Let’s talk lips

I have a weakness for lip products. I think part of it stems from when I was little. I would always get horribly chapped lips when I was a kid and they would crack and belled and be painful. And then I was given lip balm and it was like magic. Or at least the good ones were. The bad ones felt like scraping a glue stick across your lips and often hurt to apply unless you kept them in your pocket for a few hours letting your body heat half melt them so they could more easily apply. The good ones took away the pain.

I’m fairly certain that is where my love affair with lip products started. And while I am often pulled in my colors and claims, like the lip balms of old, not all lip products are created equal. I find it helpful to look at the lip products before the holiday sales kick off. I know, I probably don’t need to be ordering any more lip products. However, when it comes time for check out, I often find myself just a tiny bit short of hitting the free shipping mark. while a lot of places have free shipping around the holidays as standard, a lot don’t or they have a minimum purchase threshold for free shipping.

At those times I generally look around for one more small item to just put me over the edge and into free shipping range. Nine times out of ten, it ends up being a lip product. On most sites they are among the lest expensive items and let’s face it, I never really object to getting a new lip product. Hence the pre-black Friday lip review.

So let’s look at a few of this year’s winners.

Top of the list has to go to bareMinerals. while the rest of this list won’t be in top ten order, I do feel that I need to put them first as there are three bare minerals lip products pictured above. One is the Gen Nude Liquid lip (black cap), the second is the mineralist lip gloss balm, and the third is a bullet style lip stick also from their mineralist line. The glosses aren’t overly stick and they are comfortable to wear. The lipstick has great staying power and while it does fade throughout the day, as pretty much all traditional style lipsticks do, it leaves your lips feeling nourished. While I love the color and look of these products, the thing that puts them at the top of my list is simply the fact that my lips feel great even after they are gone. There is something in the product that is nourishing. And going into the winter, having a nourishing lip product is an extra bonus. If you are looking to try them out, they also have some amazing holiday lip kits on sale right now. As well as some great deals.

While bareMinerals does take the blue ribbon prize this year with both liquid and bullet styles, lets split the liquids from the solids here. There are five traditional bullet style lipsticks that I put on my repurchase list. These are not only the ones I am happy to add to my shopping cart to reach the free shipping mark, but products that I will go to the brand website specifically to purchase. They are:

  • Bite Beauty Power move soft matte lipstick: I am so relieved to be able to put this one on the list. I love the formula but for a while it looked like Bite beauty was not selling them any more. Just when I was about to give up and realized that I was just going to have to use the last nub of lipstick up and say goodbye, Bite beauty brought their lipsticks back. These lipsticks are nourishing, long lasting and they both smell and taste good. I know tasting makeup usually isn’t a thing, but with lipsticks it sometimes matters. If you don’t like the taste of traditional lipsticks, I suggest giving this one a try.
  • Lorac Alter Ego Satin Lipstick: This is a great covering lipstick that won’t dry out your lips. It has a nice vanilla scent and is incredibly easy to wear.
  • Wet ‘n Wild Megalast lipstick: While this doesn’t give extra nourishment to the lips, I was surprised and very pleased with the coverage and longevity of the color. It is a very comfortable lipstick to wear and an excellent product to keep on hand. I generally find the wet ‘n wild lipsticks jumping into my cart as i peruse the aisles when I am at Target. Sometimes after a bad day, a new lipstick does make me feel a little bit better. And This ois one that one break the bank. At the moment they are even harder to resist picking up. If you follow the link to the Wet ‘n wild Site you will see that the normally $2.99 lipsticks are now $1.99. That is certainly a sale I can get behind. And I have been thinking about picking up some more of their color icon palettes as well. So I suspect several lippies will find their way back to me. At the moment they have free shipping on orders $25 or more. they also have a free gift with a $25 purchase (Use Code:WWGIFT25) and a gift with $35 purchase (use Code: WWGIFT30)
  • MAC: I know, MAC lipsticks are not a new try for me. they were in fact my very first non-drug store lippie. I used to pick them up as a special treat to myself. They have several varieties to choose from. At the moment I am really loving the Love Me Lipstick line. It is very comfortable to wear and non-drying. I will say though that there is definitely the possibility of me going for the retro line should I make any MAC purchases in the near future. Although to be honest, while I like their other products, I generally shop MAC for lipsticks. Their other products are good, but it is the lips that are the usual draw for me towards the brand. And right now, that is towards the Love Me Line.
  • Buxom Full Force Plumping Lipstick: While Buxom Lips haven’t been in my life as long as MAC has, they run a close second. They are a product that I will always repurchase. The main lipstick I have now is a very neutral shade tha I can’t wear on it’s own. I use it as a base for a lot of other products though. It wears like a really good matte lipstick, but it has the plumping action that I really enjoy. It is a great base for other products and it is a good topper to tone down too bright shades. It is a lipstick that works well on it’s own and still plays well with others. As the shade I have is too neutral for me, it is mostly a helper. I am eyeing several shades that i can wear on my own though and I suspect i will end up with quite a few of them.

There are two glosses in my list and they are:

  • Colourpop So Juicy: Also a plumping gloss and also a standard. It looks great and fabulously glossy on the lips bare or over another matte product. I personally like to use this as my pre makeup ritual. I’ll apply it right after the shower and then let it work it’s magic while I dry and style my hair and get everything else rady. Then I will take it off at the last second and put whatever lipstick I want to use on over it.
  • Roen Kiss my liquid lip balm: Despite the name it is not a lip balm. it is a gloss. A very peppermint gloss. I personally like it as it projects the scent of peppermint making it seem as though I have fresh breath even when my mouth is closed. Plus I like peppermint. It is also nice when you are wearing a face mask. Kind of personal air freshener you wear on your lips. It is a nice gloss. There are no balm benefits though, despite the name. If you like peppermint, I’d take a look at it, if not, I’d avoid it.

And here we enter the hole stretch my darlings. That’s right, the liquid lips. And to be honest they are all on this list for exactly the same reasons. They are compfortable to wear. They do not dry out my lips. They all dry down enough not to leave lip prints behind and they are long lasting. So what are these four fabulous products?

