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.

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

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.


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