BEAUTY

Would you like a dol­lop of wasabi with your lip gloss, madam? It sounds bonkers, but in­flat­ing lips with wasabi is the lat­est beauty fad to get our at­ten­tion. But is there any sense in it? And what other op­tions are out there? Louise Emma Clarke in­ves­tiga

Friday - - Contents -

You don’t have to re­sort to fillers (or wasabi) for a plumper pout. Make-up and cos­met­ics pay lip ser­vice, too.

If there’s one beauty trend that’s en­joy­ing a pro­longed mo­ment in the spot­light, it’s the de­sire for vo­lu­mi­nous, plumped pouts.

But it hasn’t al­ways been that way.

‘His­tor­i­cally, beau­ti­ful women had tiny lips. How­ever, in re­cent years, full and plump is the trend we’re choos­ing to fol­low for lips,’ says Dr Rosan Hum­dani of Obagi Medispa. ‘It’s pop­u­lar for a num­ber of fac­tors – the top two be­ing so­cial me­dia en­gage­ment and celebrity fol­low­ing. See­ing some of the most-fol­lowed celebri­ties like Kim Kar­dashian West and Kylie Jen­ner with plumped pouts makes us want to em­u­late their style.’

Speak­ing of so­cial me­dia, it won’t take you long to dis­cover a plethora of tips and tricks on­line to boost what na­ture blessed you with. When beauty blog­ger Farah Dhukai (above) posted a video tu­to­rial on In­sta­gram in Novem­ber in­struct­ing her loyal fans to rub wasabi into their lips – yes, you read that right – to achieve the full­ness they’ve al­ways dreamt of, we were left won­der­ing whether the se­cret to the per­fect pout lay in the depths of our sushi de­liv­ery bag.

‘Get soft, plump, full lips with­out nee­dles or suck­ing on cups or ob­jects,’ Farah wrote be­low her video tu­to­rial, which has now been viewed over 13 mil­lion times. She went on to ex­plain: ‘This trick is a great way to get plump lips that look like you’ve had lip fillers!’

The video showed her squeez­ing wasabi on to her lips, rubbing it in, leav­ing it for one minute, re­mov­ing it, and im­me­di­ately mois­tur­is­ing with a lip oil. And what does she prom­ise our lips will look and feel like af­ter? ‘They’ll be ex­tremely soft, wrin­kles will be filled in, they’ll have a nat­u­ral pink colour, and they’ll be so plump peo­ple will think you’ve had them done!’ (What she doesn’t ex­plain is why you’d want any­one to think that.)

So does it re­ally work? There are mixed opin­ions among ex­perts. Cos­metic chemist Gin­ger King has her reser­va­tions: ‘Wasabi doesn’t work the same way as the reg­u­lar spicy foods we’re used to,’ she ex­plains. ‘The hot­ness is dif­fer­ent to the spice cre­ated by chilli pep­pers, for ex­am­ple, which make use of cap­saicin, an ir­ri­tant known to pro­duce a burn­ing sen­sa­tion with any tis­sue it comes

into con­tact with [lips, nose, eyes, and of course, the tongue]. That ir­ri­ta­tion can cause tis­sue to swell – if you can stand the sen­sa­tion, that is. Wasabi, on the other hand, stim­u­lates the nasal pas­sage and mu­cus mem­branes more than the tongue, which is why sushi is such a good choice if you have a stuffy nose.’

But don’t write it off just yet, as New York-based cos­metic der­ma­tol­o­gist Dendy En­gel­man adds: ‘Nat­u­ral wasabi… is an­timi­cro­bial and packed with phy­to­chem­i­cals, vi­ta­min C, potas­sium, and cal­cium, all of which stim­u­late cir­cu­la­tion.’ So there may be an el­e­ment of truth to the idea that the rush of blood these things stim­u­late would speed a de­liv­ery of nu­tri­ents and oxy­gen to your lips, which in the­ory could make them smoother and more nour­ished (even if they aren’t nec­es­sar­ily fuller).

But Dendy warns: ‘Wasabi in a tube is not 100 per cent nat­u­ral – and if you choose fresh

When beauty blog­ger Farah DHUKAI posted a video tu­to­rial in­struct­ing fans to rub WASABI into their lips, we were left won­der­ing whether the se­cret to the per­fect pout lay in the depths of our SUSHI de­liv­ery bag

wasabi in­stead, there will be preser­va­tives. Ad­di­tion­ally, if your lips are not healthy to be­gin with and you have open cuts, this method will only make it worse.’

