5 Best Tips for Long-Lasting Lip Color

"That's pretty, but will it stain or fade if I kiss?" This year I've noticed that my lip color preferences have been taken over by longevity. While I do enjoy a creamy lipstick, a shiny gloss or a strong full coverage matte lip - if it's a date night I'm more drawn to a long-lasting formula than wiping off stains from my boyfriend's cheek. Here are my tips for a long-lasting lip color and a couple of product favorites.

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Exfoliate!

No lip color, especially matte or liquid lipsticks, look good if your lips are very chapped or parched. One of my favorite ways to exfoliate my lips is by mixing sugar with thick lip balm (such as Nuxe Reve de Miel) and scrub away. Lazy girl’s version is by using BYBI Beauty’s lip Buffer*, which also conditions the lips. It’s not very abrasive scrub so I rub vigorously before removing with a tissue. The Plumper* is a balm with a minty feel, but I the plumping effect is from natural moisturization instead of tingling.

No Lip Balm Underneath

Lip balm - as much as we love it - is the devil when you want a long-lasting lip color. Add the balm when you start out your makeup routine, but make sure to rub it off with a tissue before adding any color. This slight rubbing not only removes the extra slip of the lip balm, but the last bits of dead skin - giving you even smoother canvas!

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The Lip Liner Trick

Classic, obvious, but so good. You don’t only line the outside of your lips for the perfect shape, but color your entire lips with either 1) “my lips but better (MLBB) shade” or 2) something closely matching your lipstick color. This matte and even surface makes your lipstick glide nicely on the top, but also gives something to stick to. When your glossy lipstick fades, you still have something underneath and there will be no color left on the cracks of your lips.

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Double Blot

You apply lipstick, then either press a tissue against your lips or bite a tissue. Apply some more lipstick, just one layer and blot again. This layering technique works for a variety of lipsticks, making them last longer and a bit more matte looking.

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Dab lip stains, tints and Jumbo Pencils

Lip tints are my best friend when it comes to a long-lasting lip look. I especially love the Lancome Matte shakers, but unfortunately we have a very limited shade range in Europe. This lip color leaves a nice stain after the majority of the color wears off. If you’re not into the Lancome shades, look into Korean lip tints and tint waters, but not liquid lipsticks - they can be too drying.

I’ve noticed that jumbo lip colors tend to be created for all-evening wear. Also try dabbing a matte lipstick with a finger to your lips for that diffused, modern, hazy look. My favorite formulas are by ADDICTION and ‘Crushed’ formula by Bobbi Brown, which leaves a ting to the lips as well.

Did you learn any new tricks? Are you a lipstick or a lip balm person?

*BYBI Beauty products were kindly gifted for consideration.
My thoughts are honest and my own.

6 Simple Self-Care Practises (When You Don't Feel Like it)

Today I want to revisit a subject close to my heart: self-care when you don’t actually feel like taking care of yourself. Maybe you’re busy, exhausted, anxious or something is constantly on your mind. Perhaps you always put yourself before others or don’t feel like you “deserve” any time off – well, this needs a change. As much as I believe that beauty and self-care come hand in hand, it’s not all about Instagrammable candlelit bath moments and face masks. Before getting into that zone - you need to care for your mind.

 
 Simple Self-Care Practises When You Are Down | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog
 

Let Yourself To Take Time Off

You do not need to be available 24/7. If this causes you trouble, practise saying “no” and let go of any related guilt or self-blame. Allow yourself to take a breather; it can be 15 minutes or maybe a couple of days, whatever works best for you. If your job/school requires intensive attendance, perhaps talk to a supervisor or a counselor. If you have kids, then try asking help from friends or family? A healthy worker/student/parent is also an efficient one, so don’t blame yourself for taking the time you need. You’ve heard this one before: you can’t help others if you’re not helping yourself first.

Ditch Your Phone And Social Media

Referencing to my point above, when I’m facing a rough time I want to become unavailable. If there’s a lot going on I might post an update on Instagram or Facebook, simply thank everyone for their messages and tell I will get back as soon as possible. It can be as simple as that; you don’t need to state a reason if you don’t feel like it. Of course there’s always the persistent relative or someone who won’t stop calling, but in these cases you can answer and reply you’re unavailable. Focus on a book or a show instead of constant online updates gives your brain a break.

Sweat It Off (Find a Sport You Don’t Hate)

This sort of advice used to make me cringe. There are studies showing that exercise even helps depression patients, but what if you hate working out? When I’m down I want to curl in bed and not move an inch. Climbing has been an amazing discovery for me as I do it because it’s fun. I do it because really I want to! Heck, I sometimes even warmup at the gym just so I could climb better. So find a sport that you don’t utterly despise. I recommend something that requires concentration (like a new yoga class or pilates) if you have a difficulties getting into a flow.

..And Sleep

Seriously, I don’t know a better anxiety remedy than a nap. If you can: take a power-nap or longer 1 hour break during the day. Put on warm socks, grab a blanket and perhaps an ASMR video. It can be raindrops, whispers, fireplace sounds or my personal favorite - Bob Ross on Twitch. Often when I’m really badly anxious my boyfriend wraps me in a blanket and put Bob Ross on the background. After a couple of “happy little accidents” and a finished painting - I feel relieved.

Try Essential Oils

Thanks to our brain anatomy, memories and emotions (both good and bad) can be triggered by smells. I find this fascinating, so I’ve tried to do basic research on aromatherapy and how essential oils can be used for therapeutic purposes: relieve anxiety, stress or even sooth pain or upcoming flu! If you don’t want to invest in a diffuser, there are aromatherapeutic roll-ons on the market. You can also apply a beautiful face oil on your hands, cup your hands around your nose and mouth, deep inhale and exhale 3 times and apply the oil – maybe perform a little facial massage?

