Wednesday, March 29, 2006


According to this picture, Un-petroleum will make you dewy applying now....I feel...I feel.... well, very dewy. And a little bed headed. That picture does not lie.

My stick of tangerine Un-petroleum has been a jean pocket alternate since last May. The tube is missing the wrapper and the chapstick actually falls out when I open it. But I will still carry it until it is done. It's good.

Price: I bought this one at the L.L. Bean factory outlet in North Conway, N.H. I remember it vividly. The bright orange box next to the register, begging me to impulse buy it. "Alright, little guy, you're mine now." I said to him. And off we went to climb Mt. Washington. Together. Oh, I think it was about $2.50.

Glide: Great glide.

Flavor/ Smell: The tangerine tube makes me "long for sweet fruit." It smells so freshly delicious, that I have almost eaten it or thought about juicing it.

Lasting Power: Average. It needs to be applied frequently, but I think this may because it smells so damn good.

Appearance: At first, the bright orange tube with it's scribbly white text is delightful. After almost a year of pocket closeness my stick is kinda dirty and unidentifiable (to the untrained eye).

Product Plusses: SPF 18, jojoba oil (is that a plus? does it really do anything?), vitamin E, pure plant oil, and even echinacea to "rejuvenate and store."

Kick-ass chapstick.

4.5 out of 5 tubes

Vaseline: Gross or Great? (Answer: Great.)

Whenever I think of vaseline I think of Curly from Of Mice and Men. I can't help it. Something about that vaseline-filled glove gave me the creeps when I read that book in ninth grade, and it still does. Although, these days when I think about it I feel the need to somehow remind Curly that he should never use an oil-based lubricant during sexual activity, but then I remember that a man who wears a vaseline-filled glove probably isn't concerned with wearing condoms.

That's probably not the best lead-in given that I'm about to extol the virtues of vaseline as an alternative lip balm.

Now, I like all-natural hippie chapsticks as much as the next gal, but I'm not one to toss out a product just because it has a little petroleum jelly slash oil-drilling byproduct in it (harmless oil drilling byproduct). The great thing about vaseline is that it comes in containers so big that you couldn't finish one in your lifetime if you tried. And it doesn't expire, which is why I've had my "standard" sized can (is it a can?) for about four years.

I use vaseline as a chapstick alternative at night before I go to bed and in the morning when I get up. It's like an intense lip moisturizer. Vaseline has helped me recover from many an overchapped spell, and when mixed into a paste with a little granulated sugar it's a wonderful lip exfoliator. It also has the advantage of being scentless, easy gliding and shine-perfect, and while it may be a bit messy and not quite as portable as chapstick, it's a reliable standby.

And like any great product, vaseline has so many other uses: area under runny nose moisturizer, makeup remover, eyebrow-tamer, emergency WD-40 substitute, toy mechanics greaser, tight jewelery removal helper, sticky zipper fixer, baseball greaser, camera lens effect, swimming friction reducer, cuts/scrapes protectant, chafing protectant, doorknob pranks, etc.

Not, again, as a personal lubricant, unless you really want to enjoy the feel of ripping latex without the pesky birth control and STD protection. I don't know why I feel the need to play sex-ed teacher today.

Anyway, a tub of vaseline (they do make them in mini sizes, too) is a must have for every bathroom.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Chapstick Will Save Your Life

When you drop your chapstick, you had best pick that mother up. You might just not get shot.
A tube of ChapStick saved a Brooklyn nursing home worker's life yesterday when he bent down to pick up the lip balm - and a bullet whizzed over his head.

Steve Jacobs, 35, had just leaned over when the bullet - fired during a fight on the street outside - crashed through the window and showered him with shards of glass.

"If God wanted me to be dead, I'd be dead," said Jacobs, a father of four from Woodmere, L.I. "I was standing up three seconds before."


Thursday, March 23, 2006

Chapstick Trivia!

I was hoping there would be some clever and witty way to combine the words chapstick and trivia (chapivia? chivia? triastick?), but there isn't. Regardless (or irregardless, if you prefer), here's a fascinating (chapscinating) fact:

Chapstick tubes played a role in the Watergate scandal. E. Howard Hunt and G. Gordon Liddy used chapsticks with hidden microphones during the burglary in the Watergate complex. [Source]

Monday, March 13, 2006

Oscar for Best Use of Chapstick in Movie Dialogue

Napoleon Dynamite: Hey can I use your guys's phone for a sec?
Secretary No. 1: Is there anything wrong?
Napoleon Dynamite: I don't feel very good.
[takes telephone and dials number]
Kip: [making nachos on the other line] Hi.
Napoleon Dynamite: Is grandma there?
Kip: No, she's getting her hair done.
Napoleon Dynamite: Ughhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh...
Kip: What do you need?
Napoleon Dynamite: Can you just go get her for me?
Kip: I'm really busy right now.
Napoleon Dynamite: Just tell her to come get me.
Kip: Why?
Napoleon Dynamite: Cause I don't feel good!
Kip: Well, have you talked to the school nurse?
Napoleon Dynamite: No, she doesn't know anything. Will you just come get me?
Kip: No.
Napoleon Dynamite: Well, will you do me a favor then? Can you bring me my chapstick?
Kip: No, Napoleon.
Napoleon Dynamite: But my lips hurt real bad!
Kip: Just borrow some from the school nurse. I know she has like five sticks in her drawer.
Napoleon Dynamite: I'm not gonna use hers, you sicko!
Kip: See ya.
Napoleon Dynamite: Ugh! Idiot!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

ChapStick Lip Moisturizer

I’m considering my use of ChapStick’s Lip Moisturizer old school. The first, and probably only, lip balm I used while growing up has most definitely stood up to the test of time. And I bet they didn’t change a thing.

