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Get Some Serious Lip Service With KAPLAN MD’s LIP 20 Collection Of Anti-Aging Pout Products

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We’ve all tried our fair share of face masks — paper ones, mud-based formulas, peel-off types, brightening and exfoliating sorts, and so forth — but have you ever heard of a lip mask? If not, allow me to introduce you to the key product in KAPLAN MD‘s new LIP 20 collection, featuring treatments, moisturizers, and color cosmetics meant to hydrate, soothe, soften and protect your pout: the Kaplan MD Lip 20 Mask ($48 at Kaplanmd.com).The idea behind the lip  mask is consistent with that of any facial mask: to give skin a quick pick-me-up while by infusing it with necessary nutrients and moisturizers, while also helping to trigger more long-term processes such as cellular turnover, collagen synthesis, and the fortification of the skin’s natural moisture barrier.

To accomplish this feat, the Kaplan MD Lip 20 Mask relies on 22 certified botanical extracts, among them: fatty acid-rich shea butter, which softens, moisturizes, and conditions lips; grapefruit extract, believed to help even skin tone, increase collagen production, and provide antioxidant protection; rose hip oil, which can boost cellular regeneration and increase elasticity, thereby diminishing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles; soothing green tea and aloe extract; cooling cucumber extract; healing red clover oil, which contains vitamin A, vitamin B-complex, and is rich in isoflavones; apple extract, which contains alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) that help to stimulate skin exfoliation, along with polyphenols that function as antioxidants, defending the skin against free radical damage; pomegranate extract, which has an extraordinarily high concentration of antioxidants and is therefore a key anti-aging ingredient; white tea extract, also rich in antioxidants and which some believe helps to fend off signs of aging; and peppermint oil, which functions as an antibacterial agent, cools and soothes lips, and stimulates blood flow, helping to brighten dull skin.

In addition to the 22 botanical extracts mentioned, the Lip 20 Mask’s formula also contains papaya enzymes that work as natural exfoliants, removing dry flakes and leaving chapped lips feeling smooth; marine collagen, which helps to replenish the collagen in the skin, thereby diminishing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and making your pout appear fuller and smoother; and a combination of low weight hyaluronic acid, which penetrates deeper into the lips for greater hydration at the cellular level, and high weight hyaluronic acid, which softens and smooths the surface of lips.

To use the lip mask, you simply have to smooth a generous amount onto your pout, wait three to five minutes, and then remove the substance with a damp cloth. Inside its jar, the lip mask has the white-ish tone of a traditional face cream or eye cream but, as you smooth it atop your pout, you’ll notice the texture is more akin to that of a gel-cream hybrid. More importantly, you’ll feel a burst of coolness on your pout as the aloe, cucumber, and peppermint work together to soothe your lips. You might even smell the peppermint (I certainly did!). Three to five minutes is a rather short period of time so waiting to take a sip of water or to engage in chit-chat over the phone won’t feel like an ordeal. After you’ve removed the product, you’ll notice lips feel soft, that whatever flaky bits were there before  the treatment are no longer present, and that the surface of your pout feels smoother and more devoid of fine lines, little crevices, and so forth. To lock in the hydration, you’ll wan to apply a nice lip balm immediately after the treatment.

For that very purpose, then, Dr. Stuart H. Kaplan also released a new lip moisturizer within the Lip 20 collection. Like the lip mask, the KAPLAN MD Lip 20 Ultra Hydrating Treatment Balm ($35 at Kaplanmd.com) features marine collagen and 22 certified organic extracts (the ingredient list is rather similar, with aloe, green tea, white tea, borage, rose hip, red clover, elderflower, pomegranate, yerba mate, cucumber and carrot extract among them). It also incorporates a patented tri-peptide that boosts collagen synthesis and thereby stimulates cellular renewal.  Last but not least, the lip balm includes dehydrated hyaluronic spheres that are essentially micro-injected into the lip tissue, swelling up when they come in contact with water and, in the process, plumping the skin on the lips as the spheres’ volume increases, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Packaged inside a squeezable tube, the Lip 20 Ultra Hydrating Treatment Balm has the consistency  and texture you’d associate with a product formulated with petroleum jelly, but this moisturizer doesn’t actually incorporate any petroleum jelly (or castor oil, for that matter).

I love the way the lip balm feels when applied immediately after the lip mask but, judging it as a lip balm alone, it’s probably not my favorite product in the market. Now, this is not to say the lip balm isn’t effective because it most certainly is but, at $35, it’s definitely on the pricey side. One thing I’ve noticed however: many of the anti-aging benefits of this particular lip balm are the result of cumulative use so that you might find yourself appreciating the product more and more as time goes on. I was initially lukewarm about the lip balm but, truth be told, the more I use it, the more I like it.

