Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Sonia Kashuk: Smooth

I got a promotional tub of Sonia Kashuk's lip balm over a year ago. I've never posted about it because I don't think it ever was sold in stores, and I can't even find a picture of it online. So, we'll need to work on your imagination skills.

Close your eyes.

Wait, open them, so you can read this.

Ok, close your eyes halfway.

Envision a flat white tub of balm about the size of a silver dollar.

Think about a wide arial-style font printing the word 'smooth'.

There you go. That's Kashuk's Smooth Lip Balm. Boring, eh?

Price: It was free a year ago. Target sells her Lip Palette for $12.99. I'm going to assume the balm would cost 25% less than the colored Lip Palette. So maybe it cost about $9.75. Maybe.

Appearance: Boring.

Glide: The balm itself looks like vaseline, but it's heavier and gooey. It's a thick glide, and the remnants tend to make a really good cuticle moisturizer.

Flavor/ Smell: Absolutely none of either, which I consider a good thing. Very basic.

Lasting Power: Long, over 3 hours.

Product Plusses: SPF 15. That's about it.

Sonia Kashuk's Smooth scores a 4.00 out of 5 tubes. It's multi-functional and easy on the olfactory nerves, which scores high. It's boring packaging and lack of being able to find it takes a few marks off.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

ChapNews Vol. 9: Addict

Lip balm was a big news item this February. One would think it would be due to all the kissing supposedly done on President's Valentine's Day. But apparently our beautiful country is suffering from an epidemic.

The Rocky Mountain News reports that lip balm may or may not be addictive.

St. Paul's Pioneer Press worries about losing their children to the seedy side of lip balm addiction.

The Rockford Register chronicles the lives and time of possible lip balm addicts.

Desperate times call for desperate measures, folks. Chaptastic urges you to think about your safety and protect yourself from these addicts trying to get in on your stash. We're issuing a red alert at least till mid-March.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Guest Post! Molton Brown Lip Balm

Today's poster is Brad. We love it when guys guest post!

Brad will be reviewing the ridiculously long-named Molton Brown Travel Companion Lip Balm. He writes, "Being a chap-stick addict myself (a male one, at that), I have found a strange solace in Chaptastic. I'm tempted to go out and buy all of the less-girly ones you review.

Plus, I think Scrappy is super cute [Ed. Note: she really is].

I got this from my sister, who probably got it from some cosmetic store. I typically use the standard fare Chap-stick (black, blue, or cherry). I have recently branched out to more SPF ones (Banana Boat, Dermatone) and have been known to use a tin or two in my day (Blistex, Mad Gabs)."

Price: Free, from my sister. I can't even find this stuff on Google. [Ed. Note: Molton Brown is a UK company that makes all sorts of bath/body/grooming products, but apparently their lip balm (and not the fancier "lip saver") is only available in the travel kits that airlines like British Airways give out.]

Appearance: Silver tube, yellow stick. 5 g or 0.17 oz

Glide: Amazing. Probably the best ratio of slickness to tackiness I've ever experienced. Never feels greasy, and it's pretty much impossible to apply too much.

Flavor/ Smell: Kind of neutral, a little bit like candles (probably the lanolin).

Lasting Power: Not bad. Starts to get a little dry pretty quickly, but that's alleviated by a quick lick.

Product Plusses: The stick rotates a little bit when you advance it...I don't know, I thought that was kind of different.

4.5 out of 5 tubes. I wish it lasted a little longer, and I wish I could find this somewhere in stores.

Chaptas-Tip! Excess Lip Balm

You may have noticed by now that we're not the biggest fans of in-tin lip balms. We've reviewed a bunch and have generally favorable things to say about them, but the logistics of using a potted balm (bulky in jeans, residue on finger, possible tin-edge injuries) never appealed to us.

But you, our dear readers, have suggested a solution for at least one of these matters. Naomi writes:

You may have already heard of this tip, but here it is. When using a lipbalm in a tin or pot, there is always the question of what to do with the excess balm residue remaining on the balming finger. What I do is massage the excess balm into my cuticles, where it does a chaptastic job of protecting from winter dryness and cracking of cuticles. It also adds a slight, attractive sheen to bare nails.

Excellent tip. Got one of your own?

Thursday, February 15, 2007

io Herbal Alchemy Lip Butter: Citrus & Vanilla

io Herbal Alchemy is a self-proclaimed "blend of the natural and the supernatural." I automatically think of Stevie Nicks. Because she's witchy, and perhaps supernatural? Anyway, when something immediately makes me think of Stevie Nicks I tend to not be too excited about said thing.


