Thursday, March 29, 2007


Last night Chaptastic had the good fortune to attend a swank party in the equally swank trucking district, where we ran into celebrity gossip blogger Perez Hilton (aka Mario Lavanderia). He was gracious enough to talk to us about his lip balm of choice, and we're of course just dying to dish the dirt.

Perez excitedly told us that he recently discovered Lab Series Lip Balm for Men at a swag party, and he offered us a bit of the balm to try.

Although this balm is "for Men", Chaptastic found it enjoyable and not overly masculine. It has a pleasant York Peppermint Patty-ish scent and, as Perez promised, lasted through the evening. Although we liked it, our level of excitement for the balm could not reach Hilton's exuberance for it.

So there you have it, folks. Our first in what will probably be (based on how we roll) a long line of celebrity lip balm recommendations.

Guest Post! New Belgium Beer Balm

Hello Chaptastic readers,

You may remember me from such earlier posts as “I tend to buy one tube of lip balm a year and I’d like to ask for a recommendation.” Well, I took your advice and ordered the New Belgium Sunshine Wheat. With the weather hitting the 70s today, I figure the critical lip balm season is winding down (I’m sure you disagree), and it’s time to turn in that review (ed. note: big thanks to JM for this review, we've been dying to hear about this balm).

Price: $1 plus maybe $1.50 for shipping. Not too bad. I suspect if you live in Ft. Collins you could save on shipping and your lip balm buying experience could be enhanced by a brewery tour, in which case you could mark it down for a ranking of 10 out of 5 tubes, no questions asked.

Appearance: Looking good. Like Chapstick with a beer label. What’s not to love?

Glide: Ever used Chapstick before? That’s about how this goes.

Lasting Power: Pretty standard on this front, too.

Flavor/Smell: It’s got a lemon/vanilla thing going, presumably because lemon traditionally comes with wheat beer. For what is essentially branded swag, I was surprised to see they’d thought this out and it wasn’t half bad. And no, it doesn’t make you smell like you’ve been drinking (unless you’ve actually been drinking).

Other things you should know: Um, apparently they don’t sell this anymore.But they do have this one, which may or may not be the same thing in a different package. Who knows?

Overall ranking: 4 out of 5 tubes. Didn’t change my life or anything, but it did the trick for a winter’s worth of hissing radiators, windburned bike rides, and dehydrated weekend mornings (10 out of 5 tubes with brewery tour and sample rounds.)

ChapNews Vol. 12: Fake IDs

This brief news item from ABC WKOW 27 in Madison, WI, tells us about a recent fake ID manufacturing sting that took place not far from UW's campus this week (the scandal!). Tell me if you notice anything, aside from the charming naiveté:

Madison Police showed us the evidence they confiscated in a fake ID operation that was taking place not far from UW's campus.

In total, they found more than a dozen fraudulent California driver's licenses. Included were the tools to make them, such as lip balm , a ruler, and an exacto knife.

Police found them last week in an apartment on Carroll Street, which initially was the scene of a fire. Police arrested the resident, Austin Cannon, on suspicion of forgery. He's yet to be charged.

Officer Mike Hanson said an investigator still needs to contact all the people who's pictures were on the ID's to, "find out their pupose, maybe do a little backgound on them and what their intent was for having these ID's."

Hanson said it appears the operation was intended to help people get alcohol. Immigration and national security issues were not a concern.

Since when is lip balm a necessary item used to make fake IDs? Can someone explain that? Lookout, crafters- if you have an exacto knife and lip balm in proximity to each other, you're gonna get busted. And "it appears" the IDs were for alcohol? No way! I bet they were to impress the la-dies.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Guest Post! Burt's Bees Honey Lip Balm

Today's guest post comes from somebody near and dear to the Chaptastic camp, Scrappy's boyfriend. OMG! BOYS! WTF?!

Despite being notoriously unconcerned about always having chapped lips, Chia enjoys being forced to review balms that make Scrappy nauseous.


Price: About $2.50, which seems about right. Since I never actually buy chapstick, I'm not sure whether this is fair or not. But it seems like it should be.

Appearance: This is solid product design - informative, relevant, and not ugly. I don't know if it would scream "buy me!" from the counter, but i wouldn't turn away either. I like the honeycomb pattern, though it might make the whole scene a little too busy (ha! busy... bees.. get it?).

