Wedding kiss without lipstick

First off, abandon any cutesy ideas you might have about a passionate lip-lock involving tongues. I’ve seen this done, and while it looked like loads of fun, it left the couple’s grandparents mortified and the groom looking distinctly clownish (slap a red rubber nose on that man!) A lingering, close-lipped kiss is about as daring as one can get without risking several kinds of embarrassment. Be demure!

Next, you must prepare your lips for the smooching they are about to receive. Fortunately, in recent years makeup companies have caught on to the fact that women actually use their mouths for smiling, eating, drinking, kissing, and speaking, and have started producing lipsticks that take these activities into account. Nowadays a lady can kiss with impunity — well, she can’t kiss everyone she wants to, especially after the wedding, but those whom her lips do touch needn’t fear bearing the greasy evidence on their faces. I’ve field-tested some of these space-age lipsticks myself, and am more than happy to provide reviews below.

In general, “smudgeproof”, “budgeproof”, and “transfer-resistent” lipsticks are matte rather than glossy. They contain high-tech ingredients, the details of which I won’t go into here (not only because it’s irrelevant but because I majored in English in college and have no hope of understanding the chemistry involved.)

They go on feeling lubricious like the ordinary lipsticks of yore, but over a minute or two the liquid component evaporates and leaves behind only the color. The physics here are simple enough for even me to understand: if a substance is not at all oily or liqueous, it can’t get smeared on anything it comes in contact with. An unfortunately side-effect that many women complain of is that it makes their lips feel dry, almost powdery. Some never get used to it and would rather spend their lives leaving semicircles of pink on their coffee cups.

The other thing is that when they set, they’re set for a good long time. You have to correct any boo-boos immediately or your skin will stain. And if your lips are chapped, every flake will stick out like a white cat hair on a black velvet jacket. Before you use a stay-on lipstick, therefore, I’d advise lip exfoliation: put petroleum jelly on your lips, allowing it to set for several minutes to soften the dead skin. Then, using a soft-bristled toothbrush, gently rub away the loosened flakes. Remove any remaining jelly or balms from your lips before applying the color.

Because of the drying effect, it’s tempting to apply stay-on lipsticks over a layer of moisturizer, but this causes the color to adhere to the moisturizer rather than the skin itself, and you’re back to having the same troubles that you experience with those irritatingly low-tech lipsticks: an oily substance will transfer to whatever it touches.

I hope this advice assists you in kissing with confidence!

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