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.

Get More From A Face Cleanser And Spa-like Massage

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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Getting Lippie with Patrick Ta

In the winter lip balms and lip masks are a must for me. We get icy winds that seem to steal product from the lips and leave them dry and chapped. This time of year I have to double check all pockets before doing laundry as I almost always have at least one lip balm tucked away somewhere on my person and I always have at least on on my desk.

The problem with lip balms on the desk though is that they have the tendency to roll around and get nocked out of sight or even roll right off the desk. So when the Patrick Ta Major Glow Lip Masque in She’s Juicy came in an IPSY bag and I saw that it was a lovely square pot of product, I decided it was the perfect desk product to try out. I end up dipping into it several times a day.

inner lid

The gold top looks lovely but it collects finger prints fast so I find myself wiping it down a lot. When you twist off the lid there is an inner plastic lid protecting the product. I like that it is a sturdy enough plastic to not fall apart when lifted up several times a day. I also like that the tab on the inner lid is large enough to easily grab and lift the inner lid up.

I know that sounds like an odd thing to like, but I’ve had several products that had really tiny tabs and were hard to grasp so I ended up just prying the lid off with my finger nail. It is a small thing, but to me it matters. It also makes it feel a little more luxe and like someone actually thought that through. The product has a vanilla peppermint scent to it which I like.

You know I have a thing for peppermint.

product

The balm itself has a sort of shimmer to it. This does make the lips a little shimmery but not by much. When first applied there is a slight tingle to the lips, but there is no plumping that I have noticed. And after a few minutes the tingling fades. About the time that the tingling fades I find that enough of the product had absorbed into my lips that I’m not wiping it off on the rim of my coffee mug. It will always leave lip marks, but when the tingling fades, the product has at least a chance of absorbing in instead of being wiped off.

I find it a good gauge.

on the lips

Is it a better lip product than others I’ve tried? Not really. It is on par with most of them. For me the advantage is actually in the packaging. Not only does the square stay where I put it instead of rolling around, but The gold lid actually draws the eye. What I have found is that when I am working and need to pause and think about my wording, I have a tendency to pick it up and twist the lid back and forth as I think. Then, because I have the lip balm in my hand, I tend to apply it before I put the container back down. So I have actually applied more than I normally would because of the container. And applying more means my lips get more hydration. So they are actually less chapped than usual this year.

Which is a side effect that I like. So for me, the product may be good, but not out of this world spectacular, but the container actually promotes use and convincing myself to use more of the Patrick Ta Lip Masque before my lips get dry and chapped is not a bad thing. while I will be using this for a while longer, I think that because of the advantages of the packaging, I would definitely consider purchasing this product again.



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.

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!