Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Spazzstick = Spazztastic

When it comes to lip balm, I like the full package. I like knowing what went into making the product- not just the ingredients, but the philosophy behind it. I enjoy knowing that the chapstick I picked up at the local food coop the other day is made from organic oils secreted off the back of a pregnant wildebeest on a strict thyme-only diet, and that ten cents of the money I spent on it will be going to buy new shoelace tips for the running shoes that the Czech Republic's 1983 Olympic track team donated to members of the nomadic Bedouin tribe of Africa, who now, thanks to me, will be able to make their arduous cross-desert treks in style. It comforts me.

That total package and committment to a story, I think, is part of Spazzstick's appeal. Not only is it a caffeinated lip balm*, which automatically scores points, but it's got this whole tongue-in-cheek pseudo-hipsterironic sensibility. Except it's not really hipsterironic, because hipsters don't live in Alaska.

Spazzstick™ was "developed by an Alaskan Police Officer, who need[ed] both quality lip balm for the cold and the ability to stay awake during long shifts" and is "made in a beautiful little Eskimo Village called Kaktovik, AK" by "hoards of worker trolls in a vast underground volcano lair" (see their hilarious Frequently Asked Questions About Worker Trolls). I love it.

Price: Mine were free (ah, the power of blogging), but Spazzstick hocks 'em for $2.99 a piece, which is pretty much the norm for any type of "specialty" chapstick.

Appearance: Kind of a snazzy, colorful, unisex look- dark blue tube with a stick on label. A little busy graphically, but wholly non-offensive.

Glide: Smooth glide and a thick coating. Perfect for winter conditions but maybe a bit heavy for summer. No pocket warmup required.

Flavor/Smell: Spazzstick comes in Mint, Vanilla Toffee, Orange Cream and Coming Soon! (according to the website). They all smell decent but I swear there's a wonky-smelling waxy ingredient in there that's trying to overwhelm the scent. As for flavor, the flavors are definitely there, but the lip balm itself isn't sweet. So you get a nice hint of mint or toffee or orange cream but no cloying sugariness. Vanilla Toffee is my favorite.

Lasting Power: It goes on thick, so it lasts a good a while. Not as long as I had expected though, which may have something to do with it having isopropyl alcohol as an ingredient. I'd love to test it out in winter conditions, but I'll have to take the Alaskan police officer's word for it.

Product Plusses: Caffeine. I know, you're wondering, "Does it reeeally work?" Actually it does. I always feel more awake when I slap some on. I just tried all three flavors again as I was writing this, so I'm going to be zooming for the next hour. No SPF, unfortunately (no sun in AK, apparently), but there is a handy bible reference on one of the tubes for Psalm 118:5. I guess there's not enough room on the tube to write it out. Very Bess-Eaton Donuts.

Conclusion: This isn't a stick I would grab if I didn't specifically want it for its caffeinated feature. If you remove the caffeine as a consideration, it's pretty mediocre. But when you put it back in, suddenly it has character. Just like me and that Forever 21 shirt I just bought. Go figure.

3.5 out of 5 tubes.

* I'll amend my previous comment about how Spazzstick isn't the world's only caffeinated lip balm. It's world's only patent-pending caffeinated lip balm.


Anonymous stacey said...

It's hard to beat your line about the African tribe, but this one is even better.

"Except it's not really hipsterironic, because hipsters don't live in Alaska."

I have this image of a williamsburg transplant in an anchorage bar trying to explain skinny jeans to manly men. Hilarious.

2:22 PM  

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