A Guide to Lip Care in Cold Weather (Plus the Least Drying Liquid Lipsticks in Canada!)


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So I know what you're thinking: Why are you writing a guide to lip care in cold weather? Well, there are a few reasons.

  1. Because I want to.
  2. I live in the Arctic, which is super dry.
  3. I almost exclusively wear liquid lipsticks, which are concurrently the most drying lip products and most likely to highlights dryness or chapping of the lips.
  4. As such, I have over the last years come up with a pretty great lip care routine to deal with dry lips, and I know which liquid lipsticks are the least drying in one of the driest places. So, let's get started!

Oh, and a note on the products mentioned! I tried to list items that are available online and that ship for free within Canada, and more specifically to Nunavut.

Lip Care Routine

To keep your lips healthy and smooth, try these steps!

Stay Hydrated

Drink lots of water! Lips can very quickly show signs of dehydration. As with most body care, what you put on the inside is much more important than whatever you're applying on the outside.

Exfoliate Your Lips

This will remove dead skin and promote regeneration. I do two types of exfoliation, starting with a daily (or twice-daily) gentle scrub with my toothbrush. And I mean gentle! You don't want to tug at your lips; just lightly move your clean toothbrush in a circular motion over your lips after you brush your teeth.

For a more intense exfoliation, I use a lip scrub about once a week. Recently, I've been using the Citrus Enzyme Lip Exfoliator from the Eminence Lip Trio ($60 at Beauty Sense), which I received as a gift from my very thoughtful brother. But normally, I use a DIY scrub. There are lots of great DIY lip scrub recipes online; here's mine:

2 parts sugar (white or brown, or a mix) 1 part coconut oil (you can also use olive oil) Optional: 1 part honey; 1-2 drops essential oil

Mix the sugar and oil together to form a paste and store in a container (this stuff can last for months). Once or twice a week, use a small amount on your lips, rubbing with your fingers in a circular motion. The sugar will gently scrub your lips, and the oil gives you some hydration. Plus, the stuff tastes pretty good.

Note: If your lips and the skin around them are sensitive, use brown sugar; it's less abrasive.

Use Good Lip Balm!

After your lips are exfoliated and rinsed, they will need some moisture. Try to find lip balms that are all natural and don't contain ingredients like petrolatum or palmitates. These don't allow your lips to breathe, and they're kind of gross  (I mean, the former is petroleum-based; not something you want to consume).

To be honest, I've debated the organic/natural lip balm advice, namely because the lipsticks I wear are not all natural - so does it matter that my lip balm is? Ultimately, I have decided to use natural products on my lips as much as possible, because it just seems like the healthy thing to do, to balance out some of the chemicals that come with my makeup products (which, at least, are not tested on animals).

When it comes to lip balms, my school of thought is that you need two types: one with sunscreen (this is a must!), and one without. For the sunscreen version, I love, love, love Jack Black's Moisture Therapy Lip Balm with SPF 25 ($9 at Sephora). It's absorbs quickly with very little shine, and comes in a variety of flavours (though why they bother selling anything except the Black Tea option is beyond me; it's clearly the best). Justin and I both use this product, and we both can't say enough good things about it.

I also like having a lip balm without SPF for nighttime or post-exfoliation use. Again, I am currently using the Citrus Lip Balm in the Eminence Lip Trio (the entire line is all natural), but normally, I just slick on some Burt's Bees. If you do want to get a natural lip balm, look at the ingredients. It should just be a blend of oils, maybe with beeswax, and that's it.

Lip Therapy

This is not a necessity, but if your lips are dry, or if like me, you wear hard-to-remove, drying lipsticks, you may want to inject your pout with a little extra love. The Eminence Lip Trip includes a Lip Comfort and Plumping Mask, which is intensely hydrating. I also love First Aid Beauty's Ultra Repair Lip Therapy ($15 at Sephora). Like the lip scrub, you only need to apply a mask or deep conditioner to your lips once a week.

The Best Liquid Lipsticks for Dry, Cold Climates

If you've spoken to me at all in the last year, you've heard me raving about liquid lipsticks. Why do I love them so much? First, the ones I use dry completely matte. And then, once dried, they do not transfer. I mean, nothing on your glass, nothing on your clothes, nothing on your lovers. Usually, I have to maybe touch up my lips once a day - even if I eat and drink and kiss. I'm pretty low-maintenance with my beauty routine, so I look for efficiency and durability. Good liquid lipsticks have both in spades!

Now, as stated in the intro, liquid lipsticks are very drying. There's no way around that. They go on as a liquid, and then dry to a powdery, matte finish that accentuates lines, chapping, and dry spots. Doing a lip care routine will make your lips smoother so matte lipsticks will look better, but what can we do about the inherent drying nature? Nothing really - except use products that are less drying!

My ever-growing liquid lipstick collection cobtains a number of brands, but again, I will focus on the ones that can be shipped to Nunavut for free. Here are the available-in-Canada, free-to-ship-to-Nunavut liquid lipsticks I am comparing:

Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick ($24 at Sephora) NYX Lip Lingerie ($9 at NYX) NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream ($9 at NYX) Sephora Cream Lip Stain ($18 at Sephora) Stila Stay-All-Day Liquid Lipstick ($31 at Sephora)

And the least drying liquid lipstick?

Soft Matte Lip Cream by NYX! This liquid lipstick is one of my favourites. It's very comfortable to wear, long-lasting, and cheap. It's not as pigmented as the Kat Von D or Stila options, which are amazing and I still wear them all the time, dryness be damned, but you can build it up with a few layers to get some great coverage. The colour line is huge, too, with each lip cream named after a different city. My most-used colour is for sure Copenhagen (a dark berry), though I also love Monte Carlo (classic red), Morocco (bright orange), and Seoul (purple) - which all happen to be cities I've visited IRL, which is fun.

Also really fantastic, and nearly just as good as the Soft Matte Lip Cream, is NYX's Lip Lingerie line, which is also cheap. I love Beauty Mark (milk chocolate) and Honeymoon (grey-ish brown). The Soft Matte Lip Cream gets a higher rating also because of its colour selection (the Lip Lingerie line is all nudes). NYX ships for free if you spend over $45, and they ship fast. I put in an order on a Wednesday and it was in Iqaluit by Friday!

I also regularly recommend Sephora's Cream Lip Stain (Marvellous Mauve is my favourite colour from this collection). It's more drying than the NYX options, but still quite comfortable. However, it is double the price, so if you're new to liquid lipsticks, you may want to experiment with the NYX offerings first!

So what about the Stila and Kat Von D lines? Well, they're known for being some of the best liquid lipsticks, ever. Kat Von D's colour range is to die for (some colours are impossible to find; Lolita is one of them, and also a favourite of mine), and Stila really started the liquid lipstick trend. The products look fabulous (I'm wearing Stila's liquid lipstick in Ricco below), but, they are drying, and I really feel that when I'm wearing them in Iqaluit. You can still wear them (I do); just note that you'll feel them on your lips, especially after about six to eight hours of wear. Both are available from Sephora, which ships for free anywhere in Canada (and fast!) if you spend over $50.

When your lipstick matches your buttons and your armchair and the buttons on your armchair.

A photo posted by Anubha Momin (@_anubha) on

One final tip: I usually start my (pretty basic) makeup routine by putting on a layer of lip balm, and then doing my brows, eyeliner, and mascara. This gives the lip balm time to absorb, and I finish with my liquid lipstick choice of the day. This really helps keep your lips from feeling mega dry, and gives a smooth base for your lip colour.

I hope this little guide has helped you figure out your routine for lip care in cold weather! I'd love to hear your tips; leave them in the comments.