Queer Beauty Bar: Make Out With My Face This Fall

It’s autumn! Have we started all of our last posts with some type of comment on that? Probably. It’s hard to ignore the turning leaves, cute girls in grandpa sweaters, Festive Fucking Gourd lattes and the wind that’ll peel the tan right off your face. It’s simultaneously romantic and worrisome. Everyone looks so gosh darn cute and you want your face to be all up in theirs, but there are other forces at play.

It’s easier to find photos of lesbian cats making out in leaves than humans. SOMEONE FIX THAT. Via KimballStock

I want to be in love with fall just as much as the next lady, but sometimes my body is like, “DUDE, move somewhere else! I do not like the ensuing winter woes that these moderate autumn temperatures imply. I’m going to show you my distaste for the situation the only way I know how!”

So your skin goes into Revolt Mode and decides to flake and make you feel less than lovely, but hey, we already know one way of dealing with that! So instead I’m going to focus on your mouth instead. No matter how expressive, inviting and non-peely your cheeks and nose are, your lips take priority when making out in a pile of leaves. Keep your pucker happy and smooth this fall since nothing stops a makeout session faster than the corners of your mouth cracking open.


Stay Wet

Get Wet (But probably not this wet). Via Life Style Lebanon

Moisture is key when it comes to keeping your face kissable. When the temperature drops, so does the humidity. So even though you aren’t visibly panting from the heat, it’ll still take a toll on your skin if you aren’t paying attention. Fill up your water bottle post haste to keep your skin plump.

If you find yourself licking your lips to keep your mouth moist, you should probably stop that right now. Even though your chops will seem hydrated for a split second, saliva can actually make it even worse. Make sure your skin has a barrier to prevent your pout from peeling. Chances are I didn’t have to tell you this since you’ve already extoled the virtues of our fav chapsticks and learned how to make your own lip balm, but some conversations are worth revisiting. (Especially when you’re lazy and the pharmacy’s closer than the craft store.) Waxy, water-resistant balms and salves are better at keeping moisture put, so the thicker the better.

I’m a sucker for anything mint since it does double duty. All of a sudden make outs are a tingly experience and your pumpkin beer breath is masked! Lately I’ve become a fan of EOS’ Sweet Mint Balm since the container is super cute, doesn’t require you to dip your fingers and is dog-resistant. A lot of people will warn you about the drying effects of mint, but fuckit. I love me some minty chapstick (or lip ice as my mom might say). CO Bigelow scores points from me for having added SPF in their balm.

In some cases (read: mine) autumn gusts give way to those awful, red cracks at the side of your mouth. One day you’re skipping through the fallen leaves completely carefree and the next you’re asking yourself if you can open your mouth wide enough to eat a juicy apple without wincing like a puppy. Life’s tough guys. Licked lips have been posited as a cause, but also vitamin deficiencies, general dehydration and the wonderful world of bacterial infections. If you happen to be part of my unlucky club and the problem keeps coming up, you might want to talk to your doc to see if there’s an underlying cause. (Because in case it hasn’t been made clear I’m not a doctor and just a gal behind her laptop telling you to make out with people.)


Rub One Out

Exfoliation could be this fun via Pokershrink

So now your lips are hydrated, but they may not be in tip top shape. All of the skin at the surface is dead anyways, but you might have a layer that’s peely, cracky and dull. It simply has to go so call the exfoliants in for backup! By removing that ruddy layer of skin your lips will feel softer and possibly renew at a faster rate.  So get scrubbing.

Your face will be more receptive to a friction attack when it’s already supple and soft. Your lips might bleed if your lips are too dry — which is a definite necking no-go. Hop in the shower (and possibly bring a friend) before you start your scrub-a-dub-dub routine. Give yourself a few minutes to enjoy the suds and steam so your angry skin will be more than happy to get touched.

Sugar is a great way to get rid of some dead skin since the crystals are small and dissolve quickly. You could buy a fancy exfoliant, but it’s still sugar right? Simply mix your sugar with olive oil or scent your concoction for an extra pick-me-up.  I fall on the really lazy (read: forgetful) side of the body potion scale, so minimal is always better for me. Brown sugar. Rub. Rinse. Go.

If that seems like too much work and mess, just keep an extra soft-bristled toothbrush lying around. Once you’re done scrubbing your teeth, brush your bouche to get rid of the bits of skin that are peeling. (I only suggest having a toothbrush for This Sole Purpose because some people are put off by lip scrubbing and I wouldn’t want your bathroom-mate to shame you. )


Leave a Mark (or not)

Wine-coloured mouths for hangover-free makouts via Pokershrink

So now that your lips are all sultry and smooth, it’s time to take them for a spin. If you happen to be absolutely pleased with how you look au naturel, AWESOME. But, if playing with colours is more up your alley, there are a shitton of ways you can play with your face. There shouldn’t be any rules when it comes to makeup, but each September shades of purple and burgundy spring up on the catwalk, in magazines and on my pucker. I’m pretty much drinking the wine-flavoured kool-aid when it comes to autumn makeup trends but there’s just something about thick scarves and tweed that pairs well with vino-inspired shades.

