I wanna Kissu, Plum

While the Tatcha Kissu Lip mask in its original format is one of my favorite lip masks, Tatcha recently came out with a second version of their lip mask; the Limited Edition Tatcha Kissu Lip mask in Plum. It is actually slightly tinted. As we are entering the season of dry lips I thought this would be a good chance to try it out, so I ordered it.

Like the original Kissu Lip mask it comes in a small jar and costs $28.Both the original and tinted versions are the same price and size. If interested, they are also sold as a set for $50. I have been using the original Kissu mask for quite sometime now. Very little of the product is needed and it is a fantastic overnight mask. I apply it on my lips and the product absorbs well. It is a fantastic way to fight off chapped and dry lips.

I have this horrid tendency to pick at my lips when they become chapped so the best thing for me is to not let them get dry and chapped in the first place, so lip masks are one of my favorite things. Used nightly I think the original jar of the Tacha Kissu mask will last at least a year. I have made a dent in the product over time, but like I said so littel is actually needed that it is well worth the price.

So how does this new Limited Edition tinted plum variety stack up?

First the tint…

This subtle hue was inspired by the Japanese plum blossom, which adorns this special jar. Known as ume-no-hana in Japan, these buds signify the coming of spring. They come to life in the winter frost, and have long been associated with endurance, health, and inner strength.

The tint is very subtle. I would call it a lightly tinted lip balm. On the lips it blends into a my lips but better look. I made a swatch on my hand as it is the best way to actually see that there is a tint to the product.

It looks far brighter on the fingertip or on the hand than it does on the lips It has a slightly less jelly like consistency than the original version. I don’t know if it is the tint added to it that does it, but it feels more lip balm and less gel.

It isn’t a major difference, but I did notice that the original felt a little heavier on the lips in comparison to the plum version. If worn at night my lips are softer and well moisturized with both. However i often feel like the original Kissu Lip mask needs to sit over night and be given the time to absorb instead of being worn during the day. The Plum Kissu mask from Tatcha had a more day time feel to it

It seems to absorb just a slight bit faster and is lighter on the lips. I feel like it is the sort of lip mask I want to keep on my dask and apply throughout the day if my lips are in need of a little moisture, where as the original Kissu lip mask I want to keep on my night stand to apply just before bed.

Which quite frankly is perfect for me. we are entering winter and it is the wime to have a go to lip product waiting for my desk. I like having something reliabal in rach that I can put on before I go on my walks outside and something i can add to my lips once I settle down at my dask. I like haveing something that can go over whatever lip product I am wearing and this mask has had no adverse reactions with any of my lipsticks.

With the original mask I would occasionally put it onto my lips after my morning moisturizer and let it sit until I was ready for applying my makeup, then i would wipe it off. With the plum, I applied a light coat and let it sit the same amount of time and didn’t have to wipe my lips before applying lipstick. while the tint in the lip mask doesn’t preclude the Plum Kissu mask being worn at night, I think the lighter formula makes it ideal for day time wear. And for me, I am happy to split duties, wearing the original at night and rolling in the Plum Kissu Lip mask for the day time wear. It makes both products last longer and keeps my lips soft and hydrated throughout the winter. For me, this is a definite winner.

Tatcha

Let’s talk about the Sephora Lip Scrub

I don’t talk about Sephora products a lot, but like a lot of people I will always have a few of them floating around my world. I think it is because of how I usually come to purchase Sephora products. In general when I do purchase them, it wasn’t because I intended to purchase them. Sometimes I add them to the cart to reach the free shipping minimum (although at the moment the FREESHIP code they have listed on the Sephora site takes care of that. I have no clue how long that code will last as I am not affiliated with Sephora, but it was there the last time I ordered.). Other times I pick up Sephora items much the same way I add mints to the grocery cart when I am checking out. “Oh that looks nice, I’ll try it.”

Sometimes the products are flops and other times they rune out to be favorites. The last primer I tried from them proved to be really good and well worth picking up again actually. Their eyeshadows I wasn’t as enamored with.

This was a just before checkout add on for me. Sephora now has 50% off section where certain items are temporarily discounted. Maybe they have had it a while and I just noticed it (it has been a while since I went onto Sephora’s site to be honest). However before checkout I strolled through and saw this lip scrub. Normally $7 it was $3.50.

And you know I can’t resist a good lip scrub. Plus I really like the lipstick shaped ones as they are less messy to use. Sometimes they aren’t as good as the jarred ones, sometimes they are, but they are always less messy. According to the product page…

What it is: A collection of nourishing lip balms and soft lip scrubs with natural-origin ingredients.

