Plumprageous Matte Lip Treatment is sold as a lip primer of sorts. It's said to not only prime lips but also to plump them and enhance lipstick wear. We found the priming part worked pretty well but the plumping portion comes from a fairly standard roster of ingredients (spearmint oil, menthyl lactate, and the pepper extract, capsaicin) known to irritate lips. GlamGlow even states that this "may cause an intense tingling sensation"! It does just that, and the sensation tends to strengthen and feel progressively uncomfortable (going from a tingling to burning feeling) the longer you have this on.
Housed in a sleek silver tube that you twist to unlock the applicator wand (as shown in the diagram on the box), this thin-textured lip plumper/primer goes on a bit unevenly, largely due to the pointed, doe-foot applicator whose hole in the center causes the product to drip through, even if you're careful about not using too much.
A far bigger concern than the drip-through applicator tip is that from the moment this product touches your lips you will feel an intense tingle (as we mentioned above) but, even after several minutes, lips don't look any fuller. They do look redder, but in this case, that's not a good sign! See More Info for the details on how daily use of irritating ingredients can be a problem for lips (and skin).
What this product does well is prime the lips. Its silicone-enhanced formula temporarily smooths and, to a minor extent, fill in, lines on the lips. This enhances how lipstick goes on and how it looks, because the silicones create a flexible barrier that keeps the lipstick from seeping into lines. However, we didn't notice the primer step increased the wear time of lipstick or lip gloss. It's more about creating a visual trick of having smoother lips, which in turn makes lipstick or gloss application that much easier.
If you want the primer benefit this product provides, consider a product like Urban Decay's Ultimate Ozone Multipurpose Primer Pencil instead, as it doesn't present the risk of irritation that GlamGlow's Plumprageous Matte Lip Treatment brings to the table. Unfortunately, the "intense tingling" described on this product's packaging is the primary reason we cannot recommend it. Even after removal, the tingling (some might describe it as a strong burning sensation) continues. Simply put, it's not good for your lips—and worse, you're not likely to see any plumping!
Inclusion of Known Irritants: Irritation, whether you see it on the surface of your skin (lips) or not, causes inflammation and as a result impairs healing, damages collagen, and depletes the vital substances your lips need to stay young. For this reason, it is best to eliminate, or minimize as much as possible, your exposure to known skin and lip irritants, especially when there are brilliant formulas available that do not include these types of problematic ingredients. Fragrance-free is the best way for all skin types to go for lips and skin (Food and Chemical Toxicology, 2008 & American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 2003)
The sneaky part about irritation is that research has demonstrated that you don't always need to see it or feel it for your skin to suffer damage, and that damage may remain hidden for a long time (Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, 2008). But we're pretty confident you'll feel this lip plumper's intense tingle!
Strengths: None, unfortunately. Well, their packaging is pretty.
Weaknesses: Despite the hype, GlamGlow does not have exceptional, or even mediocre, products worth considering. Their primary two masks are overpriced and offer a mix of ordinary clays, potent fragrance and irritating plant extracts with a few beneficial antioxidants present but they are rendered useless because of the jar packaging.
Created by the husband-and-wife team of Glenn and Shannon Dellimore, the Hollywood, California-based GlamGlow line consists of several masks and cleansers. Their marketing claims may have you thinking these masks are revolutionary skin-care treatments but they are not—not even slightly. GlamGlow also claims their masks are sought out by actors and celebrities for their ability to "tighten skin and shrink pores". The celebrity allure is a good one, as most of us want to know what the stars use to get or stay gorgeous, but celebrity cache alone isn't a great reason to try any product. A lot of celebrities do things that aren't good for them, like smoke, tan, or drink too much, and they make skin care and cosmetic surgery mistakes too.
But back to the masks. The GlamGlow masks contain fragrant essential oils, irritating plant extracts and ordinary clays (despite being named "French clay", in the world of skin-care formulation, clay is just clay and being from France is as special as a French fry is to a potato).
The reality behind the ingredients used in the GlamGlow line is much less interesting than the story would lead you to believe. Aside from the mix of clay and fragrance, their "hero ingredient" is the trade-named ingredient called "Teoxi", which is just green-tea extract. While green-tea extract is an excellent antioxidant, isn’t capable of the the skin perfecting, Benjamin Button-age-reversing results promised. As the body's largest organ, your skin is far too complex to have its anti-aging needs met by one antioxidant, however good it may be. But even if green-tea extract were as amazing as GlamGlow asserts, it won’t remain stable in the jar packaging the company chose for their masks.
Aside from "Teoxi", GlamGlow uses trade names instead of using the actual ingredient name in their marketing claims, on both the box and their website. You may think "Teoxi" sounds impressive, but you're only getting standard ingredients—their use of trade names simply makes the formula seem more intriguing than it really is. For example, their "Bio-Life-Cell-Science" technology claims to be an "Advanced Scientific Skincare" blend, but in reality it's just a mix of eucalyptus, peppermint, comfrey, ivy, marigold and other standard plant extracts. It would take some advanced scientific Photoshopping to get anti-wrinkle/anti-blemish results from this cast of ordinary problematic ingredients!
If you're interested in a clay mask for absorbing excess oil or helping clogged pores, there are many alternatives which easily beat GlamGlow for a fraction of the cost. There is nothing unique about the masks this line sells.
GlamGlow also makes exfoliating claims, but these don't live up to their promise for reasons discussed in each mask's reviews. You are better off using a soft washcloth with your cleanser for physical exfoliation—you will get virtually identical results and save your skin the irritation (plus spare your bank account the wasted money). If brighter, more even-toned skin is your goal, consider any of the well-formulated AHA/BHA exfoliants recommended in the Best Products section.
In the end, despite lots of hype, GlamGlow is a disappointment that isn't worth the expense and puts your skin at risk of irritation. If only a fraction of the marketing efforts behind the brand were put into formulating their products, they might have ended up with products truly deserving of celebrity accolades!
For more information about GlamGlow, email at email@example.com or visit www.glamglowmud.com (there is no available phone number).
Note: As of January 2015, GlamGlow has been acquired by Estee Lauder.
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