Valentine’s Day is sneaking up on us. It’s happening whether you prefer to celebrate it loud and proud, hit the town with your gal pals, or strictly believe it’s a Hallmark holiday meant to torture us single souls.
But in honor of the holiday, we’ve put together your ultimate guide to making yourself kiss ready.
Kissing! It’s actually really good for you, it has an incredible amount of health benefits, so much so that it’s practically a wellness tip.
“Your lips are filled with so many nerves, the second you start kissing, it sends messaging to your brain very quickly, and it starts releasing all the feel good chemicals—the dopamine and serotonin, that makes you feel very happy,” says Andrea Demirjian, “The Kissing Expert” and author of Kissing: Everything You Wanted to Know About One of Life’s Sweetest Pleasures.
“It dilates your blood vessels because blood starts rushing through your body, as your heart is pumping faster, and the blood is going to all your nether regions to make you feel aroused and excited. It makes your heart go faster, but it also simultaneously lowers your blood pressure, so there is a funny little dichotomy that’s occurring in your body.
“It boosts your immune system because when exchanging saliva, everyone has some bacteria in your mouth, and some bacteria is good for you. You’ve then got your unique cocktail with that person, and you create your own supreme little immune system, which helps keep you healthier. Kissing also creates a lot of saliva in your mouth and saliva washes away the plaque in your mouth. You’re are going to be the poster child of your dentist.
“And a vigorous makeout session in an hour’s worth of real deep passionate kissing burns 90 calories. And it gives you a rosy glow, plumped freshness in your lips.”
Wow, with all those health benefits, your doctor is practically prescribing a makeout session. But first, let’s get you makeout ready, from fresh breath to kissable lips and makeup that’ll last.
Softer Lips, Stat
Scrub away dry spots first and foremost with a lip scrub. There are so many incredible lip scrubs that quickly, yet gently, get the job done. After a quick scrub (scrub on, then gently scrub off with a washcloth), a lip mask will hydrate deeper than any chapstick can. Then swipe on a moisturizing lip balm, which will stick around even after a few cocktails and smooches.
Lip Scrub, Kari Gran, $16, is comprised of organic sugar and organic chamomile powder, which calms while exfoliating. Agave Sugar Lip Scrub, Bite Beauty, $18, is your secret weapon; it exfoliates and conditions lips with raw brown sugar, pineapple enzymes and agave syrup. (And, it’s especially fun because it smells like vanilla cake batter.) Balmy Nights, Ilia, $26, is especially convenient in it’s stick form. Perfect for on the go or a mess-free application. And tiny granules of volcanic stone scrubs away dry skin, while shea butter and jojoba oil soothe and hydrate.
Second, Mask It
Lip Sleeping Mask, Laneige, $25, is great when you’ve got a few hours, or overnight, to deeply replenish moisture. FlashPatch Hydrating Lip Gels, Patchology, $15 for five, is your go-to when you’ve only got five minutes to make those lips kissable. The mask deeply hydrates, but also naturally enhances lip shade and volume, so it’s practically made for right before your big V-Day date.
Lush Lip Balm, Apa Beauty, $35, deeply hydrates with shea butter and jojoba oil, while also leaving a super pleasing cooling sensation. Lemonaid Lip Treatment, Lanolips, $15.95, is rich and creamy (it’s not budging for hours), and is boosted in natural exfoliation with the addition of organic lemon oil.
Fresher Breath, Stat
So you're brushing your teeth, right? (Right?!) But are you flossing on the reg? You should be—your partner and dentist advise (The Kissing Expert recommends it, too.).
Try out CocoFloss, $8; it’s the jam. With the fun flavors and great packaging, it almost makes flossing fun.
On the go but want fresh breath on the way to that makeout? Xylitol is your friend both short and long term. As Williamsburg (super)dentist Jennifer Plotnick told us, xylitol "is a really important additive to toothpaste, gum, etc.” She explained that the bacteria streptococcus mutans is the only bacteria that causes cavities, but xylitol is the only sweetener in which that bacteria cannot eat to create the acid which causes cavities. (And it just taste great, too.)
Find xylitol in a couple options:
Spry Gum, $9.49, is great after dinner to quickly freshen breath. And it’s only sweetener is your friend xylitol.
Then there is qīī, $22.99 for 12. (You’re going to like this one.) It’s the world’s first natural tea drink that tackles oral health. Made from natural ingredients and brewed with certified organic oolong and green tea, it is designed to reduce disease-causing bacteria in your mouth by 80 percent. Reducing tooth decay, and freshening breath. You’re so responsible!
Makeout Proof Makeup
Don’t let your makeup rub off onto your partner, keep it stickin’ around with a few products that are meant to go the long run.
All Nighter Makeup Primer, Urban Decay, $32, will give your look serious staying power. Seriously, it’s so brilliant, and budge-proof: just mist on and it prevents makeup from both smudging and melting. Perfect for everyday use, but especially before your big date for long-lasting looks.
A lip stain is your best friend. It gives you kissable, bold lips, while not moving an inch, no matter how much kissing is involved. So many great ones: Oil Lip Stain, Milk Makeup, $18, rolls right on, and isn’t moving for awhile. Dash Lip Marker, TPSY, $20, is easy to paint on, while on the go, thanks to the marker applicator. And the colors are bold and bright.
Now, go forth and kiss!
Read more about makeup tips:
Holiday Beauty Looks You Can Do In 5 Minutes or Less
Update Your Look in 2018 With These Easy, Quick Changes
This Tiny Product Will Reduce Your Makeup Waste
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