London: Actress Angelina Jolie has them. So does star Scarlett Johansson, and virtually every young actress, model and wannabe. The them are full and luscious lips which men seem to find irresistable. So what is it about big lips that the male species finds so mesmerizing and sexy? The answer, according to anthropologists, is than women with larger lips, eyes and small noses are supposedly awash with the female hormone oestrogen, and therefore at the peak of their fertility, thus provoking a mating response.
Whatever the reason soft fulsome lips are undoubtedly appealing and one of the focal points for intimate engagement between the sexes. Unfortunately, many of us, take the time to make the best of them. So how do youmaximize your pouting potential?
The first is to give up smoking. The No 1 turn-off for kissable lips in men and women is cigarette smoking. The UK Governments anti-smoking campaign www.uglysmoking.info uses delightful phrases such as minging teeth to describe the effect bad breath and nicotine-stained teeth have on other people.
Smoking depletes skin of oxygen and produces an enzyme that breaks down the collagen in the skin this means it looses elasticity. It prematurely ages skin by between 10 and 20 years and increases wrinkling by three times, particularly around the eyes and mouth, stains the teeth and causes gum disease and tooth loss.
Its official: Smoking does make you less attractive to the opposite sex:
According to a survey by the NHS Smoking Helpline, which asked over 1,000 men and women aged 18-35 for their views on smoking:
Nearly half of men associated smoking with wrinkles, bad skin, and less enjoyable kissing
Over two-thirds of young men and women, and over half of smokers, say smoking reduces sexual attractiveness
Three-quarters said smoking became more unattractive to the opposite sex during 2004 – and predicted the decline will continue in 2005
Nearly half of smokers said theyd quit to improve their sex appeal
Dr Bav Shergill of the British Association of Dermatologists says: Giving up smoking is the cheapest and best way to improve skin quality and vitality. Many of us spend a small fortune on moisturisers and make-up to make sure we look our best. Smoking completely undermines such efforts it gives a sallow complexion, adds years to your face and degrades collagen, making skin less elastic. Giving up smoking can not only add years to your life, it also adds years to your appearance and can help stop premature aging before its too late.
Jane Marsh, a dermatological expert at the Skin Health Spa in London’s Wigmore Street says: From the age of thirty fine lines and wrinkles around the mouth begin to show. Smokers may find that they begin even earlier than that.
Vertical lines feathering upwards are a real give-away, they also affect the application of lipstick as the colour tends to ‘bleed’ into the lines, leaving a smudged effect. The perfect lips should ideally be the same size, and slightly plump with a defined vermilion border. It is a fact that the blood flow increases to the lips with sexual arousal, making them redder. This is why women have traditionally applied red lipstick.
To get your lips looking the very best, Jane recommends a combination of aesthetic treatments such as micro-dermabrasion, laser and a natural filler to plump out the lips and give volume. The Swedish company Q Med has recently launched Restylane Lipp containing natural hyaluronic acid, a precursor to collagen, for giving you the perfect volume lip. There are also a number of over the counter lip plumpers that give you the bee-stung look in minutes.
Having teeth whitened is a quick way to get an instant improvement to the way your mouth looks. London dentist Dr Phil Stemmer is a tooth whitening specialist and numbers among his clients many celebrities such as Judge Law, Laura Bailey, Patsy Kensit, Sadie Frost and others. But he also sees many people who have lost their self-esteem as a result of stained and mis-shapen teeth.
I see many patients whose teeth are not naturally very white or that have become stained because of a lot of different things such as wine, tea and coffee. One of the most popular treatments to put this right is tooth whitening which can lift the colour of the teeth by several shades. Chipped and mis-shapen teeth can be corrected with veneers which are very effective.
Aesthetics for Lips
A mechanical exfoliator gently removes superficial layers of skin, removing damaged cells and fine lines. As a result new skin and collagen are encouraged. This can be carried out around the mouth area alone or as a full facial treatment. Costs from $100
The N-lite is a non invasive laser treatment for the removal or reduction in the appearance of lines and wrinkles as well as scarring. The laser light penetrates the outer layer of the skin, the epidermis, stimulating the growth of new collagen and plumping out lines. Costs from $1,200 for a course of three.
Recently added to the Restylane range of aesthetics, this treatment is uses advanced non-animal hyaluronic acid gel and is designed specifically to create beautifully shaped lips. Restylane Lipp gives lips a natural fullness and a more sensuous look, leaving lips soft to touch. Also boosts the skins hydration system to lift and smooth away fine lines, creating a natural fullness. This has the additional benefit of hydrating the lips and improving their condition. Also creates volume and can be used to simply plump lip edges into a cupids bow. Costs in the region of $800.
