By Tricia Y. Petrinovich
As if my mouth couldn’t draw enough attention to itself by mere virtue of its ability to create noise (achieving both elevated volume and sustain), I have often found myself with other lip-related drama such as bizarre lipstick lines and the victim of my own strange color choices. The latter is due to the likelihood of me getting sucked in at the makeup counter, probably by something shiny, after which my eyes glaze over and I just babble “I’ll take that” after everything the adept salesperson/makeup artist shows me.
But the former has more to do with my near-lifelong struggle with cystic acne that
resulted in four trips to Accutane Island, no dream vacation destination, I assure you. Which in turn resulted in ever-dry lips that are cracked and need constant moisture, preferably in a product that comes in bubble gum pink. (And for the acne, I would also like to take the time to blame my dad here. He gets every skin disorder known to humankind – and probably aliens, to some that no one has ever heard of. Moles, skin tags, and rashes, mostly in the shape of Cheetos. But while his have the good sense to hide on his scalp, under his armpits and on his back, mine pitch their tents smack dab on the most visible parts of my face, with the subtlety of the “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign and its chasing incandescents.)
I share all of this to make it clear: If a product works for me, it will work for “normal” people, and by normal I mean people not in my gene pool. When you get right down to it, lips are an odd little collection of skin. They are the windshield of your face; in other words, they keep you from swallowing bugs. And unless you are a ventriloquist, they also stop the noise from coming out. During my childhood, once or twice (in every ten minute span of time) I can neither conﬁrm nor deny that I may or may not have been told to shut mine. So I guess along the way I decided that if they were going to just sit there doing nothing, they might as well be cute. And moist. Because if my lips couldn’t be yapping to inﬂict pain on other people, they sure as heck weren’t going to just sit there and hurt me.
That leads me to my favorite products for moisture, color and comfort. Even if you haven’t suffered from bizarre lip-issues such as myself, you may ﬁnd yourself needing helpful products during the summer when a lot of people experience sensitive lips due to over-exposure to the sun:
1. Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmer. Putting this product on your lips instigates an opening in the heavens and an angelic choir song. It is the most perfect lip product, at least in my opinion, and since I’m writing the article, you’ll take what I give you and you’ll like it. What makes this product awesomeness in a plastic tube? It comes in the perfect shades of pink (I like the strawberry, guava and champagne colors), it has a peppermint ﬂavor that is tingly on your lips, and it shimmers. (Hopefully this wasn’t a newsﬂash since its name literally is “Lip Shimmer.”) Even my dog loves it, as, unfortunately, she has eaten my last three tubes. It also touts the addition of Vitamin E and Beeswax. I have no idea why that makes it better, but I do plan on telling the next person who wants to borrow mine to, you guessed it, “mind” their own beeswax.”
2. Softlips Tints. I like this one in Blossom, because there is no sense avoiding pink if you can run straight into its arms. This product also boasts a sunscreen of SPF 15, so it’s a great choice for those vacations where you are spending extra time in the sun, or if you live anywhere not named Seattle. Another beneﬁt of this product is that it is inexpensive which is fabulous because I buy a lot of them. Why? A) I have a penchant for losing them. B) I need them all over my house and workplaces for when the moisture need hits. C) They also have the frequent misfortune of becoming Scooby snacks for my dog. (Maybe her lips hurt, too?)
3. Bath & Body Works Liplicious. This is really just a straight up gloss that come in a gazillion ﬂavors which, as you know, is slightly more than a billion but less than a bajillion. My flavor of the month is Berry Ballini, although never mind the dog, I may just eat this one, it smells so good. What I love about this gloss is that it seems to stay on for a long time, and doesn’t feel sticky, I know there are so many more options, and if any manufacturer chose, after reading this article, to send me free samples of their lip balms, glosses and tints so I could oust one of my current top seeds, I would have no problem with that. But for now, I will keep lubing them up with my faves, and screaming my opinions through the typewritten word while trying to only let my indoor voice pass through my pink, tingly, shimmered lips.