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Ask The Makeup Diva
Welcome to Ask The Makeup Diva™! Our resident expert, The Makeup Diva, answers makeup and skin care questions sent in by readers just like you.

Q: I look terrible in lipstick. I love gloss because I have full lips, so it enhances them. I just look bad in color for my lips, although when I wear clear lip gloss or even light pink, I feel "washed out." Is there any color I can wear?

A: Reportedly, Kim Basinger was self-conscious of her full lips while she was an adolescent, but her father assured her that she would "make a million dollars" from them. How lucky you are! The rest of us use "lip plumpers" to create such sensuality.

The popular makeup "look" now is a muted mouth, with emphasis on eyes and use of glimmer. Some makeup artists suggest that lining your lips and then filling them in with a lip pencil in a subtle shade is a good way to achieve this effect. Follow with gloss.

You can also try BeneFit BeneTint Lip Balm, berry-stained protection with Vitamin E and an SPF factor of 15. Their Dancing Darling Lip Sparkles add understated color, especially in the neutral Count the Beat shade ($16 at BeneFit Cosmetics and Sephora.com).

I've found Lorac Lip and Cheek Tint ($13.50) a "must-have." With a lipbrush, I apply it in Red-Brown; you can control the amount of coverage desired. The stain remains in place, yet it never overwhelms. An added bonus-apply it to the apples of your cheeks to look as though you've just come in from the cold.

Lorac also offers a wonderful, unusual, roll-on Sheer Wash ($24). Formulated for use on lips and cheeks, try Sheer Rapture (a neutral hue with some taupe) or Sheer Emotion (a tad more pink). The name says it all: A color "wash" stays clear, stays light, but keeps you glowing. You may find the price a bit steep, but I love dual-purpose products. Find Lorac online at Sephora.com.

Another option: Visit Gloss.com and experiment with Origins Bite Your Lips colors. As the name suggests, they are made to look as though the color is your own-sheer and natural (remember how Scarlett O'Hara added color to her face?). At $12.50, I've been pleased with Strawberry, Raspberry, and Brownberry. They provide continuous color and never overpower my fair skin.

The finishing gloss which should be on everyone's lips? Kiehl's Lip Balm. It has a worldwide following (even in Singapore!) and is favored by celebrities. At only $5 for a long-lasting tube, it is unbeatable. This potent salve contains wheat germ oil, vitamins A and E, aloe vera, and the least possible preservatives. It protects and enhances lips in the most severe conditions. Find it at Kiehls.com.


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