Tuesday, December 14, 2010

One Last Job: Crazy Rumors New Soda Pop Balms

I know, we're supposed to be retired. But just when we think we're out, they pull us back in!!! The one and only thing that has the power to bring Chaptastic back to life is the announcement from our favorite company that it has a new line out.

That's right- Crazy Rumors just released their Soda Pop lip balms in Cola, Ginger Ale, Root Beer and Black Cherry.

There was a second where I almost wanted to be disappointed, you know? Surely they couldn't continue their amazing streak of making well-balanced, fun flavors of really effective lip balms (did I mention I ALWAYS have one on me?). And that would be okay, wouldn't it? I mean, even Rome fell, for crying out loud.

But...no. They did. And they did it so well we're not even going to write a big, long review. We're just going to get to the point and tell you that they're great, and possibly the best way to get through the winter. All the smooth-lipped deliciousness, none of the calories.

And because Crazy Rumors loves you, they're offering you 15% off all orders with code CHAP through the end of December (don't forget about their Candycane flavors!).

So, yeah. Get on that, and we'll get back to our Florida retirement home for a game of shuffleboard.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Sites We Dig: Labello Collectors

Sprechen Sie Deutsch? I sure hope so, because Lipcare-fans.de, started by Labello-afficionado Janina Hirdler, is entirely in German. But that shouldn't stop you from clicking around and finding every possible version of all the Labello, Nivea and Liposan brand balms that have ever been made.

People, this is impressive.

Guest Post! June Jacobs Lip Renewal

Today's poster is Ericka, whom we know nothing about, so we're just going to say that she's a very attractive, smart and succinct young woman with a bright future ahead of her. Let's hear it, Ericka!

Ever since I heard that most lip balms with petrolatum are made to get your lips hooked on balm, I’ve been purposely searching for balms without it. I came across June Jacobs Lip Renewal while on a spa vacation in Arizona.

[Note: This review refers to the product "June Jacobs Lip Renewal", NOT to "June Jacobs Lip Renewal with SPF 20", which DOES contain petrolatum but can be found for $12-20 -Ed.]

Price: $24 for ½ ounce.

Appearance: Capped toothpaste-style tube.

Glide: It’s not slick or sticky. You just notice a real softness and smoothness, which makes it good for guys who don’t want anything too girly or fruity.

Flavor/Smell: It’s pretty much colorless. I love the slightly citrus scent, and I felt like my lips were getting better, working better on their own.

Product Pluses: There are lots of natural ingredients like Shea Butter and others (I won’t get into it here ‘cause I know y’all will go online and search it out). The price is steep ($24), but I swear it lasted me a year!

Alas, my last tube has run out, and with the economy I’ll be slumming with cheap drugstore tubes for a while. I have definitely seen my lips do a backslide into petrolatum addiction. I give it 4 out of 5 tubes and might have given 5 if not for that price.

Updated: Oh Wow! For Lips

We just got an update from Oh Wow!, the exclamatory lip balm makers we wrote about a couple of years ago. They've got a new look and a new formula. They write,

We listened to your comments from a couple of years ago and here is what we have: special flavorings give the aroma of the flavor, not taste. No need for users to lick their lips, thus licking off the moisture. They receive the optimum benefits of our ingredients: only coca butter and vitamin E (a few flavors contain essential oils).

I must say, they are true to their word: the glide remains truly excellent, so much so that when I applied it I actually said, "Oh...wow!" I kid you not.

High marks for the Island Delight and Mint Chocolate varieties I tried. They have unobtrusive yet enjoyable scents and no discernible sweetness. I still can't believe that such a lovely balm has so few ingredients! This would be a solid solution for vegans and anyone with sensitive lips.

They're updating their website (about time!...stay away from the Comic Sans next time around), but you can still order from it. $4.95 a tube and various discount bulk rates. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

New Crazy Rumors! Fresh Squeezed

I will deflate all the suspense we try so hard to build up in most of our posts right now: Crazy Rumors can do no wrong. This is no news to those of you who've read our glowing reviews of this darling company in the past, but we were especially delighted by their bright, refreshing and summery new line called Fresh Squeezed. I mean, just look at them!

