Wednesday, November 29, 2006


What hole was I living under? I somehow made it twenty some odd years without ever having used Carmex? Astonishing. I think it's partly because I was never that into finger-dip balms. And party because it seemed so very utilitarian in appearance. And partly because it says "For Cold Sores" right on the top- perfect for when you'd like to advertise to the world that you've probably had too many sexual partners.

Price: Always less than $2.00.

Appearance: The original Carmex comes in the very simple black, yellow and white metal-lidded plastic pot pictured at right. However, Carmex also makes both kind of tubes- the squeeze and the standard cylinder.

Glide: For a potted lip balm, this stuff has just the right consistency. Not goopy but not hard, so you neither have excess nor have to do multiple swipes. Goes on easily and with just the right amount. Tingles the lips.

Flavor/Smell: Can you say camphor? It's active ingredients are methol, camphor and phenol, so it's a bit like a less-intense version of Vicks Vapor Rub. Not the best for a date, but if you've got a cold in the middle of winter, it's like some sort of miracle. They also make a mint version that I have yet to see it on shelves.

Lasting Power: Here's the debate about Carmex, which we've discussed before: is it addictive and does it dry out your lips? There are crazy rumors like they put ground up glass in it and addictive substances. Not true, according to Carmex.

I've gotta say, in the few weeks I've been using Carmex it's been pretty good. Lasts about an hour (depends on how much you put on), but I found myself reapplying for fun because I kind of liked the tingling sensation, which, frighteningly, fades in intensity the more you use it (and is likely the catalyst for a potential addiction). It doesn't work as well as some other balms- I have to keep it on hand and use it multiple times throughout the day whereas with other natural balms once or twice a day is enough.

Product Plusses: The stick versions come with SPF 15. Has cocoa butter, but is largely petroleum and wax based.

Reliable medicinal balm especially good for winter chap. 3.5 out of 5.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Site We've Been Diggin': Jones Soda Co.

Where the hell have we been?! Stuffing our faces with turkey, that's where. In fact, I was so busy eating I don't think I used my lip balms once over the holidays (turkey grease works just as well). They just sat in my pocket, uselessly clanking against each other. But we will have some great reviews in store for you this week, we promise. And, as the holiday season approaches, some scintillating stocking stuffer suggestions. Also more alliteration.

For now I wanted to point your attention to the Jones Soda Company. The company makes a varied line of soda, juice and energy drinks (one called Whoop Ass!) with an amazing range flavors. The best part is that the Jones labels are made with customer-submitted photos, and that you can even personalize your own order with any photo you'd like.

Jones also makes soda-flavored candy and (wait for it...) lip balm. The flavors come in Green Apple, Fufu Berry, Orange & Cream and Strawberry Lime and each stick retails for about $2. The packaging comes with those famous photos, but it doesn't appear that the labels themselves do or that you can customize your order. But still, if you're a fan of Jones soda then you'll probably love their lip balms. Give 'em a try and give us a shoutout.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Kiss My Face: Treat Mint

When Chaptastic wrote about Kiss My Face: Vanilla Honey in an unfavorable manner readers asked us to forgive KMF and try another flavor, any flavor. Promises of better balm and yummier smells drifted in our ears.

So this one is for you guys, the KMF Believers.

Price: The first place I saw it sells it for $6.99, discounted from $10.32. Please. Most places sell it for around $3.00.

Appearance: Unlike the off colors on the vanilla honey tube, I am completely aware that this green tube will be minty. And the name, Treat Mint, is adorable.

Glide: Clean, smooth, thick but not sticky. Quite enjoyable.

Flavor/ Smell: Minty. Can cover up bad breath and cure dry lips in one fell swoop.

Lasting Power: A swipe in the morning and a swipe after lunch has gotten me through the work day.

Product Plusses: Organic, SPF 15.

The Kiss My Face renaissance has begun. This stick has made up for the trauma that KMF had spread on our lips and for the noxious odors it sent up our noses. KMF, we believe.

4.50 out of 5 tubes

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Blistex Lip Infusion Moisture Splash

Do you find yourself loving lip balm but wishing it was as fun to apply as your favorite roll-on deodorant? Do you often find yourself rubbing keys and ball point pens across your face just for the feel of cool metal sliding over your lips?

Boy, are you in luck! After receiving millions upon millions of imploring letters, Blistex has FINALLY combined lip balm with the latest roll-on technology to bring us Lip Infusion Moisture Splash Lip Protectant/Sunscreen.

Finally [sobs with joy].

Now, I know what you're thinking: WTF? But before you pass judgment, let me take you a wonderful journey of discovery.

