Friday, August 04, 2006

Lip Rescue: Shea Butter & Tea Tree

I believe in the good twin/bad twin cliche. How could you not? It's been proven time and time again on daytime television. One of them is always the bad one, and it's usually not the one you might guess. The question is which one? Will it be Mary-Kate or Ashley?

I bought two different kinds of Dessert Essence's Lip Rescue lip balm: one with Eco-Harvest Tea Tree Oil and one with Shea Butter. One of them was definitely evil.

Price: ranges from $1.50 to $2.50.

Appearance: I'm a big fan of the clear tubes, which Dessert Essence has tastefully covered in translucent, helpfully color-coded labels. S'alright.

Glide: The shea butter glides very well and goes on light but is a little greasy. The tea tree variety, on the other hand, has a very gritty feel to it, sort of like bumpy plastic scraping against your lips. Waxtastic. It also manages to be greasy at the same time, which seems like a bit strange.

Flavor/Smell: Neither has a discernable flavor. The shea butter stick has a sweet, almost citrusy scent, but it doesn't actually have any citrus in it (contains rosemary and mint).

The tea tree stick. Where to begin. My thought upon first whiff was gasoline. My friend Beth described it as "woodsy" and like "concentrated lemon pinesol". According to Wikipedia tea tree oil has a "camphoraceous odor". Basically, it smells like it could take the paint off your car. I know it's a natural odor, but boy is it strong. This is a smell that does not belong in beauty products. It is a scent for clearing the sinuses during times of congestion, for repelling moths and voracious mosquitoes, and for eradicating gangrene to prevent foot amputation. It does not belong on my lips.

I can just envision being intimate with someone and having him/her recoil at the smell of your mouth, asking, "Damn, baby! What is that smell? We going camping or something? Have you been tonguing a cactus?"

Lasting Power: Meh. An unimpressive half hour or so. They certainly hydrate the lips, but the need to reapply is constant. More than likely the tea tree oil smell, which does fade a bit with time, will drive you crazy and you'll rub it off.

Product Plusses: All-natural ingredients, extra vitamin E, not much else.

My recommendation is to stay away from the tea tree oil tube (the evil twin), unless you like that kind of thing: 2 out of 5 tubes. The shea butter's a better bet: 2.75 out of 5 tubes..

3 Comments:

Blogger Cheryl said...

The shea butter one smells like Dubble Bubble. Tea tree smells like the valve oil I used when I was in school and playing the trumpet.

7:41 PM  
Blogger Victoria said...

I love the tea tree oil chap stick. It smells like TEA TREE OIL. It's the only chap stick I've ever been able to put on my chapped lips at night and wake up with super soft lips in the morning. I too bought both varieties of chap stick, and I hate the shea butter. It does nothing for my lips at all.

6:14 PM  
Blogger Hedonistics Anonymous said...

I am currently using the shea butter one. Moisturizing properties aside, it's a great balm... very lightly scented (to me it's smells vaguely bubblegum-my, not overpowering or anything).

But when it comes to moisturizing, it's a dud. Every single time I take a sip out of my drink or bite of food, it calls for balm reapplication. I bought mine real cheap from drugstore.com during sales because most users gave it glowing reviews and hey, it's an all-natural lip balm. So yeah, I guess you do get what you pay for.

3:01 AM  

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