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Do It Yourself: Katey Denno’s Hydrating Lip Treatment

Do It Yourself: Katey Denno’s Hydrating Lip Treatment

Celebrity makeup artist Katey Denno was 9 years old when her mother taught her how to steam her face over a bowl of hot water in their kitchen. “She would add a little eucalyptus oil to the water for me before mixing up a mask with oats, honey, and yogurt,” Denno recalls. “It was such a fun thing to do that I didn’t even realize we were doing good things for our skin.” As she got older, this curiosity led Denno to learn how to tighten her under-eye area with egg whites, exfoliate with sugar, and eventually to teach DIY beauty workshops at the Bowery Whole Foods in New York City.

Flash forward a few decades from that first DIY with her mother and Denno is one of the most in-demand beauty pros in Los Angeles. Nicknamed “Hollywood’s green makeup artist,” she’s cultivated a loyal following—Olivia Wilde, January Jones, and Olivia Munn are just a few of her A-list clients—for both her artistry and love of natural products and holistic treatments. “You never know what's going to happen on the road with a client,” Denno says. “I've whipped up a lot of solutions at the 11th hour on a press junket, from cold spoons on the eyes to a yogurt mask.”

This month, Rose Inc. has tapped Denno for something special: A mini series of four at-home beauty treatments. By utilizing natural fruit enzymes for exfoliation, the antibacterial properties of honey and apple cider vinegar, and more ingredient superfoods you probably already have on hand, she created easy weekly indulgences to keep our faces and scalps healthy while self-isolating—and yes, they’re great for making memories with family, too.

Her DIY Inspiration:

Because lips lack sebaceous and sweat glands—and feature some of the thinnest skin on our bodies—they need a bespoke protocol to maintain a healthy, soft, and plump appearance. For Denno, this means a two-step solution: hydration with manual exfoliation followed by a soothing, plumping mask.

Behind The Mask:

Gently buffing away dry skin is the first step to smooth lips, so Denno recommends mixing equal parts coconut oil, granulated sugar, and honey (raw or Manuka honey is best because their antibacterial properties are highest, but all honey is a humectant, so any will work in a pinch) in a small bowl and set aside. Using a mortar and pestle or spoon, mash a little non-citrus fruit—like strawberry, papaya, or grapes—until chunky and mix into the scrub. This adds both vitamins and light exfoliating acids. Next, create your mask by mixing equal parts Greek yogurt (or any animal milk-based yogurt) and honey—about 1 teaspoon each should do it—then set aside.

Once you have both mixtures ready, massage your scrub over dry lips using gentle circular motions until lips feel baby soft, about 30 seconds. Rinse clean and immediately apply a thick layer of mask to lock in the moisture from your scrub. Allow the lactic acid in the yogurt and antibacterial and hydrating properties in the honey work for a few minutes before rinsing and applying a rich balm.

Photos by Hanna Hillier. Written by Lexy Lebsack.

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