Friday, January 26, 2007

Eden Village Soap Company: Essential Blend

Eden Village Soap Company embodies many important things that lead to sustainability, and I absolutely love that. This balm, and Eden Village's other products, are sold on - I can lose hours looking through this site, it's amazing.

But back to EVSC, its profile on Etsy states:

I may pay more for some of my ingredients because I buy them at my local IGA. I have my printing done at our little print shop that has been in business for generations. I get my lard, beeswax, honey from local farmers. I grow my own herbs that I add to each soap.

To boot, the town EVSC is based in doesn't have a Wal-Mart.

Price: $2.00 for home-grown goodness.

Appearance: Average clear tube with the label: nothing exciting, nothing awful.

Glide: This stick never has any problems getting started, it's always ready for application. The balm has a tendency to spread past the lips, giving the dreaded shiny skin around the lips look. This may have to do with the coconut oil, my hypothesis.

Flavor/Smell: A very delicious herbal smelling balm. The use of tea tree oil comes out strong, in a good way, with this one.

Lasting Power: It leaves a long lasting moist feeling to the lips. They feel fully moisturized, and almost perked up - which may have to do with the tea tree oil, another hypothesis.

Product Plusses: As stated above, the company does all it can to make this stick completely home grown. The only ingredients are coconut oil, shea butter, beeswax, vitamin E, and essential oil blend.

I'm giving the Eden Village Soap Company 4.25 out of 5 tubes. It's price, smell, and ethics rank high in my book.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Plum Island Soap Company: Black Licorice

Finding out about the Plum Island Soap Company made my day. In case you're stalking me, I grew up very close to Plum Island and spent many summer days getting thrown around by the rough undertoe and getting pissed at plovers. There was also a suburban myth going around in high school that the folks that lived on the island didn't get fresh water and had to shower with sea water. Another myth is that Montel Williams has a house there.

Price: $3.75 for an above average sized tub.

Appearance: Clear tub, black top. The label features two girls smooching at the camera and a bright sticker noting the flavor.

Glide: Great glide for a "stick your finger in it" balm. The balm is soft enough to get the right amount, but not too soft so that you're stuck with a gooey finger.

Flavor/Smell: The black licorice kicks ass. This is the first black licorice balm I've come across and I was totally psyched*. Not being a huge fan of black licorice, I'm surprised at how much I love the smell of this. Way fresh and different.

Lasting Power: Decent. Does the trick.

Product Plusses: Well, it's from Plum Island and I'm into that. The balm only contains natural ingredients: olive oil, coconut, beeswax, vitamin e, and essential oils. It's basic and it works.

I'm giving this one a 4.5 out of 5 tubes, and that .5 point comes mostly from the balm's format, tub rather than tube. Great balm, check them out.

*In case you're wondering what thrills me in a new balm: I'm a sucker for an interesting flavor.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

ChapNews Vol. 7: Lip Balm Hijacking

It's been a while since there was anything balm-newsworthy, but we managed to find a doozy from yesterday's International Herald & Tribune. This moron actually makes me think twice about the lip balm on planes issue. Don't try this on your next flight.

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa: A man who threatened to blow up an Air Botswana plane turned out to be holding lip balm and an asthma inhaler, not a bomb, SABC radio news reported Tuesday.

The 26-year-old Cameroonian was overpowered shortly after the plane landed Monday evening in Johannesburg and was arrested Monday. He had threatened to detonate a bomb on the Johannesburg-bound flight from the Botswana capital, Gaborone.

Chris Hlakane, manager for the Airports Company South Africa, said the man claimed to be a member of al-Qaida but this was dismissed by police Tuesday.

He had tried to force his way into the cockpit and some media claim he was demanding asylum in South Africa.

No one was hurt.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Ferity: Vitamin E with Jojoba Oil

You're probably wondering when Chaptastic started reviewing lipstick. The answer is: uh...never? It may look like lipstick, but I swear it's not. It took me a while to remember where I got this stick from, and then even longer to locate it online. The name of the brand, Ferity, is strangely nowhere to be found on the stick (if my name were Ferity I probably wouldn't stamp it on anything either). Ferity specializes in lip enhancers/plumpers and has millions of such lip products. This Jojoba Oil stick (which can be found under "Other Lip Care" on their site) is one in a specific line of vitamin E-based non-lip enhancing balms, the other varieties of which include Rosehip Oil, Seaweed Extract, and Avocado Oil.

