Would I consider myself a vain person? Probably not, but I’m sure many of my friends and family would disagree. Being a beauty enthusiast means that a number of assumptions are attached to your title. For me, it’s not about vanity. I enjoy beauty products and all the glory that comes along with purchasing them. Despite their obvious intentions, beauty products, for me, aren’t all about how they can alter my appearance.
I’ve lusted over the notion of bigger lips for quite some time. Not so much a ‘trout pout’, but a perkier set of smackers that would enhance my facial features (I promise that wasn’t vanity). I wouldn’t say that I have thin lips, in fact, they’re already fairly full, but like many women, they are uneven and have an undefined outline. 9 times out of 10 that problem can be rectified with a good lip liner, but who has time to line their lips every day?! I certainly don’t and if I can alter my lip shape without having to layer on the makeup every morning then I’m all for it.
Lip masks are a fairly new concept to the beauty community; which is strange considering that Hollywood starlets having been sporting ‘enhanced’ lips for quite some time. Pop culture icon Kim Kardashian paved the way for lip masks after she posted an Instagram picture of her favourite weekly treat, KNC lip masks. Whether you love her or hate her, everything that Kim Kardashian touches becomes instant phenomenon and this has certainly been the case for lip masks.
So what is a lip mask I hear you ask. Well imagine a facial sheet mask for your lips. Most lip masks mimic the look, feel and packaging of a traditional sheet mask, but in the form of a cute little ‘lip-shaped’ style. Some masks, like the Nugg Lip Mask, offer the same service in the form of a lip balm. Others, like the KNC lip mask, offer a thick hydrogel ‘sticker’ infused with a serum.
Like many great beauty products available in the western world, the idea of lip masks originated from the Korean beauty market. We all know how I feel about Korean beauty products, so trying out a lip mask was a natural progression for me. What I want to know is – how do the Koreans do it?! I seriously can’t keep up; which may be a good thing as I would be seriously broke if I lived over there.
Applying a lip mask is very similar to that of a traditional mask. The cloth/hydrogel patches can be applied just like a sheet mask – peel off the inner and outer lining and smooth directly over the lips. The ‘lip balm’ versions can either come with a tiny brush to paste onto your lips or can be applied directly with your finger. If you plan on eating, drinking, talking or breathing with these masks on…think again. They’re mainly meant for overnight use or for the obligatory #lipmaskandchill selfie. The great thing is that 10-15 mins with lip sheets is all you need to achieve maximum results; which means you can slap it on along with a face sheet mask, add some under eye patches and freak your husband out as you sit and wait for him in a dark room (no? just me?). Lip masks like the Nugg Lip Mask require pasting on and allowing to absorb overnight. The ‘lip balm’ style lip masks aren’t particularly uncomfortable to wear overnight, in fact, they feel like a very thick layer of Vaseline on your lips. However, if you like to move around or you’re a dribbler you may find remnants of it on your pillow case the next morning. In my opinion, lip sheet masks like the KNC, Tony Moly or Starskin options offer a great excuse to take 15 minutes out of your day to wear and they’re more suitable for travelling or whipping out whilst you browse your wardrobe for your night out.
The main question here is – do they work? Well yes and no. It all depends on what you’re looking for from a lip mask. If you’re looking for a lip mask to fulfil its promise of needle-free plumping then you’re going to be massively disappointed. Here you can see my result from using the Starskin Dreamkiss lip mask and as you can tell, there’s not much difference in terms of lip shape. If you’re looking for intense hydration then lip masks will be your best friend. Most masks are infused with collagen, Vitamin E and essential oils. The Starskin Dreamkiss lip mask contains molasses, pomegranate, honey and flax seed; which all serve the purpose of nourishing your lips. You certainly get a deep level of moisture from lip masks; which is always a welcomed feeling, particularly in the winter. However, you would need to maintain a weekly routine with these and top up with lip balm in between sessions in order to maintain suppleness. That might be too much to ask for from the average Joe, but if you like to treat and pamper yourself (like me) then upholding a routine with these shouldn’t be a problem.
If you suffer with burning, cracked or sore lips then a good lip mask would be a real treat for you as most of them offer cooling properties. This usually entails a tingling sensation when applied to your skin, but I didn’t experience that with the Starskin Dreamkiss lip mask. They also offer a reduction in fine fines and wrinkles around your mouth; which is normally exaggerated by age, smoking and consisted pursing of the lips (that’s right ladies…kerb the pouting). Do I think that this claim is true? Can be! Fine lines and wrinkles are normally remedied by deep conditioning (i.e. moisturising) and although they can’t be completely eliminated, lip masks can certainly help along the way (just be sure to apply a lip mask outside of the perimeter of your lips if you’re going for a ‘lip balm’ style mask).
So where can you get these masks from? Well ‘lip balm’ style masks are readily available in the UK beauty market (Nugg and Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask are some great options). The lip sheet/hydrogel masks, however, are a little hard to come by on this island. The Starskin Dreamkiss lip mask is the most widely available in the UK; which is why I chose it to test for this blog. The more ‘Korean’ brands (if there is such a way to describe them) such as Tony Moly or Etude lip masks require a little searching around the net. I’ve found a great site called Yesstyle.co.uk; which offers a lot of the Korean brands with shipping to the UK.
Wow – I didn’t realise that I would have so much to say about lip masks! On that note I leave you with my final review on my experience with lip masks. Are they life changing? No. Are they essential in your skincare routine? Probably not. Do they offer a quirky gimmick to make you feel special when indulging in a pamper night? Most certainly yes. Finally, would I continue using them? 100%. When I’m indulging in a face mask, sheet mask or any other pamper session, I see no reason why I wouldn’t include a fun lip mask to my routine. They certainly offer the short-lived hydration that I look for when I’m treating myself and they give me the perfect excuse to take a silly #lipmaskandchill selfie. So pucker away ladies! Lip masks are here to stay!