And there you have it my darlings. The lip products that have made it to the top of my list. while i want most of these products in multiple shades, I suspect that when I delve into the Black Friday. Cyber Monday sales, shades of these products will be added to make up my free shipping quota, brcause when the formula is good, multiple shades aren’t a hardship.

Buxom Cosmetics

Plumping the lips

I am a big fan of plumping lip products. Personally, I like the tingly feeling. While my go to is usually a Buxom plumping lipstick, I tend to use the Colourpop Juicy Plumping gloss before applying lipstick. I’ll put it on and let it sit for about twenty or thirty minutes, then I will wipe it off, put on the rest of my makeup and whatever lipstick I actually plan to wear.

Does it make my lips look extremely plumped? No. It does make them slightly plumped though and it makes me feel good. And if I feel good, then I look good. At least in my own mind. Its also why I like to wear pretty underwear out, even if no one at the restaurant or event is going to see it, but that is another story. This is about plumping lip gloss.

The products I use do product a plumping effect. I don’t actually want a massive plumping effect because I really don’t like the caught in a pool drain look. So they give me exactly the look I want. The Buxom and colourpop mostly plup up the lips so they are smoother and lipstick looks better.

In the October BoxyCharm Premium box I received the Maneater Plumping Gloss from Tarte in the shade Buff. For a little over a week I have been using it and trying to get a feel for it.

On a swatch buff is a very pink shade. While pink on the lips it isn’t as in your face pink as it seems on the swatch. That could also be the pinkish shade of my lips helping it blend so the shade may look a little different on you depending on your lips. I know, kind of logical, but sometimes logic needs to be stated so that some where out there some one can roll their eyes and think ‘well, duh’ and have a moment of superiority.

Think of this moment of superiority as my gift to you.

If you go to the Tarte website and look up this lip gloss you will find…

  • volu-plump complex for visibly plumper looking lips
  • nourishing formula smooths look of lip lines
  • wraps lips in lasting hydration, color & shine
  • 1 swipe for sheer shiny color, 2 for a pop
  • jumbo applicator covers lips in a quicki

You will also find before and after pictures of lips. One pre gloss and one post. They look very very plumped. It also looks like the model is slightly compressing her lips in the first picture to make them a bit smaller looking. I too applied the gloss and took before and after pics. In each of these photos I kept my lips relaxed so that you could see the actual effects.

As you can see there is a little smoothing but not massive plumping. The lip gloss does tingle quite a bit, which made me think there would be a more dramatic difference. There is some smoothing.

Mostly, it is a tingly lip gloss. There is no scent to it so if you are looking for a gloss with no scent, this is a good one. It is slightly sticky, as almost all gloss is slightly sticky. However the stick factor is fairly minimal. It doesn’t feel like your lips are glued together.

I really like the doe foot applicator. It is a really big doe foot and it has a divot at the end so that it contours a bit to the lips. The doe foot makes it easy to apply.

The color is sheer and I found that it blended well with other products. I used it over a neutral lip crayon that tended to blend my lips into my face and it gave it enough color that I could wear the overly neutral tone. I used it over a berry shade and it made the berry shade less dark. It is good for slight augmentation to other lip products. It is a gloss and it also makes your lips very glossy.

It wears off with every touch and won’t last through a meal. It leaves smudges on glass rims too. All of that is again expected for this type of product and I would have been shocked if it hadn’t worn off. I was very surprised though that the tingling lasted until the product wore off. There was no tingle at first and then fade away. The tingling sensation was there as long as the lip gloss was on my lips.

But in the end there is one question to ask? Would I repurchase?

Honestly, i don’t think I would. It is a nice lip gloss. And it gives a nice sheer color. I don’t mind wearing it and I will wear it until it is used up. But would replace it. If i was going for a sheer color plumping gloss I would go with one of the Colourpop So Juicy products. They have a wider color range, more plumping action, less stickiness and are much less expensive. If I wanted a plumping lipstick,. I would go with a Buxom product. For me this Tarte Maneater Gloss falls into the good enough to use since it came in a subscription and I now own it, but not something I would purchase on its own.’ I know, I need to get more succinct names for my categories. I’ll work on it.

It is a decent plumping lip gloss, it just isn’t going to make my favorites list. So I will just use it until it is done.

Halloween Sale: Get a Free Full-Size Lip Gloss + Free Shipping on Orders $50+. Use code: HALLOWEEN at checkout. Valid 10/29-10/31.

Buxom Cosmetics

Unboxing the September 2021Jersey Shore Cosmetics Lip Balm Subscription

Here it is, a small blue plastic mailer has arrived in my mail box and it is postmarked New Jersey. You know what that means, my darlings. The September Jersey Shore Cosmetics Lip Balm Subscription has arrived. Now this month they did increase the price. Before the subscription (with shipping) came to $8 per month. Now, with shipping it is $10 per month.

As each of their lip balms retail for $10 and you receive two lip balms per month. So it is basically double the value, so I don’t mind the increase. And I do like the lip balms. In fact these have been my go to standard for lip balms for a while. I love the formula and the scents and tastes of the lip balms. i always keep a tube on my desk and all winter you will find them tucked into coat pockets and purses in my world.

In fact this is the subscription I use to stock up so that I don’t end up with dry cracked lips in the winter. There is something I really like about seeing a stockpile of lip balms. It makes me think, ‘wow I really need to use those up’. Because of that thought I tend to reach for them more, and apply the product more and thus have fewer chapped lips in the winter.

However it does take me more than a month to get through one lip balm. And each month comes with two, so this is one of those subscriptions that I frequently dip in and out of. I keep it around for a few months and then let it go as I work my way through the balms I have. It is one of the reasons I tend to subscribe to this service through Cratejoy rather than look for it on the Jersey Shore Cosmetics Website. It is super easy to find, sign up for and cancel. And I sign up and cancel at least once a year.