Price: $3.00 on Kissfix.

Appearance: Euro-a makin' me tired. By the time I slide the cap all the way off and turn the stick up I'm dozing off. So much effort. I want a quick snap-off cap: glide 'n' go. What really annoys me about sticks of this fashion is that you get half the product in twice the space. Makes for a pretty, but bulky, stick.

Glide: Issues: 1) Feels like lipstick. Very smooth but slightly grainy, slick yet light on the lips. 2) Looks like lipstick. The stick's color, which thankfully doesn't end up on your lips, is more of a pinkish beige (unlike in the photo), but the shape is all man. Did I say all man? Oh, I meant to say it looks like a penis. What? Oh, sorry. I meant the stick is rounded, which turns application into a delicate, girly process. I feel like I should pull out a compact, too.

Flavor/Smell: Sliiight fragrance (kind of a pleasant make-upy smell), no taste.

Lasting Power: You know what? It actually works. The Vitamin E and jojoba oil soften your lips instantly, and for indoor wear it can last up to two hours. Outside, not so much, but it's great for helping break down a serious chap.

Product Plusses: Good for people with sensitive lips. No SPF.

I'm conflicted. There's so much to dislike and yet it works pretty well and is not horribly expensive. I have to concede, if you're a girly girl (not hatin') then you'll probably like a stick like this. But I'm going with 3.75 out of 5 tubes for taking an essentially effective product and making it more complicated than it should be.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

iBalmTM Gains Momentum

Someone over at Late Night with Conan O'Brien reads Chaptastic. How else do you explain this video parody of the iPhone that includes our iBalmTM suggestion from last week?

Now, we're not accusing anyone of anything, but if we were somehow to get a share the action we'd call it even.

Friday, January 19, 2007

How to Kick Our Foreign Oil Addiction

Mike Wuebben, author of Wuebb-Log on CBS's The Showbuzz, has obtained early excerpts from next week's State of the Union. He reveals part of the plan President Bush will propose to curb our nation's dependence on foreign oil:

Ours is a great nation with great resources, but we have even greater needs. We now import more than half our oil, much of that from unstable regions of the world.

Scientific innovation can help, but curbing our energy needs will take sacrifice from all Americans.

You may not realize how pervasive petroleum products are in our lives. A large portion of our household items are derived from the same source that fuels our cars — products such as common lip balm. I have just signed a presidential decree ordering all Americans, when using petroleum-based balms for dry and chapped lips to make only one swipe across the bottom lip. Then purse your lips together to spread the product evenly onto the top lip. This simple step will cut our dependence on lip balm by half. Unless you work in a dehumidifier factory in Phoenix, you only need one swipe.

You heard it from the man himself: one swipe only and you'll bring home our troops.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Guest Post! Aquafina: Flavor Splash

So this is how guest posting works: you do the work, we take the credit. I kid! No, really.

Today's poster is Amy. Only 15 years of age and she already has a love for 44% white petrolatum, beeswax bases, and vitamin E. While other girls of the high school variety are slabbing on the moisture-thieving lipsticks, Amy sits in the back of math class applying one of her thirty-nine "chappysticks". And none of that tinted junk either! Blech. But she does love her chapstick addiction. In fact, she has to rotate the ones on her desk and in her backpack every week so she doesn't use up one of the good ones. Her favorite flavor: minty banana. Other enjoyable non-chapstick related activities: playing bass in the Dorkestra and collecting Beatles records.

Today Amy is reviewing Aquafina: Flavor Splash lip balm, based off the Aquafina Flavor Splash water line. She found it at Walmart, where you will also find everything you will ever need for anything ever.

Andele, Amy!

Price: $3.49 at Walmart. It comes in a 3-tube pack. Really cheap for 3 different balms but I'm not sure how much they cost elsewhere.

