming Scrub, $19.50.

Condition
Make these measures a part of your daily routine: Apply a lip balm before bed to keep lips hydrated overnight; dry air (from radiators, for example) and breathing with your mouth open can dry out lips. Wear creamy lipsticks that have built-in conditioners, says makeup artist Mally Roncal. Avoid using lip pencils and matte lipsticks on a daily basis since they can also be drying. "Try not to lick your lips. It may temporarily make them moist, but it will ultimately leave them even drier," says Polis. If your lips are very chapped, an anti-inflammatory medication such as a hydrocortisone ointment, applied twice a day, can help (start using about two weeks before your wedding; be sure to check with your doctor first).

4. Mor Lip Nectar Sorbet, $10.
5. Santa Maria Novella Lip Moisturizer, $19.50.
6. BeComing Liphoria Maximum Lip Conditioner, $9.50.
7. Kiehl's Lip Balm #1, $5.50.

Color
Wearing the right lip color can help your smile look more flattering. "If your teeth aren't very white, stay away from orange or coral-colored lipsticks, which can cast a yellowish shade on teeth," says Roncal. A lipstick in a cool or blue-based shade of red or pink reflects light better and makes teeth look whiter. A deeper shade will also define the smile, and the contrast will make teeth look whiter.

8. Dior Rouge Lipstick in Indian Red, $23
9. Fresh's Gloss Absolute in Dahlia, $22.
10. DuWop's Shades of Venom Sheer Spicy Lipstick in Angel Trumpet, $18.
11. Molton Brown's Wonder Lips Gloss in Euphoric, $25.
12. Lola's Lip Gloss in Shangri-La, $16.

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