Sexual relationship expert Tracey Cox, author of Superflirt, recommends the following techniques to make the most of your lips on Valentines Day:
Step 1. Double up on the smiles: Smiling is contagious and it’s the quickest, most subtle way to show interest without looking desperate. Greet them with a broad, friendly grin which shows all your teeth.
Step 2. Look at their mouth loads: The more we’re attracted to someone, the more time we spend looking at their mouth. It’s a very, very sexy gesture because the person can’t help but think “I wonder if they’re imagining what it would be like to kiss me?”
Step 3. Put a pen in your mouth or stroke your lips: If you’ve got great teeth, you’re effectively pointing to one of your best assets. Plus you’re sending a pseudosexual signal because mouths are an erotic zone.
Step 4. Use the killer threesome: Combine a smile, leaning forward and a touch and you’ve sent the clearest signal you find them attractive.
Interesting Kissing Facts
– The average person spends 336 hours of his or her life kissing. At an approximate length of one minute each, thats 20,160 kisses in a lifetime!
– About 30 muscles work very actively during the renowned French kiss: twelve of them control the movements of lips and eleven muscles are responsible for the tongue.
– The longest kiss ever lasted for 17 days, 10 hours and 30 minutes. The record can be found in the Guinness Book of World Records, although the kissing couple had to be hospitalised with severe exhaustion. When they recovered, they never met each other again.
– The average person burns off 26 calories in a one-minute passionate kiss.
– People who kiss their partner every morning take fewer sick days from work, have fewer car accidents on their way to work and live about five years longer.
-Kissing can release hormones and endorphins that relieve stress, lower blood pressure and make us feel younger
-The bacteria in our mouths protects us against other bacteria coming in – good news as scientists believe that over five million bacteria pass between you and your partner in just one passionate kiss!
-Kissing can help fight tooth decay. Kissing increases your mouth’s production of saliva and saliva helps clean your mouth aiding prevention of tooth decay.
Home treats for lips
MegaLips by Dr Denese of New York bigger, beautiful lips instantly
MegaLips is a unique dual-action lip-plumping cream proven to provide both immediate and long-term lip enhancement. Tactive ingredient, a derivative of the chilli family, stimulates blood flow to the lips, helping to redefine lip border and giving fuller lips within 10-15 minutes after application. Lasts for two hours. Costs £17.95 and is available from Dr Denese on 0870 1900 003 or online at www.drdenese.co.uk
Yon-Ka Le Baume anti-ageing for lips
From France, using the highest quality ingredients, including essential oils and minerals are two rescue remedies for lips that contain the antioxidant lycopene found in tomatoes and protects the lips against harsh environmental elements and help delay the appearance of unsightly fine lines. Baume Levres City – for daily comfort and natural lips. Costs £17.00 and Baume Levres SPF 10 – to protect lips against sun damage whilst giving them a lovely burgundy colour costs £17.00
Stockists on 0207 518 8370 and website is www.yonka.com
Autograph Illusions Plumping Lip Base
A moisturising and plumping lip base which is applied at least three times a day to see a noticeable increase in lip volume. It contains a patented ingredient called Sepilift which plumps and firms the lips, together with a conditioning combo of mango butter and grapeseed oil. It can be worn under lipstick or on its own for a really natural looking tint. Optical diffusers help soften the appearance of surface imperfections. It also comes in a handy easy-to-use pen. Costs £11 from Marks & Spencer
Alpha-H Hydra Nutrience for Lips and Eyes
This is a light-weight enriched cream that nourishes, protects and smoothes the delicate eye and lip area. It has a combination of hydrating ingredients that protect against the environment including essential oils of apricot, jojoba, evening primrose and rosehip and vitamins A, E, F, H and B Complex and herbal soothers such as Chamomile and Eyebright. Suitable for al skin types. Alpha-H Hydra Nutrience costs £39.00 and is available from Harrods and www.HQHair.com
Transformulas Lip Volume Lip Gloss and Lip Volume
Lip VolumeLip Gloss comes in two colours, Scrumptious Chocolate which releases a rich deep iridescent golden glow of colour, and Alluring Cherry, which enhances the lips with a rosy blush. It works by stimulating natural collagen production and contains the natural ingredients Cera Alba (bees wax), Vitamin E, Avocado Oil, Macadamia Nut Oil, Soya Oil and Camomile. Costs £19.95. For stockists and mail order: 0161 947 8888 or visit the web site www.transformulas.com
Jason Natural Cosmetics Toothpastes and Mouthwashes
These natural alternatives for oral care include natural advanced formulas which are non-flouride, chalk free, power whitening and breath freshening. There are four flavours:PowerSmile Peppermint;.Sea Fresh Deep Sea Spearmint; Healthy Mouth Tea Tree, Clove & Cinnamon and NutriSmile Citrus & Spice. Toothpaste is £ 4.95 and Mouthwashes£5.99 and available at health and natural food stores. For Stockist and Mail-order call 08450 725 825.