This will probably be my last month for a while as I am starting to look at my lip balms and thing, yeah I have enough for a while. I know it is a bit early, but I want to actually restart the subscription again around January. I noticed that I tend to stock pile enough to get me through the winter, which means I sign up for the subscription in the spring and keep it through the summer. It means I get a lot of watermelon, Strawberry and lemonade flavored lip balms. This year I want to try out some of the wintery versions instead.

But September is most definitely autumn, so what lip balms arrived this month?

First off both are labeled Lip conditioner and aromatherapy.

The first is Citrus Zest. It is lemony but has a slightly different scent and taste from the Lemonade lip balm (which I actually really enjoy). It smells as though lemon and lime were blended together in this vegan formula.

The Second lip balm is the Petite Vanilla. As you might expect it smells of vanilla, but has no real taste to it. The scent is actually more like a vanilla pod than the faux vanilla that you get in a lot of beauty products. It is lighter and less cloying.

Now while I tend to pay attention to the scent of lip balms because they are placed on your lips which are just under your nose, these are labeled aromatherapy. I’ll have to look into what the scent of vanilla and citrus are supposed to do mentally, but I can tell you that the scents of these are a little bit stronger than their normal lip balms. So I can see why they are a different line.

Personally, I rather like both of them. I can sort of see the Vanilla edging into fall scents, but I’m not certain about the citrus. Admittedly seasonality is not always the point. One thing i really like about this Jersey Shore Cosmetics Lip Balm Subscription, besides the lip balms, is that the products sent out tend to be their new releases. It is not older product the brand is trying to get rid of, but new items they just released. Earlier this summer we received two products from their new Spritzer line of lip balms and now we have the aromatherapy ones. As Autumn deepens I’m sure there will be more seasonal scents. And while these don’t scream fall, they are good lip balms and I will very much enjoy putting them to use.

The Autumn 2021 Lip Product Declutter

Gather them all together to start

Ah, can you feel it?  A new month a new season even and so it is time now for the first of the Autumnal declutters.  And because it is the one that I always put off until last, this time I am starting with the lip declutter.  I find this one really hard and in fact I often skip it. 

First off because I love lip products.  I do and I will often pick them up in the grocery store, or add one onto another shopping list eight to get the value of the cart to the level of free shipping or because I want to try a new formula.  Sometimes I will simply see a color and say OOH.  Then before I know it I will have added it to the cart.

In addition there are a lot of lip products that end up in my collection due to subscription boxes.  I don’t mind that as I often get to try products from companies I haven’t tried before.  Or I will get a color that it would never occur to me to buy that I find looks good on me. 

I also get a lot of colors that I just don’t like.

And they end up staying in my collection to.  A lot of times it will be because I like the formula of the product even if I don’t like the color. Then I keep it so that I remember it is a formula that I like so that I can order a color that suits me.  And then I forget why I saved it. 

It has also been a really long time since my last lip declutter.  I keep promising myself that I am going to and then I schedule it so in the back of my mind I will think that it hasn’t been that long since I went through and got rid of things, but it really has. 

So as a consequence the first pass through the lip products involved getting rid of anything that was expired, used up to the point where keeping it was somewhat pointless or that was simply a shade I didn’t like. That actually cleared out quite a lot.

It also added loads of color swatches to my hand and arm as I tried to determine if a product was worth staying through that first pass.

Then I separated out a few products that I either hadn’t tried (or don’t remember trying) or that I hadn’t fully made my mind up about because they were still new to me.  There actually weren’t that many.  Five actually: The Roen lip gloss, KAB Hydrating Lip oil, the Zoeva Lip crayon, a YSL Lipstick and a M2U NYC matte lip that I do not remember actually seeing before.  I’m sure it came in a subscription box but it is unopened and looks like a good color.  I just don’t remember getting it.

the undecided products

Most of the time if I don’t like a lip formula, I get rid of it pretty quickly.  There were however a few hanging around that weren’t my favorites.  The first was from a Live Glam subscription.  I found the formula, once it dried down, to be a bit on the crumbly side.  I left little flakes of it everywhere my lips touched and I just wasn’t a fan.  The Jules Smith Lip Gloss and the Arrow lip balm I just didn’t like the feel of on my lips.  They were sticky and made me feel like I needed to wipe off my lips.  The Feel lip balm was just a little bit on the slimy side for me. 

The Butter London Lip Glazen I really wanted to like.  I love the way it looked and felt, but I just didn’t like the taste.  Normally taste isn’t a thing with makeup, but with lip products it matters and I simply couldn’t take the taste of the butter London one no matter how much I liked the formula. 

A few of interest

There were three interesting products in the lipstick collection.  One was the Elf Lip scrub.  This one is worn down to the nub and no longer usable.  I kept it to remind me to pick up another one.  The Perricone MD No Makeup Makeup Lipstick is also beyond expired.  It too is kept soely to remind me to pick up another one.  It is a fantastic barely there product that just makes the lips look like your lips but a little bit better.  But it is beyond expired so I marked it down and will order a new one at some point. The Refil from Birchbox I kept because it is a refillable lip balm.  I like the lip balm well enough to use and I want to keep it to see if I will use it up and then feel like refilling it.  I am going to try to keep it out and try to use it more often.  I like the thought of a refillable lip balm, I’m just not sure I like this one enough to refill it when it is empty. But I will try.

Trestique

You may also notice the stack of Trestique lip products.  Yeah, I’m keeping all of them.  They are easy to wear and easy to use.  Some of them are sheer in color while others are more matte.  All are in various stages of use.  A few don’t really have long for this world actually.  The sheer ones I tend to grab and dash on over whatever else I am wearing just before I run out somewhere so those are the most used.  In fact the sheer pink (Shell Beach Sheer) goes on well over almost any lip product.  It has almost no tint to it and if you have a drying liquid lip on, it really helps keep your lips moist.  It has reached the tiny nub stage and will be used up.  The other sheers will be used as well (and have been actually).  As they are used up completely I will get rid of them but as a collection I highly recommend the Trestique sheers they just work so well over any other lip product that they are worth keeping around for that alone.  Although I do like wearing them on their own as well.

a few notables

Colorpop, Bite Beauty and Elf are staying.  I got rids of all of the ones that were almost out of product and/or expired so there aren’t many of any of them left, but I do have a few I consistently repurchase.  With ELF that is the Sheer Slick in Black Cherry.  I love this as a simple low key color on my lips.  I also love the vibrant red matte of Red Vixen.  It dries down and simply doesn’t move.  It doesn’t dry out the lips though. 

