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10 DIY Tips For Sexier Lips (Than You Already Have)

Truly, there is nothing better than a pair of super sexy lips.

Beauty & Fashion

If you read enough of my content on here, you'll know that I'm good for throwing in some stats. It's not that I think everyone reflects what every study reveals; still, oftentimes, research and data are a good way to get an idea of where a lot of folks are coming from, on any given topic. Take what men find to be sexy, for instance. A few years ago,Maxim published a study revealing that 46 percent of men find a woman's face to be her sexiest feature (followed by her butt which got 13 percent of the vote). When I asked some of my male friends if they agreed, they did. They did make sure to add to it by saying that the best feature on a lady's face was a toss-up between her eyes and her lips.

Shoot, I'm a heterosexual woman and even I will co-sign on that; although I think that a woman's—especially a Black woman's—lips are what get my top vote. There is something about a full set of lips with a bold color and a thin layer of gloss that's on them that makes me find Black women to be the best thing the Creator ever made. Whew.

So, in honor of his divine masterpiece and the lips that are on each and everyone of us, I wanted to share some things that you can do to make your lips even sexier than they already are (if that is even possible). Let's hit it.

1. Brush ‘Em

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There are all sorts of things that can cause us to have chapped lips—licking our lips too much, a lot of sun exposure, dry air, spicy foods, vitamin deficiencies (low zinc and iron, especially) and, of course, not getting enough water. And there's nothing worse than trying to put on your favorite color lipstick when your lips are feathering because of it (ugh). Something that you can do to combat this kind of madness is to use your toothbrush to exfoliate your lips. I recommend wetting your lips and putting a thin layer of baking soda on them first. Then wet your toothbrush and gently brush your lips in small circles until the dead skin is gone. Oh, and since ingredients like lanolin, menthol and salicylic acid can actually contribute to chapped lips, avoid putting anything with those ingredients on them. Personally, I follow up exfoliating with sweet almond oil and it's absolutely divine.

2. Make Your Own Lip Mask

Lips can stand to be pampered sometimes too. A quick and easy way to soothe them is to make a lip mask. All you need is to mix a tablespoon of milk with a drop of rose essential oil.

The lactic acid in milk will gently exfoliate your lips. Rose oil is an anti-inflammatory oil that can reduce any irritation that you might have.

If you'd prefer to make a more sophisticated overnight lip mask, you can check out a step-by-step walkthrough here.

3. Apply Some Cinnamon Oil

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If you want your lips to appear a little bit fuller or you wish to create a bit more of a "pout", cinnamon oil can totally make that happen for you. It works so well because it is made from cassia oil which, when applied to your lips, it will immediately increase blood circulation and make them appear a little bit bigger. You can make this happen by mixing a teaspoon of grapeseed oil and a couple of drops of cinnamon oil (careful, it's pretty potent) together and apply the solution to your lips for five minutes. Or, you can mix one-half teaspoon of ground cinnamon powder with an open Vitamin E capsule; mix both of those together and leave them on for 10 minutes. Either way you decide to go, once the time is up, rinse thoroughly with warm water. You should instantly see some subtle-yet-effective effects.

4. Try Shea Butter As a Base

Shea butter is one of my favorite natural beauty go-tos. When it comes to my lips, I put it on at night so they will remain moisturized while I sleep. During the day, a thin layer of shea butter can serve as a wonderful base or foundation for my lipstick. That's because, thanks to the fatty acids and antioxidants that are in shea butter, it is able to work as a "primer" so that my lips (and lip color) look nice and smooth all day long.

5. Save Money by Turning Your Shiny Lipstick into a Matte One

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Do you have some days when you want to rock a matte lip color instead of a shiny one? You don't need to buy a new tube. All you have to do is apply your lipstick, put a piece of tissue between your lips to blot off the shininess and then apply a little bit of translucent powder. Oh, and if you want your matte lips to look as "crisp" as possible along your lip lines, apply a teeny bit of concealer with a lip brush around the perimeter of your lips. It will help to bring out the definition of them even more.

6. Add a Little Concealer to Alter the Hue

No matter how many lip shades there are out here, sometimes it can still be hard to find the perfect hue. If you like nude but you can't seem to find a color that perfectly complements your skin tone, something you can do is add a little concealer to a lipstick that you already have. It will make the lipstick lighter and, the best thing is, you can adjust to it the shade that you like based on how much or little concealer you add into the mix. (By the way, most of us sistahs naturally have a darker tone to our lips, so when you're shopping for a nude lipstick in general, make sure it has a peachy undertone to it. That will soften the dark pigment and make the nude shade more even in appearance.)

7. Use Highlighter Mixed with Gloss

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Do you have a hot date coming up? If so, something that you can do to make a man think about nothing but kissing you is to add a little highlighter to your lip color, along with lip gloss. While gloss will make your mouth appear wetter, if you put a little highlighter on top, right in the middle, the light that bounces off of it while further define your lips while giving them even more of a sexy pout. (Or, if you hate the feel of lip gloss, apply the highlighter without it; you'll basically end up with the same results.)