What Else You Need to Know: These Sephora Collection lip formulas are enriched with plant extracts and free from ingredients of animal origin. They gently exfoliate lips with coconut powder and sugar and offer lasting nourishment with their creamy texture.

Clean at Sephora
Clean at Sephora is a curation of brands committed to evolving the beauty industry. When you see our Clean seal, you can be sure this brand’s products are formulated without certain ingredients that are potentially harmful to human health and the environment and also address ingredients clients are concerned about, including phthalates, formaldehyde or formaldehyde releasers, oxybenzone and octinoxate, hydroquinone, triclosan, coal tar, methylisothiazolinone and methylchloroisothiazolinone, insoluble plastic microbeads, and more. For the full list, check out the Ingredients tab.

Sephora

I like that this is from their Clean line. I love that the packaging is mostly cardboard and can be recycled when I am through with this, especially as I don’t think it will last long (the product not the packaging, the packaging is quite sturdy). And I like it came in several different scents/flavors. The vanilla appealed to me so that’s the one I chose. I have to say i was also intrigued but the fact that it is both a lip balm and a scrub.

So to the lips!

The top is flat and speckled with what i assume are the scrubby bits It is somewhat vanilla scented but it actually has a playdoh like scent to it as well. The first time I used it, I thought I had ordered a plain lip balm by mistake. I actually checked the package. It is listed as a lip scrub. I used it that night and the next morning. It still felt like a lip scrub. I did the same for the next two days. At the end of those days I started to get a little bit of scrubbing.

I thought that there was just an extra layer of lip balm on the top from the manufacturing process or because they didn’t want all of the scrubby its to fall out. I expected it would become a little more scrubby. It did not.

first use the product was just above the top of the tube this is the product level after one week of use

This is the mildest lip scrub I have ever used. It is still a lip scrub, it just took a few days of use to get to that part. Normally I would only use a lip scrub once a week. I wouldn’t want to over exfoliate my lips. That isn’t a problem with this lip scrub. I can actually use it daily with no problem.

There is no rinsing required the scrubby bits seem to dissolve, at least I can feel the scrub when i use it but once I stop rubbing no bits are left behind on my lips. What is left behind is a waxy feeling lip balm. while this is not my typical lip scrub, I don’t think this is a bad product to have around, especially in the winter.

lips a little waxy but healthy and hydrated

The application of the scrub takes off the dry flaky bits and it can be used daily without causing irritation and once you stop rubbing it functions like a chapstick. We tend to get harsh winds blowing down from the mountains in the wintertime where I live and some sort of thick balm is really needed to keep the lips from becoming chapped. In that capacity I think this would be a great product to have around. If applying any other lip products I would wipe it off first, but it will ensure a smooth lip if used daily, wont over exfoliate and does work well as a lip balm, even if it is a bit waxy feeling.

For me this Sephora Lip Scrub was well worth the $3.50 I paid for it and I would consider paying the full $7. And as daily use will use the product up fairly rapidly, I wouldn’t even mind investing in several different flavors/scents.

Vichy USA- ACD

So, shall we forget the filler?

I love lip products. I love lipsticks, lip scrubs , lip masks and lip glosses. I also have a strange affection for lip plumpers. I don’t know why exactly, I have just always had a strange affection for them. I do like when my lips look plumed and firm though. I think part of why I have a weakness for them is because I just want to see if they actually do what they say their are going to do. Plus I know even if they fail I will still get a lip gloss out of it so it isn’t really a hardship.

I really like the trials where even if I don’t get exactly what I was expecting I still get something I like.

This is also the first makeup item I have tried from Lawless Beauty. So what is the Lawless Beauty Forget the Filter Lip Plumping Line Smoothing Lip Gloss?

A clinically proven lip-plumping treatment and ultra-shiny gloss with immediate and long-term visible plumping, softening, and hydrating benefits. Immediately, lines look filled and the lip surface looks smoothed. Key Active Ingredients:  MAXI-LIP™ : Scientifically and clinically proven to increase lip volume by 40% and decrease wrinkling by 29%, Shea Butter: Hydrates and soothes the lips, Rosehip Oil: Makes lips pillowy soft

Lawless Beauty

I will say that shea butter is excellent at making skin hydrated and soft as is rosehip oil. So even if I don’t know what their maxi-lip secret is, I know I am already in for hydrated lips. In the ingredients list there is also jojoba which makes skin soft and both ginger root extract and Capsicum both of which sting and plump the lips. So a quick look at the ingredients list is very encouraging.