Price: $4 each, totally worth it.

Appearance: Utterly charming. One of the things I love about their aesthetic is the careful attention to detail. Each flavor has its own lovely color scheme and each line (Perk, Brew, A La Mode, Gumball, etc) has its own look, and yet the products as a whole have a very cohesive look. Despite the many varieties, it's hard to mistake one flavor for another. These look fun, appealing and citrus-y.

Glide: Classic Crazy Rumors: smooth, slightly creamy and almost sinful to apply.

Flavor/Smell: Spot on with the citrus fragrances and flavors, probably owing to the essential oils contained within. There's Orange Juice, Lemonade, Limeade and Pink Grapefruit Juice. I can't decide which one I like best, and I'm not a big fan of grapefruit in real life. What makes these balms amazing is the balance between the flavors and the subtle sweetness- neither cancels out the other, and together they are not overpowering. I've always appreciated that they use the natural sweetener Stevia, and sparingly, at that. After use, a gentle scent hangs in the air that always makes me wonder, "Who was just peeling an orange in here?"

Lasting Power: Superb. 2+ hours, quick to soften lips, perfect for overnight application. I consistently use these more frequently than other balms, stopping only when I realize I may soon run out.

Product Pluses: 100% natural vegan ingredients (shea butter, soy wax, avocado, grape seed, olive and jojoba oils, Vitamin E, just to name a few), cruelty-free.

In short, 5 out of 5 tubes, and another winning effort by Crazy Rumors. If I woke and learned that no other lip balms existed but these I would mourn momentarily but still be content.

So...This Exists

I didn't really want to link to this, but perhaps that would be a disservice to the small, slightly skeevy fraction of our readership. Apparently there's a need for a product line by International Body Labs called Boob Butter (sort of NSFW). They mostly make tattoo-related "butter" products, but they have a lip balm as well. Melon flavored, of course.

Looks legit enough with decent ingredients (there's a bit of over-emphasis on hemp as an ingredient). If only there weren't a douchey cartoon guy with a flavor saver and a girl with giant boobs on the tube. Or, you know, the word BOOB in giant letters. But I presume I'm not the target audience, so I'll let that one go.

Here & Gone- Almost

So we have some good news and some bad news for you all.

The good news is that we'll be posting for the next couple of weeks after a long hiatus! Hurrah!

The bad news is that this will be the last month of Chaptastic. Boo!

The decision came after we realized we've been doing a disservice to our eager and astute readers by basically never having time to post. Rather than keep you in suspense with our sporadic and annoying schedule, we've decided to give up the ghost and pass the lip balm baton to the other, admittedly more dedicated bloggers out there who've already jacked our content, our rating system, and our guest post idea.

We have adored writing and reviewing for you and we are left with so many fond memories, not to mention piles and piles of lip balm.

So stay tuned for a little bit until our big adieu.

Ask Chaptastic: Recycling Lip Balm Tubes

Dear Chaptastic,

Last year I recycled my chapstick tubes by sending them to the Eco Lips program. I couldn't find it on their page anymore. Do you guys have any idea if they still have that program available? I have many tubes to recycle!

Lose or Reuse

Good question, LOR. The Eco Lips recycle program does indeed seem to have disappeared. There's no explanation on their site, but Burt's Bees provides this entirely reasonable explanation for why they stopped their own recycling program:

The program was meant to promote recycling and Green living, but the lip balms we received in the mail were often over-packaged with bubble wrap and excessive taping. Instead of succeeding as a positive Earth-friendly effort, the program was creating un-recyclable trash. We regret that we have had to phase out this program, but hope that you will continue that recycling effort on your own.

The containers for most lip balms are made of #5 plastic, which is also used for things like yogurt, hummus, and medicine bottles. Unfortunately, #5 plastic is not often accepted as part of many municipal recycling programs.

However, Whole Foods, in cahoots with Organic Valley and Stonyfield Farm, has a Gimme 5 initiative that accepts #5 plastics in some stores. You should check to see if there's one in your area, since chances are you're throwing #5s in with the other plastics and it's getting fished out.

