Beauty Base - Ark Plumping Lip Balm for Luscious Lips

A full and luscious smile

Voluptuous may not be the look you are seeking except for when it comes to your lips, when a full and luscious smile is what you want.

Poppy Watt discovers you can achieve this look the natural way with Ark’s Plumping Lip Balm and the clever use of cosmetics.

Research suggests that swollen lips are more biologically attractive than smaller lips.  In other words this is the kissable look, based on reasoning that sexual arousal increases blood flow to the lips and makes them swell and appear fuller.

Just watch someone’s lips and you’ll see the essential part they play, speaking, smiling, expressing emotion.   They are such an active part of the face that it’s no surprise they are in the spotlight.

Nobody, however, wants to end up with the trout pout which marks cosmetic treatment gone horribly wrong but the fuller lip look can be achieved more naturally with a product like ark plumping lip balm, a creamy lip treatment, which is simple to apply. Just smooth a thin layer of the soothing formula over lips and fine lines around the mouth to help to improve moisture levels in dry, cracked and sensitive lips, leaving them hydrated.

The concentrated moisturising action protects from water loss and extreme weather conditions, while the anti-ageing formula, containing natural peptides, reduces the appearance of surface folds and fine lines around the lips. As a result the lip contours are enhanced giving a plumped up appearance.

To help keep lips hydrated another useful tip is to drink plenty of water, more than 2 liters a day is ideal.

Cosmetics can also instantly enhance the shape of your your lips –just follow these basic make up tricks for a perfect pout.

Prep the lips first: exfoliate lips before applying colour to ensure your lips are soft and smooth. There are exfoliating lip scrubs on the market but you could use a soft-bristled children's toothbrush in circular motions. Then dust a veil of light cosmetic powder over lips with a brush to ensure they are free from moisture.

Apply lipliner: no one has a perfectly symmetrical mouth and a lip liner gives the impression of plumping your lips instantly by making them look bigger, while correcting and enhancing the shape and stopping your lipstick from bleeding.

When applying lip liner, you need to be firm enough to create emphasis without dragging and yet soft enough to give a good shape. Apply lip liner on the outer edge of your natural lip line - to give the illusion of a fuller mouth you can even move the line out slightly, still giving an overall natural look.

To help your lip colour last longer on your lips, fill in the rest of the mouth with lip liner before applying your lipstick.

Use lipstick plus gloss: dust over lips once again with a light powder and try applying the lipstick as a soft stain rather than a full-on effect. This will give less lipstick buildup and stop the product bleeding.

Dab your lips with a tissue after the first lipstick application and then reapply a second time to make the colour last. The best way of applying lip-gloss is gliding it over lips - it is great for lip plumping because it allows light to reflect from the surface of the lip, giving the illusion of fullness and depth.

Finish with highlighter: to give even more depth to lips, use a shimmer highlighter. Dab lightly with your fingertip to the outer edge and the bow of the lip. This gives you a fuller top lip instantly and adds definition.

Ark plumping lip balm, £26, is available from the Ark Skincare Centre in Putney, via ark at home, as well as online

Poppy Watt