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As Good As Gold — Hourglass Cosmetics No 28 Lip Treatment Oil

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Talk about having the Midas touch! As the new King of the Lip Care Hill, the Hourglass Cosmetics No. 28 Lip Treatment Oil ($48 at Sephora.com) is flaunting its opulent trappings — mainly, its 24-karat gold-plated palladium tip, which features a small perforation through which the clear, slightly balmy treatment is dispensed. Now, if you’re wondering why the price tag for a lip treatment when the most you’re likely to spend is $22.50 on a tinted or clear Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment, then allow me to elaborate. Everything about this lip treatment — from its botanical-based formula, which includes 14 essential oils, to its ingenious packaging and design — is sublime. Names after the stellar Hourglass No. 28 Primer Serum, this lip treatment relies on lightweight, easily absorbed, emollient plant oils to nourish, soften, and replenish lips, rather than invoking the overrated benefits of such standard lip balm fare as beeswax and menthol. This lip treatment, then, has a slightly unusual consistency – it’s not as runny and watery as you’d expect given its oil foundation, but it’s far from balmy and creamy, so that it can best be described as a cross between a serum and a gel. The lip treatment practically has a melt-on-your-mouth quality so that it doesn’t feel tacky or, alternatively, greasy and breakout-inducing.

To apply the lip treatment to lips, you simply have to press down on the indented black pump placed slightly below the slanted, gold-plated tip. Once you see a drop of clear ointment oozing out of the perforation on the slanted golden tip, you can proceed to glide it over your lips. The tip should feel cool on your pout, soothing lips and providing some much-needed relief while also depositing the hydrating nutrients the tender skin on your lips so desperately needs. Since this lip treatment doesn’t involve sticking your index finer inside a jar, tin, or tube of ointment, it’s a much more hygienic option — and, of course, whenever you’re finished applying the lip treatment, you can wipe the tip with an alcohol swab, a wet paper towel, or a makeup removal towelette in order to preserve its antibacterial integrity. Part of what;s so clever about thee Hourglass No. 28 Lip Oil Treatment is its metal tip, which mimics that found in so many of the eye rollers and eye treatments we’ve seen over the past year — among them Clinique’s Even Better Eyes Dark Circle Corrector and the Simple Revitalizing Eye Roll-On — thereby applying the same notion of reducing swelling and creating a calming effect via a circulation-boosting, cooling metal tip. In the case of the Hourglass Lip Oil Treatment, because the tip has a slanted surface, it allows you to work the nourishing oil concoction into the outer corner of lips and to maneuver tricky areas like the widow’speak of the mouth.

In terms of ingredients, this hydrating, smoothing, wrinkle-reducing, and anti-aging treatment includes 14 essential flower, fruit, nut, plant, and herb oils — among them: rosewood oil (otherwise known as bois de rose), which soothes the skin and is believed to boast anti-aging properties; lavender oil, which has anti-bacterial properties and is therefore commonly used for anti-acne purposes, and which also reduces inflammations and even soothes eczema; geranium oil, which has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties in addition to being an excellent carrier oil; petitgrain oil, which helps to restore skin’s optimal moisture levels; lemon oil, which works as an antiseptic and also exfoliates and protects the skin thanks to its high vitamin C content; clove oil, said to soothe skin and boost circulation; olive oil, which contains vitamin E and oleic acid, working to soften the skin and improve elasticity; green tea, a great source of antioxidants and a calming agent; jojoba oil, which is rife with lipids that strengthen the skin’s natural moisture barrier and balances sebum production; vanilla extract, known as an aphrodisiac and a fragrance enhancer; rosemary oil, which contains antioxidants such as carnosic acid and rosmarinic acid that help to neutralize free radicals and which also contains flavonoids that boast anti-aging properties, boosting cellular regeneration; sweet almond oil, which gently nourishes and moisturizes te skin while also being quickly absorbed by the epidermis; eucalyptus extract, known for its healing properties; kukui nut oil, which is composed of 42 percent linoleic acid and 29 percent alpha-linolenic acid, thereby moisturizing, softening, and rejuvenating skin; evening primrose oil, a common ingredient in anti-aging products thanks to its high concentration of gamma-linoleic acid; hazelnut oil, a mild astringent; borage oil, which is rife with gamma-linoleic acid (which is itself essential in order for the skin to retain water and avoid dehydration); ylang ylang oil, which balances the sebum’s secretions and therefore helps women with both dry and oily skin; cedar oil, a mild tonic and antiseptic; amyris oil, which is often used to clean and disinfect wounds; and rose hip oil, which can help to minimize the appearance of scars, fine lines, and wrinkles, while also hydrating and rejuvenating skin. All these botanical oils are, in turn, further enriched with vitamins A, B5, C and E in order to boost collagen and elastin synthesis, smooth and soften skin, protect lips from UV rays and other environmental polluters, and promote cellular turnover and exfoliation.

And that’s not all, folks! The Hourglass No. 28 Lip Treatment Oil also includes Saliporine 8,  a plant extract that has been shown to increase the skin’s moisture levels by 600% over a 28-day period; and Volulip, which includes the natural peptide Pal-KMO2K, which itself helps to improve softness, volume and hydration.

At first, I’ll admit I was a bit reticent to apply an oil-based formula to my pout, fearing that the treatment would quickly migrate to the skin around my lips and trigger some unseemly breakouts. Much to my delight, I discovered that the ointment stayed perfectly in place — even after pressing my lips together and making some heart smacking sounds — and, in the 5 weeks I’ve used this treatment, I haven’t experienced a single blemish related to the treatment. Part of that lies in the fact that Hourglass chose only the finest plant-based oils, knowing that they’d need to be quickly absorbed into the tender skin on the lip area in order to be effective.

In terms of the consistency, I was thrilled to apply a treatment that had such a weightless feel and that perfectly straddled the oil-versus-balm gamut. When you first apply the treatment to your pout, then, you’ll notice that the consistency is lighter than, say, petroleum jelly but thicker than your standard oil, so that it’s neither creamy and clumpy or runny and fluid. The slanted tip, of course, allows you to get every nook and cranny (including the corners of the mouth) and it provides instant relief by cooling lips upon contact. The lip treatment is, of course, completely clear and it won’t leave lips feeling greasy nor will it prove tacky and sticky.

That being said, the Hourglass No. 28 Lip Treatment Oil works best as a long-term measure. If you use it consistently, within 2-3 weeks, you’ll notice an improvement in your lips’ texture (less cracks, wrinkles, dry patches, and so forth) and you’ll be amazed by how much more moisture they can retain. And, since the effects are cumulative, within 4-5 weeks, the effects will prove even more remarkable.

As a short-term treatment for dry lips, however, this might not prove as soothing and comforting as a creamier lip balm such as the Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment, the Nivea A Kiss of Smoothness lip balm, or the EOS Smooth Sphere Lip Balm, all of which contain shea or cocoa butter for that instant dose of relief. If you’re just beginning to use the Hourglass treatment oil, then, and your lips are particularly chapped or flaky, I’d suggest pairing this course of action with a creamier lip balm that can soothe and cool lips right away while allowing the Hourglass product to work its magic on a bit of a slower time frame.

Wondering whether it’s worth the wait? Trust me: it is. Within a few weeks, your lips will require a lot less maintenance and will look and feel soft, smooth, voluptuous, and undeniably kissable.

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