Another way to recycle your tubes is to repurpose them. My Lip Stuff creator Brea has these and other awesome ideas about how to reuse your tubes:

Salt & Pepper- Pour a little salt and pepper into clean empty tubes and toss in your bag for a little salt and pepper at work or whenever you are on the go eating.

Perfume refresher- Don't have a travel size perfume? Soak a cotton ball in your favorite perfume (or essential oil) and stuff inside an empty lip balm tube. When you need a refresher, just remove the cotton ball and swipe on! Also great for tossing in a drawer for freshness, or even coat pockets when they are stored for the summer.

How do you recycle your tubes?

Monday, April 20, 2009

Contest Winners

The suspense is over! We had a last minute entrant a the end of last week so we decided to take an extra day to deliberate. We chose the top ones based on creativity, humor and best use of tubes. Our choices for the winner and first and second runners up for the "All Your Balm Are Belong To Us" photo contest are:

Sabrina: "Fraubello"

Amazing effort, Sabrina! If I had my childhood to do over again, I would certainly have made my invisible friend out of lip balm.

Liisa: "Lip Balm Ballet"

Could not stop laughing at Liisa's photo for some reason. Those tutus are far too cute, but it's the "couple" at stage left enacting the Swan Lake-esque lift that really gets me.

Shannon: "House of 1000 Lip Balms"

This photo seems simple at first, but if you check out the full original entry you'll see there's a lot going on- it's like a full on party in that tiny house, complete with some tube-on-tube bedroom action. I particularly like the hat-stylings to the left.

Congratulations to the winners, and a hearty "thank you and you're awesome!" to everyone who entered. Sabrina, you'll be receiving a gift pack of lip balms from FOC (friend of Chaptastic) Zum Kiss as well as some other goodies and Liisa and Shannon you'll be getting some snazzy tubes in the mail.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Crazy Rumors: Hibiskiss & Bonus

Chaptastic's perennial favorite Crazy Rumors has a new line of all natural, vegan lip colors called Hibiskiss. Sure, technically they're not lip balms, but they certainly do moisturize like a balm and they have the same awesome shea butter and jojoba oil base that we love so much. Plus, they're very pretty, hibiscus-flavored, lightly sweet and come in six (slightly sparkly) colors. The slender, .09 oz tubes go for $6 a pop, and for now Crazy Rumors is running a deal where you can buy six for the price of five.

And if that's not enough to whet your appetite, if you order three or more HibisKiss Lip Colors they'll throw in in a special edition Red Hibiscus Lip Balm at no charge. Check them out!

(P.S. The reason I'm not reviewing these is that I have notoriously bad luck with any sort of lip color, especially anything involving the slightest shimmer. I end up looking like a bit like a drag queen even though the exact same color looks fabulous on my friends.)

Guest Post! Tarte 24-7 Natural Lip Sheer

Today's guest poster is our good friend Natalia, and awesome and creative (did I mention lovely?) gal who is currently living in Paraguay and runs the highly recommended blog called Guide to Paraguay. She's got some nice things to say about Tarte's Lip Sheer line. Vamos, Natalia!

Living in Paraguay, I don't have to deal with the extreme weather I suffered through in my former home, New England. My lip balm needs changed as soon as I stepped off the plane into tropical heat, a glaring sun, and a population of women well-versed in the Latin tradition of looking put together at all times. While recently visiting the States I greedily lunged for a box of unopened balms proffered by Chaptastic co-founder (and, full disclosure, good friend) JavaJive and walked away with some tubes of Tarte's 24-7 Natural Lip Sheer. After a couple of weeks of testing I am happy to report that this product meets all my newly discovered lip balm requirements. If you live somewhere that's hot, hot, hot read on.

Price: $14 Ouch. Time for the sliding scale and justifications. When judged as a lip balm, the pricetag is ridiculous. For a lipstick- sorry, lip sheer- it is pretty normal but that does not make it any less painful. Think about what you can buy with $14... well, probably not much these days, come to think of it.