Whether or not you like lip colours, it’s best that you focus on the mouth of your makeout buddy. The virtues of vampy, opaque, matte lipstick have been splashed across glossy mags for the past few seasons, but they really don’t get rewarded when it comes to the bedroom (or the backseat of your car or the last row in the movie theater). Sure, you make look fantastic with a painted pout, but your partner may not feel the same when it’s smeared across their face. Lighter lip prints tend to get a pass, but when you’re messing with Oxblood (as the trendy Pantoners might say) it’s a different ball game.

I have no idea who still wears lipstick, but I’m just going to pretend there are at least two of you, so this message is aimed directly at you (and your partners). Feel special because I love you! I’ve always been a devotee of MAC’s lipstick, but lately I’ve noticed how it fucking gets everywhere. Why not try liquid lipstick or a lipstain to have a bit of pucker power? The normal gripe when it comes to these so-called permanent lip colours is that they have nasty textures or simply don’t work.

I’ve always been a fan of Benetint for that I’ve Been Running Through the Orchard glow, but it doesn’t always have a shitton of staying power. My favourite MAC Everlasting-Gobstopper Permanent Lipstick has been long since discontinued, so I had to branch out. Luckily I discovered Revlon has a 24 hour lipstick that truly doesn’t budge. Amazeballs. I want to hug it and marry it and tell it I’ll stay true to it forever (which might turn out to be a lie). Swipe it a few times to change from translucent to opaque and you’re good to go for all of your apple-munching, pumpkin-spice-latte-swigging, cider-chugging ways. The stickiness disappears as it dries and the result is a perfect wine pout that won’t make people question if you’re sloshed at 10am. When you’re all done just go over your lips with a bit of oil and you’re back to you.


Pack It


As a bonus, you can store all of your favourite happy lip items in an adorable seasonally appropriate pumpkin purse so you’re ready to make out wherever the autumn winds blow you.

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Hailing from Vancouver, Kristen's still trying to figure out how to survive Montreal's Real Legitimate Canadian Winter. So far she's discovered that warm socks, giant toques and Tabby kittens all play a role in her survival. Her ultimate goal is to rank higher than KStew in the "Kristen + Autostraddle" Google Search competition.

Kristen has written 139 articles for us.


  1. In that second picture where it says “GET WET (BUT PROBABLY NOT THIS WET),” the only thing I could think was maybe different kinda lips should be getting that wet


  2. Oh gosh, the awful red cracks at the sides of my mouth have a NAME. This is A Medical Thing That Happens, not just my mouth being effed up and terrible the way my skin is in general during the winter months. JOY.

    • I’ve always found that eating lots of vitamin C things gets rid of them. But maybe you’ve already tried that? Also putting polysporin on them before bed helps

    • That’s how I felt when I saw that! I had this crop up again while on a cross-country road trip, did some googling about vitamin E and scars (it’s not good!), and wound up at plain old petroleum jelly, aka vaseline. Started putting this on the cracked spots on a multiple times a day basis and they went away fairly soon after, and residual redness has lessened and is now disappearing. I was honestly worried this shit would scar my mouth for life.

  3. My stepmum saw me putting on Vaseline and suggested I use lipstick instead. I just didn’t know where to begin with how wrong that was from ‘erm, it’s super drying’ to ‘I’m allergic to a lot of cosmetics’ to ‘I actually don’t wear make-up at all I don’t know if you’ve noticed but I’m really not that kind of girl’.

    Anyway Carmex is my fave. Use it.

    • YES Vaseline <3 The girl I'm seeing swears by Carmex but complains about how expensive it is in Canada so stocks up hardcore whenever she's in the States

    • You could try chapstick? I used to use vaseline all the time when I was younger (and got loads of weird looks for it, fun times) but I’m more of a lipstick kind of person these days. There’s scented chapstick and tinted chapstick, and it’s super fun. According to my research, Claire’s make-up is cruelty free and possibly also vegan (if that stuff matters to you), and some of its chapsticks are quite gentle because they’re meant for young children. The sugar cookie one is a bit drying, for instance, but the bubblegum one is really hydrating. Just experiment with them a bit, they’re not very expensive and you can just give them to people if you don’t like them.

      There’s also tinted lip gloss, which might be less dry than most lipsticks. And with lipstick you’re probably ok if you use a primer and hydrate them well before applying it.

  4. Olive oil and brown sugar, YES. I use that as a full body scrub. I love it because it exfoliates AND moisturizes at the same time. I prefer grape-seed oil though, which is absorbed more easily and smells nicer. Sometimes I add citrus peel and ginger and vanilla.

