Sunday, February 27, 2011

Inventory #19: Lip Balms & Chapsticks

There used to be this great blog called Chaptastic that reviewed every single chapstick available to the blogger(s).  I followed it long before I ever contemplated starting a beauty blog, despite not being a fan of chapsticks.  It was just so cute and well-organized that I found myself revisiting it regularly.  I'm sad that they have disbanded since.

Well, much like the last few posts, I was under the impression that I had a lot more lip balms and chapsticks than I actually do.  I'm starting to feel a bit better about my stash of products... but I'm going to regret saying that when I finally get to hair care products.  (Eeeeek!)

What do I look for in a lip balm or chapstick?  In order of priority:

1.  Moisturizing power and fast absorption - That is key, right?
2.  Texture, colour, and smell - I prefer the product not be too sticky or greasy but sometimes those are the best.  The scent must be pleasing or at the least unoffending.  I prefer a slight tinge of pink because white balms that apply thick make me look dead (and if the pink is visible enough, I don't need an additional lip product on days I'm in a rush).
3.  Transportability and affordability - They're going to be carried everywhere so the less clunkier the better.
4.  Packaging and aesthetics - As always, the pretty tends to sucker me in.  But not if it's a huge hassle to open the lid or I'm afraid of damaging the pretty package by carrying it around.

From my collection, I would say that Burt's Bees Replenishing Lip Balm with Pomegranate Oil comes closest to fulfilling the criteria listed. 

Before this, I didn't own anything remotely chapstick-like for years and years.  Being the extremist that I am, I jumped from Vaseline to Bonne Belle Lip Smackers to Laura Mercier balms (which, by the way, is fabulous if tiny and expensive).  I'm not crazy about the waxy feel and pasty look of the original Burt's Bees balm, so this Pomegranate Oil seemed like a good compromise between all the products I've ever tried.  This is my third tube and I still love it despite a guy once telling me how much he hates the smell of it.  Too bad, buddy.

I also have the Acai Berry balm somewhere; it goes missing at least once a month and turns up again when I least expect to find it.  I don't like the Acai Berry scent, look, or feel as much as the Pomegranate but I bought it on one of those desperate days when I forgot to carry a balm with me.

As for the Rosebud salves, I posted a comparison review back in December.  Despite the low number of comments, it's one of the most viewed posts on my blog (according to Blogger statistics).  I still stand by Smith's Rosebud Salve as the superior product between the two.

I mentioned the Bonne Belle Lip Smacker and N.Y.C. Lip Sliders Tinted Lip Balm when I purchased them back in January.  I've had a month to try them out so here's a quick review:

N.Y.C. Lip Sliders - It's rather sticky but because of its stickiness, it will stay put and at least form a barrier of moisture on your lips against outside elements.  It doesn't absorb and moisturize as well as true balms like the rosebud salves do, but it's super cute and adds a nice natural tint and gloss to the lips.  You really can't complain when it's only $2 on sale.  There was about 5-6 shades in the drugstores and mine is called "Sugar Angel."  You would think the slide tin lid would get annoying after a while but I'm actually fine with it.  In fact, it's slightly easier to open than the rounded rosebud tins.  Sometimes I just carry this in my bag and no other lippies.

Bonne Belle Lip Smacker 100% Natural Pink Guava - Yarrrrrrgh!  It's doing that stupid thing where the product won't twist back down into the tube properly.  You would think that AFTER ALL THESE YEARS, they would have figured out a solution to this very common issue.  This automatically gets a permanent dismissal from me.  The inconvenience is hard to deal with.  It's not all that great of a balm, anyway.  It has the white pasty look that I don't like, though it doesn't make my lips look dead.  The smell of guava is faint and on the sweet side.  I was hopeful for a Bonne Belle reunion when I bought it but I see now that there is no going back.  Bonne Belle remains a part of fond memories of junior/middle school days, along with training bras, New Kids on the Block, and playground crushes.  See ya later.