I was surprised that the lip gloss smelled like watermelon to me. I didn’t see any watermelon scented anything on the list. I’m not complaining, I like the scent i just found it odd. I also really like the applicator. The curve of the applicator really fits the lips. While it sound’s strange, I generally find that the curved applicators are not only comfortable to use, but tend to use less product than the flat applicators. Or at least I have to dip the applicator wand in the tube less to get an application so I feel like I am using less product.

The shade i have is soft baby pink so it looks like my lips but better. This means I am not worried about adding color. I found one dip into the tube was enough to cover my lips. It is slightly gooey when you take the tip out of the tube and the product wants to make a string, almost like pulling apart two halves of a grilled cheese. It is only one string though and it quickly snaps, but it can be slightly messy when you first pull the applicator out. I ended up wiping off the top rim of the tube so it wouldn’t get sticky. I imagine as time goes on that might be more of a concern or annoyance. Mine is still relatively new so there is no build up. But I could see it being something to watch out for.

The Lawless Beauty Lip Plumping gloss did have the sting to it when it was first applied. It was also a bit sticky when it first goes on to the lips. Both the stickiness and the sting faded, although whenever I rolled my lips together while the gloss was still on my lips a little of the heat of the sting would wake up. The stickiness did not return.

It isn’t an intensely stinging plumping gloss. It is over all a mild tingle. So does this mild tingle do anything?

no gloss left, gloss after 10 minutes on the right

In the photos I can’t say I see a whole lot of plumping going on. My lips do look a little bit smoother, but it isn’t a major difference. On the the plumping I’d give it a five out of ten. However it is a really good gloss. The gloss stuck around for a while and even when it was gone, my lips felt soft and hydrated.

Which is not a bad thing. There was a little pluming and my lower lip looks a little fuller, I think the lines on my lip with the gloss on are where the lips sort of fluffed out a bit. But my lips feel great and if it is a choice between a gloss that makes my lips shiny while it is here and does nothing else and something that might give my lips a little plump but leaves them soft and hydrated after the shine has worn off, I am going to lean into the second every time.

Is it mega plumping? No, but the Lawless Beauty Forget the Filler Lip plumping Line smoothing lip gloss does have a place in my makeup bag and I am happy to use it.

UNDERCLUB GIFT SUBSCRIPTIONS

Let’s get plumping…

I love a good plumping lip gloss. Buxom Cosmetics and Colourpop So Juicy tend to be my favorite but I’ll admit, I will pass by the Soap and Glory rack in the grocery and somehow mysteriously find that one of their plumping glosses has mysteriously found it’s way into my cart. I wonder how that could have happened…

And yes I suppose that a part of it is that I like having plumped lips. Part of it is also the fact that I adore the scent of peppermint and oddly enjoy that little tingle I get when I apply the plumping gloss. I also don’t mind having a good clear gloss on hand.

TYS Beauty was a new brand to me and finding new to me brands is one of my favorite parts of subscription boxes (I think this one came in an IPSY). This is the TYS Beauty Lip Treat Lip Plumper. According to the product page…

In just one sweep, this iridescent treat leaves your lips looking instantly fuller and brighter. It’s peppermint and ginger root formula work together to stimulate circulation and create a prickly sensation improving the size and color of the lips. Additionally, this plumper is packed with nourishing ingredients like vitamin E, vitamin B and antioxidants to help hydrate, soothe and provide a long-lasting glow.  

TYS Beauty

First off, I like the look of the tube. The clear plastic top and the iridescent sheen to the gloss just combine to look pretty. I find it quite appealing. I also like the wand. if you look you can see that the doe foot has a curved dip. When using it to apply this hugs the lips and makes the application a lot easier.

I’ve noticed a lot more liquid lip products are starting to have this kind of dip and I for one really appreciated it (especially in darker lip shades) as it makes application so much crisper. It is less of an issue with a clear gloss, but still appreciated.

The scent of the gloss is peppermint and ginger mixed which is quite pleasant. And then it goes on the lips. It is a lovely gloss with a slight iridescence which I really enjoy. The tingling is quite a lot and it does last a good twenty minutes. I always kind of liked the feeling so i don’t mind. As for plumping. The below pics are taken before application and then after five minutes of letting the product sit on the lips.

bare on left, gloss (after five minutes) on right

There may be a little plumping, but it isn’t much. The tingle is intense though. I like the shine and the look of it. When applied over a matte lipstick the shine is there but the tingling is a bit less (still present, but muted.) As it is a gloss it will wear off when you drink liquids. As it is clear it just leaves smudges on the rim of a glass. However I have noticed that if I take a sip from a glass after applying this and then go about my morning and then come back after the gloss has worn off my lips and take a sip from the same glass, my lips will start to tingle. I actually surprised myself a few times while testing this gloss out.