Yensa may be my favorite lip oil.  So I am happy to keep that along with my favorite Buxom Plumping lip stick.  One of the reasons that I actually wanted to go through my lipsticks was because there were other colors of the Buxom plumping lip stick that I wanted to pick up.  I just knew I didn’t have room.

What stays in the end

There are of course many, many more lip products I kept, but those are really my highlights.  I’m going to try to rotate more through my lip products, not that I have cut them down and they aren’t so overwhelming.  I actually like being able to see and use all of my lip products.  Lately I have found myself reaching for the same three or four, mostly because they were easily accessible.  At this point I have actually gone through and gotten rid of two thirds of my lip products.  Which actually makes me feel really good.  Now I feel as though I can actually see and use them. 

For me this was a hard declutter to do.  I know it isn’t as in depth as some of my other declutters but the truth is I tend not to keep lip products I don’t like so pretty much everything I had was a product I liked. Age and color were what took most of the products out of my collection this time around.  And as difficult as it was, I feel much better because of it.  Let the Autumnal Decluttering Begin!

Labor Day Sale: 20% Off + Free Shipping Sitewide with code: LABORDAY. Plus, enjoy a free 3-piece gift on orders of $50+. Valid 9/2-9/7.

BUXOM Cosmetics

Jersey Shore Cosmetics August Lip Balm Subscription

One of my favorite subscriptions is the Jersey Shore Cosmetics Lip Balm Subscription. Mostly because I really love The Jersey Shore Cosmetics Lip Balms. What I generally tend to do with this subscription is to keep it for a few months and stock up and then cancel it while I work through my stockpile.

Then of course once my stockpile drops low, I open my subscription back up. The subscription itself is through Cratejoy. I found it while poking around one afternoon several years ago. The subscription has changed a little bit over time. There used to be tiers (1, 2 or 4 lip balms per month) but now they only seem to have the one tier.

It is $5 per month ($8 with shipping) and you receive two lip balms each month. The subscription always ships out by the 7th of the month and you are charged on the 11th of the month for the following month’s package. They are usually really good about sticking to the listed dates. The lip balms sent are the same lip balms they sell on the Jersey Shore Cosmetics website. Those retail for $10 each, which makes this a great deal actually.

Yup, my frugal senses are tingling, Batman.

Or whatever superhero is in charge of savings.

Accountancyman? The Budgetator?

Actually, the Budgetator sounds like a potato with a coupon clipping habit.

I’ll work on my super heroes later.

In fact last month we received two of their newly released Spritzer Lip balms. The Peach Apricot Spritzer is one of my favorites and I think it is one I will end up reordering at some point. It smells just like a peach Bellini (sans alcohol of course). The spritzer part keeps the scent light and stops it from becoming too cloyingly sweet, which I like.

This year when I signed back up for the subscription (having worked through my stockpile once again) I realized that because I generally run out of lip balm in early spring, I tend to do my stockpiling in the spring and summer so those are the scents I end up using. My plan this year was to wait a little longer, possibly use up some other lip balms and then get some fall flavors/scents.

August is that strange borderland between summer and autumn. There is a great deal of longing for fall, or at least cooler weathers. Especially as you gather school supplies and realize that over the summer your desk has become a strange place where notes lay have buried under reports and where your Humidity control hair products mingle with your spray sunscreen. But at the same time, the heat has hit what we generally call The Dog Days. Where the heat and humidity combine to make you feel like you are in some strange giant’s stew pot.

Or at least that is how I think of August.

Oddly my lip balm subscription sort of reflected that. The two scents I received this time were Watermelon and Peppermint. Watermelon is most certainly a summer scent and one I have used quite frequently from Jersey Shore Cosmetics. I really enjoy it and am happy to have another one around. The peppermint I have had before and also enjoy. It is cool and refreshing, although peppermint seems to be associated with cooler months. Or at least that is what I am told when I question why peppermint scented body wash is only available for a few months out of the year. I love the scent of peppermint. I find it far superior to spearmint. I find it rather rude that peppermint gets restricted to the cold while spearmint gets to frolic throughout the calendar.

It is an injustice.

So I was happy to see the peppermint lip balm. I didn’t get to keep it however. My babydoll looked at it and said, “Is that for me because I ran out?”

I said yes. Because getting him to use any lip product has been quite the battle. He seems to believe that lips aren’t actually dry enough to need anything until they actually hurt. So if he will use the peppermint lip balm, I will happily give it over to him.

So that was my August Jersey Shore Cosmetics Lip Balm Subscription. I enjoy the two products I received and think they are well worth the price. I have already paid for September’s subscription and have my fingers crossed that there will be some fall scents just around the corner. If you are interested in this subscription, I would recommend that you go through Crate Joy to get to it. It is much easier to find. I have been all over the Jersey Shore Cosmetics website and it tends to be really hard to locate. With Crate joy it is quick and easy, plus it is easy to cancel when I have reached sufficient stockpile levels, and renew when levels drop. Plus, I can always poke around and see what other nifty things are on Cratejoy.

I’m also interested to see what changes Jersey Shore Cosmetics has going on. At the moment they have a sign on their website saying that big changes are coming. So that too will be something to watch.

A little Jersey Shore Lip Balm

Oh yes, it is that time again. It is time for the Jersey Shore Cosmetics Lip Balm Subscription. At just $5 (plus $3 shipping for a total of $8) this is currently my least expensive subscription box. For your low subscription price you receive two lip balms per month.

I have tried to find the subscription link on the site but even though they talk about it on the blog I tend to have a hard time finding it there, so I go through Cratejoy to find them. It is super east to sign up for Cratejoy and I have to say I find myself poking around on there often just to see what new subscriptions appear.