The Right Kind of Music

Emphasizing the word right kind of music for you. Preferably use good quality earphones - even at home - and blast it. Turn up the volume. Sing along or dance like nobody’s watching. Both of those are difficult for me (tone-deaf and two left feet) but after a glass of wine while doing the dishes I might jam along. I’ve noticed for me it’s melancholic songs that do the trick, but some bass is nice as well. Usually I have some sentimental attachment to the song, perhaps browse your old favorites? Here’s some of my songs that give the feels, if you care to listen:

Sia - The Greatest (or whole This Is Acting album)
Raf - Self Control
Gotye, Kimbra - Somebody I Used To Know
The Flaming Lips - Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots Part 1
Björk - Bachelorette
Death Cab For Cutie - Soul Meets Body

What’s your favorite way to get in some self-care? Especially when you’re not really in the mood for it or occupied with other tasks? For more self-care inspiration you might enjoy reading my Beauty Rituals For Stressed Mind (here I also explain the importance of self-care) and Beauty Tips When You Are Feeling Down. Have a lovely start for the week! xx

A Simple Guide To Acne Scars and How To Tackle Them At Home (w/ Before-and-After Photos)

I don't know which was more annoying - an actual red angry spot on my cheek or the mark that was left behind for weeks to come. I've talked about my acne journey on this blog, but little how to clear marks, scars, pigmentation whathaveyou that are left behind. Today I'm writing a simple beginner-friendly guide what are possible pigmentation issues and what are the options in treating them.

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Different types of "acne scars"

Most common types of "acne scars" can be divided to three types:

  • Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH)
  • Post Inflammatory Erythema (PIE)
  • Atrophic scars

Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH)

Hyperpigmentation occurs when the skin overproduces melanin and there are several forms like freckles, age spots, birthmarks, melasma and PIH. PIH is temporary hyperpigmentation caused by inflammation; when a wound or irritation becomes inflamed the skin naturally heals itself by producing melanin, a protein that gives skin its color. These causes of inflammation can be acne, rash, injuries, chemical peels etc.

All skin types can get PIH but it's more prevalent in dark tones of skin because of overactivity of cells that produce melanin. PIH usually looks like red, pink, brown or dark discoloration depending on the skin tone and depth of discoloration. Although the sun doesn't cause PIH it can darken the marks and prolong the fading time.

Post Inflammatory Erythema (PIE)

PIE are pinkish red spots that can also be result by acne, injuries, sun exposure, etc traumas. The color is different as this is not a melanin-induced problem, but caused by broken capillaries (small vessels) under our skin. This triggers the increase of blood flow to heal the wound.

There's a DIY (non-accurate) test to determine if your marks are PIE: apply pressure on the wound to see if the pink spots temporarily disappear. PIH or rosacea is not affected by this, but often people may have the combination of both PIE and PIH.

Atrophic Scars

Sometimes called icepick, boxcar or rolling scars, atrophic scars are indentations left behind by acne, chicken pox or inflammation. Atrophic scars are loss of tissue that may look like dents, uneven skin tone, enlarged large pores or holes. These scars are often permanent or difficult to treat without professional help.

 A Simple Guide to Acne Scars | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

I don't have many pictures of my acne, but I found old iPad selfies from ~4 years ago. 

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And here's me today (with cat fluff on my face haha) with zero makeup. Read more about my acne journey.

How to treat acne scars At Home?

First of all, you should see a dermatologist if the pigmentation changes it's shape, size, color or itches/bleeds. If you're prone to moles, getting them checked once a year doesn't do any harm! Treating pigmentation and scaring at home with over-the-counter products isn't an instant process and might take several months to fade, For more abrasive (prescription) ingredients, vascular lazers and chemical peels, again, check your dermatologist or even local GP. Here's what I've learned to be effective at home:

1) Sunscreen. If sunscreen isn't already a part of your daily routine please consider adding it! Sun protection can protect and even prevent from many health and pigmentation issues. Also, if you choose to exfoliate your skin the 'fresh' skin underneath is more prone to sun sensitivity and burning. I've told many of my friends that it's a waste to spend big $$$ in wrinkle serums or pigmentation treatments if you neglect sunscreen.

2) Increasing the cell turnover. Alpha hydroxy acids (AHA), especially glycolic acid, are excellent for treating pigmentation. Acids exfoliate the surface of the skin by loosening up the dead skin cell bonds on the epidermis, leaving skin feeling fresh, more even and smooth. Faster your cells renew the quicker you can get rid of PIH. Personally I like using a gentle daily toner with AHA, natural fruit enzymes and humectants. Sometimes I opt for a stronger mask.

3) There are prescription ingredients (Hydroquinone, Azelaic acid, Retinoids), that inhibit tyrosinase aka an enzyme that catalyses the production of melanin, but personally I prefer gentler ingredients with "skin lightening" properties that have high antioxidant content such as licorice root, Arbutin, Niacinamide and Vitamin C. Perhaps look for a serum that has a high concentration of these ingredients.

4) Don't pick, pop or abrasively scrub and monitor your skin's irritation. You don't want more inflammation, bacteria or further damage the skin!

5) Take your time, be kind to yourself. Frustrating advice, yes, but don't get depressed as most scaring is not permanent. (Meanwhile there's always concealer..).

Share your thoughts!

Have you battled with acne scaring? What has improved your skin the most? Also, is there anything acne related you'd like me to talk about next? Click here to read my previous posts if you fancy.

And finally, happy September! To be honest I'm baffled that August is gone. Just a moment ago we were whining about the heatwave in Europe and then the weeks just flew by! I love it how bright it is in Helsinki during the Summer time, I can't stand the idea the mornings are going to be dark soon. Sigh.