8. Get a Humidifier for Your Bedroom

It's common for our bodily tissues and mucus membranes to become dry while we sleep.

Something that can prevent this from happening is using a humidifier at night. It can reduce snoring, soften skin, relieve allergy symptoms, stop airborne viruses in their tracks and yes, moisturize your lips too.

If you don't already own one, check out "10 Best Humidifiers to Buy in 2020, According to Home Care Experts" to figure out which humidifier will work best for you.

9. DIY a Lip Balm for Nighttime Coverage

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If you're wondering why you seem to go to bed with moisturized lips but wake up to them being as chapped as you don't know what, it could be because you are licking them all throughout the night, without even knowing it. To combat that, aside from the humidifier that we just talked about, try making a lip balm that can serve as a protective barrier for your lips while you sleep. I already shared that shea butter is my, pardon the pun, lick. Another cool option is to mix a capsule of Vitamin E and a half teaspoon of honey (honey is a powerful humectant). But there are all other kinds of options too. You can get 20 DIY lip balm recipes by clicking here.

10. Drink Some Pomegranate Juice

There are all kinds of great reasons why you should make pomegranate juice a part of your regular healthcare routine. Thanks to the vitamins C, E and K, along with antioxidants, folate and potassium, pomegranate juice is able to reduce bodily inflammation, lower your blood pressure, fight off infections, reduce oxidative stress (which, in turn, can make it easier to get pregnant) and, it can help to lower blood sugar levels too. The reason why I'm closing out with this juice for your lips is because it's also been proven that the Vitamin C, along with the antioxidants flavonoids and proanthocyanidins will not only cleanse and nourish your lips, they can help to even out the color of them too. All you need to do is mix a teaspoon of pomegranate juice with a teaspoon of carrot juice. Apply it to your lips after exfoliating them, let the solution sit for 5-7 minutes and then rinse. If you do this once a day, you should notice visible results within two weeks. It's a delicious way to make your lips super sexy. Pucker up and enjoy!

Did you know that xoNecole has a podcast? Subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Spotify to join us for weekly convos over cocktails (without the early morning hangover.)

Featured image by Shutterstock

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You may not know her by Elisabeth Ovesen – writer and host of the love, sex and relationships advice podcast Asking for a Friend. But you definitely know her other alter ego, Karrine Steffans, the New York Times best-selling author who lit up the literary and entertainment world when she released what she called a “tell some” memoir, Confessions of a Video Vixen.

Her 2005 barn-burning book gave an inside look at the seemingly glamorous world of being a video vixen in the ‘90s and early 2000s, and exposed the industry’s culture of abuse, intimidation, and misogyny years before the Me Too Movement hit the mainstream. Her follow-up books, The Vixen Diaries (2007) and The Vixen Manual: How To Find, Seduce And Keep The Man You Want (2009) all topped the New York Times best-seller list. After a long social media break, she's back. xoNecole caught up with Ovesen about the impact of her groundbreaking book, what life is like for her now, and why she was never “before her time”– everyone else was just late to the revolution.

xoNecole: Tell me about your new podcast Asking for a Friend with Elisabeth Ovesen and how that came about.

Elisabeth Ovesen: I have a friend who is over [at Blavity] and he just asked me if I wanted to do something with him. And that's just kinda how it happened. It wasn't like some big master plan. Somebody over there was like, “Hey, we need content. We want to do this podcast. Can you do it?” And I was like, “Sure.” And that's that. That was around the holidays and so we started working on it.

xoNecole: Your life and work seem incredibly different from when you first broke out on the scene. Can you talk a bit about the change in your career and how your life is now?

EO: Not that different. I mean my life is very different, of course, but my work isn't really that different. My life is different, of course, because I'm 43. My career started when I was in my 20s, so we're looking at almost 20 years since the beginning of my career. So, naturally life has changed a lot since then.

I don’t think my career has changed a whole lot – not as far as my writing is concerned, and my stream of consciousness with my writing, and my concerns and the subject matter hasn’t changed much. I've always written about interpersonal relationships, sexual shame, male ego fragility, respectability politics – things like that. I always put myself in the center of that to make those points, which I think were greatly missed when I first started writing. I think that society has changed quite a bit. People are more aware. People tell me a lot that I have always been “before my time.” I was writing about things before other people were talking about that; I was concerned about things before my generation seemed to be concerned about things. I wasn't “before my time.” I think it just seems that way to people who are late to the revolution, you know what I mean?

I retired from publishing in 2015, which was always the plan to do 10 years and retire. I was retired from my pen name and just from the business in general in 2015, I could focus on my business, my education and other things, my family. I came back to writing in 2020 over at Medium. The same friend that got me into the podcast, actually as the vice president of content over at Medium and was like, “Hey, we need some content.” I guess I’m his go-to content creator.

xoNecole: Can you expound on why you went back to your birth name versus your stage name?