Super plumper it is not, however it is a very good lip gloss with a holographic shine to it and with the vitamin e in the mix it did leave my lips softer than when I first applied it. If your lips are in any way chapped avoid it because it will make your lips feel like they are being attacked by bees with their stingers dripping with acid. Otherwise it is a nice pepperminty sting that I quite enjoy along with a nice lip gloss.

Keys Soulcare

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Scrub a dub those lips with Manna Kadar

We all know I love a good exfoliate but I also adore a good lip scrub.  Oddly enough I am a little more picky about my lip scrubs.  I know, you’d think it would be the other way around, wouldn’t you.  I think it is because I have used some rather rough lip scrubs in the past.  Maybe it is because the skin is delicate or maybe it is because unlike the rest of my skin, my lips have the added dimension of taste involved.

Not that I eat lip products, but 9 times out of ten you do end up tasting what you apply to the lips so it is a factor other skincare items rarely have to contend with.

This is the Manna Kadar Lippie Love 2.0 Lip scrub. As a brand I find Manna Kadar interesting.  I know it can be a bit pricey, but to be honest I have never encountered it outside of subscription boxes.  I never see it in stores or on the websites where I shop.  In all fairness it may be there, but nothing has ever brought it to my attention.  That could be me, it could be a marketing failure or some packaging design element, but it is not a brand I ever notice when I am shopping.

While I like all forms of lip scrubs, I find that the ones shaped like lipsticks are the most convenient to use.  (Admittedly my absolute current favorite is from  Hanalai and comes in a jar.)

So the Manna Kadar is off to a good start with the formula.  It rolls up like a bullet style lipstick and has about as much product in it as a lipstick would.  I know it looks like I rolled it up simply to see how much product there was inside, but I actually am looking at the consistency.  Sometimes when you get these stick lip scrubs some of the scrubbing particulate (usually sugar) is clumped on the side.  While it may make it limpy, depending on where the sugar chunk is, it can also fall out as you use it and cause the product to break off and fall out of the tube.  So it isn’t actually an appearance thing, it is more of a product usage thing.  If that makes sense.  This particular tube looks fairly smooth.  The texture, when touched has a slightly textured surface so it feels as though the particulates will be fairly finely ground.

So now to the use.  

Lips well scrubbed but they feel a little on the raw side

There is almost no scent to this product and when in use if the lips are licked then there is just the taste of sugar.  I don;t particularly need a flavor with my lip scrubs but it is a factor as I have had some really bad tasting ones in the past.

The top of the tube wore away pretty fast as it was more oil than particulate and pretty much melted away.  This is kind of expected for a first use with a tube style lip scrub, or at least it has happened with every one of them I’ve used.  So I wiped my lips, took a break and came back to try the lip scrub anew.  

While the particulates are not large, they are a little on the harsh side.  They did work, but I found my lips growing quite pink from the friction of the scrub.  I like a lip scrub that feels like fine grained sugar.  Thai felt as though the sugar crystals hadn’t had their rough edges sanded off before being put in the mix.  

In addition I found that this deposited a substantial coating of lip oil on the lips.  While I don’t mind having the oil mixed with the scrub remain on the lips, this felt a little waxy and not all that pleasant. I found myself wanting to wipe it off.  

This Manna Kadar lip scrub is a decent lip scrub, however it needs to be used with a light hand so you don’t damage your lips.  It is also one I would use only on lightly dry and flaky lips, not ones that have painful cracks in them, It is simply too harsh a product and I fear you would cause yourself pain.  I know at that point most lip scrubs would cause pain so your best bet would be to use a lip mask until the painful cracks are gone then use an exfoliator to take away the dry bits.  But in general this had a rough particulate so caution when using is advised in general.  To be honest, this isn’t my favorite. It isn’t even my favorite stick formula lip scrub.  For that I would turn to elf.  They have a wide variety of scents and flavors, are inexpensive and are less harsh on the lips.  While I will use this lip scrub, I will use it gently and when it is used up, I will bid it farewell and not seek to replace it. There are simply much better products out there.

First Use of the Tatcha Kissu Lip Mask

This Tatcha Kissu Lip mask has been on my list to try for a while now and I decided now was the time. Now we all know, I love my lip products. And lip masks are one of my absolute favorite ones. I know, they surprisingly rank higher than lipstick on my personal list. let the gasps commence.

