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  • Lip Locked: 5 Moisture Tips for the Perfect Pout

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    Lips enable us to kiss the people we love, put the ‘P’ into pooch and make funny fish faces when we are bored. But do we ever stop to think about the difference between our lips and the rest of our skin? And do our lips deserve special treatment?

    Although the lips have a dermis and epidermis like the rest of the body, the uppermost layer called the Stratum Corneum is much thinner than anywhere else on your body. Your lips also don’t have any sebaceous glands, which assist in keeping the skin soft and protected. Their only source of moisture is your saliva, and that’s why they can easily become dry and chapped. Another difference between your lips and the rest of your skin is that your lips don’t have any melanin, the pigment that darkens when you’re exposed to the sun. Melanin is your body’s natural way of protecting your skin from ultraviolet rays, and because your lips don’t have any, they’re at a higher risk of getting sunburned.

    So it’s pretty clear that our poor old lips need some assistance in order to stay hydrated, plumped and free from cracks. Enter lip balms!

    A basic lip balm is usually formulated using a barrier ingredient like petrolatum or beeswax with the addition of perhaps a humectant and something that smells and tastes nice. Sounds fine, but a humectant’s job is to attract water—so if there is no water in the product, guess where the water is drawn from. Yes, you! And fragrance may make you imagine you are biting into a fat juicy strawberry but actually can cause dryness and irritation of itself.

    So what can you do to keep those lips luscious?

    1. If you lick your lips, STOP! Although it can be a difficult habit to break, licking your lips can contribute significantly to dry, cracked skin. The saliva evaporates quickly, taking with it any moisture that was already on your lips and leaving them even drier, especially in winter air.

    2. If winter weather has left your home cool and dry, consider using a humidifier to increase the level of moisture in the air around you. This can be especially helpful if you run it overnight in your bedroom while you sleep.

    3. Exfoliate lips gently with a rice bran exfoliant and follow with a hydrating masque to combat roughness and cracking.

    4. Apply a protective treatment balm before leaving the house with shea butter to enhance the barrier, oats and lavender to soothe irritation and an anti-ozonate complex to guard against environmental aggressors.

    5. Before closing your eyes at night slather on a renewing lip complex to provide ultimate conditioning while minimizing fine dry lines around the lip line. Sophisticated peptides are a must here as they will condition the skin while stimulating collagen formation.

    Get started now with these simple pick-me-up lip tips for the perfect, kissable pout.

  • Show the Love for Valentine’s Day

    Heather HickmanWhether you have already been stung by cupid, are still waiting for the first arrow to strike, or have spent the past year plotting the demise of that pesky cherub, there is no escaping the fact that it’s nearly Valentine’s Day.

    I’m a big fan of the Japanese version of Valentine’s Day. On February 14th it is only the women that give gifts (traditionally chocolate) and then on March 14th there is “White Day” where the men give more impressive gifts like, ooh, I don’t know… Louis Vuitton bags and Gucci shoes… genius, right?

    Anyhow, I digress… regardless of your feelings on the matter, Valentine’s Day is BIG business, over $15 billion last year in the US alone, and my assumption is that you would like a piece of the heart shaped pie, yes?

    Yet, much like the rules of dating, there are rules for Valentine’s Day promotions:

    Rule 1: Remember your brand
    When planning any type of promotion or event, you must start by ensuring you do not deviate too far from your brand image. It can be tempting to go overboard with hearts and candy, but remember the best way to sustain business is not to position yourself as a “pampering treat,” but rather a health conscious necessity. Keep it simple and keep it branded!

    Rule 2: Think big picture
    Valentine’s Day is the perfect time for treatment promotions to gain new clients, but the key is to retain them. Look at introducing treatment promotions for February that have an incentive attached to rebook for a follow up treatment in March.

     

    Rule 3: Climb outside of the box
    Gift Certificate promotions are great, but maybe it’s time to get a little more creative to stand out from the crowd? How about a couple’s workshop on foot or shoulder massage techniques? Charge a workshop fee that is redeemable against product purchases or treatment bookings made on the night of the event, (remember, you need to gain AND retain them).

    Rule 4: Don’t discriminate
    The singletons need love too… target your single clients through direct email and your social media outlets and encourage them to bring an unattached friend to your “Single and Sensational” event. Incorporate skin lessons and short targeted treatments like eye rescue or lip renewal. Don’t forget to make it fun; maybe have some music, a healthy cocktail (remember your brand) and a goodie bag with an incentive to come back and book a full treatment with you.

    Rule 5: Share the love!
    Valentine’s Day is all about showing some love, so how about sharing it? Charge a registration fee for any event or promotion you introduce this month and donate the proceeds to your favorite non-profit organization; embedded generosity goes a long way… even with that persistent cupid!