Appearance: They come in sleek little tubes that are three inches long and narrower than your average chapstick. Each tube is color-coded for its flavor and they all have a little Aquafina logo on the top. Cute.

Glide: REALLY nice. Not too oily but still very smooth. After having it in your pocket for a while, it's a little bit drippy but not too bad. It also makes your lips kinda shiny.

Flavor/ Smell: Okay, this chapstick is really weird in the flavor department. The 3 flavors are Citrus Blend, Raspberry, and Wild Berry so I was expecting something fruity and sweet, but each one smells and tastes really minty because they contain menthol. When you first put it on your lips tingle a bit, and the smell is a little overbearing for my taste but it dulls after about 5-10 minutes. Rasberry and Wild Berry aren't that bad but Citrus tastes like cold medicine.

Lasting Power: About two or three hours. The moisture really sinks into your lips.

Product Plusses: Cheap (at least at Walmart), VERY moisturizing, made with jojoba oil, almond oil, and vitamin E.

4 out of 5 for nice glide, excellent hydration, and low price, but I had to dock it down a point for the weird minty menthol taste.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Holla from Bloggy Award

We got a shout out from the folks at Bloggy Award! Yes, just as we spend our every waking moment using and reviewing lip balm, they troll the internet using and reviewing the best blogs out there.

Chaptastic scored a 9/10- not too shabby. The reviewer stated, "If anyone told me that it is possible to blog solely about lip balms for a year I would never have believed that person", and that he'd (she'd?) "never realized lip balms could ever be this interesting".

Well, we're all about miracles here at Chaptastic, and are happy to have renewed your belief in the power of chapstick. One thing, though. It's Chaptastic, not Chapstatic, although the latter is the name of our new heavy metal band.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


I am reporting my first ever chap-cident (that's chapstick accident, duh).

While lurking in a narrow hallway, I body slammed the wall to get out of someone's way. My left hip, where the chapstick quietly rests in my pocket, hits the wall hard and now I have a ridiculous bruise. Yikes.

Jones Soda Co: Turkey & Gravy

This post is a few weeks too late, but maybe some of you are still in the holiday spirit, or at least still in the holiday eating spirit. So not only does Jones Soda Co. have a line of delicious, democratically-flavored sodas, but they also sell great lip balms in flavors like Green Apple, Fufu Berry, Orange & Cream and Strawberry Lime.

So what, pray tell, is the lip balm pictured at right? Well, it's an offshoot of Jones's annual holiday promotion, wherein the company sells a Holiday Pack of soda flavors like Green Bean Casserole, Mashed Potato & Butter, Fruitcake, Cranberry and Turkey & Gravy. The company stated:

Our holiday pack takes the work, worries and cost out of preparing a turkey dinner, so our consumers can spend more time with their loved ones. We even included utensils," says Peter van Stolk, President & C.E.O. "We realized consumers are concerned about the 2,000 calories that each full holiday meal contains. That’s why we made our sodas zero calories and zero carbs. Now, you can enjoy all the mashed potatoes and butter without worrying about the carbs.

So thoughtful! Jones also came up with a limited edition Turkey & Gravy flavored lip balm, and we managed to get a hold of one. I didn't do a full on field test (unlike these intrepid soda drinkers) so this isn't an official review, but I can tell you a few things. It smells exactly like turkey and mashed potatoes- oily, greasy, starchy, all that goodness. The packaging is nostalgic, the glide is good, and it has has SPF 15, but it's hard to get past the taste, which basically tastes just like sliding a pat of butter across your lips would taste. For some, I'm sure that would be heaven. The novelty of the stick is intriguing and makes an excellent conversation piece, but I would probably refer the regular user of such a stick to Eaters Anonymous.

But who cares about pragmatics- kudos to Jones for coming up with an innovative flavor and actually doing it well.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Softlips: Vanilla

Softlips was the first lip balm I used in middle school once I realized that regular old chapstick wasn't cool. It was a step between chapstick and lip stick. I remember while at a school dance my friends and I all applied in the bathroom while all the "cool" girls were dancing with under-developed boys to Bryan Adam's Everything I Do (y'know, that song from Robin Hood). Sigh. At least now I'm trill.