Price: $9.00. The tube is enormous at .25 oz.

Appearance: Did I mention that the tube is enormous?

Glide: Due to the enormous circumference of the balm, this one glides all over the place. The glide itself is wonderful, (velvety even) but the amount of coverage is way large. I could possible apply over both of my lips at the same time.* Also, the massiveness doesn't allow for an easy one handed application, causing me to stick the cap into the balm many many times. This has made for a slippery and disgusting tube.

Flavor/ Smell: The citrus and vanilla combined smell delicious.

Lasting Power: Long. If your lips do dry out, you could wipe some off your nose from the initial swipe.

Product Plusses: Jojoba, shea butter, aloe, almond oil, beeswax. Y'know all the natural stuff that usually impresses us.

io Herbal Alchemy scores a 4.25 out of 5.00 tubes. Despite the tube size, the balm is fantastic and the smell always gets compliments. ioHA also sells a smaller tube of peppermint balm which is also yummy.

*On a side note, on the subway I witnessed a woman applying for over a minute straight. Eyes closed and just getting really into it. That balm must've been good.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

ChapNews Vol. 8: Car-mex Crash

BEDFORD - For years, thieves have used the smash-and-grab method to steal items from stores. Early Tuesday, one thief turned to the grab-and-smash.

After taking a small jar of lip balm and being challenged by a clerk, the man rammed his car into the front door. It happened about 2 a.m. in the 2200 block of Murphy Drive at the Texaco Food Mart.

The clerk told police that a man about 6-foot-2 and 200 pounds walked into the store, picked up a small jar of Carmex and started to walk out. As he reached the front door, the clerk asked him if he was going to pay for it, police said. The man walked out, got into a white two-door car and drove into the front door, police said. He then backed up and rammed the front door a second time before driving away, police said.

But the thief may not get far -- the clerk got the license plate number and gave it to police. The estimated loss: $1.39 for the Carmex and about $2,000 in damage to the store.

[Star Telegram, Fort Worth, TX]

Friday, February 09, 2007

Lucy B.: Lemonade

I've had this little jar of Lucy B. lip balm for about a year. Being unsure of exactly what the balm is all about I googled "Lucy B.". That's where to go if you're looking for Valentine's Day gifts, fellas.

After figuring out that this is not the Lucy B. I was looking for I found the site for the lip balm. Not nearly as racy, but very cute.

Price: $16.00. I think this price includes someone to apply it for you.

Appearance: Clean and cute little clear tub with white top. The name Lucy B. scrawled across the top in the type of handwriting you'd like to have.

Glide: Since I can't keep a tub in my pocket (it just looks weird poking through my jeans) this balm doesn't have the advantage of the "pocket warm-up" (p.w.u., for those in the know). As you likely understand, the p.w.u is crucial in a good glide. Lucy B.'s glide could use some work.

Flavor/ Smell: The flavor is lemonade, and it definitely smells like lemonade. It's mild but has that distinctive Country Time Lemonade powder mix smell to it. Not a bad smell, but not a freshly squeezed sort of lemonade smell either.

Lasting Power: It lasts a decent amount of time.

Product Plusses: Contains "organic jojoba and avocado oils with delicious lemon myrtle & tangerine oils infused with our special blend of Lucy B’s Confidence enhancing Australian Flower essences." There you go.

I'm giving Lucy B. a 2.5 out 5. I'm just not that into it. But I am into Lucy B.'s beliefs:
• that six deep breaths a day can improve your life
• we are all beautiful inside and out
• that you already make a difference in the world
• to speak your mind from your heart
• a good laugh is an essential ingredient to your day
• that you can measure success in many ways
• in hugs and kisses
• that if at first you don't succeed to try until you do

Right on, this is adorable and true. Hugs and kisses!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Ask Chaptastic: Love Is In the Air

Dear Chaptastic,

Long-time reader, first-time commenter. Quick question: as we approach Valentines Day, can you recommend some hot 'n sexy chapsticks that can keep my lips smooth and supple, ready for all the hard work they'll be doing, while at the same time looking great? Also, have you come across any chapsticks that double as herpes blockers? That would be awesome!


Excellent questions. There are plenty of lip balms out there that can get you ready for all that "hard work" to which you allude, which I'm assuming is in no way inappropriate and involves reading Valentines Day cards out loud to orphans.

If you're looking for color and shine, you're set with any balms from Alba Botanicals, Juice Beauty, or Carol's Daughter. For exceptional softness, the Softlips flavors are excellent and come with SPF 20 to protect your lips from the winter sun.