So with the ev­i­dence sug­gest­ing that wasabi is best re­served for sushi rolls, what al­ter­na­tives do we have? We’ve taken a look at the op­tions, from home reme­dies to in­jecta­bles to lip glosses that give the il­lu­sion of vol­ume – not a green sa­chet in sight.

THE MAKE-UP SO­LU­TION

Make-up artist Katha­rina Bren­nan has worked in Dubai for more than 10 years (she did the make-up for this week’s cover shoot). She says us­ing a lip gloss is the eas­i­est way to make your lips ap­pear fuller.

‘The gloss re­flects light and gives the il­lu­sion of ul­tra-hy­dra­tion. For ev­ery­day looks, I would sug­gest a peach or soft pink gloss.’ Try Ben­e­fit Dan­de­lion Ul­tra Plush Lip Gloss (Dh427, de­sert­cart.ae).

‘Use a nude li­pliner to fill in your lips be­fore us­ing coloured lip­sticks. This will en­sure your lip colour will stays longer and it will also cre­ate a slightly big­ger base for your lip­stick.’

If you de­cide to fol­low the cur­rent trend for lin­ing along the outer ridge of your lip, tread care­fully, she says. ‘I per­son­ally am not a big fan of over­drawn lips, since it doesn’t look very nat­u­ral. If you re­ally want to do it, I would sug­gest do­ing it very sub­tly.’

One of the sim­plest tech­niques is to add a lit­tle high­lighter to your Cu­pid’s bow (on your up­per lip). ‘I would sug­gest a shim­mer in rose or beige. Just tap it on and don’t try and make it look too per­fect.’ Stay away from dark lip­sticks, as they will ab­sorb light and make lips ap­pear smaller and thin­ner. Fi­nally, ‘ev­ery­one knows ex­fo­li­a­tion is good, yet most peo­ple for­get their lips. It is easy to ex­fo­li­ate your lips by us­ing a soft tooth­brush. With the added bonus of pro­mot­ing cir­cu­la­tion, your new fuller pout will be flake-free’.

‘Women spend a lot of time look­ing for prod­ucts that max­imise the lips’, says Lip­stick Queen founder Poppy King. ‘It seems like ev­ery day there is a new lip-plump­ing cre­ation, most of which are un­com­fort­able to use and end up in the black hole of your bath­room drawer.’ The eight shades of gloss in her Big Bang range (Dh185, Bloom­ing­dale’s Dubai) have a ra­tio of shine to shim­mer to cre­ate the il­lu­sion of fuller lips.

THE HOME TREAT­MENT

Fil­le­rina Lip Pen Grade 3 (Dh289, Bin Sina)

The gel inside this easy-to-use pen has six hyaluronic acid mol­e­cules with dif­fer­ent molec­u­lar weights. It sounds com­plex, but the brand prom­ises that with con­tin­ued use, you can ex­pect plump­ing ef­fects that last up to three to four months, with a re­duc­tion in the ap­pear­ance of fine lines and wrin­kles.

It isn’t just older skin that will ben­e­fit – if you smoke, reg­u­larly drink with a straw, or have a habit of purs­ing your lips, this prod­uct will smooth the fine lines that have de­vel­oped around your mouth. Spread a uni­form layer of gel over lips, up to five times a day.

THE COS­METIC SO­LU­TION

Envy Kylie Jen­ner’s pout? Af­ter months of deny­ing it (lead­ing to ir­re­spon­si­ble fads such as the lip chal­lenge, which we do not rec­om­mend) Kylie re­vealed to the world that her trade­mark pucker is thanks to in­jectable lip fillers. The re­sults are in­stant and lon­glast­ing, and there are plenty of clin­ics in the UAE that will recre­ate the look for you. While it’s a dras­tic change, fillers now are more nat­u­ral than they used to be; made from hyaluronic acid, a sub­stance found in the body, they can be in­jected, and are bro­ken down by the body over a few months.

Roberto Viel, found­ing part­ner of Lon­don Cen­tre for Aes­thetic Surgery, uses them. ‘We only use fillers made with hyaluronic acid like Juve­d­erm. These are safe fillers for the lips that last around six to eight months. The fillers are not per­ma­nent and can be re­moved with hyaluronidase [an eraser en­zyme] if you aren’t happy with the re­sults.’ From Dh2,250; call 04 375 2393.

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