Price: $2.49ish

Appearance: It's adorable. Long, slim, with the word Softlips perfectly scripted across the tube. Despite this brand reminding me of middle school, this stick is modern and has kept up with the times.

Superb. The thinness of this stick keeps the application in a small concentrated area, not allowing for any overflow of balm.

A quality vanilla scent that conjures up images of sleepovers, cookie dough, the BSC and 90210. Not in an overly sweet way, but in a sweet nostalgia sorta way.

Lasting Power:

Product Plusses: SPF 20, no animal products used, and no gluten (a plus for those that consider that an allergen).

4.80 out of 5 tubes

Softlips is definitely working the young lady crowd. Their site features a few pictures of college girls competing in contests such as Prettiest Pucker, Hottest Lips, and Most Perfect Pout.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Body Coffee (Javabalm): Coffee Mint SPF15

Sometimes I worry that we (as a society, not we here at Chaptastic) are too obsessed with coffee. As if a Starbucks every eight steps isn't disconcerting enough, we just can't help making everything coffee flavored. Gum. Liquor. Condoms. The makers of today's reviewed stick, Body Coffee, joins in the proud coffee-obsessed tradition with its line of products.

Price: $3.95 online.

Appearance: Black-capped standard tube with a an edgy geometric and moody-colored label. Balm is a strange yellow-green.

Glide: Easy, smooth. Good coverage.

Flavor/Smell: Yelch. First of all, coffee and mint? Way to take two ridiculously strong, hold-their-own flavors and try to combine them. Would you ever order mint-flavored coffee? Well, if you've ever wondered what the matrimony of coffee and mint would smell like, it's this- alternately coffee and mint. There's no good fusion of the two scents, and the wax smell wins out over the failed union of flavors. Here are some other ingredients that further confuse the scent: olive oil, beeswax, hemp seed oil, comfrey, calendula, rosemary extract. The tube ends up smelling like a bad crayon.

The company also makes Vanilla Mint and CoffeeMocha flavors. I feel like this CoffeeMint concoction resulted from having leftovers from the first two.

Lasting Power: Despite the weird smell, it works pretty freakin' well. Has great ingredients (like Vitamin E and the olive and hemp seed oil mentioned above) that soothe, soften and moisturize.

Product Plusses: SPF15, non-petroleum, constant coffee companion. Note that this tube is not caffeinated.

If I had either of the other two flavors of this brand I'd probably use them regularly, but I'm not a big fan of the flavors in the Coffee Mint (clearly). That said, I have to admit that the stick ain't bad generally. It'd be even better if the coffee were backed up by some caffeine.

4.0 out of 5 tubes.

Friday, January 12, 2007


Dear Mr. Jobs,

Oh man, that iPhone is sweet. We're taken with the pretty colors and the lack of buttons that would undoubtedly get grunge stuck between them. If we had this phone we might not have to carry around our iPod, GPS, barometer, notebook, camera, or calculator. BUT, we'd still be carrying around our lip balm.

Chaptastic is offering you, Mr. Jobs, our idea. See that black space on the bottom, underneath the phone, mail, web, and iPod bar? Well, we're sure that space has no important technology embedded in it, so we'd like for you to empty that out and create a tube that we can stick our chapstick in. We can even call it our iBalmTM, if you like. Then we can add a new touch button that will eject the balm, allowing easy access for application.

Once this is complete, this truly will be the all in one that we've been looking for - although we might not be able to afford it.

Yours Truly,

Monday, January 08, 2007

Guest Post! Cinnabon Lip Balm

We're mere mortals, alas, and thus cannot review every stick out there. So we count on you to fill us in on the lip balm low down. You send 'em in, we post 'em. Today's poster is Kendra, who explains to us about how turning a decadent Cinnabon cinnamon roll into lip balm works out (not well).

A Chaptastic and chapstick fanatic, Kendra is no mere lip balm dilettante. While others reach for balm to simply cure dry and chapped lips, for Kendra it is her salve against harsh summer sun, brisk winter winds, and the crusty residents of her native New York. With her freshly glossed lips, Kendra can tackle temp job hell, subway derailments, terror alerts and regular invasions of personal space with nary an eyelash bat. This January, however, she faces her biggest challenge: permanent, full time employment. She has her lip balms ready.