Appearance: A glammed-up version of a standard plastic tube - it has a lilac brushed metallic coating. Only the product name and SPF are on the tube, all other information is on the box. I suppose this makes it look more upscale and similar to makeup.

Glide: Conflicting signals: the consistency looks more like lipstick than lip balm, but the feel of the tube and lack of lipstick-bullet shaped top make it look more like lip balm as a whole. In the end I landed on lipstick-like glide since it is not as slick or greasy as balm can be.

Flavor/Smell: No flavor and the smell was again reminiscent of lipstick. Comes in day/event-themed colors like Tuesday and Champagne Brunch. [The colors on the Sephora site don't really match the colors in real life, just to warn you -Ed.]

Lasting Power: It soaks into your lips pretty quickly so if you are addicted to the supple-surface feel of lip balm you may want to consider applying your favorite non-pigmented balm on top. As previously mentioned, I have been using this product in intense heat, meaning I am constantly chugging water from bottles and glasses (barely leaves a lip mark) and wiping sweat off my face. The sheer color has surprising lasting power, still discernible after a couple of hours. However, only women who have trained themselves to detect who is wearing "natural makeup" and who is actually sans makeup will be able to tell (men won´t even notice). In theory this is similar to the color giving properties of gloss, but with this you can actually rotate your head without ending up with a mouthful of sticky, gooey strands of hair.

Product Pluses: The aforementioned "natural look," SPF 15, and it can also double as a blush with the same easy blending as Tarte's Cheek Stain (at half the price).

4.5 out of 5 tubes. The fact that it can do double duty as blush is a major bonus, especially if you´re traveling. Plus I like that I can use it both during the day (color: Wednesday) and for going out (color: Friday) and not feel like I have 20 lbs of greasy lipstick on. For lip balm addicts the downside might be the fact that it really is more of a lip sheer not necessarily made for constant OCD reapplications.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Blue Q: Pun-tastic

Perhaps a message to the IRS? (Kidding! Please don't audit me.)

Via Perpetual Kid.

Guest Post! Burt's Bees Tin

We have a strong Canadian following here on Chaptastic, possibly owing to the fact that our northern brothers and sisters posses an inborn affinity for lip balm, given the weather. We welcome this guest post from our Canadian correspondent, Victoria. Mush, Victoria!

Living in Canada can be very hard on the skin, especially the lips. I've tried Blistex, Polysporin, Carmex and a terrifying amount of cheap store brand chap sticks. Also, being environmentally friendly (who isn't theses days), I wanted to find one without the dreaded petroleum jelly. I found it the holy grail of all lip balms - Burt's Bees.

Price: $4.99 CAD at Shopper's Drug Mart (can be purchased at Drugstore.com for $2.99 USD)

Appearance: Comes in a little orange tin with a bee printed on. Not too feminine, so guys can carry this lip balm around with them. Its nice and flat; I keep this in my jeans and the tube version in my bag.

Glide: Wonderful. I store this in my pocket so it's warm and creamy, but when cold it can be a little hard to apply. Although it's in a tin I put my lips directly up to the tin to apply, a move that garners weird looks on the subway but is well worth it.

Flavor/Smell: The smell is peppermint, thanks to the peppermint oil in the balm. I personally love this, but other with sensitive skin and/or noses may find it irritating. The best feature of this product is the flavor - none. This minimizes the desire to lick off the balm.

Lasting Power: Hours. I can put this on and go about my day. Its waterproof, so you can feel free to drink away (I sometimes lick my lips, but with this the balm stays intact). I put it on before I step outside, and it's great for "winter proofing" your lips.

Product Pluses: Environmentally friendly packaging, printed on recycled paper. 95.29% natural. Not tested on animals. Social responsibility- the company partnered with Habitat for Humanity to build the first affordable green housing.

4 out of 5 tubes. Wonderful product but hard glide if cold, also no SPF.

LAST CONTEST DAY: Send Us Your Photos

Today (midnight) is the last day for submitting your photos! You're probably also busy standing in line at the post office to make sure your taxes aren't late, so if you miss the deadline by a couple of hours we won't hold it against you.

