Thursday, April 26, 2012

Lip Love Natural Lip Balm

I have to admit, I had never purchased anything from until the last couple months. In December, I think, was the first time I had considered checking for lip balm. And one of the first brands I came across was this one. I don't know why I was always so hesitant about ordering from Etsy, perhaps it was because I knew I'd be opening Pandora's box and be ever so consumed in buying and trying new balms. It took me a while before I actually decided to purchase from this company and a while for me to actually write up a review, so let's get to it now shall we?

Company: Lip Love

Flavors: Pineapple Tangerine, Black Raspberry, Lemon Drop, and Mint Truffle. The Pineapple Tangerine is dead on blend of sweet tangerine and tangy pineapple.If I breathe the scent in for too long it becomes a little overwhelming but then again I'm sure most people don't inhale the scent for 30 seconds or more in one sitting. The Black Raspberry is an interesting scent, I'm not sure what an actual black raspberry smells like but I'm going off of my Black Raspberry Vanilla cream from Bath and Body Works. It's hard to describe what it smells like, it's very perfume like. I'm not sure if I like it too much. Obviously I was going to buy the Lemon Drop as a good "flavor" point, something easily comparable to other lemon balms in my collection. I was a little disappointed, this smelled not exactly like lemon in my opinion. My best description of it would be a sour citrus scent with a little overwhelming scent of a medicated/menthol balm. The Mint Truffle is pretty dead on chocolate and mint combination. It is probably the strongest scented of the bunch. I smell a little bit of nuttiness as well. I wasn't particularly fond of really any of these, there was something about them that just didn't work for me. These balms also have natural sweetener in them but I found myself really trying to avoid licking my lips because it just wasn't good tasting to me.

Wear: The balms go on very smooth, it goes on a bit thin but it covers well so a little goes a long way. They last close to two hours which is pretty good.

Packaging: These are your average sized lip balm tubes with colored labels coordinated to the indicated flavors. The labels are paper labels but I just took off the plastic casing in such a way that it remained on the bottom part and only got removed from the cap of the tube.

Price: $3.25 a tube, not too bad for a natural, handmade lip balm.

Pros: Price, Variety of flavors, packaging, wear
Cons: Something funky about the flavors

Rating: I'd give these balms a 2.5 out of 5. There was something I just didn't like about the balms, some were menthol-y, some I just didn't like. It was worth a shot, but I don't think I'll be purchasing again.

Orange Thyme: Additional Balms

Okay by now you guys probably realize that I love balms from Orange Thyme. I mean seriously, those balms are fabulous! If you haven't picked up a few from her yet, you should definitely go and get some. Lucky for me, and anybody else who seized the opportunity, she had a sale a few weeks ago on new summer/spring flavors! Yay! Of course I didn't hesitate to snatch up a few. If you always happen to just miss a sale or never know they occur, make sure to like Orange Thyme on Facebook to stay up to date.
Seriously these tubes are always so cute,
I always feel bad for unwrapping them!

Company: Orange Thyme

Flavors: Peppermint, Meyer Lemon Cupcake, Strawberry Lime Margarita, Coconut Lemongrass, Creamsicle, and Vanilla Pear. The Peppermint is AMAZING, it's minty yet smells a little sweet to me as well. It's like a candy cane, it's just perfection...everything I expect from a peppermint balm. The Meyer Lemon Cupcake smells just like a baked lemon desert, similar to the lemon cupcakes I whipped up last week. It's a great balm to have around when you want a baked treat without the calories...har har. Now the Strawberry Lime Margarita, I should mention that I've never been fond of margarita flavored balms or margaritas in general (tequila is just not my thing). I can sense a lot of lime but not a strong smack-you-in-the-face lime and a faint strawberry. It's not my absolute favorite balm from her but it is a good balm regardless. Now the Coconut Lemongrass is just PHENOMENAL. Definitely my favorite of the bunch. I don't know why I've never purchased Coconut Lemongrass balms before because they seem to be my favorite right now. It's just like candy, it's sweet and just all around wonderful. Seriously, invest in this balm. The Creamsicle is exactly like an orange dream bar. A perfect, not an artificial flavor in any sense, blend of orange and cream. Unlike the Orange Cream Burst from Chapstick, this balm has a very natural scent and is much more enjoyable. Don't get me wrong I also love the Chapstick version. When I was ordering I was going back and forth between ordering Vanilla Pear and finally decided not to because I had ordered so many balms already, but imagine my surprise when the freebie I received was none other than Vanilla Pear! Yay! I was so happy to have gotten it. Some vanilla pear balms I've come across give me this sick feeling and aren't exactly my favorite balms to use but this one is much more pleasant. It's a 50/50 mix of Vanilla and Pear but isn't overly scented like some of my others. It may be just me but I'm not sure I'm a huge fan of vanilla pear as a combination.
I had to make a second purchase after I
ordered the previous four because in my haste
I missed these!

