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
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
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
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
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
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
After being a regular contributor for about four years and being (eh hem) MIA in 2022, Shellie is back penning for the platform (did you miss her? LOL).
In some ways, nothing has changed and in others, everything has. For now, she'll just say that she's working on the 20th anniversary edition of her first book, she's in school to take life coaching to another level and she's putting together a platform that supports and encourages Black men because she loves them from head to toe.
Other than that, she still works with couples, she's still a doula, she's still not on social media and her email contact (firstname.lastname@example.org) still hasn't changed (neither has her request to contact her ONLY for personal reasons; pitch to the platform if you have story ideas).
Life is a funny thing but if you stay calm, moments can come full circle and this is one of them. No doubt about it.
Take Our 2-Minute Wellness Quiz To Up Your Self-Care Game!
Black women are not a monolith. We all are deserving of healing and wholeness despite what we've been through, how much money we have in the bank, or what we look like. Most importantly, we are enough—even when we are not working, earning, or serving.
Welcome to Black Girl Whole, your space to find the wellness routine that aligns with you! This brand-new marketplace by xoNecole is a safe space for Black women to activate their healing, find the inspiration to rest, and receive reassurance that we are one small act away from finding our happiness.
Want to discover where you are on your wellness journey? You don't have to look far. In partnership with European Wax Center, we're bringing you a customized wellness quiz to help you up your wellness game. Answer our short series of questions to figure out which type of wellness lover you are, what you need to bring more balance into your life, and then go deeper by shopping products geared towards clearing your mind, healing your body, and soothing your spirit.
Ready to get whole? Take our quiz now!
Sabrina Dhowre Elba Admits To Not Initially Knowing Who Idris Elba Was When They Met
Model and entrepreneur Sabrina Elba recently recalled the intimate moments surrounding the fateful day she first encountered her husband, Idris Elba.
The couple, who have been together since 2017, met at a jazz bar in Vancouver when Idris was working on his film Mountain Between Us. Years later, in April 2019, following a whirlwind romance, Sabrina and Idris would tie the knot in Morocco.
Since then, the pair's love story has become "couple goals" among many for various reasons. The list includes the numerous times Sabrina and Idris have showcased their love on social media. Another factor contributing to the duo's likability is that Sabrina and Idris have displayed over the years that being with the right partner can elevate one's career or passion in life.
Sabrina and Idris have collaborated professionally in several businesses, including their Coupledom podcast and skincare brand S'Able Labs. In a June interview on Jemele Hill's Unbothered podcast, the 34-year-old opened up about the events leading up to when she met Idris and how she initially didn't know who he was.
Sabrina on Meeting Idris
Sabrina, who was living in Vancouver at the time, said that the same night Idris was in town, she went out to a jazz bar for an event called Slow Jam Sunday for a friend’s birthday.
Around that time, the model was getting over a breakup and claimed she wasn't interested in a relationship because of how badly her previous one ended. In a past interview, Idris revealed that he, too, just went through a breakup before meeting Sabrina.
"This is so funny. I [had] just gotten out of a really bad relationship, so I was not this person. I was like 'men are trash. They suck.' I'm literally ready to switch it on up or something because I was so over it," she said. "I come to this party with a night off at work that I prebooked because I was working literally every weekend. But it was my girlfriend's birthday party, so I was there kind of by chance."
Sabrina also revealed that, coincidently, the night she took off for her friend's birthday celebration was the same night Idris had the day off and was convinced by his stunt double to attend Slow Jam Sunday.
"Slow Jam Sundays is an amazing night in Vancouver. It's the one night I would probably go to, but you wouldn't see me out often because I was a weekend worker. I was working at restaurants and service industry, your weekends are taken up," she stated.
"Idris was filming this film in Vancouver and had one night off in Vancouver because most of it was filmed sort of up north in the mountains. His stunt double convinced him to go to Slow Jam Sundays. By chance, we were both there."
Further into the interview, Sabrina disclosed that her friend was interested in Idris at first and went to flirt with him. However, the Daddy's Little Girls star dismissed the friend's advances because Sabrina had caught his eye.
When Sabrina's friend informed her about what happened, she admitted that although she tried to put up a front for her friend's sake, the S'Able Labs CEO was happy because she thought he was also attractive. Following the discussion, Sabrina and her friend went to the section where Idris was, and the couple realized how much they had in common, from the music choices to their background.
"So I go over, and we have like one of those conversations that you just feel like you've known this person for ten years because we're singing the same songs. When a song comes on that I love, he's like, 'I love this song.' I'm like, 'what?' Like I just had this like cultural connection. He's African. I'm like,' Where are you from?'" she said.
Sabrina On Not Knowing Who Idris Was After Meeting Him
As the topic shifted to Idris' celebrity status, Sabrina explained that she didn't know who he was until after it was brought to her attention by a few people she met outside of the bar.
"When I went outside, I realized because there's a group of people there, they're like, 'Oh, you're talking to Idris Elba,'" she stated.
When asked about how well-known the actor was when they met, Sabrina shared that Idris was widely famous in America but not so much in Canada and that the one film she saw him in was the 2009 thriller Obsessed.
Sabrina would add that even after being told who Idris was, she couldn't recollect where she knew him from until her friends mentioned the movie.
"Well, so the film that I had seen was Obsessed... I feel Idris Elba now he gets recognized so much. In that moment, unless you were kind of in that zeitgeist, he was definitely a lot more popular in America," she said. "I don't think I would've known it even when they said that was him. I was trying to remember, like, my friends were like, 'yeah, he's from Obsessed.' We're like, 'Oh, yeah.'"
After figuring out who Idris was, Sabrina shared that when she re-entered the venue, she doubted a relationship would form between them given his occupation, the short timeline he would be there to shoot his movie, and the constant temptation that could flock around him due to his status. But despite Sabrina's uncertainty, they would exchange numbers before she left.
"So I went back inside, we started chatting some more, and he was like, 'Let me take your number.' I was like, 'Alright,' and then I left," she stated.
The model explained the reason why she left the event was that her friend, whose birthday she was celebrating, wanted to check out other spots. When the night was coming to an end, Sabrina hailed a taxi to go home when she received a phone call from Idris. The entrepreneur revealed that the Takers star stopped her from entering the cab and urged her to get in the car he was driving, and they spent the whole night talking until 8 a.m.
"I got in his car, and we spoke till like 8 a.m. easy. It was probably like 2 [a.m.] at that time. We just had the most intense, amazing conversation," she said. "It was the first time I ever connected with someone to the point where I was like, I went home the next day called my friends, I was like, 'I think I found my soulmate.'"
Sabrina revealed that from that fateful night, she and Idris became inseparable. The couple would be long-distance for a brief stint of their union until they acknowledged how difficult it was to maintain that type of relationship. Sabrina ultimately decided to move in with Idris although she was skeptical at first, she claimed it was one of the best decisions she's made because she found her "soulmate."
Sabrina Elba's First Night with Idris Elba Sounds Like a Romance MovieModel and philanthropist Sabrina Elba joins Jemele to discuss her marriage to actor Idris Elba, and their heartwarming, love at first sight origin story.SUBS...
Let’s make things inbox official! Sign up for the xoNecole newsletter for daily love, wellness, career, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.
Feature image by Dave Benett/Getty Images for Space NK