Now, moving on to the color cosmetics in the collection, we have three options available: the Lip 20 Treatment ($30 at KaplanMD.com), a lipstick and moisturizer in one with SPF protection, available in 12 shades; the Lip 20 Liner ($28 at KaplanMD.com), a retractable lip pencil with hydrating properties; and the Lip 20 Treatment Gloss ($30 at KaplanMD.com), a sheer lip gloss with soothing and hydrating botanicals, available in 12 hues.

The Lip 20 Treatment’s packaging is sheer genius.Unlike most lipsticks, this one’s tube doesn’t involve a long cap that you pull off; instead, it comes in a twistable tube with a flat hinged lid so that, as you rotate the bottom section of the tube, the flat,dime-sized lid along the top will hinge upward, in the same manner as if a manhole were being lifted, and the tube containing the lipstick will rise. You can get a sense for how it all works in the last photo above.

In terms of the actual product, it looks a lot like the L’Oreal Colour Riche lipstick, so that a rounded white center containing many of the moisturizing ingredients  is nestled within the rest of the pigmented color. The lipstick itself feels nice and creamy on the lips and it will make your pout tingle a bit due to the peppermint in the formula. In terms of color payoff, however, it’s pretty minimal since most colors are rather sheer. Also, don’t expect the color to be particularly long-lasting. Though it resembles a lipstick, then, it’s almost better to think of this as a tinted lip balm of sorts.

The Lip 20 Liner, meanwhile, is much longer-lasting and  it’s a rather novel development in that it doesn’t incorporate petrolatum but, instead, relies on three all-natural plant waxes (rice bran wax, Brazilian palm wax, and white beeswax) to create the gliding, non-abrasive feel we so covet in lip pencils. Does it have a yummy, melt-on-your mouth quality? Well, no. It does tug a bit at the lips so that the application process is not as delectable as one might hope, but it’s also not irritating or painful. Also, the color stays in place for quite a long time, which is a huge plus. Only six colors are currently available — Ruby, Natural, Berry, Blackberry, Nude, and Rosewood — but hopefully the options will continue to expand as the demand for these grows.

Last but not least, there’s the Lip 20 Treatment Gloss, which contains 22 nourishing, soothing, and anti-aging plant extracts; olive oil-derived squalane, which works as an emollient and helps the skin retain moisture; hyaluronic filling spheres that swell as they come in contact with water, making lips appear plumper and smoother; marine collagen and tri-peptides that stimulate collagen synthesis, diminishing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles; and seabuckthorn extract, which contains vitamin A to boost cellular regeneration, vitamin E to protect the skin from UV rays, and essential fatty acids and phytosterols that moisturize the skin and work to improve damaged skin.

As with the Lip 20 Treatment, the Lip 20 Treatment Gloss is available in 11 shades and a clear tone: Berry Sparkle, Peach Sparkle, Nude Sparkle, Natural Sparkle, Tangerine Sparkle, Ruby Sparkle, Rosewood Sparkle, Wine Sparkle, Plum Sparkle, Blackberry Sparkle, Candy Sparkle, and Clear Sparkle. All lip glosses are semi-sheer and have a lovely sheen to them, as well as an enticing diamond sparkle.

I didn’t love the color options available for the Lip 20 Treatment or the Lip 20 Liner, and I didn’t think the color pay-off was enough for me to wear regularly since I gravitate toward bold, full-bodied colors, but I do really like the glosses as a finishing touch which I’d apply atop my lip color of choice.

In addition to the Lip Mask and Lip Balm (which I adored), I has the opportunity to review one shade of  the Lip 20 Liner, one Lip 20 Treatment hue, and one Lip 20 Treatment Gloss color.

Here are swatches of the shades I tested: the Lip 20 Treatment in Sheer Peach Shine, a pearlescent, near-nude, orange-y peach color with a golden shimmer; the Lip 20 Liner in Natural, a medium-toned pink color with neutral undertones; and the Lip 20 Treatment Gloss in Peach Sparkle, a golden peach with diamond sparkle.

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These are, of course, among the most understated color options available, but you should nevertheless get a feel for how sheer and delicate these hues are. If you’re a makeup minimalist, you will definitely be drawn to these — particularly given the hydrating and anti-aging benefits of their formulas.

Out of all the products in the collection, I’d definitely recommend the Lip Mask and Lip Balm the most, followed by the Lip 20 Treatment Gloss. If nothing else, try the Lip Mask and Lip Balm — your pout will thank you!

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