Monday, December 18, 2006

Beekeeper's Blend: Bee Clear

I found out about Beekeeper's Blend in one of my favorite papers, The Praire Star, out of Great Falls Montana. Okay, maybe I'm not a subscriber to The Praire Star, but I subscribe wholeheartedly to the state of Montana. I LOVE MONTANA.

Anyway, Beekeeper's Blend is only sold in Montana (sigh) and Wyoming (a state that I have a crush on, yet haven't visited). This stuff is so underground that I can't even post a picture of it.

Buck up cowboys:

Price: I actually don't know. I'm going to say under $5, but that's just a gut feeling.

Appearance: This is my first foray into the oblong tube category, yet the other half of Chaptastic has reviewed this shape - check the link for photo. It's odd. I like it because it's interesting, yet I feel as if the ends of the stick will never get used, unless I apply in an unnatural manner. And that will take a huge amount of extra effort, I may have to twist my wrist. Jeez.

Glide: Good glide - but, the application method that I generally use has to be altered, which slightly effects the glide.

Flavor/ Smell: The Bee Clear, which I figured was scentless and flavorless does have a slight peppermint scent and taste, but it's nice and mellow. Just like Montana. The other flavor I tested, Bee Calm has a wonderful lavender scent. A good bedtime balm.

Lasting Power: Doesn't last long, constant application required which can be rather drying.

Product Plusses: Made in Montana, uses unique ingredients like Red Raspberry Seed Oil, honey from local keepers of the bees, and other natural products.

Beekeeper's Blend also makes a Huckleberry Balm called Bee My Huckleberry. Have you ever eaten a huckleberry? It's delightful. Beekeeper's Blend is delightful. If you see it around, grab some. Or email them ( and tell them you saw our review and that you need some!

3.50 out of 5 tubes

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Call to Action!


We have come to realize that all of you are of an above average intelligence. With this intelligence we urge you to email us (look left for email addy) your lip balm reviews* of balms we have yet to evaluate (again, look left for list). We're looking for well-written reviews, with a touch of snark, to be sent to us in this format:

- Picture of balm
- A bit about yourself and how you found said balm
- Price
- Appearance
- Glide
- Flavor/ Smell
- Lasting Power
- Product Plusses
- Rating out of 5 tubes

We're thinking about posting a reader's review once a week, if yours is chosen we'll send you out a stick we've been digging.


*If you make the balm, we won't accept the review. We're looking for third party representation. Holla.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Wild Again Lip Balm

We wrote about Wild Again a few months back in our critically acclaimed Sites We've Been Digging series (Pulitzer nominations are still open), but it wasn't until recently that we were able try their balms for ourselves. Now, I know what you're thinking- how could we advocate a company whose lip balms we'd never tried? Well, for one, they have a pretty website. Secondly, they donate 10% of their profits to conservation, and third- because we're risk takers, baby! We're livin' on the edge! Yaow!

Price: $2.99 each (that's 30¢ per purchase to the owls).

Appearance: Attractive, colorful, translucent standard tubes. Simple and elegant.

Glide: If the stick has lain dormant in a coat jacket or on the dresser for a while, it takes a bit of effort to get it going. But once you do, the stick is nice and firm and the balm glides on as smooth as velvet.

Flavor/Smell: Wild Again has seven flavors: Peppermint (with Emu and Tea Tree oils), Cucumber Melon, Ginger Peach, Caffe Latte, Vanilla and Natural. They all have the same basic natural ingredients and are unsweetened, so they really only differ in the way they smell. Each of the scents is lovely and natural and does not overwhelm the senses, whether concentrated in the stick or on your lips. The winner for me is the Ginger Mint, which is an unexpected but incredibly pleasant combination.

Lasting Power: Depends. I find that when I'm inside for most of the day it can last for a couple of hours, but if I'm outside braving the wind and cold I have to reapply more often. Of course, this is true of most sticks. If there's a stick out there that'll take me through a winter day outside with one application, then that stick needs to be granted sainthood.

Product Plusses: Petroleum & cruelty free.

Good product, good cause, great variety, excellent bargain. 4.0 out of 5 tubes

Deals & Steals

Just a reminder that we have two great discount offers from lip balm prodigies Crazy Rumors and from conservationists Wild Again.

Crazy Rumors is offering you a sweet Buy 2 Get 1 Free deal. Enter the code "CHAP" at checkout and choose the free flavor of your choice.

Wild Again cut its shipping costs to $0 and giving you 10% off your order when you use voucher code 112060146. And they have a few other special deals going on that you should check out.

What better stocking stuffers could there be?

