exorbitantly overpriced yet surprisingly efficacious product of the month

No, no. Not this guy. Well, wait. I don’t know how much he is, nor his degree of effectiveness.

That sleepy/stoned looking dude is Dr. Stuart Kaplan, another “celebrity dermatologist” who’s shit out a line of pricey products. I don’t know about anything about him, except there is another Dr. Stuart Kaplan who is a neurosurgeon in Vegas, which I’m sure is a pain in the ass for both of them. Dermatologist Dr. Kaplan has a small line of stuff, most of which seems somewhat uninteresting and predictable. Neurosurgeon Dr. Kaplan may have a line of products too, but I hope none of us have any need for those kinds of things.

Regardless, one of my recent Sephora impulse purchases included Dermatologist Dr. Kaplan’s cute little lip mask and balm duo. I’m not a fan of sugar scrubs for lips — I don’t feel like they do anything. And I seriously despise dry lips. Not only does it feel and look gross, it’s impossible to get those little shreds of dry skin off without drawing blood. All around not cute. So naturally, I had to try this enzyme based “lip mask” with its twee little matching SPF 20 balm. The balm wasn’t bad — sort of minty with a perfectly mellow sheen — but it suffered from that funky sunscreen taste that all those products seem to have. I really dug the mask, but I managed to lose the tiny vial pretty quickly. It’s probably in the same place as my Becca mattifying primer, the other small loaf pan, and all the lost socks.

Despite only having had it for a few weeks, I missed it. The full size mask is FORTY EIGHT DOLLARS. This is stupid. I put it off, put it off, and put it off until my peeling wanton lips cried for resuscitation. I fucking ordered it, feeling like the biggest sucker ever. Okay. First off, the container is HUGE — one full ounce. The container is made of heavy glass and feels all fancy and shit. The smell is vaguely minty and the texture just lovely, thick and velvety. I’ll glop it on a couple times a week when I first wake up, making sure to smear it all around well past the lip line, and let it work its magic for fifteen minutes or so. It’s not burny or tingly, just feels sort of cool and mentholy. Then, when I wash my face, I’ll use the wet washcloth to scrub off whatever is left (usually not much, as a lot of it seems to get absorbed or otherwise disappear). They say you can leave it on overnight too, which I have yet to try*. I always rub whatever’s left over on my fingers into my cuticles, because why not.

The “plumping” action could certainly be due to the irritative effect of the peppermint extract, so, okay fine. There certainly is a little plumping action but what blows me away is the complete painless obliteration of every tiny shred of dry nasty skin. Just glorious baby butt smoothness is left in its wake. Total love! Insert lots of heart eyed emojis here! So even though I am thoroughly embarrassed by the admission that a $48 lip mask has become a ride or die product, so be it.

Do you guys have any favorite products or methods to eradicate the dreaded dry lip? Or how about any new embarrassing product admissions we haven’t yet discussed? Come on, enable me.

*although I may try wearing it overnight this weekend, since there is a certain Halloween costume that is going to require a dark lip, which sort of makes me itch at the mere idea.

poor impulse control


If you recall my ill-fated recent trip into an actual Sephora store, you’ll remember me being distracted by YSL Rouge Volupte Shine, which is essentially a hideously overpriced yet deliciously luxe tinted lip balm. I’d decided I wanted some sort of neutral-brown tinted lip color that wasn’t Kylie Jenner matte, that would allow me to cosmetically partake in the 90s revival in an age-appropriate (SIGH) way. I am excruciatingly picky about lip products which is why I typically default to my go-to cheap ass lip balm — it’s the perfect blend of emollient and thick, without being waxy or sticky, and free of offensive scent and/or taste. Since they are practically free, I wait till the weather cools down and buy 30 at a time and then stash them literally everywhere so I am never without. It’s basically a desert island item.

The YSL ain’t too shabby though. It has a really nice texture, and would satisfy even the pickiest Goldilocks in her quest for just tinted enough and just glossy enough. I was agonizing between shades 09 (Nude In Private), 10 (Chocolate Instyle) and 11 (Beige Instinct) (who the fuck makes up these names?). 09 had a good dose of pink but ended up being a little lighter than my natural lip color, so in fear of looking like a corpse, I passed. 10 was a little too goth, a little too jarring for this face. 11 was… say it with me… JUST RIGHT. I love that you can slap it on without a mirror, and you don’t have to worry about looking like a drunk sorority girl with lipstick smeared across your face after you wipe your mouth or eat or whatever. It’s just enough to make you look like you tried just a little bit. Plus, the case is all fancy, and who doesn’t like to feel fancy in the middle of an otherwise blah workday. Please admire it below, and don’t mind the tomato red neck and chest. It was hot as hell and I am a delicate flower.

Because inquiring minds want to know (and since this photo was at the end of the day, know it all looked FAR better 12 hours prior — trust:
Brows: Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Brow Color in Light
Face: Iope Air Cushion SPF50 in N21
Blush: Perricone No Blush Blush on apples, Nars the Multiple in Portofino under cheekbones, although this appears to have not survived the day, and Perricone No Highlighter Highlighter, well, duh, as highlighter
Eyes: MAC Paint Pot in Bare Study; some nameless ancient matte taupe Aveda powder eyeshadow; Kevyn Aucoin Volume Mascara