Good for more than a hilarious selfie, lip masks promise to leave your lips smoother, hydrated and plump.
For most people, chapped lips are a struggle throughout winter. Lucky for me, mine are dry, peeling and sometimes even cracking, all year-round. Despite working my way through mountains of lip balms, lip scrubs and lip oils that pass through the Stylist desk, I’m yet to find ~The One~. So, when the words ‘lip mask’ were uttered during a team meeting and my boss asked who would try the strange rubber-like masks plastered all over Instagram, I volunteered as tribute.
Like most skincare trends, masking trickled over from Korea and has only gotten more and more popular with time. Now, brands offer an array of masks, covering everything from vaginas and armpits to feet, hair and even bums.
But do lip masks offer anything more than the chance for a funny selfie?
There are lots to choose from but after a bit of research, I settled on KNC’s All Natural Collagen Infused Lip Masks, £48.12 for a pack of 10.
As well as a hoard of positive reviews online, it’s also the exact mask Emma Stone used during her skincare prep ahead of the Golden Globes awards in 2017 (at which she just so happened to win the award for her role in La La Land). And if it’s good enough for Stone on one of the biggest nights of her career, it’s (more than) good enough for me.
The first thing to note about KNC’s lip masks is that they don’t use harsh chemicals. In fact, the masks are infused with with natural plant extracts, including rose flower oil, vitamin E, bitter cherry extract and – the star ingredient – collagen.
I took one of the jelly-like masks out of its packet and carefully laid it sticky-side-down onto my lips for 20 minutes, using my phone as a mirror. While they aren’t slimy like most masks, they’re quite big in size, so it sat way beyond the outline of my lips. I tried to act normal, but one of my colleagues took one look at me and burst out laughing. I have to admit, even I couldn’t keep a straight face at first because you do look slightly ridiculous.
Case in point:
The masks have been designed with a little slit in the middle to make it easy to speak when it’s on. But, as they’re quite thick, they’re slightly heavier than a traditional sheet mask, making it pretty difficult to engage in conversation without the mask slowly sliding down to my chin.
I placed it back onto my lips and didn’t speak (which my colleagues probably appreciated). About 10 seconds in, the mask started to slightly tingle on my lips. KNC says this is the collagen kicking in and, to be honest, I actually quite enjoyed the tingle.
Once my time was up, I peeled the mask off and immediately looked in the mirror. My lips felt significantly softer and, while the lines on my lips hadn’t completely disappeared, they’d definitely gone down a bit. Despite the tingling, it didn’t leave my lips feeling sore, and I was able to enjoy a hot tea pretty much straight after.
I applied lipstick - opting for a matte, as these are usually hardest to apply against my flaky lips - and the formula swiped on smoothly and easily, without any bumps poking through the formula. While something in-line with a scrub will help with shedding any dry skin, these masks definitely helped to smoothen lips and prep them before applying other products. I’m sure I’ll be dipping into the nine remaining masks on special occasions.
KNC All Natural Collagen Infused Lip masks, £48.12 for a pack of 10, available at net-a-porter.com
Images: KNC / Hanna Ibraheem / Stylist