Recently I have been alternating between another stick and this ChapStick as my jean pocket standby. The reason for the alternation is because the other stick has a sunnier smell. What the hell does that mean? I don’t know but it makes me think spring (totally lame, I know). I will be reviewing this other stick in an upcoming post, prepare yourself.

Price: $1.99 per tube, from I got a 3 pack for Christmas, so my cost was zero. So yeah, the price works for me. But, if it did come down to it, I would totally buy a tube of this for $1.99.

Glide: Superb gliding. I’ve used the figure skater metaphor, now let’s go for birds. This stick glides like a red-breasted robin on the first spring day. If that made no sense, what I mean is that this shit glides fantastically. And, if you keep it warm in your jeans all day, look out, the gliding gets that much better.

Flavor/ Smell: No flavor, no smell. This can be good, but it can also get boring – which is why I alternate. Sometimes I just really need an artificial fruit smell on my lips.

Lasting Power: Not sure exactly how long it lasts, but it’s a decent amount of time. Decent may mean different things to those afflicted with chapstick addiction – my definition of decent is at least 30 minutes.

Appearance: A nice blue tube to match my nice blue jeans. That’s really what it all comes down to, how well I can match a tube of chapstick to my jeans.

Product Plusses: SPF 15 & aloe.

Do yourself a favor and get some of this. It works, it’s clean, and you won’t smell like a bitch after using it.

4.75 out of 5 tubes

Friday, March 03, 2006

Blistex Fruit Smoothies vs. A Homemade Challenger

After years of chapstick use and abuse, and as my partner emphasizes below, I've come to the conclusion that it's important to have as many chapsticks as you have chapstick-applying locations. One in each bag, one in the coat, one by the bed, one in the desk, etc. This eliminates the sinking "Oh no, I forgot" feeling and the need to borrow less desireable tubes or tins (ew) from passersby.

Today I'd like to discuss my coat-pocket standbys, a tube from Blistex's Fruit Smoothies line and a home brew chapstick I picked up from a Bust craft fair a couple of months ago. These are standbys by default; neither are particularly stellar, but they work in an chapmergency, and since I can't stand to toss any full stick, they must be used until they are gone.

TUBE 1: Blistex Fruit Smoothies "Melon Medley"
This cantaloupe green chapstick is part of the Fruit Smoothies series by Blistex which is, as you can imagine from the name, a line of chapstics with "unique flavors in creamy blends [made to] indulge your lips" (from the Blistex website). Kind of like Jamba Juice in a tube.

Price: I think a three pack of these babies retails for $3.99, and in the right bodega or Gristedes grocery store you can find buckets of individual tubes for $.99 each. Basically, cheap-o.

Glide: The glide onto the lips is pretty average (maybe even good if directly from a warm pocket), but once you get to the lip-to-lip spread after the application it's kind of sticky.

Flavor/Smell: This brand has the kind of cloying, sickly sweet and flavor and smell I would have loved when I was 10 year old but that I now cannot stand in my more mature years. People can smell you applying that shizz a mile away. The taste is a remarkably sweet artificial melon-ish and the sweetness lingers, so that every time you go to lick your lips you get a little taste. At the tail end of the life of the flavor, it's bearable, but it's almost gag-inducing upon first application. Thumbs down.

Lasting Power: Twenty minutes at best. The flavor and slightly sticky texture makes me want to lick my lips constantly, which does not a good lip protector make.

Appearance: The tube is pretty standard. Cylindrical with a hard edge and a bottom turn wheel. Each flavor has it's own pastel, slightly glittery color scheme.

Product Plusses: SPF 15

All in all, the tube is definitely average, but like I said I would have loved it at age ten. It's like candy. However, out of all my sticks, this is the one that I most regret having reached for.

2 out of 5 tubes.

TUBE 2: Homebrew- Heather's Vegan Lip Balm

Chaptastic attended Bust Magazine's Holiday Craftacular in December and left with two homebrew chapsticks, the other of which will hopefully be reviewed later. Heather Joy was at the Craftacular with her amazing crafy wares and various delectable flavors of vegan and vegetarian chapstick, including buttercream, orange sherbert, lavendar, grapefruit, coffee and more. A quick game of "pick a flavor with your eyes closed" landed me with a tube of pistachio (note: the picture to the left is not the pistachio, obviously).

Price: $3.00 a tube. A bit pricey, but many points for being homemade. It's like you're paying for the indie hipster cred. If I were a vegan, I'm sure I would be grateful to finally be able to find vegan chapstick. But I'm not. A vegan.

Glide: Easy, silky glide, warm or cold. The natural cocoa, almond, avocado, and shea butter oils make it just whoosh right across.

Flavor/Smell: Each one of Heather's sticks smells just like its name advertises, but without that extra hint of artificiality that you can whiff in most flavored chapsticks. The smell is light and fragrant without being overwhelming to you or to those around you. Similarly, the taste is slightly sweet without being cloying, barely noticeable but pleasant.

Lasting Power: Thanks to the myriad of natural oils, one application lasts about half an hour to an hour. Unfortunately, my lips never quite feel quenched if I'm having a bad chap day. It may have a lot of good oils, but it lacks the ability to fully moisturize and heal.

Appearance:: Heather's lip balms are delightfully packed into slightly larger than usual (quarter of an inch taller), clear plastic cyclinders with translucent color- and flavor-coordinated labels so you can see all the working innards of the device.

Product Plusses: All natural...ness. Which also means no SPF.

Heather's chapsticks are more of a breezy summer day lip gloss than a winter stalwart. However, they leave your lips feeling soft and smooth, and I'm always glad to choose the pistachio stick instead of the Blistex Melon on any day, icy winds or not. Plus the potential for flavors is endless, and Heather's creative blends are a neat treat.

3.5 out of 5 tubes