Line and Seal Cosmetic Pencils from Semi-Permanent Make-up artist Debra Robson Lawrence
For lasting perfection, leading semi-permanent makeup artist, Debra Robson Lawrence has introduced Line and Seal Cosmetic Pencils. These miracle pencils are clinically proven to provide 24 hour saying power for eyes and brows and 12 hours of pouting potential for lips. Debra also carries out several semi-permanent treatments to eliminate the need for liners and lipsticks. Cosmetic pencils are £10. For more information contact 0845 230 2021 or www.permanent-makeup.com
Pro Peptide Lip Plumpers from Dermaglow
From Canada, the Dermaglow Lip Plumpers is a lip plumper that stimulates collagen production, thickening the epidermis by regenerating the skins upper layers resulting in thicker, plumper lips. Comes in a number of colours, Café Latte, Bordeaux, bronze and pink. Costs £19.99 . Available in salons for stockists and online at www.dermaglow.co.uk
Prepout from Medik8
Prepout increases lip volume instantly, however maximum results over for 30 days. Increases lip size and definition and reduces surface folds. Costs £27 stockists or mail order 0845 673 2222 or visit www.medik8.comto order online.
P8N8 Multi Vita Lip Volume Contour Moisture
A lip moisturizer that stimulates collagen to define the lips and make them smoother and firmer. With continued use there is a marked decrease in wrinkles with improved hydration and enhancement of the 3d effects of the lip. Stops feathering of your lipstick and can also be used as an emergency hydration treatment around the eyes. Costs £33.00
Available on-line at www.p8n8.co.uk or ring 0845 193 0194.
Palmers Cocoa Butter Formula Lipbalm
This moisturising lipbalm protects gets the impact of the weather and uses 100 pure cocoa butter enriched with vitamin E and a SPF 15 sunscreen.The secret of Cocoa Butter is its melting point which is just below body temperature. Once applied, Palmers Cocoa Butter Formula lip balm deeply hydrates to result in lips that are supple and soft.
Costs £1.59 and is available from Boots, Superdrug, Selfridges and independent chemists.
Made of natural ingredients this lip balm can be worn at all times and has a cold-sore fighting ingredient, glycyrrhizic acid (GA). GA specifically targets the genes that are required to maintain the virus in its latent state by interfering with the production of special proteins that feed the infected cells. Recent research published in the US Journal of Clinical Investigation in March this year has shown that liquorice actually has the ability, in some cases, to eradicate the cold sore virus which lies dormant in between outbreaks.Liquorice Balm costs £10.99 for 30ml and is available from the Skin Shop on 0871 871 9975 or online at www.skinshop.co.uk
This natural chewing gum made from a natural resin taken from Pistacia Lentiscus Tree from the Greek island of Chios, helps fight bad breath, particularly that caused by mouth ulcers. It works by decreasing acidity and attacks foreign organisms such as H. pylori by disrupting their energy production and then rupturing their cells. It is also an antiseptic and significantly reduces plaque and gingival index and so is helpful for general oral hygiene. It costs £14.99 for 25 pellets and is available from Skin Shop. Call: 0871 871 9975 or visit www.skinshop.co.uk
All Mouth Breathe Freshening Essence
All Mouth is sugar free, concentrated formula that contains the natural extracts such as peppermint and parsley, for soothing and sanitizing the mouth. A few drops of this essence will freshen the breath, enliven the senses and make you totally kissable this Valentines.£4.50 from Harrods, Selfridges. Stockist details call 01903 719429 www.templespa.com
Restylane Information Line 0800 015 5548. www.restylane.co.uk and practioners: Fiona and Marie Aesthetics, 30 Devonshire Street, London W1 tel 020 7908 3773; Jane Marsh at the Skin Health Spa, 87 Wigmore Street, London W1 tel 020 7935 3366
Contact: Dr Phil Stemmer, Conan Doyle House, 2 Devonshire Place, W1. T: 020 7935 0407 www.drphilstemmer.co.ukor www.freshbreath.co.uk