Glide: Initially, the glide on this thing turned me off. You really have to work it to get anything on your lips, and that took a little bit of getting used to. But after I, you know... got used to it, it was cool.

Flavor/ Smell: What's that again? This has a very mellow taste.. there's a nice natural honey smell, but not much else. I would rather have that than some super-sweet syrupy thing... but this pretty much tastes like candle wax.

Lasting Power: Good stuff. I appreciate the fact that one application of this will last for a while, and I feel like it really heals your lips. When I recently had a split lip and lots of chappage, I used this, and it helped.

Product Plusses: The tube is made from recycled plastic. That's awesome. Also, not tested on animals. That's also awesome. (As an aside... who the hell would test chapstick on animals!? I know that I'm no expert, and maybe I'm naive... but, are there hamsters and cats and deer running around with chapped lips that need attention? Man, that's messed up.)

4 out of 5 tubes.


Maybe you saw us mentioned in the illustrious Village Voice. Unlike Gawker, we think Mara Altman, the author of the article, was a delight.

But we do have a few points to discuss:

1. Javajive really is a bright eyed beauty.

2. Scrappy does not drink coffee, and she'd like to call herself a bright eyed beauty, too.

3. We have barely recovered from the "traumatic" airline ban of chapstick, barely.

4. Scrappy did not pull out a Blistex Fruit Smoothie, you may recall this post.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Mojo Cosmetics TITAN + Lip Therapy

A couple of weeks ago we dug a site called Mojo, which sells flashy, James Bond-ish cosmetics (including lip balm) in a high tech, aeronautics-inspired case. At the time of the dig, I hadn't tried Mojo's Lip Therapy balm yet, but in the intervening weeks I got my hands on one and you know what that means...

Price: Not cheap. The balm itself (which comes in "bullets" and can be purchased solo) is $18. The spiffy case into which it fits, called the TITAN (points off for mandatory capitalization- do I have to yell when I say it?), is $32. Together the duo costs $40, so relatively speaking it's a steal.

Appearance: If an Aston Martin and a martini shaker had a baby, it would envy the TITAN. It is sleek, curvy and attention-grabbing (not gonna lie, also resembles (not that I would know) another kind of bullet-associated recreational...object). The one I have isn't as shiny as the pretty pictures, but maybe it could be with a little polish. Neatly and aesthetically laser-etched onto the case is the periodic table symbol for aluminum (atomic number and everything) and the company and product name.

The balm itself is a pleasant cream color, comes in a thin, streamlined, metal bullet that twists upward, and is angled like a lipstick. The bullet slots neatly into the TITAN case- all told, there are four pieces that easily screw together to make up the package. The whole thing is a bit heavier and a bit fatter than your standard tube, but it's also a little shorter. There are no hard edges, so it's very comfortable in the hand or the pocket.

Glide: Excellent. A leeeetle sticky, but consistently smooth.

Flavor/Smell: Peppermint. Simple, unsweetened, a little boring, but definitely unisex.

Lasting Power: Miles and miles. Lip Therapy is botanically formulated, with shea butter, aloe, green tea, rose hips, sugar cane extract, cucumber (!), and vitamins A and E in a beeswax/carnuba base. It softens and moisturizes very well.

Product Plusses: Instant conversation starter. The cool factor of this thing is off the charts. I feel like the Google guys should have a couple of these. Okay, maybe it seriously clashes with everything I own and am, but it's still fun as hell to use and look at. Sometimes I pull it out just to listen to the metallic whizz of the cap spinning on and off, but I'm weird.

It's heat and scratch-proof. It also attaches to your keychain or bag hook and is refillable and presumably recyclable. One downside is the superfluous amount of (admittedly awesome) packaging that comes with it.

Veridict: 4.5 out of 5 tubes. The price kills me, but the aesthetics absolutely captivate me, and the balm is good stuff. So if you're into flat screen TVs, MacBook Pros and MTV's CRIBS, maybe put this on your birthday list.

* Stay tuned, Mojo fans- we've got an interview with the creator/president in a few.*

Monday, March 26, 2007

Homemade Chocolate Lip Balm

While browsing through Tip Nut, a site that offers collecting tips and ideas for "tip nuts" (guilty), I came across these incredibly simple recipes for chocolate lip gloss and lip balm. A baby could do this (assuming said baby had access to a grocery store and knew how to operate a microwave).