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Guest Post! Solar Recover: Hydrate & Heal

Occasionally Chaptastic will hand the reigns over to a guest poster, someone we feel has the precise perceptive skills and subtle palate necessary to properly review a certain lip balm. The application process is exhaustive and includes key questions such as, "Do you have lips?" and "Have you ever used lip balm before?" and "Can you type?" It's a thankless job with absolutely no perks, because, as with most things in life (school, marathons, sex), the experience is the reward.

Today's guest poster is Alex, a geologist cum* math teacher and future Wyoming ski bum and Argentine resident. He also happens to be an old friend from RI and a wonderful 11th grade Homecoming date, but that in no way helped him obtain this prestigious selection as our first ever Guest Poster. Alex picked up this stick in preparation for his cross country trip to the great WY, where he'll soon be able to test its harsh weather effectiveness on the slopes.

Take it away, Alex!

Price: $3.00

Appearance: Craptacular. Especially the picture of floating disembodied lips in the center of the sun. The graphic looks like it came from the unholy union of Rocky Horror and It Came From Outer Space.

Glide: At room temperature there is just a little resistance to glide. After an hour in my pocket it glides like butter on a bald man’s head.

My first impression was, “this tastes like sucking on a pine tree.” As I got used to it (and after reading the ingredients) I recognized the aroma not as pine sap but floral essential oils. Sure they’re all natural, but they’re so concentrated they don’t smell like flowers at all. More like Pine-Sol than a “breezy summer’s day.” From the website:

Most lip balms are scented or flavored with berry, pina colada or mint which doesn't contribute anything to healing and hydrating. They simply make lip balms more palatable like food which actually contributes to licking lips which can only add to dehydration. Our blend of essential oils actually heals and hydrates while discouraging licking your lips.

Unless, of course, you fancy the flavor of fir...

Lasting Power: Energizeresque. Something must be absorbing, because it definitely softens my lips, but somehow a film of balm manages to persist hours after application. I put some on before bed last night and when I woke up I could still feel it on my lips. Wiping the lips or eating it off seem to be the only ways to make it give up the ghost. A great winter stick – right up there with my snowboarding fave Dermatone (not coffee flavor).

Product Plusses: All natural ingredients: soy oil, beeswax, coconut oil, jojoba oil, calendula (marigold extract), lavender oil, vitamin E, and geranium oil. Plus their slogan is cute, “The only animals we test on are ourselves.”

This is not some frou-frou lip balm with snazzy flavors and color graphics on the tube. This is the workhorse of the chapstick industry. In fact, I would assert that Solar Recover leaves the realm of recreational chapstick and enters the territory of medicinal balm. For me this was a plus, as I was battling a nasty head cold when I tried it.

Perhaps it was the fifth of NyQuil I drank, but after rubbing my nose raw with my budget tissues I thought that Solar Recover might help my chapped nose. It’s called “Hydrate and Heal”, right? Boy, did it ever work. If it wasn’t so gross sounding, I would suggest they call this stuff nose-balm. It soothed my achin’ nose and the essential oils cleared my sinuses with each breath I took (like a natural VapoRub). The only downside was getting chapstick in my mustache (a problem I share with this guy). That and now nobody wants to borrow this stick.

A medicinal chap good for the winter cold season. 3.5 out of 5 tubes.

*Oh, come on. Latin, not Urban Dicitonary meaning.

Site We've Been Digging: Ooh La Lips

There's a new lip balm shop in town and it's called Ooh La Lips. They're just getting started, but already they feature some of the best non-mainstream brands out there like Bag Lunch, Crazy Rumors, Ganache for Lips and Raw Beauty. specializes in carrying top of the line niche brands that are not readily available in department stores. These lines rise above mass marketed brands with their superior quality, unique style, and packaging.

Sounds swell, don't it? Check out the adorable site for great gift ideas just in time for the holidays.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Dr. Hauschka Lip Care Stick

I didn't know about Dr. Hauschka until I went into a Sephora and had my mind blown by how many "upscale" lip balms there are out there. Dr. Hauschka, particularly, made an impact because there aren't that many products out there named after actual people. George Foreman Grill, Dustin "Screech" Diamond Sex Tape...the list is short. The name of this line of skin care makes you feel like Dr. Hauschka made it just for you, like he was in his German country cottage with a mortar and pestle grinding up freshly picked herbs, just about to make a house call (or a Hausch-call!) to you.

Price: $12.95. That is not a typo.

Appearance: The lipstick-style cap and twist mechanism that so many frou-frou slash foreign balms seem to favor.

Glide: Goes on easy and a tad oily. Pleasant.