Onward, Kendra!

Price: $3.00

Appearance: I find the wrapper strangely comforting. The color scheme is a nostalgic reminder of my high school mallrat days when the Cinnabon store was the penultimate experience. Not the kind of tube that you want to whip out in sophisticated company, however.

Glide: At room temperature it goes on smoothly with slight resistance at first. I apply lower lip then upper lip, and by the time I reach my upper lip resistance is completely gone and it glides on like an ice skate on freshly zambonied ice.

Flavor/Smell: Artificially Cinnamon. Considering that it is Cinnabom Lip Balm I was looking for a Cinnabon smell...what I got, however, was more of Red Hots candy meets a cheap cinnamon candle. This lip balm is horribly, offensively, synthetically cinnamon smell. It tastes delicious though, cinammony sugary.

Lasting Power: No idea. After about 20 seconds this stuff began to burn, burn, burn. Now I do not have sensitive lips. I've used every lip balm in existence including ones with some of the most corrosive ingredients on planet earth without batting an eye. But this stuff continued to burn for five minutes after I wiped it off. I tried it on my kid sister and she had no ill effects, but just a heads up.

Product Plusses: None. You're better off with a standard stick of chapstick for half the cost.

1.5 out of 5 tubes.

Saturday, January 06, 2007


Hey hey-

Have you guys heard of "social networking"? Specifically this wacky new site called "MySpace"?
Well, good ol' Chaptastic is up there, networking in a social fashion.

So, if you're on there add us, won't you?


P.S. Keep your reviews rolling in, we're loving the responses!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Baby...Turns Out It's Not That Cold Outside

Hey there, sports fans! As you can tell we went on a holiday hiatus for a little while, but we're back with a vengeance. We've been meaning to write a post for a while about how to weather the winter lip-wise. I was hoping that by now it would be cold enough to do some hard core field testing- you know, standing outside in a blizzard with an array of lip balms strapped to my chest- but that hasn't happened yet. You see, winter's being a bit of a wuss. The high today is 63˚. It's just not right. Al Gore, what have you done?!

But we don't all live in balmy New England, so for those of you trapped in colder climes, heed the advice below.

Don't Lick! Contrary to its liquid nature, saliva actually wicks moisture out of your lips and makes them more chapped. Use lip balm instead- if you find yourself without some, "accidentally" bump into your neighbor on the subway such that your lips meet his for a few seconds.

Flavor Saver: Sweet or savory lip balms enable licking. Nix the flavor (or at least the sweetness) and you'll kick the habit.

Drink Lots of Water: Pretty self-explanatory. Water = hydration. More hydration = less chap. Me = math genius.

Go For Sun Protection: Even in the winter you are subjected to the sun's harmful UV rays, which combined with the sun's heat can dry out and damage your lips. Use balms that have SPF 15 or more or that contain ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.

Exfoliate: The only thing grosser than dry, cracked lips is putting lip balm on top of dry, cracked lips. Rub vaseline, lemon juice (that might hurt) or a mixture of sugar and honey onto your lips with a warm washcloth or a toothbrush to soften lips and slough off dead skin. Or you can buy some extravagant products to do it for you.

Reapply on the Fly: Stay stocked. Put a (good) tube everywhere. Purse. Locker. Desk. In your gym bag. Under your favorite bus seat. That way you'll never be without.

Stay Covered: The less your lips are exposed to the sun and wind, the healthier they'll stay. Cover up with a scarf or, our recommendation, an awesome face mask.

Apply Before Bed: Lips often suffer the worst dryness while you sleep. Apply vaseline or your favorite balm before bed and you'll wake up pucker-perfect.

The last thing is don't reapply too much. Sounds strange given the "stay stocked" suggestion, but it's important not to get too reliant on (aka addicted to) your lip balm. If you find yourself getting chapped lips even when often you're slathering it on, look to the other factors listed above and make sure you're doing things like staying hydrated and using a good balm.