The Jersey Shore Cosmetics one is a subscription that I sign up for every year, and keep for a few months before letting go while I work my way through the lip balms. How long I keep it depends on me. Sometimes I use the lip balms fast, or accidently leave them in my pocket and send them through the washing machine, or lose them in a purse, while other times I keep it on my desk and slowly work through them.

I generally keep the subscription until I feel like the lip balms are accumulating faster than I can use them and then I take a break. When I last subscribed, the subscription cost more and sent four lip balms in a package so I kept it around less. Two balms is actually more my speed and I might actually use them enough that I won’t feel overwhelmed.

Summer is usually the time when I sign up and then I end up leaving the subscription just as they roll fall flavors and scents out. Last year i missed the spiced pear and was annoyed, but as I was swimming in lip balms I couldn’t justify it. With only two per package, I don’t think I’ll be swamped as fast this time and will get to linger in the subscription until the fall.

I personally like the formula of the Jersey Shore Cosmetics lip balm formula. It is soft and hydrating. It is also vegan and both paraben and phthalate free. It glides on easily and smoothly without tugging at the lips, fairly melting into them, and even when it is gone from the surface, my lips feel hydrated. On the Jersey Shore Cosmetics website their vegan lip balms are sold for $10 each, so getting two for $5 or even $8 is a really good value. Plus, I know I will always go through them.

I think one of my favorite things about the subscription though, is that it never feels like left overs. The two lip balms I received in this month’s subscription are Peach Apricot Spritzer (which smells a lot like a peach bellini) and Strawberry Lemonade Spritzer which still smells of strawberry, but has a slightly more effervescent scent to it than the regular strawberry lip balm making it lighter and fresher in scent.

The Spritzer line is one of the latest released for Jersey Shore Cosmetics. Which means that the balms included in the subscription are among their newest releases, not the products that failed to sell last season. How cool is that?

Plus, they are really good lip balms. I can’t wait to see what the next few months bring.

Since I find it easier to locate the subscription on cratejoy, the links are to the cratejoy subscription site. For those interested Cratejoy just started a mega sale. It is the Summer Christmas in July Sale. If you are looking for something new to try, now might be a good time.

Cratejoy’s Biggest Sale of the Summer: Save 30% off hundreds of subscription boxes with a 3+ month prepay using code HOHOHOT30 from 7/11-7/17.

Trying out a new lip scrub

Lip scrub is one of those items I don’t use everyday, or even every week. It is one of those things I always have around, so that when I need it I can reach for it. Consistently I tend to need lip scrub through the transition time in the autumn as we go into winter. I then use it periodically over the winter and then my use of it fades out though the spring. There is always a stretch of time where spring becomes summer where my lips need a good scrub and that is the time we have now entered.

This lip scrub came to me in a Subscription box. I believe it was Glossy Box. The full name is the Avant Hyaluronic Argan Oil Peony Sweet Almond Age Protect And UV Velvet Perfecting Rose Sugar Lip Scrub. For the purpose of not making anyone reading this out of breath before they reach the end of the name, I’m just going to shorten that to the Avant Lip Scrub.

This was an interesting lip scrub to review.

First, the packaging. It is quite nice. Sturdy plastic that can stand up to squeezing but isn’t too firm. An angled tip so that it could easily be spread on the lips. I think the full size does come in a jar though. Which I think I’d prefer the trail sized tube, but that is just a personal preference. In addition, the hole for dispensing product is large enough that the granules can get through. During the times I used it, there was no clogging and the product was easy to use.

The argan oil always works well on my skin, lips included so that was nice and quite frankly I like seeing hyaluronic acid.

And in truth, my lips did feel gloriously soft and smooth. It performs really well. The exfoliant particles were gentle enough not to cause any harsh scrubbing, yet quite effective. It really is a very well performing product.

I know you are thinking, well that doesn’t sound like it is an interesting scrub to review. It just sounds like you liked the scrub.

The interesting part is that I found it really a hard scrub to use. In fact i found that I often talked myself out of using it.

‘Oh no, I think my lips are fine tonight, I’ll just add an extra layer of lip balm instead.’

And here’s why: The Avant Lip Scrub tastes awful.

It quite frankly tastes like its name. It tastes like Rose, Peony, and argan oil. It is not a delightful combination. When sniffed in the tube, the Sweet Almond comes through and so i expected that to be the taste, which would have been fine. It might be mixed in, but the taste is oily dead flowers.

I know, it isn’t a product designed to be eaten. However, it is on my lips. To use a lip scrub, you apply it to the lips and then roll your lips a bit so the sugar can work around and exfoliate. Then you pat off any particulates that remain so that the softness of the oil can remain on the lips and be absorbed. That’s just how lip scrubs work.

Because of this, at some point (possibly many points) you are going to taste the scrub. And this Avant Lip scrub tastes vile. Argan oil is great for hair and skin but it isn’t a tasty oil and mixing it with florals doesn’t help. In fact all it does is insure that if you do get any in your mouth the oil will case the flavor to linger.

Normally, I brush my teeth, use my mouthwash and then use my lips scrub so that I can leave the oils on my lips to settle in overnight. With using this scrub this week I had to bring the lip scrub forward a bit and apply it well before my nighttime routine. Then make a conscious effort not to eat or drink anything. Then I washed off the oils before brushing my teeth. After I just added My Bite Beauty Agave Lip mask for moisture and called it good.

I will say that the product does work well, but the taste insures I won’t really use it. The best thing that can be said about the taste is that it works well as an anti snacking device. If you are looking for ways to keep yourself from snacking in the evenings, this might be a good choice for you because after you taste it once, you will do your best not to taste it again.

Sometimes, taste does matter. Even in skincare.

The Avant Lip Scrub (the 10 ml not the trial size I have) retails for $71. Which is a lot for a lip scrub. Personally I don’t think a lip scrub should cost that much. As far as lip scrubs go, my two favorites are much less costly. I really like the Fresh Sugar Lip Polish ($18). Fresh is one of those brands I can always trust for good products actually. Personally I also like the Elf Lip exfoliator sugar scrub ($4). It comes in a lipstick form and is very easy to use. The exfoliation on that one is nice although I do find I need to add something like the Bite Beauty Agave lip mask to the lips after using it to provide post scrub hydration. I think the dryer formula used to crate the stick form just leaves it lacking in the post scrub moisture department.