Flavor/Smell: Like a fresh orange rind. No, more like orange soap or perfume. It's a very intense scent. It contains lots of essential oils like limonene, citronella, geraniol, citra, linalool and farnesol, many of which are found in perfumes. Why that many are necessary in one stick, I have no idea. There's no orange flavor or sweetness.

Lasting Power: Eh, I don't know. I'd say about an hour or two. I never get the feeling that it quite absorbs into my lips completely, but it softens them very quickly. It's not the best for harsh cold and wind, so if you're an indoor guy/gal then it's pretty good. It also contains alcohol, which I think may cancel out the moisturizing properties of some of the other ingredients.

Product Plusses: The other ingredients include castor, jojoba, rice germ and sweet almond oils; rose hip, rose petal, anthyllis and carrot extracts; shea butter; candelilla, carnauba, rose and jojoba waxes. Holy moly. That is a looot of stuff. It's also organic and cruelty-free. No SPF.

This is a good stick, especially for anyone with sensitive skin, but the price is a too prohibitive for a stick with the same basic ingredients and effectiveness as other natural balms (sans the linalool and anthyllis whatevers). It's fancy, but it won't work miracles.

4.0 out of 5 tubes.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

I Pity the Fool*

I came across this sad, sad, sad message board today. People discussing their allergies to chapstick:

One day, I decided to put on Chapstick instead. Now I have a burning rash on my lips. I then quit the Chapstick and put vasaline on instead. It is now days later and my lips are now swollen as well as bumpy."

Bumpy? And a burning rash? And bad spelling? Jeez.

*Please note: as far as I know, Mr. T doesn't support Chaptastic, chapstick allergies, or bumpy, burning lips.

Ask Chaptastic: Winter Schtick

Hey ladies,

So it's about that time, winter is setting fast about my soon-to-be chapped lips. I'm a self-admitted lip-tint freak, and usually I have one tube of chapstick with me at all times, though I've been carrying this tube of Medicated Cherry Blistex around for close to two years now. I know I know!

I am looking for a new tube...preferrably one that taste nice and makes my pucker smooth and sexy. Oh yeah, I'm on a strict budget so a $12 stick just won't fly. And I'm vegan which means cruelty-free, (is there any other way?)

Any advice would be so nice!


Dear SLT,

Wow. Medicated Cherry Blistex. Two years. That combination just doesn't sound right. You came to us just in time, SLT. Winter is about to bitch slap us all, but at least we can protect our lips and look great while doing it.

We've written about a few sticks that will fulfill your criteria (cheap yet awesome), although not all of them offer color/tinted versions. As we continue to state, ad nauseum, we're huge fans of all natural ingredients, so while your basic Chapstick® Lip Moisturizer or Carmex are inexpensive and ubiquitous, it's worth it to go the extra mile to get something that goes above and beyond.

Three brands that come to mind that are natural, vegan-friendly and offer tinted varieties are Alba Naturals, Juice Beauty and Kiss My Face. They all work well, leave your lips with a great sheen, and are economical, which means you can buy them in bulk with little to no guilt.

I've also heard good things about Brown Shuga, a brand I have yet to try personally but am dying to. If I were you, I'd also do some searching on Etsy, the online marketplace for crafty goods. There are a slew of wonderful, natural, handmade lip balms like Heather Joy's.

If you can live without the tint, I'd highly recommend Crazy Rumors. The brand has a variety of truly tasty flavors made from all-natural, vegan-friendly ingredients. For those of you with more flexibility, add to this list any Labello (cruetly-free not guaranteed) you can get your hands on and any Canus Goat's Milk stick (definitely not vegan).

UPDATE: We didn't mean to imply that Chapstick and Carmex are vegan, just that they're cheap. But you're right, savvy commenters- not all the Alba balms are vegan (although they are cruelty-free) so read those ingredients carefully!

ChapStick® Helps Fight Breast Cancer

We're a little late to the party on this one, but last year ChapStick® created a special product, the Susan G. Komen Pink Pack, to help raise money for cancer research and treatment. For each three-pack of the normally blue tubes of its Lip Moisturizer purchased, the company will donate 20¢ to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, an organization that "strives to eradicate breast cancer as a life-threatening disease by funding research grants and supporting education, screening, and treatment projects in communities around the world." So if you need a reliable lip balm and see a pink pack, pick one up and spread the love. Or you could just donate directly to the foundation.