While it is easy to think of lip masks in the winter where icy winds casus daily chapping, I often find them of great use in the summer. My lips don’t chap in the summer in the same way they chap in the winter. I know that sounds a little weird. In the winter if not taken care of my lips will get dry and crack in painful chapping. In the summer time though, my lips will get dry spots on them from too much time in the sun rather then the same chapping that they get in the winter.

My only theory on this is that with the heating on the air is over all drier inside as well as the exterior exposure and in the summer time the air where I live is so humid that it is never quite the level of dryness that chaps my lips. I’m sure there is a more logical or medical based explanation. but that is my working theory. I’d be happy to be corrected, but it does mean that I deal with my lip health, shall we say, differently.

the product was all the way to the top of the glass

First off I use a lip scrub in the summer time. I don’t bother in the winter because all my lips need then is a moisture bomb, not a scrub. My current lip scrub of choice is the Hanalei Sugar Lip Scrub. It works well and it smells like lemonade. Which I rather enjoy. It also scrubs without overly drying my lips more since it has it’s own oil inside.

The Lip scrub I need to pair with a lip mask.

From all descriptions the Tatcha lip mask sounded like it would be perfect for the summer. It is a Jelly lip mask, which I hoped would feel lighter and it has squalene inside which all of my skin tends to react well to using. According to the Tatcha website this mask is…

Elegant, non-sticky jelly melts into skin and layers on to comfort, hydrate, and lock in moisture. Plumps the look of fine lines and wrinkles for a supple, firm look. Restores essential moisture to flaky, parched lips for a smooth, soft texture.

The three key ingredients are Japanese Peach Extract: A traditional Japanese beauty secret used centuries ago to help repair damaged lips. Works with orange peel extract to revitalize and calm irritation, Japanese Camellia Oil: Rich in oleic acid, vitamins, and nourishing Omegas 3, 6, and 9, this featherweight oil has been prized in Asia for centuries for its superb ability to help seal in moisture, and Squalane: All-natural squalane works instantly to richly moisturize and improve the skin barrier, locking in moisture and minimizing dryness all day. The weightless emollient absorbs easily without clogging pores or leaving behind an oily residue.

Tatcha

The jar is a clear glass jar that shows off the delicate pink mask inside. The jar comes with a little golden spatula. I think that this might come in more useful as I delve deeper into the jar. Although it is fine now. It is very easy to scoop too much mask with the spatula though. You really need to just surface glide across the top to get enough product. If using a finger instead of the spatula it is a bare tap of the surface to get enough product on your finger tip.

First applied

When I first opened the jar I thought there was a plastic sheet on the top (incase you notice the divots. There isn’t one. The product goes all the way up to the top. The lid is tight fitting enough that I am not worried about it drying out at all. And honestly I love that it is completely full. There are no air pockets making the jar half empty. It is completely full of product.

I also like that very little product is actually needed to apply on the lips. It means this little jar is going to last me a long time, even with continuous use. Which my budget likes. I don’t mind spending more on good products, but I am always happy when they last a while. And even happier when they work well. Although to be honest, this mask was $28 which isn’t a terribly outrageous price (Laniege lip masks are about $25 and those tend to be my standard jarred lip masks – smaller tubes of lip masks are cheaper of course, but in size the Laneige is the closest to the Tatcha in product amount that I regularly use)

After 20 minutes (The lighting difference is natural sunlight vs. artificial)

So, how does it work?

Well the full review will have to wait until a month of use has passed but for a first use, this went really well. I used my lip scrub to remove the flaky bits and then rinsed and dried my lips, applying the mask over it (I didn’t want the il from the lip scrub affecting perception). The Tatcha Kissu lip mask is slightly sticky to the touch. when applied and spread on the lips it feels a little sticky at first, almost like a lip gloss. Thee is almost no scent to it. There is a light scent that might be peachy, but it is gone so fast it is hard to identify.

I am perfectly fine with a lip mask having no scent as a scented lip mask can be a bit much. As the lips are located right under the nose, any scent, if lingering, can become a bit much. while the light scent was there when I opened the jar, it was gone by the time I applied it to my lips and not noticeable at all as I wore it.

The mask was a little lip gloss sticky when applied and it had a lip gloss shine to it. The stickiness faded after a minute or two and after twenty minutes I took the second picture of my lips. The shine faded and while my lips felt hydrated it no longer felt as though I was wearing anything on them.

Now I did this fires test in the day mostly because i wanted to see what was happening, however I did wear the mask to bed at night. I applied it, had my usual half hour of reading before sleep and then went to sleep. I was worried that because the mask disappeared so quickly that it wouldn’t nourish through the night. I needn’t have worried. The next morning my lips were soft and nourished and completely hydrated. While I am sure that there will be greater effects after a month of use, One (okay technically two times) of use makes me very hopeful that this will be the perfect summer lip mask for me. It is light weight, with no over bearing scent and it appears to hydrate well. As a first use, this went fantastically well.