Even though both are less expensive (even if you also add the cost of the Bite Beauty Agave Mask ($26) into the tally) were they all the same price, I still wouldn’t go for the Avant Lip Scrub as a repurchase. The formula may be great but the taste insures I would never use it.


I think that Fresh has a standard 15% off for new shoppers on their site. They also seem to have a 20% off deal going with their refer a friend section. I’m not an affiliate (and the link will just take you to the general page) but it seems like if you and a friend each purchase from the site you both get 20% off. Bite Beauty and Elf also have some sales going at the moment which I’ve posted below. The ELF 60% off clearance sale lasts until June 18th.

Bite Beauty: Take 30% off the Changemaker Collection!

Elf Cosmetics: 60% off Clearance Sale!

Trying out the refillable Beauty Balm from Re-fil

For those who have been following along for some time, you may have picked up on the fact that I have been trying to eliminate a lot of waste from my life and to be more eco-conscious in my decisions.  Despite loving them and finding them convenient I have mostly eliminated makeup wipes from my routine and I am switching into using reusable rounds instead of disposable cotton.  I use Makeup Erasers whenever possible as well as the Magnitone Cotton rounds when I need something smaller. 

Incidentally, Makeup Eraser now has a seven pack of smaller Makeup Erasers in Black for $25 (or one large for $20). While the rainbow colors are nice I have to say I do find the black ones appealing.  I also like the ability to use one each day and send it to the wash so I have a fresh Makeup Eraser daily, but that is a discussion for another time.

Recently, for April, Birchbox sent out their box as an eco-friendly version.  Instead of the regular box they sent the products in a reusable Stasher.  I am completely loving by the way.  I have tried everything but boiling it (which is in the list of ways to use it) and it has performed really well.  Once I get through that final test I will post a review.  But at the moment it is amazing. One of the products that everyone received in the box was the Re-fil Beauty balm.

I’ll admit, I was a little bit annoyed that it was that month’s choice item and that the only choice you made was on the color of the case.  However, I do use lip balm regularly.  I love the Bite Beauty Agave Mask for night time use but it is too much during the day.  But all lip balms are not created equal and a reusable case is only of use if you do end up reusing it.

According to the Birchbox website re-fil is…

Good for your skin, good for the planet. We created Re.fil to make incorporating sustainable practices into your routine as simple as possible. Re.fil reimagines your daily staples, with clean, vegan, and refillable solutions. Available exclusively on Birchbox.com.

Not just a lip balm, this is your salve for anything (plus, it’s refillable!). With so many uses, from lips, to cuticles, to dry patches, and even taming your brows, this is your ultimate all-over balm. Made with a blend of natural oils, hyaluronic acid, ceramides and squalane, it hydrates and conditions dry skin, helps promote skin barrier function, and leaves a protective layer that’s light and soft (never sticky!). It has just a hint of chamomile for a light and calming scent. 

Re.fil

The original product retails for $12 and the refills are $8 for two.  Which I will say isn’t a bad price.  In fact it is more than fair given the amount of product. 

Here is the initial problem that I had.  I am pleased that this is a balm that can be used in multiple ways.  I think that is a great idea.  However it is in a stick format and not a squeeze tube.  And I don’t want to run the balm over my elbows or knees and then put it on my lips.  I just don’t.  If it were a product that I could squeeze out of a tube I could see using it multiple ways, but I am just not going to run the product across my lips and then on my arm and then back to my lips. 

Given the size of the tube I wasn’t sure if I wanted to use it for body or lips though.  It is wider than a normal lip balm. So I tried the product in a few different places.

I did test it out on my elbow by using my finger.  I washed my hands and then rubbed my finger across the top and then applied it to my elbow.  That way I could use the product without contaminating it.  I know this may sound a bit precious but in the past year especially I have become very cross contamination conscious.

The balm was not sticky, but on my elbow it was a bit greasy and took a really long time to absorb into the skin.  I am pretty sure that I ended up rubbing it off on the arm of my desk chair more than it absorbed.   But what did absorb softened and hydrated the skin.

I moved on to trying the product on my lips.  It is a little too wide to be comfortable applying as a lip balm.  At least for me.  It covered my lips and then some.  And it is a bit on the greasy side.  It is not sticky though.  On my lips, without drinking or eating anything it took about ten to twelve minutes to actually absorb into my lips.  Once it did my lips were soft and hydrated.  It just needs a little bit of time to settle in.  During the past month as I used this Re fil balm, I found it best to apply it just before I went on a walk or to the gym.  Mostly because that gave it time to sit and absorb before I ate or drank anything.  (it is a fifteen minute drive to get to my gym so I applied it before I left the house and by the time I arrived it was settled in and not likely to get all over my water bottle).

The formula is good, but it does need that time.  Once applied, give it ten to fifteen minutes to sit and everything will be fine.  I liked it better on my lips than on other parts of my body because I can decide not to eat or drink for fifteen minutes but have issues remembering not to rest my arms or elbows on anything.  I also tried it on a spot on my leg but once I put on clothing the balm rubbed off on the clothing.

Because of the absorption time, this is a lip balm for me.  Because it is a lip balm the width of the tube kind of bothers me. When I apply it, there is always excess product I have to wipe off from around my lips. Because of this I don’t know how much I will actually reach for it.  I will certainly use up the product I have, but it will have to keep it on my desk in clear sight to remind myself to use it.  It won’t be something I naturally reach for and so I don’t know if I would actually order a refill for it once it is empty or not. By the time the product is empty I might have gotten into the habit of using it and not mind the size or the waiting so much.  At the moment though, ordering refills for the reusable Re fil balm case isn’t looking likely.