Monday, December 04, 2006


I hadn't realized that there were other names for lip balm besides lip balm and chapstick (genericized). Maybe some variation of "tube", but that's it, right? Apparently not. Blogger Jess from the Great White North reports that apparently some people (or maybe just some Canadians) refer to lip balm as "lip chap", which Jess is none too happy with:

It’s chap stick, or lip balm or even just lip stuff. ‘Lip chap’ sounds gross and just plain trashy. It always reminds me of white trash girls with spiral perms in their peroxide blonde hair wearing halter tops over bras with straps. First off, it sounds like an oral STD (“Dude, what’s up with your mouth?”, “Oh, I caught ‘lip chap’ from that skank from last weekend”). Second, if you think about what the word ‘chap’ means it is also nonsensical and grammatically incorrect. Saying “hey, can I have some of your lip chap” is like saying “hey, can I have a bit of your flakey, scaly lips”.

There are right ways and wrong ways to say things, and ‘lip chap’ is just f-ing wrong. Wrong and gross.

Hear, hear.

What do you call it?

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Candy Balms: Razzles Luscious Lemon Vs. Gummy Bears Cherry

In each corner we have one beloved candy turned lip balm. On my left, Cherry Gummy Bears balm and on my right Razzles Luscious Lemon.

I may not be the target demographic for these sticks, but I do eat my fair share of candy so I definitely know what they're supposed to taste and smell like.

Let the battle begin with the Gummy Bears:

Price: $3.00

Appearance: The package is cute with the little bear ears cut into the cardboard. On the tube, the biggest words written, besides the name of the stick, are: FOR EXTERNAL USE ONLY - KEEP OUT OF EYES - NOT TO BE EATEN - STOP USE AND ASK DOCTOR: (sic) IF RASH OR IRRITATION DEVELOPS. A little subtley goes a long way Gummy Bears, ever hear of "the fine print"?

Glide: Chalky and overbearing. Like the Hawaiian Tropic stick, the flavor disperses into the mouth.

Flavor/ Smell: I could compare it to cherry cough medicine, because you all can relate to that. But it's worse, take cherry cough medicine add in some apple liqueur and kitty litter. Inhale, and then rub on your lips. Compare.

Lasting Power: Minutes.

Product Plusses Minuses: Tons of chemicals and it "may contain" mica.

1 out of 5 tubes.

And the Razzles:

Price: $2.25

Appearance: I think this stick's going for nostalgia points. The only folks I know who are into Razzles are in their mid-thirties. The stick's design is boring, and the Razzle on the tube looks like Alka-Seltzer (maybe a selling point for the ulcer wielding middle agers?).

Glide: Not as bad as I anticipated. Nothing to write home (as I'm known to do) about, but tolerable.

Flavor/ Smell: Lemon Lysol. Awful.

Lasting Power: Minutes.

Product Plusses: This one actually has some ingredients that I can pronounce, like beeswax.

1.5 out of 5 tubes.

The clear winner, by 1/2 a point, is the Razzles. This is because it will cost you $.75 less to abuse your lips and nasal cavity.

But, don't bother with these tubes, unless you're stuffing the stocking of a six year old. But even then, we hope that you'll start them off with tubes made with all natural ingredients.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Ganache for Lips: Chocolate Raspberry

Ganache for Lips falls under what I consider to be gimmicky or "an innovative or unusual" lip balm. It's not something I would carry around daily but it's interesting enough to try out and use on "special occasions".

Price: Around 3 tubes for $10

Appearance: I'm torn on the appearance. I love the french design work around the cap of the tube, the script font, and the pale yellow color. But the picture on the tube (of what I'm assuming is ganache) kind of turns my stomach.

Glide: Thick and heavy with a full coverage. Really nice.

Flavor/ Smell: This is the selling point of this balm: the tube smells delicious. The chocolate scent is amazing and smells like fine cocoa, not like Hershey's (nothing wrong with Hershey's, folks, but quality is quality). The raspberry scent shadows the chocolate in a nice subtle manner. I was wary that this stick would have a fake chocolate smell, but they pulled it off, must be that Scharffen Berger.

Lasting Power: Long enough, but the yummy smell makes me want to pull it out of my pocket and share it with people, so naturally, I must reapply.

Product Plusses: All-natural, no petroleum, no animal testing (nor do they do business with those that do test on animals).

4 out of 5 tubes

The founder of Ganache for Lips, Patricia West, created this balm while recovering from breast cancer treatment. She began using peppermint as her first flavor to combat fatigue from radiation, and from there she continued to experiment with other flavors for lip balm. Scharffen Berger chocolate became West's next main ingredient which then evolved to all the Ganache flavors Chocolate Raspberry, Chocolate Orange, Chocolate Hazelnut, Chocolate Almond, Lemon Mousse, and Mocha Latte.