Samples I am so looking forward to trying out.

And when I ordered, I received three samples of other Tatcha products I’ve wanted to try out, so even though the point was to find a fantastic summer weight lip mask (which I think I might have done) I also get to try out a couple of products that were on my to try list before I place another order. I know, a lot of companies send samples with their orders so that isn’t shocking.

However i am tickled that when they showed the list of samples available and I got to choose three there were actually three available on the list that were on my personal to try list and now I get to try them before I purchase in the full sized. (they were the Liquid Silk Canvas Primer, the Silk Powder and The Rice Polish (Deep), in case you were wondering. So often when you get to check out the samples aren’t ones you wanted to try or hadn’t tried, at least for me anyway so that was just an extra bonus. All in all I was happy with my purchase and can’t wait to see how this Tatcha Kissu Lip Mask performs over the next thirty days.

Tatcha

Testing the Avant Hydra Replenish Lip Balm

I will be one hundred percent honest. I did not want to like the Avant Hydra Replenish Lip balm. I know, you should never go into a product with a set opinion. But to be honest my desire to not like this product was due to the price.

Avant is always a pricy brand. I am always surprised by how much their products cost. I’ve received several products from the brand in subscription boxes over the years. Sometimes I like them, sometimes I don’t, but I almost always feel that they are overpriced. When this lip balm came in I was expecting it to be expensive, but the cost of it was stunning.

The Avant Hydra Replenish Lip Balm for “For satin-smooth, hydrated lips, this soothing balm aim to leave lips irresistibly soft, youthful and nourished.” retails for $77. That’s right, it is a $77 lip balm.

Inside this lip balm is Hyaluronic Acid and Cupuacu Butter…

Hyaluronic Acid aims to penetrate deeply into the lips to hydrate and instantly help improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles around the mouth.

Cupuacu is rich in vitamins B1, B2, B3, fatty and amino acids. Being from the cocoa family, Cupuacu aims to improve the tone and texture of your lips whilst protecting them against damage caused by free radicals.

Avant

So there are more skincare beneficial items than in you $1.99 tube of lip balm. But is is worth $77? Truthfully, No. I am never going to be able to say any lip balm is worth $77. Because it just isn’t. I know it is odd to say that but something about charging $77 for a lip balm offends me somewhere deep in my soul. I can justify the cost of a lot of things, but not a lip balm.

light formula that applies well

However I will say that this is a really good lip balm. It is smoothing, it is hydrating and it is just an all round good lip balm. It glides on smoothly and absorbs well, leaving soft healthy lips behind. while my lips are prone to drying out and the occasional cracking, I don’t have severe problems with my lips. If I regularly apply any lip balm I am good.

If you routinely have issues with your lips drying out then maybe you might find the cost justified. It is a good product that works well. If it were in the $30 range it would actually become a staple in my lip care routine. I love the slight almond/vanilla scent and I love the way it applies and makes my lips feel.

I also know that while I have a single lip balm in my house I will not be able to convince myself to purchase this at full price. It is fabulous, but not $77 fabulous. So I will use up every last drop and enjoy this lip balm while I can. I just know I will never purchase the Avant Hydra Replenish Lip Balm on my own.

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Let’s Talk Endota Organics Hydrating Lip Balm

I am always up for trying a new lip product. It is my most consistently used makeup/self-care product. While I will always love a deep dark berry or a red lip, even on days when I don’t wear makeup, I generally have something on my lips. There are several reasons.

One when my lips get dry I tend to pick at them and make them worse. I know, it is a bad habit and one that I have tried numerous times to break myself of. The best method I have found is to not let my lips get dry enough to pick at them.

The second reason I usually have something on my lips is that I generally find that as soon as I apply something to my lips, I am reluctant to eat anything. Part of it comes from sticky lip glosses holding on to potato chip residue and part of it is liquid lippies leaving prints everywhere. In the end a good lip balm is also a good anti-snacking tool. And since it keeps my lips from drying out, I am happy to use the tool.

In addition I often find when I need a second to compose my thoughts, reaching for a lip balm will often give me that brief moment I need to think of what I need to say or write. Sometimes I have to apply it more slowly than others, but in general it works.

Plus I just flat out enjoy lip products.

But all are not the same. There is actually a wide variety of products all sort of huddled under similar names. The one I have been trying lately is the Endota Organics Hydrating Lip Balm. It came to me in a Boxy charm. I had never heard of the brand or tried any of their products. Personally that is one of the reasons I love subscription boxes. According to the Endota site...