Reviewing the Bali Balm Sweet Orange and Coconut lip balm

Many of you know I like to keep lip balm on my desk and use it throughout the day.  I use it to hydrate my lips and quite often I use it to convince myself that I don’t need a snack.  It is actually quite a useful dieting tool.  No matter what lip product I actually put on my lips I always wait a while between applying a lip product and letting myself eat something (otherwise what is the point of putting on the product). And while I will have a snack in the afternoon, convincing myself not to nibble throughout the day or in the evening is kind of key. So I am a big fan of lip balm.  

The one I have been using lately has been the Bali Balm Sweet Orange and coconut lip balm that came in a Boxy Charm a while back.  Before I get into my thoughts on the product, let me recap the product description.

Filled with exotic coconut and sweet orange extracts, this silky-smooth balm is packed with a tantalizingly tropical blend, including coconut fruit, a known natural moisturizer, orange peel, rich in vitamin C that can protect against free-radicals, as well as antioxidant rosemary and peppermint leaf that’s said to soothe and plump – perfect for paradise-found lips with a soft, tropical twist.

Features:
> Coconut fruit, orange peel, and sugarcane extracts.
> Rosemary leaf and peppermint leaf essential oils.
> Vegan.
> Beeswax free.

INGREDIENTS: Coconut Oil, Castor Seed Oil, Shea Butter, Cocoa Seed Butter, Candelilla Wax, Wheat Germ Oil, Kukui Nut Oil, Rosemary Leaf Oil, Coconut Fruit Extract, Peppermint Leaf Oil, Orange Peel Extract, Sugarcane Extract.

Bali Balm
plastic applicator and balm

Okay you will notice that I put the entire description up. Now I know, it’s a lip balm.  We all know what lip balms are supposed to do.  They are meant to hydrate your lips and lock in moisture.  Sometimes they are worn over lipstick, sometimes lipstick is worn over them. Sometimes they are worn alone. It isn’t rocket science.  This lip balm is vegan so there is no beeswax.  I have used vegan lip balms before and I have used regular beeswax lip balms.

I am going to cover the two positives first.

One, it smells really nice.  It is a sweet orange coconut scent.  The scent is quite pungent and it stays a while.

And two, I really like the plastic applicator as it is easy to wipe off and keep clean. If you want to dab it on over a dry lipstick you can do so without fear of contaminating the lip balm.  It is a nice feature in a lip balm.

Here are some of the issues I have with this lip balm.  While it comes out somewhat thick, it melts into an oil very quickly on the lips.  This in itself is fine, however the oils never really absorbed into the lips. I applied it and my lips remained greasy.  I left greasy lip prints everywhere until it wore off.  I applied it thinking I could let it absorb a little and then put one of my dryer formula lipsticks over it.  The problem was that it never absorbed enough to be able to put lipstick over it.  I could dab it on over a matte lipstick and have it act like a lip gloss, but trying to put it under a lip product just made everything slide around and made me look like I was making out with a clown.

I kept trying to apply less and less product to my lips to see if I was just over doing it.  A little does go a long way but even with the barest amount, I found that it either wore away on the rims of glasses or I licked it off when I licked my lips.  It never fully absorbed into the skin.

on the lips after twenty minutes (no drinking or eating, no absorbing in)

If I applied it, waited a minute or two and then wiped it off, then I could see some moisturizing effect from the product.  But I had to actually remove it to see.  I think that part of the problem is that it may have too many oils in it.  Or I simply don’t have dry enough lips to work with the product.

Over all I was not a fan of the product.  It is an okay but not great lip balm to begin with. 

Then I checked the price.

The Bali Balm retails for $33. That’s right.  It is a $33 lip balm.

Now I know.  Some of you are thinking, but it’s a vegan product.  Aren’t they always more expensive.  Here are three other lip balms that I have tried and that I liked infinitely better.  These three lip balms are at different price points but all are vegan and all worked really well on my lips when I used them. The three listed below are all ones I’ve tried. I am not an affiliate for any of them and the links will take you to their brand pages so I make nothing off of you clicking the links and/or purchasing. They are only for comparison.

Pacifica Color Quench Lip tint retails for $5.  It is vegan and it does have some tint to it.  I believe they have a clear one but I’m not 100% on that one.  The color I had was a barely there wash of color though.  It absorbed well and I was able to wear a second lip product over it if I wanted.

If you are looking for something a little more expensive then I’d suggest the Kopari Lip Glossy which retails for $13.  In general I like how Kopari products work but I am not their biggest fan because of the overly strong scent.  Oddly, I like their lip balm the best of all the Kopari products I’ve tried.  It is scented, but the scent dissipates rather quickly and the product is moisturizing and glossy.  If pairing it with a second lip balm, I’d use the Kopari as a topper rather than underneath.  It is glossy and gives all matte lips a shine, but it also locks in moisture so that you can go with a dryer lip product and not feel like your lips are going to end up desert dry.

If you are looking for something more high end then I suggest going with the luxury brand Tatcha.  The Tatcha Gold Spun Lip Balm retails $30.  It has a fantastic scent which is light and doesn’t overpower you.  It absorbs quickly and works beautifully on even sun damaged lips. Of the lip balms I’ve tried this one left the least amount of lip prints on glasses and mugs.  It simply absorbs fast enough that the greasy lip prints aren’t a factor.  And the gold mixed in gives your lips a nice shimmer without looking like you kissed a box of glitter. 

I don’t know why that is my fear with anything that has gold flakes in it.  I’ve used several gold flecked products and it has never happened, yet somehow I always look at them and think I’m going to come out looking like an arts and crafts project gone wrong.

But now we move on.

The Tatcha Gold Spun Lip Balm is Vegan, like the others on this list and does feel (and work) like a very high end product.  I would like to point out that it is $30.  The Bali Balm is $33.  Looking at the two products you would not think they were in direct competition.  The Bali Balm looks like something you would pick up at the drugstore in the rack by the register.  I have actually picked up several lip balms there so I am not knocking them.  In fact, all of the ones there worked better than the Bali Balm.  They didn’t smell as good.  Most of them smelled medicated and I doubt they were vegan, however even though I listed only three vegan lip balms I’ve tried, there are many others.  The average price starts at $4.