  5. i’ve been mourning the passing of summer due to it being the end of pool season, bbq’s & tangerine-orange lip color. the suggestion of vino revlon gives me the courage to embrace scarves, the changing foliage, and seasonally themed coffee drinks!

  6. This is extremely relevant to my interests as I’m fairly sure I’ll be making out in a pile of leaves this weekend. I fucking love this time of year!
    I keep a stick of spearmint chapstick in my pocket at all times, but I keep thinking that I should graduate to something fancier. Also, Kristen: the creativity of all the names for my mouth and the abundance of alliteration made me smile.

    • If you’re not convinced about graduating into lipstick (which is fab by the way!!) try tinted chapstick or lip gloss. You can still use your chapstick, though, I love lipstick and on days when I’m not wearing it or at night I always put on some chapstick.

  7. Thank you for the lipstain advice! I too love MAC lipstick (in Ruby Woo, ugh so amazing) but my gf and my white poodle hate how it gets all over them, so I’ve stopped wearing it. I’m always too nervous to try lipstains because of a fear of commitment — like, what if the color looks bad and then you are stuck with it for 12 hours? How does it come off? Okay, I guess I have a lot of feelings about this.

    • Anything oily should remove a stain from your lips. Baby oil, olive oil, oil-based makeup remover, etc. Keep in mind this also means greasey food, so you may want to take a peek at your pucker if you’re meal lies on the fatty side of the scale.

      (I’m still so sad Classic Dame was limited edition)

  8. Carmex! Zeller is my designated chapstick person. I always lose mine in the lining of my purse or wash them in my jeans or leave them in the bathroom or something, but trusty ol’ Z ALWAYS has chapstick in her pocket. It works out.

    My favorite lip stain is by covergirl. I have a few and they seriously smell really good and stay on for a few hours. I’m not too worried about reapplying them though because you don’t look as crazy as you would with reapplying a tube of lip stick at a party.

  9. I’ll be That Person again and warn the many vegans here that the majority of lipsticks and other lip-stuff that makes your mouth glows contain fish scales, which are collected by basically ripping them away from the living fish(es?) in machines. If your product of choice have “pearl essence” or “pearlescence” in its ingredients, that’s fish scales.

    Also I can personally vouch for the olive oil/sugar scrub, and I’ll make some of that chapstick ASAP. Please keep this awesome DIY serie going AS, I love getting to take care of myself for a quarter of the price – and the guilt! :)

    • I second that warning! However, there’s also a lot of lipsticks that don’t have perlescence. I’m not sure if any lipsticks contain carmine (some eye products do) and that’s made from squished bugs (something you’ll probably want to avoid even if you’re not a vegan or a vegetarian, and it’s also in tons of foods since it’s a red colouring).

      I’m pretty sure that Urban Decay and NYX (except maybe NYX’s liners?) are vegan. NYX is cruelty-free, and there’s loads of not-necessarily-vegan cruelty-free brands on the market like Chanel if you’re feeling fancy.

  10. I unapologetically love lipstick. I won’t even consider tinted lip glosses. If my partner doesn’t love getting smudges on their face after a make-out session then all hope is lost (I guess you could just persuade your partner to wear lipstick too). Maybe if it’s a problem for anyone you could just have some make-up wipes in your bag/glove compartment.

  11. I have never had problems with my lips cracking until now, so I can’t explain how timely this is. A thousand thanks.

  12. I have such a huge problem with lipstick causing dried lips. I have a problem with dried lips in general. Lipsurgence Natural Lip Luster by Tarte works for me. Beeswax, peppermint oil and carnuba wax. The best part is that it looks like a giant crayon.. It’s a bit pricey (24 USD) but I love it. Sorry, I sound like an advertisement but I’ve always had the problem with lip glosses, lipsticks, moisture and stickyness. blech.

    • Also, also, also I just checked the ingredient list and I don’t think it contains fish scales or squished (squashed?) bugs. Someone correct me if i’m wrong. Of course, cruelty free.

  13. Oh man, I lose my shit over NARS lipstick. Always the darkest reddest colors. I definitely feel like spending more on lipstick pays off (even though this means my makeup is pretty much limited to cover-up and lipstick, haha) in the sense that I do not cover myself or my makeouter with lipstick too much.

  14. You guys need to get on that Lip Tar tip. It’s made by Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics and it’s vegan and stays on forever once it dries. Perfect for making out with any dietary restriction. Also it comes in a shitton of colors, so you can be on trend (or not) all the time. http://www.occmakeup.com/lips.html

  15. I also have a problem with Mac Lipsticks because at first it’s gorgeous but once you start drinking or kissing they just start spreading all over your mouth more than you thought it might and you look like a mess but in general I try not to use a lipstick all of the time, you know? Just when I feel it matches with the clothes especially because I look much younger than I am so red lipstick looks really strange on me depending of what I’m wearing.

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