Price: $3 in store, $2+ various places online. Excellent price for the novelty of it.

Glide: I don't know where to start. It's certainly unlike any lip balm I've ever tried, probably because most lip balms don't use a giant metal ball (er...I mean "ultra smooth rolling tip") as their delivery mechanism. But this one does. Which adds to the appeal of it, I guess, but just turns out to be very strange.

First, the metal ball is cooold. Application doesn't feel "pleasant" as the package claims- it's more like how I would imagine aliens would try to put lip balm on you if you got abducted (sans anal probe). It's jarring and unnatural. Second, the liquid coats the ball bearing very quickly and thickly, and all that ends up on your lips whether you want it to or not. It also removes the need for pressing as you apply, which I rather enjoy. I like to feel like I've burned calories when I use lip balm.

Appearance: Excellently designed to the exact size and shape of a standard tube. Cap twists instead of snaps on, an ingenious decision given that caps often come off in your pocket or bag. I can't imagine what would happen if this thing's cap came off.

Flavor/Smell: It's supposed to smell/taste like vanilla (also comes in cherry), but with all the sweetener and artifical scents I really couldn't tell. It both tastes like and has the consistency of medicinal corn syrup. Bleeeecchhh.

Lasting Power: I guess it works okay. The sweet oiliness sits on the lips for quite some time without a great deal of absorption and feels more like lip gloss than balm. Doesn't last much longer than your basic Blistex. I think the point of the whole thing is that it's supposed to skip the wax part of lip balm and just deliver the oils, but it just doesn't work well.

Product Plusses: SPF 15. Something strange to show to all your friends.

Interesting "concept tube" that's just a bit too weird to use regularly and whose fragrance and taste aren't helping either. 2.5 out of 5 tubes

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Einstein Lip Theory: Cooling Relief

This cute little pot of lip balm always makes me happy. It's bright red top with it's white cross assures me this balm will be good, because I'm viewing this as a comparison to the Red Cross. There are also tiny white hearts dotted around the outer rim of the cover between the words lips, moisture, and love.

And that's what it really is all about: lips, moisture, and love.

Price: $6.00 at Amazon

Appearance: Cute and tiny. We dig it.

Glide: Excellent glide for a pot balm. A good amount sticks to the finger allowing for an ample, refreshing glide.

Flavor/Smell: Einstein Lip Theory has two types of balm- this one, the cooling relief, and a hydrating formula. Cooling relief is flavorless yet has a delightfully mild smell. When applied to the lips it's apparent that there is menthol, or the like, in the balm. I'm always a big fan of the tingling sensation this ingredient delivers.

Lasting Power: Decent, over an hour.

Product Plusses: Cute pot and graphics, vitamins a & e.

A decent balm for it's format. There's nothing extraordinary or awful about this. Dead average.

3 out of 5 tubes.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Crazy Rumors Special Offer

Who loves ya, baby? (cue Barry White music)

That's right, we do. And we've got something for you, since you've been so nice. You remember Crazy Rumors- the makers of our highest rated lip balm so far? Well we've got a special offer from them just for Chaptastic readers:

A buy two, get one free bargain. Just order from the Crazy Rumors site, type in the code CHAP and choose the free flavor of your choice.

Now if that ain't sweet lovin', then I don't know what is.

Propoline Lip Aid w/Cocoa Butter

Really? It's called Propoline? It sounds like a mix between propanol and gasoline. Wait, what's that you say? Oooh, it's named after propolis, "a valuable and unique substance produced by bees in order to build a protective, sterile wall around the hive". That makes more sense. Those crazy Greeks and their root words. (I will pronounce it pro-poh-LI-neh. Sounds less...gasoline-y.)

This lip balm comes to us from the bee-loving Greek company Apivita, which has a huge line of all-natural body products and a very corporately pretty website.

Price: $5.59 on $7 on Amazon.

Appearance: A bit wider and taller than a normal tube with a lipstick-style cover and twist mechanism a la Labello. The actual amount of lip balm you get is actually less than the amount in a standard stick! Is the packaging an overcompensation for something?

Glide: Holy smokes. I actually have to pull my face away from the tube as I'm applying to be sure that the whole thing doesn't melt all over my lips and engulf my face and I'm not found dead the next day drowned in pool cocoa butter and beeswax. It's like you're applying lotion directly to your lips. I guess it's not terrible, but I'm not used to such a squishy texture.

Flavor/Smell: The smell in the tube (which is always more concentrated) is heinous. Absolutely heinous. I can't tell if it's the plastic or the lip balm. Once it's on your lips (if you can get it there) it smells like cocoa butter. No taste.

