By Rachel Nussbaum. Photos: Courtesy of Instagram.
In olden times, beauty was pain. Today, beauty is clay. In our face masks, on our scalp, in our gastrointestinal system if Shailene Woodley had her way — and now on our lips, via a dare-I-say zany new treatment from Sara Happ. The brand behind the best-selling (and smelling) Brown Sugar lip scrub (slash snackable treat, depending on the day and/or user error) just debuted their new Sara Happ Sweet Clay Lip Mask, and it’s a sight to see.
Why would you want clay on your lips? A good question. Opposite of how clay masks typically work — sucking gunk out and leaving skin a parched husk if you’re not careful — the brand says they made the Sara Happ Sweet Clay Lip Mask ($32) for “soothing dry lips,” promising to leave them restored, hydrated and plump. Beestung lips are back! Angelina’s been maintaining a low profile, so blame it on matte lip whiplash.
Reviews say it makes good on plumping with nary a burning lip in sight, but the Barbie look is non-negotiable — the mask is a very distinctive, Pepto-Bismol ‘60s pink (not my best look, but each to their own). Formulated with bentonite clay and swertiamarin, a fun new word for us all, the brand claims the bentonite moisturizes and firms, while the swertiamarin soothes and helps resurface dry skin. Science check: Swertiamarin is an Ayurvedic herb with “self-regenerative stem cell technology,” according to the brand, that studies have found promising for cell regeneration — but via PubMed, usually when dosed orally and tested mostly on rats, so take that as you will.
I’m not a rat and love a gimmick, so I dove right in.
First up: apply my most soul-sucking liquid lipstick, topped by a lip pencil and wear it for a few hours to really dehydrate the area and see what the mask can do. The brand compares the mask to frosting, but it’s pretty stiff — like a gluten-free, vegan frosting, if you’ve dabbled in health blog cooking. Very molasses. Pepperminty and slightly tingly, you leave it on for anywhere between two and 20 minutes, not one minute at any cost, you fool (I kid; the brand kindly suggests whatever you have time for).
After 12 minutes exactly, I wiped it away with a warm washcloth per instructions. Verdict: pleasantly surprised! I wouldn’t say it made my lips noticeably puffier (anymore than rubbing them with a washcloth already would), but they definitely looked and felt super soft — as if I hadn’t just subjected them to a vacuum packing of lipwear. The softness also made vertical lip lines less noticeable, which could make for a plumper impression. (And just a warning: I also tested plain bentonite to see if it gave similar results, and it did not. I would not recommend.)
Do you need it? No, it’s a clay lip mask. But if you’re looking for something more fun than toothbrush exfoliation and lip balm, need some lip TLC, or want to one-up your friend with the shiny pink lip masks, it’s an experience to Insta that also does some good.
This story originally appeared on Allure.
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