Vasanti Conquer 3-in-1 Stick - I am completely new to Vasanti.  No clue what it's about.  I scooped this up when the drugstore carrying it had a promotional discount on all lip products.  I haven't had a chance to try it yet, so I'll give this one an update at some point in the future.  In the meantime, read the description that suckered me in: 

Lip treatment, Lip Erase and Natural Shine Gloss…all in one stick!! Wear as a clear Lip balm to moisturize, alone or on top of any liptick for a non-sticky brilliant shine or use at the end of the day to wipe away any lip colour effortlessly.

Sounds great, right???  I love that it looks like a lipstick.  The packaging is pretty slick and I like the emolient look of the product with the slightest hint of pink.  The price listed is US$15 but I got it for about Cdn$10.  Slightly more than I would normally pay for a balm, but it's nowhere near the Laura Mercier range.

[Edit:  Just tried and it's a winner!  Feels great right away and has an amazing glide and soothing effect.]

What are your fave lip balms?  Do you prefer them high or low or in between?  Have you tried and liked any of these?


  1. I was a Chaptastic lover too! Really like their logo, a lip balm tube with Chaptastic written on it!

    I'm a HUUUGE lip balm fanatic, and LOVE posts on lip balms! I was looking at your other posts about your inventories, and was eagerly waiting for this one. Actually, if you didn't post this, I'd bug you to do one for lip products! ;)

    I'm crazy for Labello, which is my all-time favorite lip balm. Also, I loved The Body Shop Born Lippy lip balms and Softlips. I don't remember trying any other brands, except some cheapies like Chap-Lip, and a few Chinese/Korean lip balms. Would love to try out the ones you have listed! :)

  2. So glad someone else remembers Chaptastic!

    I really wanted to like Softlips, but again, not crazy about the plain white balm. :) Being Korean, I should know more about Korean products but I have never even come across Korean lip balms! Now I'm curious.

  3. I've always wondered about Vasanti too, so looking forward to your review. I love the Rosebud Salve a lot. Lately I've been using Elizabeth Arden 8 hour Cream on my lips, which is probably the same thing.

  4. haha Oh the trends of yesteryear. I tried Lipsmackers a few months ago when I saw a flavor that looked good and remembered how much I liked them when I was younger. I quickly got disenchanted with it and got pulled back to adulthood - and it got thrown out.
    Lately I've been really loving the Sugar Lip Treatment, though they're definitely not wallet friendly. I also really like any of the Burt's Bees ones that don't give that tingly menthol effect.

  5. @Tracy - I've never tried Elizabeth Arden anything. Lot of new brands to explore in the future! ;)

    @Caitlin - Yeah, there really is no going back! I also love the Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment, but yes, very expensive. I have the Plum version and can't bring myself to pay the same price for a colourless balm. And I also hate the menthol/tingle so I take care to avoid those.

  6. I love love love the Rosebud balm. That stuff is awesome and costs only 6 bucks.

  7. Hi, Kristie! It's like $8-9 in Canada now! Ridiculous!!!

  8. Burt's Bees is by far one of my favorite chap sticks around. I like the pale pink color, the smell, the texture, and the fact that my lips feel moisturized for a very long time after putting it on.

    I am also a big fan of the Rosebud lip gloss. I have about three going at once. It's in my purse, car and on my vanity table.

    Great picks and post!

  9. Hey Christina, glad we have such great taste and agree on Burt's Bees and Rosebud Salve. ;)

  10. have you ever try ALBA? It comes in 2 flavors, coconut and passion fruit nectar. I think I like Alba way better than Burt's Bees. My new favorite is Sally Hansen. It comes in clear tubes and I am using the pink one. I love those!! :)

    1. I don't think we get those here in Canada (not sure)?

      But I have plenty of lip balms right now, though this post was from a year ago! :)

  11. Since you are a beauty blogger, I'm sure you've learned this trick by now, but if you put on lip balm and then gently scrub your lips with a soft wet toothbrush, your dead skin supposedly disappears! I always do that before putting on lip stick and sometimes even before applying more lip balm! I'm loving EOS lip balm right now! I know this post is old, but I saw it after reading your Rose vs. Rosebud salve post!

    1. Hi Sydney, I actually really dislike the toothbrush trick but will exfoliate with tissue or soft cloth. I apply a thick layer of balm at night and try to wipe off the dead layer in the a.m. Finished an EOS balm and liked it but I can't seem to resist trying new things. :) Thanks for stopping by and commenting!


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