Here's the lip balm recipe- check out the lip gloss one at the link above. I haven't tried this one personally, but if you do please let us know how it turns out!

TipNut's Chocolate Lip Balm Recipe

3 TBS Cocoa Butter
5 Chocolate Chips
1 Capsule Vitamin E

In a microwave melt all ingredients then blend well with a spoon. Put into a container and cool completely in the refrigerator before using.

You can find a ton of other simple recipes online like this one which uses shea butter and sweet almond oil or this delightful, flexible one.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Badger Cocoa Butter Lip Balm: Lime Rocket

Who knew badgers were so cute? Take a look at Badger's tubes -- the badger, which looks like a cross between a panda and a racoon, is waving a wand. From this wand rainbows, sparkles, and tiny fruit flow magically. What?

Chaptastic has found it's new favorite mascot, taking the place of Mr. Gator Gubba.

Price: $5.00

Appearance: Awesome. This is the best tube art I've ever seen. This badger and his wand kills me.

Glide: The badger balms come in a larger tube, .25 oz. Like I've said with other tubes of this size (io Herbal Alchemy, for one) the coverage area is too big, and may require a bit of a wipe off - unless you're into the lip balm moustache. Besides the size, the glide is wonderful. There is nothing better than cocoa butter, which brings me to the...

Flavor/ Smell: I LOVE THE SMELL OF COCOA BUTTER. This Lime Rocket balm starts you off with a refreshing lime smell and then hits you with the cocoa smell. This one wins, folks.

Lasting Power: A huge amount of time, and held up well during long periods of bike riding.

Product Plusses: Besides having the best mascot, Badger Balm is rich in natural antioxidants (how? I'm not sure), and they make it with certified organic ingredients, including Oleo Europaea and Hippophae Rhamnoides- that's extra virgin olive oil and sea buckthorn (what the?) for those not up on their Latin.

Badger Balm rules: 4.95 out of 5 tubes.

Thursday, March 22, 2007


Alert reader JM sent us a link to Joey Green's site which features "wacky uses" of lip balm!

Have you guys used lip balm for any of these wacky things?

* Preventing car battery corrosion
* Grooming a mustache or eyebrows
* Lubricating nails and screws

If not, what other ways do you use for your balm? I'll use it as a makeshift hand lotion. It doesn't work great, but sometimes you gotta do it.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

New Chronic on the Block

Chronic Candy doesn't quite fall into the Site We've Been Digging category, but we did want to bring it to your attention. The site sells hemp-related products including but not limited to candy, cologne and, of course, lip balm. Their most popular product appears to be the Chronic Candy lollipop (at least that's what I surmised from the scantily clad girls and bud-flashing homeboy types on the annoyingly flash-heavy homepage).

The company has two seemingly contradictory tag lines for their maryjane candies: "Relax, it's just candy" and "It's not just a candy, it's a lifestyle". Okay, which is it? They do state explicitly (in tiny, greyed-out print) that their product is "100% legal and does not contain THC or Marijuana. Some of our products do contain hemp essential oil, and therefore have the flavor and taste of some hemp related products that you may or may not be familiar with."

Oh, awesome! Finally, something with just the TASTE of pot. That's the best part!*

As this article discusses, the makers have been under fire from various lawmakers for potentially luring kids to drugs. This is something that, of course, Chronic Candy denies. Since when has colorful packaging and fun flavor appealed to kids?

*Chaptastic does not condon non-prescription drug use. So, you know, get a prescription.

Guest Post! C.O. Bigelow: Cinnamint Mentha Lip Shine

Today's GP is Anne, who write, "Ever since I fell in love with red hots as a child, I've had an affinity for all things cinnamon. Cinnamon on my latte. Cinnamon in my oatmeal. Cinnamon chewing gum. Cinnamon in my hot chocolate. You can imagine my delight when I discovered the Cinnamint Mentha Lip Shine. My roommate introduced me to the mecca that is the Bigelow Chemists' Lip Care line. Their gently tinted, glossy peppermint lip balms have been refreshing my breath and moisturizing my lips for months, but it's the Cinnamint tube that I always go back to."

More, Anne, more!

Price: $7.50 from Bath and Body Works stores or the Bigelow Chemists website. I got my tube on sale at B&BW during the post-holiday frenzy.

