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Lip Service

Our lips become flushed and rosy when we're sexually aroused and we wear lip color to mimic this effect - or so say human sexuality experts.

 I, however, wear lip color not because it makes me look sexier, but it makes my face look prettier and more balanced. For many women, lipstick is an essential makeup item and they don't feel dressed without it. I favor lip pencils, although during my teen years, lip gloss was the only thing I'd wear. A rundown of each follows.Lip pencilsLip pencils are sometimes called lip liners because they are often used to outline the lips. This outline helps create more symmetrical-looking lips and prevents lipstick from migrating into the skin surrounding the mouth. Lip pencils can also be used to color the entire lips; they offer precision and are generally longer-lasting than lipstick.Lipstick allureIt wasn't until I was 20 and on vacation in Paris that I considered wearing lipstick myself. Like many American girls, I'd heard a lot about that elusive French allure. Hoping to capture some of that allure myself, I spent a good part of my stay staring at people. I noticed that French women didn't seem to wear much makeup, but they all wore lipstick - mostly red, but that year, tangerine was trendy and many of the younger women sported bright orange lips. Instead of looking ridiculous, it looked sexy and fun. When it was time for me to leave, I spent my last francs at the airport duty-free shop on a Christian Dior orange. Yes, I wore it in the States and yes, I actually liked the way a colored lip looked.Thick lip pencils are sometimes referred to as lip crayons.All about lipstickLipstick usually comes in stick form - hence its name. It also comes in pots and in compartmentalized compacts, both of which are applied with a small lipstick brush. You can find lipstick in sheer, almost gloss-like finishes; matte finishes, which are flat, opaque, and not a bit shiny; regular finishes that are somewhat moist and dewy; and shimmer or luster finishes, which are slightly pearlescent. There are long­ wearing lipsticks available - these stay on for 4 hours or more, but they can be terribly drying.If you dislike the dry finish and unnatural peachy cast of long-wearing lipsticks, you may want to try makeup sealant. A kind of cosmetic shellac, sealants come packaged in tubes or small bottles and can be brushed over any type of lipstick to make it longer to make it longer wearing.Lip glossWhen I was a teenager, lipstick seemed so obvious, so fake, so old-fashioned my friends and I would never, ever wear. Looking back, it seems strange that we were worried about fake-looking lips considering all the eye makeup we wore! Instead, we opted for more natural-looking lip gloss.Today, I wear gloss slicked over lip pencil or dotted on the center of a lips ticked lip to create a subtle shine. Lip gloss comes in pots, tubes, sticks, and wands with sponge­tip applicators. The colors are usually transparent and very subtle, but there are some highly pigmented versions available that give lips a wetArticle Submission, shiny finish.

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