Protect your pout with this natural organic lip balm that’s packed with super-hydrating ingredients. With a gorgeous glossy finish, our Hydrating Lip Balm will soothe cracked or chapped lips and protect skin from dryness. Cocoa butter, calendula and vitamin E assist in visibly reviving delicate lips to keep them looking healthy and feeling luscious, while cooling peppermint oil provides a hint of freshness. This versatile balm can also be used to help restore moisture to cuticles and areas that regularly experience dryness.

The lip balm comes in a simple squeeze tube and has a really nice applicator tip. I personally like these plastic spout tips as they are easy to wipe off and keep clean. The scent of the lip balm is slightly minty but not overpoweringly so.

The issue comes with getting the product out of the container. I opened the tube. I squeezed.

Nothing.

I thought there might be an extra safety seal I missed.

There wasn’t.

I did a lot of squeezing and put in a lot of effort to get the product out of the tube. In the end I think the heat of my hands loosened it a bit and then the product would dispense. For a while I thought it had formed a solid lump.

It is a thick lip balm. It is one that I would carry in the back pocket if I planned to use it just so my body heat would make it easier to use. It applies easily once it is out of the tube. I was concerned it would be a little chunky on the lips (which I hate) but it was not. It glided on smoothly. The thing is, it is really thick once it is on the lips too. It feels nice, it smells nice and it has a glossy shine, but it is not really that absorbent. I had the feeling more of it wiped off than soaked into my lips.

I don’t think that this is the sort of lip balm I would keep on my desk to apply throughout the day. It is the sort of lip balm I would put on my lips or in my back pocket when I am going skiing or hiking in a cold and windy environment. It might even be good in a hot and dry climate. It is a product that I think would deal well with intense conditions. It is simply too much for every day use. I am putting it into the pocket of my winter coat though. My coat has been cleaned and is ready to go back into the closet until cold weather returns. I do not mind putting this tube of Endota Organics Hydrating Lip Balm in the coat pocket to wait for the return of cold weather, because that is probably the next time I will want to use it.

Starskin for eyes and lips

Recently I have been going through my single sets of eye masks accumulated from various subscription boxes. I realized I always go for the same teo brands (Grace and Stella and Klorane) and never really tried the others out. So I gathered all of the single pairs and put them together to try out. While I did try out a Starskin eye mask a few weeks ago, this is a different version and I thought I would pair it with the Starskin lip mask that I received in a recent subscription box. Hence the day’s duo.

So first up we have the Starskin Eye Catcher Soothing Eyemask. I believe this one came in a Glossy Box. It is described as…

Lights, camera, action! Ensure all eyes are on you with Eye Catcher™, STARSKIN®’s premium Bio-Cellulose mask specially created for the delicate eye contours. Formulated with naturally fermented, vitamin-rich coconut juice, this ultra-hydrating eye mask saturates the skin with an incredible 12ml of serum containing wrinkle-smoothing Adenosine, brightening Licorice Root extract and soothing Allantoin. Eyes look instantly brighter, more radiant and rejuvenated as fine lines, puffiness and dark circles are diminished in just 15 minutes. An A-list essential for late night parties and long-haul flights!

Skinstore

Now I will say that the biocellulose material is often very in flexible. I tend to have issues with it sticking to the contours of my face. The material tends to want to bubble up. These eyes masks though were so saturated with serum that they stuck to by face pretty well, better than the previous set of eye masks from Starskin. There was also a lot more serum. In the previous pair, the eye masks were wet, but there was little excess serum. With this one, there was extra serum running out. And that seems to be the theme with this sort of masking material. Either you soak it thoroughly enough to stick or it puckers up around the bend lines in the material.

This was sufficiently damp. So that was a plus. I didn’t like that the eye masks were just loose in the container though. I had to fish around with my fingers to find them and in the process spilled all of the excess serum down my hand and arm. So that was a bit of a draw back. On the face though, they felt nice and stayed in place well. And the serum was quite soothing, My skin felt very hydrated. I like them enough that i wouldn’t mind using it again. I might pick them up if i needed to fill out a cart during another order because i think they are worth using, but I wouldn’t go out to specifically purchase them. I know, it isn’t a simple yes or no category, but somewhere in the gray between.

But wait, there is more. The second mask from Starskin I tried today was the DreamKiss Plumping and Hydrating Biocellulose lip Mask.