To reiterate, we're calling for the most interesting photos of your vast collection of tubes and pots. The best photo wins an awesome prize pack and a gift certificate to a yet-to-be-determined-but-awesome balm store, and two runners up get a little somethin' somethin' as well.

Here are all the the entries so far (most recent at top). Not going to lie, we may have a winner in mind already. If you've already sent your photo in and wish to up your game, feel free to re-submit!

Rosanna: "Chap" & "Is It Spring Yet?"

Liisa: "Lip Balm Ballet"

Kate: "I Think I Need a Bigger Purse..."

(Full set at Flickr)

Sabrina: "Fraubello"

Kristi: "Addicted"

Marianne: "Earth Friendly"

Shannon: "House of 1000 Lip Balms"

xmrsPonce: Untitled

Christine: "The Chapstick Initiative"

ChapNews Vol. 18: Glossy Robbery

I can't help think that one of our readers was behind this story from 1010wins:

Police want to know who made off with 74 tubes of "Beauty Rush'' -- worth about $1,200 -- from a suburban New York Victoria's Secret store.

Clarkstown police believe the cosmetics went missing from a bin sometime Saturday. The store, in the Nanuet Mall, reported the theft on Sunday.

Police are reviewing surveillance footage for clues. They say tens of thousands of dollars worth of lingerie has previously been lifted at that outlet, the Palisades Center in West Nyack, and in Westchester County.

Sgt. Harry Baumann says some of the items may eventually be sold on the Internet.

If you need help fencing the stolen merchandise, give us a holler!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Peeps Lip Balm

Just in time for Easter! Erin Zimmer at Serious Eats reviewed these balms and had this to say:

Peeps-flavored lip balms do in fact exist. Available on Amazon for $3.99, or apparently in the Target $1 bins, they come in four different marshmallow cream flavors: grape, strawberry, vanilla, and cotton candy. The best part? None of these are even real Peeps flavors.

I wonder if they explode in the microwave. These would make great egg-stuffers!

Beeceuticals Bee-Yond Lip Balm

Spring is here, folks, and we have just the balm for you to start enjoying it with. Beeceuticals Organics (motto: "Health from the Hive") makes a line of USDA Certified organic, holistic honey-based products like shampoos and eye creams with all sorts of other alluring and amazing-sounding ingredients.

Their delightful lip balms come in Blueberry, Raspeberry and Peach (they used to also have Strawberry, Natural and Peppermint, but I don't see them on the site), and are made with only seven ingredients, all of which are Fair Trade certified.

Price: $3.99

Appearance: Love, love, love, love, love the packaging. The scalloped edges, the simple color scheme, the little man-bee hugging a tiny Planet Earth. You know how sometimes you want to buy a book just because it has an eye-catching cover? Same for these balms.

Glide: Very nice. Light, smooth and perfect for warmer weather. I tried using these in the dead of winter when my lips were dry and rough with disappointing results, one of which is that they lock up solid when they get cold, making it impossible to apply deftly. A few weeks after opening mine I could see little shea butter clumps, so you may want to keep the tubes in a place where the temperature doesn't vary too much.

Flavor/Smell: I like the varieties they offer, and I think the Peach is my favorite. Each one smells bright and fruity but none has a specific flavor or sweetness.

Lasting Power: Not good in the winter, maybe half an hour, but much better recently (although it could be I'm drinking more water), perhaps up to a couple of hours.

Product Pluses/Minuses: I like that I can pronounce all the ingredients (Organic Olive Oil, Organic Beeswax, Organic Shea Butter, Organic Almond Oil, Natural Flavor, Organic Holistic Honey Blend™, Organic Fair Trade Certified™ Cocoa Butter) and that they're organic, because things labeled organic make me think I'm a good person. Cons are the aforementioned shea butter balls that eventually appear, giving a rough texture to the application surface, and labels that peel off faster than they should (could have just been my batch).

Reliable and cheerful warm-weather tube. 4.25 out of 5.