Now here is the thing.  While I like finding discounts and sales, and I love finding cost effective products that work, I also like a lot of luxury items.  I am not adverse to the occasional splurge item.  But it has to work and it has to feel luxurious.  The Tatcha product, which is the Bali Balm’s closest competitor on this list, looks luxe, feels luxe and works luxe.  I have no problems putting it on my splurge list. It is pricey, but worth the splurge if you are going to splurge. 

The Bali Balm simply isn’t.  It doesn’t look luxe.  It doesn’t feel luxe and it doesn’t work luxe.  If this was marked $4 I could see picking it up.  It wouldn’t be my favorite even at $4 and it would probably end up living in the bottom of my purse.  It is not a $33 product.  It isn’t packaged like a $33 product and it doesn’t work like a $33 product.  And to be completely honest , it sort of makes me mad that it is marketed as a $33 lip balm. In my opinion this product simply isn’t worth it.


AmorePacific Mother's Day GWP

A Winning Duo for Winter Dry Lips

It will come as no surprise to you that I am a big fan of lip products In fact I can almost hear everyone who has ever read any of my posts rolling their eyes and saying Duh. In the winter that can be an issue. Lipsticks, both liquid and traditional, can dry out your lips something fierce. Some formulas are better than others of course and I usually try to go for those, but then I will see a color in my collection and just be unable to resist, even though I know the formula is drying.

Then there are the winter winds and of course the central heat. Both serve to do extra damage to my lips than I prefer. Also I have to confess to a bad habit. When I work at my desk and my lips are dry, I tend to pick at them. I have been trying to break myself of this habit for years, but every winter there will come a point where I will be working on something and not think about it and just pick at the dry lips while I am trying to figure out the wording of a sentence.

And so I take steps to ensure that my lips remain chapped as little as possible. I need protecting from myself. I am a huge fan of both lip scrubs and lip masks. Lips on their own don’t really shed skin cells the way the rest of your body does and they need something to kind of buff them out every now and again. And while most lip scrubs have an oil component meant to hydrate and moisturize, I almost invariably end up wiping much of it off when I wipe away the extra particles. Hence the follow up with a lip mask.

Now I’ve talked about the Milk Makeup Kush Lip Scrub before so I won’t go in as great a detail with it, but I really do like it. It has a nice peppermint scent and a magnetic cap. The magnet in the cap is quite strong so I could drop it into a bag with no fear of it coming undone. Mostly though it lives on the sink next to my toothbrush and toothpaste.

I really love the stick formulas of scrubs as I find them tidier than their jarred counterparts. I’ll use both, but I really like the stick form. You can tell I really like it as if you look at the picture you can see that it is almost completely used up. Sadly, that is all of the product I have left. And yes, this will be repurchased. It has a good oil formula with it (providing you don’t wipe it all off) and a fine, but not harsh particulate. It is a very gentle scrub.

Paired with it is the Kush Lip glaze which I have been using as a post scrub lip mask. I find even if i don’t wipe off my lips after using a lip scrub, it is best if I add a hydrating lip product to my lips as soon as I am finished so that the newly exfoliated skin has the best chance of staying hydrated and not simply drying out While this Kush Lip Glaze is an easy formula to wear throughout the day, I really like it as an overnight mask. I really enjoy putting it on just before bed and leaving it. The scent has a slight hint of peppermint to it, but it has a back note of sage which makes it slightly herbally. Personally I really enjoy the scent.

According to the Milk Makeup Website, this product:

HYDRATES: Conditioning, plant-derived helps hydrate for smoother lips.

SOFTENS + SMOOTHS: Shea, cocoa, and mango butters soften lips and improve texture. Jojoba and olive oils help provide antioxidant benefits.

SHINES: Liquid formula locks in hydration. Sage extract and peppermint oil combine for a subtle, natural flavor.

DIRECTIONS: Glaze glides on easily with cooling metal applicator. Use day and night for deep hydration. Can also be used on top of Lip Color for a high shine finish.

Ingredients:Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Squalane, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax/Cire de Candelilla, Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladipate-2, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Diisostearyl Malate, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Lauryl Laurate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax/Cire de Carnauba, Octyldodecanol, Dextrin Palmitate, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil/Huile Végétale Hydrogénée, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Ethylene/Propylene/Styrene Copolymer, Cannabis Sativa (Hemp) Seed Extract, Agave Tequilana Leaf Extract, Daemonorops Draco Extract, Stevia Rebaudiana Extract, Cannabis Sativa (Hemp) Seed Oil, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Oil, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Tocopherol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Lactic Acid, Ethylenediamine/Hydrogenated Dimer Dilinoleate Copolymer Bis-Di-C14-18 Alkyl Amide, Dibutyl Lauroyl Glutamide, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1, Silica, Butylene Glycol Cocoate, Dibutyl Ethylhexanoyl Glutamide, Lecithin, Butylene/Ethylene/Styrene Copolymer, Stearoyl Glutamic Acid, Stearalkonium Bentonite, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Propylene Carbonate, Moringa Oil/Hydrogenated Moringa Oil Esters, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-di-t-butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, Tribehenin, Sorbitan Isostearate, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Butylene Glycol, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Hexylene Glycol, Fragrance (Parfum), Citral, Limonene, Linalool, [+/- MAY CONTAIN/PEUT CONTENIR: Mica, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Yellow 5 Lake (CI 19140), Red 7 Lake (CI 15850), Blue 1 Lake (CI 42090), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499)]

Milk Makeup

You’ll notice that in addition to the mentioned Shea butter, Squalane is pretty high up the list and my skin always reacts well to squalane. It is an ingredient I love to see in my skincare and in my lip care. Looking at all of the claims, I have to say that the Milk Makeup Kush Lip Glaze meets and even exceeds my expectations. I love the metal applicator tip as it is an easy glide over the lips as well as easy to keep clean and with the Kush Lip Scrub is a winning duo if you are trying to fight winter dry lips or just the effects of overly drying lip products. .


milkmakeup.com