Wear: SMOOOOOTTTHHH. Without fail, these balms are the smoothest. They are just absolutely the smoothest balms to apply.

Packaging: The tubes are your average sized tubes with cute colored labels that correspond to the flavor. The flavors are written in a very cute font, these balms are just all around adorable.

Price: $3.25 a tube, pretty great for a natural, smooth, amazing balm.

Pros: Flavors, packaging, price, application
Cons: None!

Rating: 5 out of 5 twists, I'm never disappointed with a purchase from Orange Thyme.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Full Circle Beeswax Lip Balm

Two weeks ago, my boyfriend and I were trying to find something to have for dinner since it was late at night and every place to eat was closed. We decided to go to Schnuck's to find some groceries to make something. I thought it would be a long shot but, I decided to look for lip balm anyway. To my surprise, I found quite the deal and an amazing new balm for my collection.

Company: Full Circle

Flavors: Beeswax, it's minty! It's a wonderful mint lip balm. I haven't been without it since I purchased it. I believe when I first put it on I was talking to my boyfriend and in the middle of applying I said, "oh my gosh delicious, double mint gum". I don't think it's really like double mint gum, but it kind of reminds me of it. If you like mint balms, try to find this one! It's a perfect mint balm.

Wear: It goes on pretty smooth and just adds to the charm of this balm. I love putting it on and feeling the tingly sensation when it's applied. Nothin' much else to say here!

Packaging: A pretty basic tube. It's an average sized tube of balm, it's a white tube with a yellow label that has the company's name and "Beeswax Lip Balm" in big letters. It's pretty simple.

Price: Now here's the kicker, it's an AMAZING balm. And what's even better comes in a pack of cost $1.15! Two tubes for $1.15. That's amazing! I was stunned by how little I paid for this gem.

Pros: Flavor, Wear, Packaging, Price
Cons: It's hard to find, can't buy online

Rating: 5 out of 5 twists. Try to find this! What's there not to love about this balm? Well...unless you don't like mint or cheap, great balms.

Ophelia's Apothecary

I received a recommendation from a reader a little while ago to try a couple other brands on One of which was Ophelia's Apothecary, which happens to be the winner of the poll this week! I always love to hear from readers so I figured, why not give them a shot? I got lucky and happened to notice one day they were having a flash sale on their lip balm, 5 for $10. I couldn't think of a better time to try them out!

Company: Ophelia's Apothecary

Flavors: Passion fruit Rose, Chocolate Orange Truffle, Lemon Cheesecake, Papaya, and Red Velvet. I decided to give Passion fruit Rose a try since I've seen so many other people who have liked it, despite that it had a floral flavor. I have to say it's a very pleasant scent, all I can smell is Rose though and no Passion fruit. It's not my favorite flavor, because it's floral, but it's pretty nice. If you like floral balms, you should definitely try this one. Ever since I obtained my Chocolate Orange balm from Long Winter Farm Soap Co. (the review can be found here) I've been obsessed with it, my boyfriend always says I smell like chocolate ever since I got that balm. I wanted to find another good chocolate orange balm since I'm running low on my other one. I was expecting similar quality from this balm as my other one and I was disappointed. It smells like chocolate with barely any orange. It's not an amazing chocolate smell either, it kind of makes me sick. (I should also mention I'm not the biggest chocolate fan, I only enjoy it occasionally...I know I'm weird.) The Lemon Cheesecake The Lemon Cheesecake is dead on lemon cheesecake, it's really decadent and enjoyable. I like my lemon balms to be a little more lemony but this will do. The Papaya scent is very light, I was hoping for an awesome Papaya balm like my Softlips one (I promise to write about that collection soon) but was disappointed (maybe I should stop comparing new balms to old ones, but then I'd have nothing to base my ratings and opinions off of, right?). The Red Velvet smells just like a nice slice of red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting. Again, I'm not a HUGE fan of Red Velvet but do enjoy it occasionally, if you're a red velvet fan you should check this balm out. This is the only time I've ever come across Red Velvet as a balm flavor.

