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!
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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 (email@example.com) 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.
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‘Sistas’ Star KJ Smith Reveals How She Learned The Value Of Divine Timing
Actress KJ Smith's inspiring journey within the entertainment industry is a testament to how believing in oneself and trusting in divine timing can pave the way for success.
Over the years, Smith, whose acting career began in 2009, has appeared in various television shows and films before landing her leading role in BET's Sistas in 2019.
Since then, the 38-year-old's success has skyrocketed as she starred in other projects, such as Fatal Affair alongside Nia Long and Omar Epps, The Family Business, and Power Book III: Raising Kanan. Smith recently opened up about her experience during Black Love's The You Retreat discussion panel.
KJ On Success
In the panel last month, Smith revealed that despite her past achievements, she doesn't consider success to be a linear path but rather a continuous process.
The star shared that she gained this logic through the numerous times she auditioned for roles and has either received rejections or landed job opportunities. During that process, Smith added that she learned that if something was ordained in her life, that said thing would come to her.
"I think the phrase ‘made it’ is a little deceiving. It's a process of continuing to make it. How you know it's for you is when it's undeniable," she said.
KJ On Divine Timing
As the conversation continued, Smith recalled a particular moment when she didn't land an undisclosed role she thought was destined for her and expressed how heartbroken she was.
Still, the actress preserved and ultimately got the next gig she auditioned for a day after reading for that role.
"Actually, my first pilot, it was written for a white male, and at the time, I had just lost out on a role I had tested for. For something that I was like, 'This is actually me!' I tested for it, didn't get it. At the time, I was so heartbroken, " she explained.
“The next thing I booked... it was the quickest audition I had ever done. I literally went into the room. I did one scene, and then the next day, they were like, 'You're booked. We need you to fly to New Orleans.'"
Later, Smith mentioned that since that moment occurred in her life, she had shifted her mindset about not receiving certain things and that divine timing plays a role in "everything."
"That was mine, and no one else could have had that. That belonged to me, so now I'm like, 'No, it's going to be good thing, after good thing, after good thing, after good thing. Because nothing happens to me, everything happens for me," she said.
Smith continues to inspire her fans by using her social media platform to spread the message about trusting God's plan for one's life.
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