A K-beauty import, the lip mask has become infectious celebrity selfie fodder - Emma Stone, Lady Gaga, Jessica Alba and at least a handful of Kardashians have posed in lip shaped sheet masks.
Emma Stone used one to prep for the Golden Globes and Lady Gaga is a fan - whether you’re doing it for the selfie or the softness, if there were ever a time to try a lip mask, it’s surely dry Jan
Whether you’re talking a kitsch, quick-acting sheet option or a buttery overnighter, you by no means ‘need’ a lip mask, but the cold, dry winter months and upcoming Valentine’s day offerings seem as good a time as any to experiment with a cheerful lip sheet mask or comforting pot of lip cream. Slick this lot of your lips and say good day/night to flakes and soreness. Just don’t fall for any promises of injectable-esque plumpness - they may moisturise but they won’t mimic fillers, despite what the marketing departments may want you to believe.
Part of Emma Stone’s 2017 pre-Golden Globes #koreanskincaresilliness, Stone’s makeup artist Rachel Goodwin shared a picture of her wearing this lip mask in an ironic fashion and it blew up. Leave it on for 20 minutes for a speedy shot of rose flower oil and vitamin E spiked hydration. It’s a good accessory to a spot of meditation incidentally - if you move or talk it’s likely to slide right off. You’ve been warned.
Soaked in hyaluronic acid and peptides (and quite a lot of other stuff...the ingredients list seems a bit needlessly long), these sheet masks for lips certainly bring skincare prowess, but sizing could be an issue - like the KNC offering before them, they’re enormous, so you’ll need to take go horizontal to keep them in place. Once you’re there, however, they’re a fun way to soften cracked lips and claim to smooth things over in just five minutes.
Like smothering a mellow Milky Bar across your mouth but without the mess, this overnight lip treatment is frankly lush. The coconut oil and mango butter based formula sinks in nicely while you sleep and it preps skin nicely for even the most velvety of matte lipsticks - it cleared up the weird lip skin hangnail situation I had going on a few days beforehand. TMI.
BAFTA winning makeup artist Morag Ross swears by this stuff as it “exfoliates and stimulates the lips and the immediate surrounding area, so you get a nice plumping effect and the balm is ultra moisturising, with an SPF to boot.” While not cheap, it essentially throws the kitchen sink at lip protection and delivers a glossy finish too. To top it off, the brand claim that it gets to work in under five minutes, although why you’d wipe it off beats me.
I’ll admit I’m on the fence about these. First off they’re very expensive, and secondly they’re quite fiddly - you need to peel the transparent masks away from the bio cellulose outer, like a plaster, and they’re slightly flimsy once applied. This is another case in which you need to apply the mask precisely and then ideally not move much. Once you’ve gotten over all of the above, the hyaluronic acid and centella asiatica based formula absorbs very quickly - top up by rubbing in the excess within the packet once you’re done. They’re lightweight compared to other lip sheet masks and they do the job, with a few caveats.