Wear: All of the balms go on crazy smooth and go on like butter. I feel like a good amount goes on per swipe and feels like my lips are really being nourished. What I did notice was that when I kept the Chocolate Orange and Papaya in my pocket, the Papaya was fine but what happened with the Chocolate Orange was horrifying. I twisted up the tube to put some on and when I swiped it across my lips the entire top part that was twisted up came off on my lip. I had a giant glob of balm on my mouth, it was awful. I thought maybe I pushed on it too hard so I tried again and it was super liquidy. I finally gave up and switched balms. The Papaya one had not melted like the Chocolate Orange one, in fact it was still very much intact. The Chocolate Orange one didn't solidify until later that day and is still much softer than the other balms. Despite this set back, not only do my lips feel amazing when these balms go on but they last over 2 hours.

Packaging: They are average weight, oval tubes. I love oval tubes, I just feel that the balm just fits the contour of your lips. The labels have an old-time feel to them. It's hard to describe what they look like, but it's very unique. Also I noticed that only one balm had a waxy/plastic label on it while the other ones were just paper labels. I think by now you all know how I feel about the paper labels. They just don't hold up to frequent use (or cats!).

Price: $4 for one tube, not too shabby but I am glad I got them for $2 a piece because I don't think I'd pay $4 a piece. The flavors just didn't hold up to my expectations. I do love the way my lips feel when I wear it but I wish the flavors were just a bit better.

Pros: Packaging, Wear, Unique Flavors, Natural
Cons: More Variety of Flavors, Price is a little steep for the quality (I'd rather pay between $3.25-3.50 for one of these)

Rating: 3 out of 5 twists, if any of these flavors interest you it's worth giving it a shot, they're pretty unique and interesting and your lips will surely thank you afterwords. I'm glad to have them in my collection.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Aloe Up: Passion Fruit

Here comes another review on a balm I picked up while in Los Angeles (I told you guys I picked up a ton of new balms while I was there). We were spending a day at Huntington Beach and went into every surf shop trying to find my boyfriend a new hat. Of course, knowing these were surf shops, I was on the prowl for new balm. I came across tons of balms you don't find in your usual stores but, thanks to a dear friend of mine who brings me balm every time she goes on vacation, I already had most of them! Fortunately, I found one balm that had yet to claim a spot in my collection.

Company: Aloe Up

Flavors: Passion Fruit. This is an amazingly scented balm! It's sweet and fruity, everything I look for in a Passion Fruit balm. It's dead on and fabulous. They also carry Citrus and Natural flavors.

Wear: Unfortunately, this balm does not go on smooth, at all! I had to really force it onto my lips and felt like it was really just pulling my lips with it and leaving nothing behind. I was getting frustrated with how long it was taking just to get a good application of it, usually with other balms I'm on my 2nd or 3rd round of application by the time I finally got some of this on my lips. It has SPF 15 which was great for being at the beach and in the sun during my trip, however after about 30-45 minutes I felt that the balm was already gone from my lips and my lips felt somewhat drier after the balm had gone than before I had put it on.

Packaging: An average sized lip balm tube that is pink colored (to match the flavor, I'm assuming). In the background of the label are aloe leaves that are colored pink. A big portion of the label says the flavor and company name. Nothing crazy fancy with the packaging.

Price: I paid $2.99 I believe, but online they sell it for $2.39. Not too bad for a balm

Pros: Flavor, SPF, Price, Packaging
Cons: Wear, Not long lasting

Rating: 1.5 out of 5 twists. The flavor and everything was great, but if it's too difficult to put on...I'm not going to like it very much. I don't think I would purchase another balm from this company in the future.

Lush Lip Candy

The votes are in! And this week's winner is...Lush Lip Candy!

