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Pukker up for fab Lips; Beauty Buzz.

Byline: Demelza de Burca

BIG and beautiful lips could hold the secret to looking younger, according to new research. Women with larger lips were perceived as being more youthful than those with thin lips.

"When we identified people who looked young for their age, we were struck by the difference in their lips," said David Gunn, a research scientist at Unilever, which funded the international study.

Lips naturally get thinner as people get older and the study found that the rate at which this happens is genetically determined.

Other signs of ageing, such as wrinkles and age spots, are determined by a mixture of genetics and environmental factors. But what if you're not naturally blessed with Angelina's bee-stung mouth? Pucker up, girls with the latest cosmetics to help you achieve kissable lips.

LIP-SWELLING GLOSS A cosmetic that not only aims to give your lips a shine, but to make them swell and appear fuller. Two of the biggest sellers are Too Faced Lip Injection (Boots, EUR15) and U.S. brand DuWop Lip Venom (HQhair.com, EUR17.50).

"The secret ingredient in nearly all these products is capsicum, the active ingredient in peppers," says Dr Chris Flower, director general of the Cosmetic, Toiletry & Perfumery Association. "When applied to the lips, it causes the blood vessels to dilate, which causes localised swelling. This is why there is a tingle when the gloss is applied. It is a similar, but much milder, effect to putting chilli on your lips."

ANTI-AGEING LIPSTICK Anything from shiny lip glosses to wrinkle creams that claim to decrease lines and make lips look more youthful over time. Contain hyaluronic acid and/or collagen, which are used in fillers.

Sally Hansen Lip Inflation Extreme (Boots EUR8.95); Bare Escentuals Buxom Lips (Bareescentuals. co.uk, EUR19); L'Oreal's Wrinkle De-Crease Collagen Filler Double-Action Lip (Boots, EUR12).

Dr Flower says: "They work in the same way as anti-wrinkle creams for the face, so they smooth out lines and wrinkles gradually.

"Compared to lip-swelling glosses, there is far less of an instant visual impact."

LIP SMOOTHER Acts in the same way as foundation: it goes on under lipstick to smooth the lips. Benefit Lip Plump (EUR20.50) and POP Lip magnet Primer (ASOS.com, EUR10).

Dr Flower says a clever combination of ingredients means the primer stays on the lip without cracking and allows it to act just like Polyfilla to fill in lines. The more wrinkles and lines you have, the harder the product has to work.

GO NATURAL For a natural option, a routine of brushing the lips with a toothbrush exfoliates the skin. Add oil of cinnamon leaf or niacin (available from health shops) to increase blood flow and glow.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jan 21, 2010
Words:450
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