Speaking, eating, smiling, pouting – just like how our eyes are constantly moving, so are our lips. However, instead of treating them with special serums, creams and massages like we do our eyes, the most care our lips would receive is a slick of balm occasionally. What better time to start the habit of taking care of our puckers than now?
The Laser Lift
Even the prettiest petal-like pout will be marred if you have lines around your mouth, especially prominent nasolabial folds (from your nose to the corners of your lips) and marionette wrinkles (from the corners to your chin). However, you don’t have to resort to fillers to restore volume and plump up the lines. IDS Clinic is offering the first intra-oral non-invasive facelift, the Laser Lift (S$1,250), which targets the lower half of your face so it not only looks more lifted, but also plumper and less lined.
The three-step, 45-minute procedure begins with a non-ablative laser fired from inside your mouth, focusing on the inside of your cheeks and inner corners of your lower and upper lips. This supposedly stimulates collagen production for overall improved elasticity. Next, the laser is fired from the outside, treating the cheek area using a long pulse wavelength that reportedly penetrates deeper into the dermis. Finally, another laser setting is used from chin to cheekbone to lift and tighten the entire lower area of the face. The result: a younger-looking smile.
Lip Serums & Balms
Put away your drugstore balm – your lips deserve better. While Chapstick and Vaseline are emollients that form a barrier over your skin, preventing it from drying out, they don’t do much to heal already-chapped lips or prevent ageing symptoms like wrinkles and discolouration (smokers, watch out). More luxury skincare brands are launching high-end lip serums and balms infused with anti-ageing and resurfacing ingredients, promising rosebud-like pouts for longer.
At the top of the lush list: Cle de Peau Beaute’s Lip Serum (S$118). Featuring a metal applicator tip to massage the serum into the lips, the formula contains the brand’s signature Illuminating Complex that supposedly enhances radiance and firms the skin, so the lips will appear plumper, smoother and rosier with regular use.
Professional spa brand June Jacobs also has the Lip Renewal (S$44), a collagen-enriched all-natural balm that’s free from parabens, preservatives and petroleum that promises to reduce lip furrows and nourish the delicate skin with oligopeptides, peach kernel and coconut oils and shea butter respectively.
Leading beauty blog Into the Gloss has also launched its own spinoff brand, Glossier, and its hero product Balm Dotcom (US$39 for a pack of three) is now available internationally on Net-a-Porter. According to founder Emily Weiss, the multitasking salve is the “thickest, most emollient balm out there and acts as a kind of mask for your lips”, and boasts a dense, waxy texture packed with antioxidants.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’d probably have heard of the Kylie Jenner lip challenge. The trending hashtag #KylieJennerLipChallenge, ironically not coined by the Kardashian half-sister, is probably not something you should attempt. In a bid to mimic Kylie’s surgically-enhanced full lips sans filler injections, young women (and some men) are resorting to using physics: putting their lips into a shot glass or a bottle and sucking in, creating a vacuum in order to swell their pouts into a comically-engorged state.
According to Dr Lum Yang Xi, medical doctor at IDS Clinic, the vacuum causes negative pressure, which leads to blood vessels becoming filled with too much blood. “Our lips are a very delicate part of our face,” she says. “Engorgement causes an inflammatory response, which is why the lips swell. Fragile blood vessels may also break, and lead to severe bruising.” Yikes. If you’re still hankering for Kylie’s pillow pout, makeup artist Ginger Lynette has a simple solution. “Using a lip pencil that matches your lipstick, carefully outline the outside of your lips and fill in with lipstick. Then, apply a plumping lip gloss all over to naturally stimulate the lips to swell slightly.”