I was on a few weeks ago (what else is new right?) and I happened to stumble upon a company I hadn't yet checked out or heard about, Lush Lip Candy. The flavors and packaging looked incredible and I was so tempted to buy a ton the second I found it. But, of course, there had yet to be very many sales and zero feedback left. I always feel so iffy about buying from shops that have no feedback or very little feedback. I'm not saying it's an awful thing because obviously everyone needs to start from the ground and go up, but it always gives me a little piece of mind to buy from a shop that's got great feedback...I mean, isn't that what it's there for? Anyways, I took a gamble when I went back a couple weeks later and saw that they were having a buy one, get one free for everything in their shop! What better time to buy and try than now right? I decided to pick up a set of 4 which of course meant I got 4 more balms as freebies, awesome!

The cute mesh bags the balms came in, I
really appreciate extra effort into packaging.
It's unfortunate that my cats were able to rip
holes in them and claw the tubes.
Company: Lush Lip Candy

Flavors: Asian Pear & Vanilla, Cherry Vanilla, Strawberry Limeade, Coconut Lemongrass, Coconut Lime Twist, Birthday Cake, Mango Margarita, and Pineapple Tangerine. Let me start off by saying, EVERY flavor is incredible! Almost everything was as it was described. The Asian Pear & Vanilla I knew was going to be interesting, it's got that characteristic pear scent blended with vanilla. I never really find too many balms with this combination of flavors. It's interesting, not sure if it's my absolute favorite of the bunch though. The Cherry Vanilla smells just like black cherries blended with vanilla, creamy and fruity all in one! The Strawberry Limeade,! The second I put it on all that could come out was "ohhhmyyygosshhh delicioussss yummmm" and I hadn't even finished applying it yet. As I was speaking I kept applying it, my roommate thought this was quite amusing. I always run across Strawberry and Lemon but very rarely come across Strawberry and Lime. It was sweet and tangy and just perfect. Reminds me of summer; it's definitely not a flavor you want to skip out on. My next favorite has got to be Coconut Lemongrass. One whiff of it and my mouth instantly waters, it smells JUST like candy. It's perfect. I didn't know what to expect since I've never had coconut and lemongrass mixed together, but it was awesome. The Coconut Lime Twist was very similar to Bath and Body Work's Coconut Lime Verbena/Coconut Lime Breeze scent. It's a perfect blend of coconut and lime. It's also sweet; all of the balms have added sweetener to them so it makes the balms extra sweet. The Birthday Cake smells like a birthday cake candle of sorts, not 100% Birthday Cake but it does smell like a baked desert. I never really go for non-fruity flavors of lip balm so I knew this was going to be a gamble. I wasn't really a fan but if you like Birthday Cake and more unusual flavors of balm, this may be worth a try! I was kind of put off by the Mango Margarita scent, I don't know if it was because I had just cleaned my cats' litter boxes but one whiff and I thought it was cat pee. I quickly exclaimed, "Oh my gosh what this smells just like cat pee!" My roommate quickly ran over to smell it for herself (why is it that we always want to smell something when someone has JUST said it smells bad?). She said it doesn't smell like cat pee but it smells like something sweet and not entirely mango. I smelled it again the next day and I'll admit it doesn't smell like cat pee but, in my mind it always will. My boyfriend smelled it and said, "Yup, totally cat pee". It does have a fruity note to it but also a little bit of something else. The Pineapple Tangerine is amazing, it is a perfect blend of both complaints here. It's almost like I'm drinking a nice cool glass of Pineapple Orange juice.

Wear: The balms when you first open them appear rugged, as if the surface is just a little rough and the balm will be difficult to apply. Don't let that fool you, it goes on incredibly smooth. It does feel a little thin when going on so I find myself going around and around. What I hate most I think, although it makes the balms delicious, is that there's added sweetener. Subconsciously, I lick my lips as soon as the balm is put on until the next time I apply. My lips always feel so much drier obviously because I've been licking them. This also makes them not last as long. I find myself wanting to apply every 30 minutes because it's already off my lips. Such a conundrum, I love the sweetness but hate the dryness. Ugh.

You can see on the red tubes how easily they were scratched.
Normal wear and tear would certainly take a toll on these
gorgeous tubes.
Packaging: Absolutely adorable packaging! They are oval tubes with brightly colored labels matching the flavor. They are so cute. The only thing is the labels are just made of paper with no protective waxy outside which means they will deteriorate with frequent use. The night I received them I opened the package and then let the contents sit in their mesh bags they came in on my bed. During the night, my cats clawed through the bags trying to play with the ribbons and consequently the tubes got scratched and the labels were easily damaged. You can see in some of the pictures the labels aren't perfect because the claws just easily tore from them.