For me V-Day is all about the candy, and there are some luscious chocolate lip balms out there from Ganache for Lips, Oh Wow, and Chocolate Lip Bliss (from Etsy seller Alchemille). Pookie has a bunch of great balms, including a special Valentine's Bubble Gum flavor.

Certain foods like honey have softening properties all on their own, so if you're feeling creative (you know, with the orphans) then raid the kitchen cabinets.

As for the second part of your question, I don't believe there are any sticks that double as herpes blockers. In fact, I think the only things that are herpes blockers are condoms and abstinence, only one of which is 100% effective. There are special lip balms out there like Herpecin that provide relief to herpes sufferers and Abreva, an antiviral topical, but on the whole I'd probably avoid making out with anyone who whips out one of those sticks.

If you want to avoid the risk altogether, don't share your lip balm with anyone- it's possible to pass colds and other viruses (and herpes is a virus!) to others or yourself. Luckily, if you did get herpes from a lip lock, it'd likely be of the HSV-1 variety, not the HSV-2 can be much more serious (don't let those ads fool you- having herpes isn't all hiking trips and windsurfing). Short of a physical barrier, there's nothing that can guarantee protection, so unless you want to wear a dental dam on your face, I'd say be cautious and conservative with those lips.

Monday, February 05, 2007

The Right to Bear Lip Balm

We're into pacifism here at Chaptastic, but we recognize that there are times in life when it's necessary to defend oneself from attack or to surreptitiously elbow someone in the ribs on the subway for breathing too much of your air.

Wouldn't it be great if you could use as your weapon an object you already carry with you everywhere?

Well, a good samaritan has brought us the Lip Balm Gun. This instructable shows you how to construct your very own "less-than-lethal, easily concealed, personal defense weapon." Although it admittedly has "the killing power of a marshmallow dropped from the height of two feet", it does pack a punch. Its inventor warns: "You should never hand somebody a loaded gun. For this reason, if anybody ever hands you a chap stick with the cap still on, punch them in the face."

Hear, hear.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Three Amigos: Lip Balm?

Enjoy this classic scene from ¡Three Amigos!. Yet another reminder to always stash lip balm in your hand-embroidered mariachi blazer lest you be caught in the desert without it.

Guest Post! Zum Kiss Lime

You know the deal: you write 'em, we post 'em.

Today's Guest Poster is Talia, a microbiology student (she keeps balm in the lab) who was until recently solely devoted to her Burt's Bees. Shortly after discovering Chaptastic last fall, Talia progressively went through every brand of lip balm carried by her local Co-op food store (they have an entire shelf of the stuff and for years she's been blithely walking right past it!). From their extensive collection of organic and all-natural balms, Indigo Wild's Zum Kiss is the only brand she's used more than once.

Mush, Talia!

Price: $3.75

Appearance: Everyone's favorite clear plastic tube! Wrapped in an simple yet elegant cream label with green scalloped boarders and a green lip-imprint logo. White/colorless balm.

Glide: Fantastic glide! It gives the sensation of no resistance without the oil slick residue left by other fast glide balms. Think of My Lip Stuff's glide taken down a notch or two.

Flavor/ Smell: Personally, I can't stand artificial fruity scents or flavors. I hate cool aid, jolly ranchers, and bath products that make me feel like I am soaking in melted lollipop. Zum Kiss lime is nothing like that. Zum Kiss is like taking freshly squeezed limes, adding a hint of sugar and squelching a thirst induced by years of following a strictly regulated two-sips a day liquid diet. This fantastic scent of Zum Kiss is only noticeable while applying the balm and maybe a few minutes after. It has no taste.

Lasting Power: Good, I think. When I have easy access to Zum Kiss I constantly reapply it to experience the epiphany of lime-scented transcendentalism. When I force myself to leave it at home I tend to forget about my lips. From this I can only infer that it must have a decent lasting power. If pushed to give numbers I'd say about 3 or 4 hours.

Product Plusses: All natural ingredients (sunflower oil, grapeseed oil, beeswax, shea butter, pure essential oils, honey, candelilla wax, and vitamin E), inexpensive, beautiful design, and exquisite scent.

4.5 out of 5. I'd give it a 5 out of 5 if it weren't for the little boy in the Mazda commercials whispering "zoom-zoom" in my head every time I apply Zum Kiss.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Gift Idea for Valentine's Day?

Does the person you smooch have dry, chapped lips? Probably not, if you're a reader of this blog.

But if you do, Chaptastic is endorsing this ridiculous "Silver Plated Lip Balm Stand".

Get them this stand for V day and they'll get the message that the dry lips aren't working for you. Even better, fill it up with your favorite balms, some of those candy hearts, and a big red bow.