Chapped lips? No problem! Tips & Tricks for a perfectly plump pout

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Since it’s nearly fall and the air is going to be getting a little drier soon, I wanted to share some of my favorite ways to keep my lips looking healthy and smooth! The most popular posts on this blog are always lipsticks, especially matte, liquid lipsticks, and we all know how rough (literally) those can look if your pout isn’t primed. Hopefully this post helps you out so your lips look their best and you can feel confident rocking any kind of lip color or formula!

Btw, I know this post isn’t quite the norm on here, but I want to start doing more tips & tricks, skincare, general beauty stuff, etc, so please let me know how you all like this!

Rule #1:   Drink enough water!

How much water do you drink a day? No, really. It’s so important!

Our bodies are made of about 60%, give or take… Over half of what you’re made of is liquidy goodness. That water is what keeps us going and keeps our organs functioning properly, and guess what, your biggest organ is your skin! That means if you’re dehydrated, it’s going to show, so naturally, the most important part of having healthy, radiant skin and lips without dry patches or that yucky, crunchy, dehydrated look is to make sure you’re well hydrated! It’s pretty simple, and it should be obvious, but I know it’s a struggle to chug as much water each day as you’re supposed to. We all learn from the time we’re kids that we should drink eight 8oz glasses of water a day, which is a good start, but a lot of people need more than that. Some factors that can play into your suggested water intake are your weight, activity level, if you sweat a lot or it’s hot outside, etc. Now for me, I try to drink a little over half a gallon of water each day and usually get about 2.3 – 2.5 liters of water in, and that’s on top of other stuff like Powerade Zero, tea, and coffee. Your foods also produce you with some fluids, so it’s not necessary to chug only water all day, but make sure you’re hydrated!

When you’re well hydrated, your lips will look MUCH more plump and full, show less lines, and have fewer to no chapped areas.

If you’re really bad about remembering to drink water throughout the day, or forget how much you’ve had, try getting a gigantic, obnoxious water bottle like the one I use, fill it up in the morning, and make sure you drink it all before bed! I got one made by Bottled Joy on Amazon, but there are a ton of other options out there too. Please keep in mind that plastics are awful for our environment, and try to go with a reusable, washable water bottle ❤

Rule #2:   Exfoliate!

I’m sure that most of you have used an exfoliator on your face or bodies at least a few times, but are you making sure your lips are scrubbed and smooth too?

I find that in the fall and winter time especially, my lips always get rough patches, no matter how much water I drink or what balm I use, and the only thing that really smoothes those chapped areas out is exfoliating my lips. I’m not talking about scrubbing them raw, but most people benefit from gently exfoliating their lips about twice a week, or at least before you’re going to wear something like a matte, liquid, nude, or dark lipstick… Ya know, one of those products that will show every little flaw *cringe*.

There are a few methods I use to exfoliate my lips, and most of them only require things you may already have at home!

  • Homemade Sugar Lip Scrub:   I like to mix a little bit of plain sugar with something like honey, coconut oil, olive oil, vaseline, whatever… As long as it’s something that will create slip and is preferably safe to eat. This method is gentle enough to use every other day or so.
  • A towel or washcloth:   Yep, nothing special there. After I shower, I’ll gently wipe my towel on my lips and get any dead skin off before I apply my lip mask or balm.
  • A very soft toothbrush:   I’m not talking about the giant, rough ones we use for our chompers, I’m talking about a very soft, smaller type of toothbrush… Ones meant for small kiddos usually work very well for this task! I keep one with my normal toothbrush and using a light hand, I’ll brush it across my lips from time to time if I’m in a hurry and don’t want to use a homemade lip scrub that contains something slippery or oily.
  • Store-bought Lip Scrub:   There are a million types and brands out there that range from drug store to high end, so it’s up to you what type of lip scrub you’d want to purchase. A few of my favorites are MAC’s Lip Scrubtious ($17.50 for 15 ml / 12.78 g / 0.5 oz of product)in Candied Nectar and Fruit of Passion, Jeffree Star’s Velour Lip Scrub ($12 for 30 g / 1 oz of product) in Watermelon Gum, although I’m sure they’re all delicious and smell amazing, GlamGlow’s POUTMUD Fizzy Lip Exfoliating Treatment ($24 for 24 g / 0.85 oz of product), and Bite Beauty’s Agave Sugar Lip Scrub ($18 for 7.39 g / 0.26 oz of product).

Rule #3:   Moisturize!

You all probably do this, but are you using something that actually hydrates your lips, or something that just makes them feel smooth and slippery on the surface?

You want a balm or lip mask that will absorb into your lips, not just create a smooth layer on top of them. Popular drug store lip balms (Blistex, Chapstick, Carmex, etc), contain a LOT of chemicals, petroleum, and flavors that are not as kind to your lips as you may think! I find that when I use those types of products, they make my lips feel supple and look okay, but they’re never genuinely hydrated. Those balms tend to sit on the surface of my lips, creating the illusion that they’re hydrating, rather than nourishing my lips and adding moisture to the tissue.