With Dreamkiss Plumping & Hydrating Lip Masks, STARSKIN reveals the secret to the perfect Hollywood pout: Bio-Cellulose, a next generation sheet mask technology considered by experts to be the gold standard for treating skin. STARSKIN’s Bio-Cellulose is formulated with naturally fermented coconut juice, which adheres closely to the lips for a superior fit as nourishing skincare ingredients are quickly and efficiently infused. Each lip mask is soaked in 5 ml of serum, delivering pillow-soft, kissable smooth lips in just 15 minutes. Lips are deeply hydrated and visibly plumped with fine lines diminished. The perfect canvas for your red-carpet look.

Macys

This mask had less extra serum in it and you can see it isn’t adhering nearly as well to the contours of my face. I will admit I was also skeptical of this plumping lip mask to begin with. Any lip mask i have ever tried in sheet form has been far larger than my lips. Which makes me question the pluming action. This was no different. It was much larger than my lips and while it stuck to my chin, the sides of my mouth and under my nose, it didn’t really have a lot of contact with my lips themselves.

It had a very strong menthol scent that did fade after about five minutes. There was no real sign of plumping and no sensation under the mask. I didn’t see any noticeable plumping after removal and it left a slightly sticky residue around my mouth. The directions said not to rinse so I tried to leave it to see if there would be any noticeable difference as the serum sat post mask, but there wasn’t and after ten minutes I had to rinse my face. For me the lip mask was a failure. While I would consider purchasing the eye masks, I would not purchase this lip mask. I would feel much better purchasing a gel or lip gloss style lip mask for plumping purposes.

I feel it would not only do a better job plumping my lips but as i would apply it only to my lips, the product would only work on my lips. I just don’t think that a sheet mask in general is a good plumping device and certainly this mask failed. I am however pleased to see that this eye mask was better than the last one I tried from the brand. I always like to know what products from a brand I like and which ones I don’t. And since I generally shop at places like The Skinstore or Lovely Skin, it lets me add to my cart when I am ordering other products. The Eye Catcher Eye masks from Starskin may make it into one of my shopping carts, but the Dream Kiss I will kiss goodbye.

Incidentally The Skin Store is having a 25th Anniversary sale with up to 50% off. They have a wide array of brands so if you are looking to stock up, now is a great time.

Also Lovely Skin is having a 20% off Sale for St. Patrick’s day. Not only is it a great way to stock up but Plus, you’ll receive a free $46 ClarityRx Travel-Size Daily Dose of Water Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Serum with your $125 purchase.

Happy Shopping!


Trying out the Kinship Supermelt Vegan Lip Jelly Mask

I am a huge fan of lip masks. My long term favorite one has been the Agave Lip mask from Bite beauty, and recently I have been using and testing the Laneige Overnight lip mask. I have tried many others over the years, some good, some not so good. This Kinship Supermelt Vegan Lip Jelly Mask came in my recent IPSY box and I have been keeping it on my desk ever since.

It has been an interesting mask. First let’s talk about the packaging. I know, packaging isn’t everything, however sometimes packaging can really aid in use of the product and honestly, that is what the Kinship packaging does. The mask is in a plastic tube and I assumed that when I opened the lid I would find just a have plastic tip or even just an open ended tube.

Instead when I opened the tube there is a soft rubberized tip that bends and flexes with the application of the product. While it is soft against the lips and it is a great applicator in general, it is also easy to wipe down and clean. For a lip mask this is actually quite an important thing. Lip masks can get their tips gunked up pretty quickly so it is really nice to be able to clean that off easily.

But as nice as the applicator is, the product inside that matters. The mask applies smoothly. I expected a slightly looser consistency as it is a jelly mask, but it has the same consistency as a really good lip balm. The scent, because you know I have to describe the scent, is predominantly vanilla -esque. However there is a slightly castor oil under tone. Castor oil is one of the ingredients in the mask so it isn’t surprising that it is there. It is surprising to smell the vanilla followed by the castor oil back note. The Caster oil is not terribly strong scent wise. And once I identified it, I was fine with it. I could dismiss it and focus on the vanilla scent.

The Kinship lip mask is a bit more like a heavy lip balm. It does not have the heft of the Laniege Over Night Lip mask or the Bite Beauty Agave Lip mask. It is a lighter lip mask. If you apply it then wait without drinking or eating anything, and then it will last on your lips for about 45 minutes. After that there is little remaining on your lips, but you still feel the effects of the moisturizing elements on your lips even if the lip mask is gone.

For me, the packaging actually makes me like this mask more. I think I would just think it was an average lip mask. For the Kinship Supermelt Vegan lip mask it is actually the packaging that puts it over the edge. It turns this mask into one that I will use, use up and let go, to one that I will actually consider repurchasing.

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