Appearance: Simple pink tube with a black twist off cap. Classic old-world, apothecary-style typeface. The angled tip slides nicely and the amount of product dispensed is easy to control. Minimal goop accumulation under the cap.

Glide: If you get enough product it slides on smoothly. Sometimes it takes a pass or two. High-shine glossy appearance without being too sticky.

Flavor/Smell: Sweet cinnamon goodness with minty refreshment. The real cinnamon and peppermint oils add a pleasant kick in the flavor department. Application becomes a reviving, invigorating experience and a good substitute for that afternoon piece of gum.

Lasting Power: Given how often I'm tempted to practically lick the product off, it's hard to estimate duration. I'd give the gloss an hour or two assuming you can control your cravings.

Product Plusses: Cinnamon Oil .1%, Peppermint Oil .6%. 100% natural flavoring and not tested on animals.

4 out of 5 tubes.

Monday, March 19, 2007

ChapNews Vol. 11: Budget Cuts

Colorado brings us some shocking news. Apparently the Finance Board at University of Colorado at Boulder (confusingly called CU) voted to cut the budget of the Wardenburg Student Health Center in what CU's Campus Press called "most controversial budget hearings in recent history". Okay, why is this ChapNews? Wait for it. reveals:

The council had proposed cutting $146,000 from Wardenburg's community health programs, noting the program spends $5,550 a year for lip balm in “consent kits” and another $2,000 annually for lip balm in “safer spring break” kits.

“I think the mission, the purpose, stays totally intact if a student doesn't have lip balm,” said Sen. Ben Thacker.

Sen. Veronica Lingo said such expenses aren't frivolous - they're marketing. Wardenburg staff and volunteers asked UCSU not to micromanage them.

“It's very easy as an individual to say ‘I don't value this; I don't value this,'” said Co-Chair of Wardenburg Student Health Board Matt Leroue. “I think you need to look at the program as a whole.”

But some in UCSU voiced reluctance at how effectively the money is being spent. They dubbed Wardenburg's budget “the chapstick amendment.”

Not cool. CU students, I suggest you start hoarding those free condoms while you still can.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Plain Old Vitamin E Stick

Sometimes you want efficiency. Or if you're like me, it's all efficiency all the time. The Plain Old Vitamin E Stick, which is made by many different companies, is efficiency tubed. It's got what you want - moisture, and it's form can be used to apply anywhere - lips, face, bellybutton - wherever.

I'll be reviewing Perfectly Pure's Vitamin E Stick (not pictured), which is comparable to any other Vitamin E stick I've used.

Price: $1.49. Holla.

Appearance: The moisturizer/balm is in the tube exactly how most lipsticks are, you spin the bottom and it pops up. The balm itself looks pretty much like a glue stick.

Glide: Absolute perfection. Smooth and thick. Thick enough to feel adequately coated, but not too thick that you need to wipe half of it off.

Flavor/ Smell: This is the best part, there is no smell. Well, no artificial smell. It does smell like something, but it doesn't remind me of Kool-Aid or Blow Pops or cough syrup. I guess I'd say it smells like vitamin e and the oils that keeps it solid.

Lasting Power: For-ev-er.

Product Plusses: Nothing. Plain Old Vitamin E Stick offers nothing more than plain old vitamin e.

Holy crap, I'm giving this one a 4.90 out of 5. My only complaints are the old lady style package of the Perfectly Pure with it's shiny gold lettering.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Site We've Been Digging: Mojo

We got an email a while ago from a reader who wanted a little advice on what to do to keep her lip balms in line- rather, how to prevent the inevitable nastiness that occurs when caps mysteriously pop off in your bag or pocket and you end up with a nice layer of balm in the last place you need it. At the time I had a rather lame answer (which I can't even recall), but I recently came across a kick ass solution.

A company called Mojo Cosmetics, which bills itself as "the baddest cosmetics company west of the pecos" (is there competition for "baddest" cosmetics company, by the way?) has a line of crazy-sexy-cool high-tech lip products called TITAN. Apparently they had the same problem as our reader did, and they decided to create a "heat-tempered aerospace grade alloy, YAG laser-etched, 4 axis cnc machined, hand-polished, refillable, crush and heat resistant case". The result, as you can see, is a lip balm/lipstick holder that could not only protect your lip balm but also probably help ricochet any bullets that stray your way.

