Back in December I picked up Laniege’s Lip Sleeping Mask at San Francisco’s Duty Free shop during a rather long stop-over on my way to New Zealand. I’d read about the product working wonders for super dry lips and was intrigued by those claims and also by the idea of having something novel to entertain me, however briefly, on my upcoming 13-hour flight across the Pacific.
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The mask itself is sort of like an extra-gooey soft lip balm, with a very long (45!) ingredient list. It contains a fruit salad’s worth of fruit extracts as well as some shea butter, hyaluronic acid, and a whole lot of other things home crafters can’t get. You smooth on a generous amount before bed (or use it like regular lip balm as well—at 20g [aka approximately 4.5 tubes of lip balm] I’m going to have this lip mask for years!) and wake up with happier lips. I really liked the product and the concept, so when Kelly sent in a recipe request for an overnight lip mask with a sample ingredient list from a simpler commercially available product, I was super intrigued!
The bulk of this lip mask is lanolin, which totally makes sense when I think about the gooey-sticky consistency of the Laniege product. Some added castor oil and beeswax further add to the rich oil-gel-ish feel of the product. Sebum-like jojoba oil, silky kukuinut oil, and rich shea butter round out our oil blend, and some carnauba wax adds some harder, glossy thickening.
I also decided to take a bit of inspiration from the Laniege product and include a bit of an active I purchased from Lotion Crafter called Hilurlip (thanks to Cristie for turning me onto this awesome new toy!). It’s a lip-specific active containing both sodium hyaluronate and tripeptide-1 to help hydrate lips, reducing fine lines and increasing plumpness. It is oil soluble and effective at 1–3%. You certainly don’t have to use it, but I really liked the idea of fusing some of the strengths of the higher-tech Laniege formulation with the more accessible one Kelly shared. I don’t recommend using hyaluronic acid in its place; the concentration and particle size are both so small as to be very hard (if not impossible) to replicate at home.
To wrap things up I’ve included a few “tarting up” ingredients—a touch of colour and some peppermint essential oil to help combat that oh-so-alluring lanolin scent (good news: I don’t notice the lanolin at all!). The colour is optional (and doesn’t show up on the skin at all), but I’d really recommend including the essential oil unless you’re a huge fan of the smell of lanolin 😝
The end product is rich and a bit gooey with a hint of gloss and great wear time. I’ve been generously schmearing it on and enjoying it both as an overnight lip mask and as a during-the-day lip balm (though I use less for during-the-day wear). I’ve found it to be downright lovely—like a supercharged combination of lip balm and a super hydrating lip gloss. Highly recommended!
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Moisturizing Overnight Lip Mask
Prepare a water bath by bringing about 3cm/1″ of water to a bare simmer over low to medium-low heat in a wide, flat-bottomed sauté pan.
Once everything has melted through (this can take quite a while due to the carnauba wax), remove the mixture from the heat and dry off the measuring cup. Let the mixture cool, stirring. After ~1 minute of cooling, add the liquid carmine dye and stir to combine.
Continue to let the lip mask cool—I’d leave it for about a minute, return to stir, and repeat this cycle until the mixture started to lean more towards a soft solid than liquid, and I could comfortably hold the warm dish in my hand.
At this point it’s time to blend in the remaining cool down ingredients; the hilurlip, essential oil, and vitamin E. Once those ingredients have been thoroughly blended in you’re ready to transfer the balm to your container. I used a 15g screw-top tin from YellowBee. This was too big for a 10g batch and too small for a 20g batch (somewhat predictably!).
To use, smooth a generous amount of the lip mask over your lips before bed and enjoy waking up to super soft lips!
Because this lip balm is 100% oil based, it does not require a broad-spectrum preservative (broad spectrum preservatives ward off microbial growth, and microbes require water to live—no water, no microbes!). Kept reasonably cool and dry, it should last at least a year before any of the oils go rancid. If you notice it starts to smell like old nuts or crayons, that’s a sign that the oils have begun to oxidize; chuck it out and make a fresh batch if that happens.
As always, be aware that making substitutions will change the final product. While these swaps won’t break the recipe, you will get a different final product than I did.
- As I’ve provided this recipe in percentages as well as grams you can easily calculate it to any size using a simple spreadsheet as I’ve explained in this post. As written in grams this recipe will make 10g.
- Do not substitute the lanolin, beeswax, or castor oil
- You can use different medium weight oils instead of jojoba and kukuinut, like rice bran
- Mango butter or cupuacu butter would work well in place of shea butter
- Candelilla wax will work instead of carnauba wax
- The colour is optional; replace it with more jojoba oil if you don’t wish to use any
- If you don’t have the hilurlip you can replace it with more kukuinut oil
- You can use a different essential oil, but I’d definitely include something to cover the scent of the lanolin