EO: No, it was nothing to expound upon. I mean, writers have pen names. That’s like asking Diddy, why did he go by Sean? I didn't go back. I've always used that. Nobody was paying attention. I've never not been myself. Karrine Steffans wrote a certain kind of book for a certain kind of audience. She was invented for the urban audience, particularly. She was never meant to live more than 10 years. I have other pen names as well. I write under several names. So, the other ones are just nobody's business right now. Different pen names write different things. And Elisabeth isn’t my real name either. So you'll never know who I really am and you’ll never know what my real name is, because part of being a writer is, for me at least, keeping some sort of anonymity. Anything I do in entertainment is going to amass quite a bit because who I am as a person in my private life isn't the same a lot of times as who I am publicly.

xoNecole: I want to go back to when you published Confessions of a Video Vixen. We are now in this time where people are reevaluating how the media mistreated women in the spotlight in the 2000s, namely women like Britney Spears. So I’d be interested to hear how you feel about that period of your life and how you were treated by the media?

EO: What I said earlier. I think that much of society has evolved quite a bit. When you look back at that time, it was actually shocking how old-fashioned the thinking still was. How women were still treated and how they're still treated now. I mean, it hasn't changed completely. I think that especially for the audience, I think it was shocking for them to see a woman – a woman of color – not be sexually ashamed.

I hate being like other people. I don't want to do what anyone else is doing. I can't conform. I will not conform. I think in 2005 when Confessions was published, that attitude, especially about sex, was very upsetting. Number one, it was upsetting to the men, especially within urban and hip-hop culture, which is built on misogyny and thrives off of it to this day. And the women who protect these men, I think, you know, addressing a demographic that is rooted in trauma that is rooted in sexual shame, trauma, slavery of all kinds, including slavery of the mind – I think it triggered a lot of people to see a Black woman be free in this way.

I think it said a lot about the people who were upset by it. And then there were some in “crossover media,” a lot of white folks were upset too, not gonna lie. But to see it from Black women – Tyra Banks was really upset [when she interviewed me about Confessions in 2005]. Oprah wasn't mad [when she interviewed me]. As long as Oprah wasn’t mad, I was good. I didn't care what anybody else had to say. Oprah was amazing. So, watching Black women defend men, and Black women who had a platform, defend the sexual blackmailing of men: “If you don't do this with me, you won't get this job”; “If you don't do this in my trailer, you're going to have to leave the set”– these are things that I dealt with.

I just happened to be the kind of woman who, because I was a single mother raising my child all by myself and never got any help at all – which I still don't. Like, I'm 24 in college – not a cheap college either – one of the best colleges in the country, and I'm still taking care of him all by myself as a 21-year-old, 20-year-old, young, single mother with no family and no support – I wasn’t about to say no to something that could help me feed my son for a month or two or three.

xoNecole: We are in this post-Me Too climate where women in Hollywood have come forward to talk about the powerful men who have abused them. In the music industry in particular, it seems nearly impossible for any substantive change or movement to take place within music. It's only now after three decades of allegations that R. Kelly has finally been convicted and other men like Russell Simmons continue to roam free despite the multiple allegations against him. Why do you think it's hard for the music industry to face its reckoning?

EO: That's not the music industry, that's urban music. That’s just Black folks who make music and nobody cares about that. That's the thing; nobody cares...Nobody cares. It's not the music industry. It's just an "urban" thing. And when I say "urban," I say that in quotations. Literally, it’s a Black thing, where nobody gives a shit what Black people do to Black people. And Russell didn't go on unchecked, he just had enough money to keep it quiet. But you know, anytime you're dealing with Black women being disrespected, especially by Black men, nobody gives a shit.

And Black people don't police themselves so it doesn't matter. Why should anybody care? And Black women don't care. They'll buy an R. Kelly album right now. They’ll stream that shit right now. They don’t care. So, nobody cares. Nobody cares. And if you're not going to police yourself, then nobody's ever going to care.

xoNecole: Do you have any regrets about anything you wrote or perhaps something you may have omitted?

EO: Absolutely not. No. There's nothing that I wish I would've gone back and said to myself, no. I don’t think at 20-something years old, I'm supposed to understand every little thing. I don't think the 20-something-year-old woman is supposed to understand the world and know exactly what she's doing. I think that one of my biggest regrets, which isn't my regret, but a regret, is that I didn't have better parents. Because a 20-something only knows what she knows based on what she’s seen and what she’s been taught and what she’s told. I had shitty parents and a horrible family. Just terrible. These people had no business having children. None of them. And a lot of our families are like that. And we may pass down those familial curses.

*This interview has been edited and condensed

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Feature image courtesy of Elisabeth Ovesen

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