This is a dual-sided product that has a brush-on lip treatment (essentially a lip balm) on one end and a brush-on lip gloss on the other. Combined, the duo is supposed to reduce the appearance of lines on lips and plump the lips for a more youthful look. Unfortunately, this treatment has a significant disadvantage that makes it a poor choice for routine use, although both sides do smooth and soften dry, chapped lips.
The treatment side, known as Quench Restorative Lip Treatment, is where the main problem lies: Its formula contains menthol and a form of menthol known as menthyl lactate. Both provide a cooling, tingling sensation that may feel pleasant, but that really just irritates the lips. This irritation can prompt inflammation that makes lips appear a bit larger, but the effect is fleeting, and over time the irritation may damage healthy collagen production, ultimately leading to thinner lips.
The finishing touch is Quench Plumping Lip Gloss, which is a standard, thick-textured gloss formula that contains a high amount of minty flavor (which also adds fragrance). In fact, this gloss contains more flavor than anti-aging ingredients—and there's no research proving the peptides in this formula can improve lines on the lips. We admit the concept is enticing, but there are better (and less expensive) ways to combat dry lips and lines. For example, using a gentle lip scrub followed by an emollient lip balm helps soften lip lines and ensures a smooth, protected finish. You'll find such options on our list of Best Lip Products.
- The lip treatment and lip gloss smooth and soften dry, chapped lips.
- Quench Restorative Lip Treatment contains menthol ingredients that can be irritating, potentially leading to further chapping and thinner lips.
- Quench Plumping Lip Gloss doesn't plump, but its minty flavor is a further source of irritation.
Quench & Correct Plumping Gloss and Restorative Lip Treatment moisturizes and replenishes. Correct Restorative Lip Treatment with Hydra8™ reduces the appearance of lip lines and eliminates dryness. The Quench Plumping Gloss helps restore moisture for an instantly plumped, youthful look that’s bound to keep you beaming.
Quench Restorative Lip Treatment:
C10-30 Cholesterol/Lanosterol Esters, Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Hydrogenated Olive Oil, Pentaerythrityl Tetraisostearate, Hydrogenated Castor Oil/Sebacic Acid Copolymer, Hydrogenated Jojoba Oil, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Ozokerite, Macadamia Integrifolia Seed Oil, Flavor (Aroma), Passiflora Edulis Seed Oil, Dipalmitoyl Hydroxyproline, Propylene Carbonate, Beeswax, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Tocopherol Acetate, Euterpe Oleracea (Acai Palm) Fruit Oil, Orbignya Oleifera (Babassu) Seed Oil, Phytosterols, Menthol, Stearalkonium Hectorite, Menthyl Lactate, Honey Extract, Palmitoyl Hexapeptide-12
Quench Plumping Lip Gloss:
Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Polybutene, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Pentaerythrityl Tetraisostearate, Flavor (Aroma), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Tocopheryl Acetate, Stearalkonium Hectorite, Propylene Carbonate, Palmitoyl Hexapeptide-12, Dimethiconol, Cyclopentasiloxane, Ethylhexyl Cocoate, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenyl Trimethicone, Lecithin, Glycolipids, Dimethicone, Limonene, Linalool
The woman behind this line is a Los Angeles–based aesthetician who owns her own clinic, which specializes not only in aesthetic services but also in cosmetic corrective procedures involving injections (dermal fillers), lasers, Botox, and the like. The clinic is staffed with a doctor and nurses, which is definitely what you want if you're considering services beyond a facial or a massage.
The selling points of this line are Somerville's years of experience in the aesthetics industry and her allegedly devoted celebrity clientele. As such, her products and famous clientele get press in the pages of fashion magazines, which explains why we routinely get asked about this skin-care line. Somerville herself is every bit as attractive as her star clients, and the information on her Web site is presented in such a way that you sincerely believe she has your skin's best interests in mind. And wouldn't you want to trust your skin's needs to a professional who also tends to celebrities?
Knowing all these details, we were anticipating that most of the products bearing Somerville's name would be state-of-the-art slam dunks. Alas, many of them are far afield from that level of formulation. When it comes to giving skin what it needs to function as healthily and normally as possible (and, at these prices, that's what you should expect), this line is, unfortunately, hit or miss. What Somerville knows about giving an amazing facial is one thing, but she clearly missed the research that proves how problematic several of the plant oils that she uses can be. A professional concerned with the health of her clients' skin shouldn't be formulating products with cinnamon, grapefruit, and lavender oils, among others.
If we were one of Somerville's clients, we'd certainly take her to task for that oversight, but we'd also want to know why she offers only one sunscreen and doesn't offer any effective AHA or BHA exfoliants. A discussion of advanced skin science and state-of-the-art ingredients is not sufficient if your product line has gaps: limited sun protection options, no reliable exfoliants, no non-drying cleansers, and a complete lack of options to treat skin discolorations (pigment irregularities, unlike blackheads, cannot be manually extracted, which makes the absence of a skin lightening product an issue).
This product line may not be the one you want to build your skin-care routine around, but there are some exceptional products. Of all the aesthetician-backed lines we've reviewed, none come as close to providing the level of formulary excellence of many of Somerville's moisturizers and serums. They're pricey, but if you're going to spend in excess for skin-care products, you should be doing so on products that stand a very good chance of markedly improving your skin’s appearance. We are curious to see how this product line will expand and (hopefully) improve over the years. The current mishmash of awesome and awful products makes it risky to shop this line blindly (or on the sole rationale of a celebrity endorsement), but with careful consideration to avoid irritants you can find some products of value. Hopefully, she will expand the line to fill in the current gaps (especially for sun protection) and eliminate the irritants.
For more information about Kate Somerville, call (800) 984-5283 or visit www.katesomerville.com.