My favorite approach to lip balms and masks is to go with something more natural and not terribly thick. I like something that melts into the skin and won’t leave a residue after I wipe off the excess to apply my lipstick. My favorite things to use are:

  • Homemade Lip Balm:   Yup, we have another homemade favorite! I like to mix 2 parts pure shea butter (I get it at the local health food store) with 1 part Manuka honey (also from the local health food store). Manuka honey is very thick, so when you mix these two ingredients together, it creates a very creamy, whipped-texture lip balm that smells and tastes amazing. It can be a tad bit sticky, but it’s never bothersome to me. I mix up small amounts at a time and pop it in a little travel tub that I can toss into my purse. It’s easy to apply with my finger, it’s cheap, and I never run out of it because I always keep the ingredients in my home! Another great thing about this is that Manuka honey, and all honey, has natural anti-bacterial properties, so it’s healing to your lips as well as being nourishing.
  • Mountain Madness Lip Balm:   This is by far my favorite brand of body care… Lotions, bath bombs, soaps, lip products, they have it all, and it’s all natural, cruelty-free, and all of their lip balms are vegan (except those which contain honey). These lip balms aren’t heavy or waxy, and they don’t cause that drier-than-before feeling that ends up with me chewing on my lips, which is what happens every time I use lip balms like Blistex and Chapstick. Because the Mountain Madness Lip Balms contain ingredients like coconut oil, sweet almond oil, and avocado oil, they’re SUPER hydrating and will soak into your lips, but not so quickly that you have to reapply it over and over again. These balms come in a bazillion flavors/scents and are so affordable! They sell for $3.50 each and contain, umm, a decent amount of product? It doesn’t say on the website or on the tubes I have, but I’m pretty sure there’s as much in there, if not more, than a tube of Blistex holds.
  • Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask:  I’ve reviewed this before, so you can check out that post here if you want. I’ve been using this product every single day for about a year and a half now and I cannot imagine my life, or my lips, without it. It’s the most moisturizing, non-sticky, heavenly, natural looking balm or mask EVER. I apply it before bedtime and sometimes again when I get out of the shower in the morning. It only takes the TEENIEST amount of product to give your lips some serious moisture. It also soaks in really well and doesn’t leave any residue behind if I want to wipe off any excess product before I go to apply my lipstick. One tube lasted me nearly a year using it at least once a day, so it’s totally worth the splurge! This lip mask comes in a few colors/scents, but I typically use the natural/clear one. It sells for $26 and contains 15 g / 0.52 oz of product. Bite Beauty also has a stick version of their Agave Lip Balm, which is really nice, but one tube doesn’t last nearly as long and I find myself applying it much more often. It is more of a natural/matte finish, though, so you may prefer it if you don’t like any shine.

Rule #4:   Prime!

You prime your face, so why not prime your lips?

While there are a lot of different lip primers out there, I can’t say I’ve tried more than one, BUT I stick by the idea that priming your lips makes SUCH a huge difference in the way your lipstick will apply and wear! My personal go-to lip primer is MAC’s Prep + Prime Lip ($18.50 for 1.7 g / 0.05 oz of product). Rather than being petroleum-based like many lip balms, this is a silicone-based product, so it will give you a smooth surface that makes the perfect base under your lipstick or gloss. It also contains Vitamin E to help moisturize the lips, and Paraffin, which is a waxy ingredient that I don’t like in balms, but that I find to be useful in lip primers. Basically, these ingredients work together to do a few things… The Vitamin E will give your lips some much needed moisture, the Paraffin will lock that moisture into your lips and create a barrier between your lip and whatever you’re applying on top of it (this is great if you’re using something like a matte liquid lipstick that can be drying), and the Cyclopentasiloxane (big fancy name for the silicone ingredient) smooths the lip itself, filling in lines and masking rough, dry areas, so your lips have a smooth surface. Since the silicone base and waxy paraffin lock in moisture, that also means they create a dry-ish base for your lip liner, lipstick, or gloss to adhere to, extending the wear time immensely!

I know that was a big, technical explanation of what that particular primer does, but it helps. It’s helps a lot, so just trust me on that one, okay? Okay!

You can also prime using something like GlamGlow’s PLUMPRAGEOUS™ Matte Lip Treatment. It’s not going to work the same way MAC’s Prep + Prime Lip, but it will smooth the lips a bit, add moisture, and plump the hell out of your lips if lines are a concern, or if you just want a more pouty look without the fillers. It’s not as dramatic as fillers are, but it works! I use this product a lot, either by itself or right after I get out of the shower… That way, it has time to soak in and plump my lips before I want to put on makeup and apply my lip product. Because it’s matte and not slippery, it’s perfectly fine to wear directly under you lipstick without having to wipe off any excess first, or you can wear it under MAC Prep + Prime Lip or whatever your favorite lip primer is. In fact, that’s what I do a lot of the time and it makes my lips look and feel amazing! One con to the GlamGlow treatment is that it does have that tingly, low-key burning sensation and oh my gosh, if you lick your lips during the following 10-15 minutes after you apply it, it’s NOT a good feeling… It’s very spicy! Another con is that it’s a little pricey at $24 for 3.8 ml / 0.12 oz of product, but one tube does last quite a while. On a more positive note, some pros to using this is that it makes your lips look like you got a little bit of filler without the needle and you can have them plumped up when you choose, it looks totally natural with no shine so you can’t even tell you’re wearing a lip plumper, and because there’s no shine and it looks natural, it’s suitable for men or anyone else who might want fuller lips, but don’t want to be obvious about it and add shine to the lip as well.


I think that covers everything I can think of when it comes to keeping your lips healthy and looking full! If I think of anything else, I’ll add to this post later, and please feel free to comment below with your own tips and tricks to avoid chapped lips. I love hearing everyone else’s ideas too!

Last but not least, if you want to know what I’m reviewing, testing, and loving, make sure you follow me on Twitter and Instagram… You can find me @lesley_makeup on pretty much all social media, including Snapchat. I love getting feedback from my readers and followers, and seeing the looks you all create using the products I review, so make sure you tag me on IG with #lesley_makeup if you use something I’ve posted on here!


This post expresses my own ideas and honest opinion. I did not receive any type of PR or compensation for making this post.

One comment

  1. Thanks for sharing! I typically use a washcloth to exfoliate, and you’re right that there’s a huge difference when you regularly exfoliate. My new favorite moisturizer for lips is the Laneige Lip Mask 🙂

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