Winter is upon us, which means that it’s time to stock up on all sorts of moisturizing products — lotions, creams, balms and what have you. It’s also the party season, which means that you need to have your A-game on when it comes to makeup. Apart from new contouring tricks and tips on upping your brow game, you also have to pay attention to your pout, which is what the latest makeup trend from Korea — lip masks — aims to do.
WHAT ARE LIP MASKS?
Lip masks are a lot like sheet masks, except that they only target the lips and the area around them. Like sheet masks, they’re supposed to moisturize and repair skin; but unlike sheet masks, they are also supposed to plump up your lips if they have collagen. They usually contain thick hydrogel — a gel in which the liquid component is water — and a serum. However, some lip-mask manufacturers also include water, glycerin, hyaluronic acid and vitamin E, among other ingredients, in their products. Lip masks look like shiny oversized lips — they often are transparent, bubble-gum pink, or even gold — which, unsurprisingly, makes them hugely Instagrammable.
HOW DO YOU USE THEM?
First, you need to make sure your face, especially your mouth region, is free of all makeup and clean. Then, all you need to do is place the mask on your lips for 10-15 minutes. Some of them come in packs that have residual liquid in them, which you’re supposed to apply on top of the mask once it’s placed on your face. Your lips may tingle a bit, and that’s supposed to be a side-effect of them plumping up if you’ve used a mask with collagen.
WHAT DO THE EXPERTS SAY?
We spoke to a dermatologist and a beauty expert to figure out whether lip masks deliver in the hydration and repair departments, and whether they also work as lip primers, which is supposed to be one of their other benefits.
Dr Rasya Dixit, dermatologist: Lip masks probably work to hydrate the skin. Are they going to plump up the lips because of their collagen content? Not so much, because collagen is not absorbed through the skin of the lips. Lip-plumping gels, for instance, contain irritants like peppermint oil that cause the lips to swell so that you get a bigger pout.
Bina Sondhi, beauty expert: Lip masks are more effective when it comes to moisturizing lips than plumping them, and they work really well as primers. They’re especially used for brides who have very chapped lips and who have to spend long hours under harsh lights. Lipstick, like any other makeup, needs a primer, otherwise it will crack over a period of time.
Some problems with lip masks
* They don’t slip off your lips easily
* They can have an unpleasant taste
* You may react badly to them if you have sensitive skin
* It’s difficult to speak when you apply it
MAKE YOUR OWN LIP MASK
Cut out a rectangular strip from plastic wrap that’s big enough to cover your lips and the surrounding area. After you’ve washed your hands, apply a thick layer of honey over your lips. Then gently place the plastic wrap on top of your honey-coated lips. Leave it on for 15 minutes, remove the plastic wrap and wash the honey off.
Exfoliate your lips before applying the mask. You can do so at home by combining sugar with honey, coconut oil or jojoba oil and applying it on your lips
OTHER WAYS TO DEAL WITH DRY LIPS
If you have dry lips, use only plain white toothpaste and lip balms with SPF, stop licking your lips, and avoid using tinted lipsticks.