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


Blogger Victor said...

I completely agree. I love the glide and the flavors too! Just the right amount of tatiness but none of that Britney Spearsesque half a mile away stuff. This is my favorite balm. We can't keep enough around.

7:38 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

I thought the pistachio ended up tasting like Smarties candies!

1:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with all that was said about Heather's lip balms. They are the best. I only wish she was still selling them on her website, last I checked a month or so ago, it was down for the holidays and hasn't been put up again.

7:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This stuff died the edges of my lips yellow. Thanks, Blistex!

9:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The orange colored Blistex fruit smoothies tastes great. i can't remember the flavor (it was def not orange flavored), but i just remember it was super good. but i can't stand the other two so i never end up buying it - it's always in the set :(

11:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used to love that Blistex one until I developed an allergy to their SPF ingredient, oxybenzone. Ugh, got a bumpy rash on my lips. Otherwise the lipbalm smells quite good, and one of my guy friends actually ate half the stick, and apparently it tastes good too.

1:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do not agree with your review on the Blistex Fruit Smoothies...I love the limited edition Strawberry-Banana.I cannot get through a day without this stuff.I put this with my sparkly gloss,and then BOOM,perfection.I do not know what you mean by sticky.That has never happened to me.

6:19 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Blistex fruit smoothies gave me a bad rash, and painfully swollen lips by the second day of use! Horrible product!

2:35 PM  
Blogger elizabeth clark said...

Blistex fruit smoothies gave me a bad rash, and painfully swollen lips by the second day of use! Horrible product!

2:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too woke up one morning with very swollen red chapped and cracked lips after a day of using Blistex Fruit Smoothies. Horrible, horrible stuff. So bad I cannot eat normal food. Bought Burts Bees Res Q Ointment trying to reverse the damage. Not to mention help soothe the pain. I will never use ANY Blistex product ever again! It used to be the only product I used until I tried the smoothies. This stuff should come with warning labels.

9:40 PM  

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