Speaking of bullets, mojo provides you with refillable "bullets" of premium quality, botanical lip balm and lipstick that you load into the TITAN (weapons assembly classes may be required), and the whole kit'n'caboodle can be added to your keychain thanks to the stainless steel o-ring at the top.

Having never tried the product personally, I can only touch the screen longingly and imagine that it's the lip balm James Bond would use (after making sweet, British love to me). But here's what's grandiloquent Adam Greenfield had to say:

The Titan is, quite simply, the most ludicrously over-engineered personal beauty product I've ever seen or heard tell of - and I mean that as the highest praise. It's a discreet, pocket-sized cylinder, with a thoroughly appropriate warmth and heft in the hand, that shelters at its core a refillable munition of super-premium lip balm. I can't speak for the lipstick, but without question, Mojo ships the best lip balm I've ever tried. The botanically-formulated, all-natural balm offers persistent moisturization without being gloppy, and finishes with a subtle eucalyptusy/pepperminty tingle. I'm hooked. My lips have never been happier.

The downside is you can't just pop in your favorite tube, although I'm sure you DIYers will find a way. Oh, and the price tag of $40ish, but we all know that style demands sacrifice.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Guest Post! Alba Botanica: Coconut Cream

Hey, homeys. As much as I'm dying to leave LL Cool J front and center, we must move on.

Today's guest poster is Lindsey, from New York. She writes, "I'm a makeup artist & aspiring writer, as well as an advocate for animal rights. I've been a lip balm addict since I was old enough to steal the tubes of Chapstick out of my grandmother's purse. She always had every flavor, and I was fascinated. Growing up I was a big Lip Smackers whore. I think I must have had every flavor. Now I'm a big fan of Softlips & My Lip Stuff. But I just discovered a new favorite, so I want to spread the word!"

And now a review of a tube by Alba (makers of Unpetroleum and TerraTints). Aprez vous, Lindsey.

Price: $3.49 at Whole Foods, healthfood stores & various online retailers.

Appearance: Colorful green and yellow twist-up tube. These balms have a Hawaiian theme, which the packaging reflects.

Glide: Perfect. Very creamy. Not too waxy or too oily, just nice.

Flavor/Smell: Coconut Cream. It definitely smells how you'd expect. Light, not fake or cloying. It doesn't have that weird plasticy aftertaste like some other balms. It also comes in "Pineapple Quench" & "Passion Fruit Nectar".

Lasting Power: It seems to last forever! I can even put it on before bed and my lips are still moist in the morning. It sinks in very well without "evaporating".

Product Plusses: Completely natural. And not phoney "natural", but actually filled with good-for-you ingredients with no filler. Alba is one of the best little niche brands on the market. Everything they make is pretty amazing.

5 out of 5 tubes, because I'd be hard-pressed to find a better lip balm all-around. I'll keep buying this for as long as Alba keeps making it, it's definitely "holy grail" material.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

ChapNews Vol. 10: Lips Love Cool James?

First I'll give you a second to stop hyperventilating over the picture to the left...okay, you good?

Big news, people. So the word on the street is that LL Cool J, the rapper/actor/workout maniac/lady-killer/Kangol hat lover/perpetual head tilter, is in talks with Chapstick® to become the company's new spokesperson.

How perfect is that?! Teen Hollywood (which I read every day, let me tell you) says that even though the Chapstick® big wigs generally market to women, they believe LL Cool J will help them appeal to dudes.

Brand Week, an industry trade magazine, writes, "It's an obvious fit. LL has been licking his lips for 20 years. They'll get to speak to people who normally would not pick up Chapstick."

Uhh...what was that? Sorry, I was staring at the picture again. It IS an obvious fit. Although I must say, whenever I watched LL lick those sexxxy lips of his, I really wasn't thinking about lip balm, and I doubt I'll start. Still, this is like icing on the cake for anyone who already enjoys Chapstick® .

Tuesday, March 06, 2007


In December Chaptastic reviewed Ganache for Lips: Chocolate Raspberry. Turns out some of the sticks released were "defective". The Central Valley Business Times of California reports:

The texture of the defective lip balms is described as “grainy” or “crystalline.” The problem resulted from a shipment of beeswax that had been processed by the supplier at excessively high temperatures, the company says.

Wow, lip balm drama! We're kind of excited. Anyone sending there stick in for an exchange?