Why prepping your lips in winter is an excellent idea if you want to wear lipstick.

Lipstick and dry flakey skin do not like each other. They’re actually mortal enemies.

However, all too often they meet and that inevitable clash ruins what would otherwise be a very excellent makeup look.

Winter makes the situation worse, of course, because a drop in humidity and an increase in wind, heating and warm clothes makes lips even drier.

Sure, we could shy away from lippie in the cooler months in favour of her safer, less high-maintenance sister, lip balm. But where’s the fun in that? Besides, a bright pink lip and red sweater combo is one of the best things about winter.

How to prep lips for lipstick
Me seeking praise after I get my lip prep and colour just right. Image: Getty.

So, here are my tips for prepping your lips pre-lippie in winter (say that three times fast).

Scrub your lips.

This step is to remove the dead skin cells but also to promote blood flow to the area (which equals plumper, juicier lips).

There's a few ways to do this.

Grab an old toothbrush and dip it in olive oil. Then, on dry lips, use soft circular motions to buff lips. Focus tiny circles across the lip with your mouth slightly open and your smile pulling the lips tight. Start with the bottom lip, then the top - and don’t forget each corner too, as that area tends to get dry.

Use a lip scrub to do the same motion as above, but instead use your pointer finger. Gently massage in a circular motion for about a minute on the bottom, then a minute on top (akin to cleaning your teeth).

Make your own scrub in the kitchen, then do as above. My favourite ingredients to this with are coconut oil and caster sugar (because the actual grains are the right size). Oh, and I chuck in some cinnamon, too.

Make sure the sugar to oil ratio is generously on the side of sugar so you have ample grains to actually exfoliate effectively. You can make up your own little pot and keep it in the fridge next to your face mist.

How to prep lips for lipstick
The final consistency should be really quite grainy, not runny. Image: Getty.

Hydrate your lips the day before.

Derek Zoolander put it perfectly when he said ‘Moisture is the essence of wetness, and wetness is the essence of beauty’. Hydrated lips feel nicer, look better and are the perfect base for colour.

I personally find my lips dry out a lot at night while I am sleeping (same with my face, which is why I wear face oil and a rich night cream), so I apply a really thick lip product as I jump into bed. I’m talking really thick - there's definitely no kissing happening post-application.

A nourishing lip balm often does the trick, or you can get really fancy and invest in a hydrating lip mask. My faves are the Laneige Lip Sleep Mask, $26, or the Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask, $40.


You’ll wake up feeling nourished, I promise.

Hydrate your lips directly before.

Even if you’re going for a creamy lippie, a small amount of a waxy lip balm applied five to 10 minutes beforehand can act as a sort of lip primer. I am not suggesting an actual lip primer because some of them can be a little drying, and if you’re still reading then you know that is the very thing we are trying to avoid.

Made for men, the Kiehl’s Facial Fuel No-Shine Moisturizing Lip Balm, $12, is actually perfect for this.

Decide how you feel about lip liner.

Are you a liner girl? There’s no right or wrong answer. It definitely helps create a crisper edge, however if you can't be bothered, lipstick applied directly from the bullet definitely has a devil-may-care air about it.

Either way, know what the plan is. If you're using liner, go forth now (matching the pencil to the shade of your lipstick).

Pick your lippie.

Lately I have been road-testing the new Maybelline New York lippie range of six shades they designed to suit everyone. *Link to post 1

Yep. They took on Mission Impossible to narrow down six colours (from 100!) that are flattering on all skin tones and colours. Cool, huh?

Maybelline Made For All lipstick range
The Maybelline New York Made For All range IRL.

I've been loving and wearing all of them, but in particular the matte red and the fuchsia (which I am wearing in the photo at the top of the page).

I apply the colour straight from the bullet because I am cool and casual like that. These Maybelline New York colours, RRP $17.95 each, in particular are super easy to wear and reapply = my kinda lippie.

So there you have it, your foolproof guide to not-dry lips in winter. Let us know how you go in the comments!

Disclaimer: Maybelline New York is a sponsor of Mamamia's You Beauty podcast.