Price: $3.25 for one or 4 for $10. Not too bad for a natural balm, or a balm in general.

Pros: over 40 different flavors, smooth application, price, packaging
Cons: added sweetener, not long lasting

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 twists. This shop is great if you want a ton of different flavors and really cute tubes, but with the added sweetener I had to knock it down a peg from 4 because the sweetener just doesn't make the product last any longer. It makes the flavors incredible but, in addition to great flavored balms, I also really look for a balm that can last a while.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Neutrogena Naturals

I've had this balm for a while, I believe I got it the same day I picked up my first tube of Dr. Bronner's (you can find the review here). I've been meaning to write up what I think about it, it's about time I do we go! (I apologize for how short this post is--it's pretty simple and to the point this time.)

Comapny: Neutrogena

Flavors: They only have one flavor, so just look for the one tube! I don't think the flavor even has a name. The first time I used it, it seemed like an unflavored balm. But, the second time I used it, it seemed to have a slightly minty flavor to it. It was quite pleasant. I don't know if it was because I kept it next to a peppermint lip balm but I don't think that's what it was since the third time I used it, it was still minty. Of course, I love mint balms so I was going to like this one.

Wear: It goes on SO smooth! It was great! Good coverage upon application and it felt like it was really moisturizing my lips.

Packaging: It is a semi see-through average sized lip balm tube. It's very plain and I believe it's with a purpose; to appear like a pure, "natural", "clean" balm. It's very simple and I like it. It's got one splash of color, a bright green color bar on the tube.

Price: About $3.00, a great price for a natural balm that moisturizes.

Pros: Wear, price, packaging, flavor
Cons: No other flavors

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 twists, there wasn't anything truly spectacular about this balm. It is a good balm though, I would check it out if you are looking for something with only a slight scent to it that is a natural balm.

Yes To Carrots

Based on the votes from this week--I wanted to try the polling thing to give you guys an option for what you'd like to see--Yes To Carrots was the most popular.

Over the summer, Yes To Carrots had coupon for $3.00 off a Yes To Carrots product at Walmart. Since at Walmart the Yes To Carrots lip balms cost less than $3 or very close to it, the balm ended up being free! I, of course, bought a few other flavors as comparisons--just in case I didn't like the first flavor.

Company: Yes To Carrots

Flavors: Sweet Fig, Pomegranate, Berry, and Melon. None of the flavors seemed to stick out from the rest. They all seemed to be the same exact flavor. I may have gotten all bad balms, but I find that highly unlikely since I purchased from two different stores--Walmart and Target. I think the Pomegranate has the least pleasant scent, it smells very tart and bitter, but I have found that many of my pomegranate balms are tart and bitter--I just don't like this one. The Berry has a very slight berry scent, there seems to be a slight hint of strawberry. The Melon also has a very light scent, similar to the cantaloupe smell in a cucumber and melon combination but much milder. I'm not quite sure how to describe the Sweet Fig, seeing as I've never eaten a fig in real life I have nothing really compare it to; I just thought this would be an interesting flavor to try out. It's not my favorite scent either, it's very plain and you can't really smell anything.
The Sweet Fig Balm.

Wear: It goes on pretty good, smooth-wise. It's definitely not like my handmade balms from smaller companies, but it's not too shabby. However, it feels like I need a lot in order to get great coverage. It goes on very thin.

Packaging: One of the tubes was from the older design that I picked up in the fall before the new design came out. It was pretty simple and to the point; it said what it needed to say: company name, flavor, description of product that seemed a little lengthy for a tube of lip balm. It was a good design. I LOVE the newer design. Each tube has a label, colored to match the flavor that the balm is. It says the company's name in big letters and then a small band around the top that says the flavor. It's much simpler and better looking without the long description of the product.

Price: Between $3.00 and $3.50 which isn't too bad since it is 100% natural.

Pros: Price, Natural, Packaging, Application
Cons: Flavors were all the same

Rating: 3 out of 5 twists. If you want a product based on flavors, this is not the product for you. If you want a balm that goes on nicely and is all natural, this may be worth a shot. I had high hopes for this product since I loved the packaging and always saw it everywhere in stores, but personally I'd rather spend my money on some handmade balms from
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