Lasting Power: I gotta say, it hangs on for a good long while. It over-douses the lips with moisture at first, but if that's what you're in the mood for then it's a welcome feeling.

Product Plusses: SPF 15. All natural ingredients, or so the company says. I can't pronounce some of the ones listed (polyglyceryl-2 sesquiiostearate?), but many are familiar (olive oil, coca seed butter, etc). If you're allergic to peanuts beware- it contains peanut oil.

It's an okay stick and it does have that SPF 15, but given the price, the amount of it you get and the unpleasant application/smell experience, it's nothing to write home to Greece about.

3 out of 5 tubes.

Monday, November 06, 2006


You're on Candid Camera:

How great is that video? The best is when the woman is asking the girl to pick out the flavor and texture of the balm, she must be a reader of Chaptastic.

This video totally reminds of this episode of Full House:

Uncle Jesse is so hot.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Wild Again Update & Discount!

Remember how we wrote about how we dug the company Wild Again and their awesome/environmentally responsible lip balms? Well, now it's easier than ever to get one because they've cut their shipping cost to $0 AND they're offering a discount for all Chaptastic readers. How cool is that?

Just use the voucher code 112060146 when you're ordering and get 10% off (that's like buy 9 get one free!). With any luck we'll be able to offer y'all more discount codes for other lip balms in the future.

ChapNews Vol. 6: Winter's Coming

Some interesting stories from the world of lip balm:

The Morning News: Local News for Northwest Arkansas reports of a shoot out that started when pepper spray was mistaken for chapstick:

"I was about 15 to 20 feet away from the trailer at this point. He got within about 10 feet and I saw something in his right hand but it looked like a Chapstick. I told him to drop what was in his hand, but he kept walking towards me. He just kept walking," Chastain said.

What looked like lip balm was actually a small can of pepper spray, which Chastain realized when the suspect sprayed the officer's face.

Chaptastic is currently researching ways to combine a stick of chapstick and pepper spray. We're thinking balm on one end spray on the other, so you can apply and spray at the same time. Safety first.

The Asheville Citizen Times (the voice of the mountains, best slogan ever) offers car owners this tasty bit of information:

After applying some lip balm to keep your smile smooth as the weather cools, consider the following uses for that product: To prevent car battery corrosion, smear some on clean car battery terminals. To shine leather shoes in a pinch, rub on the balm and buff with a dry, clean cloth.

Chaptastic takes that tip one step further, we recommend keeping your car battery lip balm and your shoe shining lip balm, seperate from the one you actually use to smooth your smile. Just saying.

Finally, in the Captain Obvious department, Medical News Today advises the use of lip balm to prevent chapped lips. Along with other current tips, we're told:

Don't lick. The constant wetting and drying that occurs with licking quickly causes chapped lips. Instead of licking, apply lip balm.

Ahhhh, good tip. And if you need a winter lip balm Chaptastic will be writing a rundown of the perfect winter stick in the week to come. Until then, "don't lick".

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Canus: Goat's Milk Lip Balm

Goats don't always get the recognition they deserve. I think it's because they're small and could be easily beaten by small children (mind the horns). We tend to respect animals that are large and fierce and yet we can ride, like horses and dinosaurs. The goat is often relegated to the petting zoo and bestiality jokes, although like anything that exists there is a small but dedicated advocacy for them. In any case, they should be better regarded because they produce delicious, nutritious milk that is sorely underused in both our diets and our bath and body products. But Canus is a company that's out to change that, and they've created an entire line of wholesome (look at that family on the site!) skin care products made with goat's milk. Guess which I'll be reviewing.

Price: $2.29 on

Glide: More oily than creamy, but still a smooth ride. Just like last night.

Appearance: Standard stick with a tan and maroon color scheme. Cute goat, lots of information in both English and French.

Flavor/Smell: Minty McMintsalot. Very unexpected...although what was I expecting- the smell of goat? Maybe something more milky. I own a lot of mint sticks, and I think the scent of this one is the most natural and pleasant I've encountered yet, possibly because it contains spearmint and rosemary. The smell and the flavor is not overwhelming and there's no sweetness. Something about it being mint makes it a bit boring. The goat milk thing built it up too much in my head.

Lasting Power: Bonkers! This stuff lasts all freakin' day. I used it a total of TWO times all day yesterday. Goats must have amazing lips (I will research...physically). In addition to the goat's milk, the stick contains organic olive oil, beeswax, soybean oil, hempseed oil, calendula and St. John's Wort. So maybe it's not all goat.

Product Plusses: All natural, petroleum-free, French, available with SPF-15.

A cheap, superb stick that wins a place in my winter coat. 4.75 out of 5 tubes