Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Case for All-Natural

We've had a few conversations on Chaptastic about the merits of organic/all-natural vs. petrolatum lip balms. Some people claim that petrolatum (derived from the fuel petroleum; terms used interchangeably) doesn't really work as a moisturizer and that it causes irritation. Others swear by it, praising petrolatum as a great skin protectant and insisting that it's innocuous. Chaptastic has reviewed both kinds of balms, usually expressing a preference all-natural.

Personally, I'm on the fence. I use a dab of Vaseline at night but tend to prefer all-natural lip balms, which may seem contradictory. But I find that most lip balms that use petrolatum as a base ingredient tend to contain multitudes of other unpronounceable and scary-looking ingredients, whereas Vaseline has pretty much just the one scary ingredient.

Today I read the most compelling argument for keep all-natural. It's common sense: "Whatever you use, you will ingest small amounts of the product". So maybe ingesting petroleum and a variety of synthetic ingredients, however little at a time, is not the best decision. In fact, I wonder how much we swallow a year! Anyone want to bust out the math and appalling analogy (ex, a person eats enough lip balm in one year to grease all the axles in the Indy 500)? Or maybe it doesn't make a difference in the long run, considering all the other crap we put into our bodies.

What do you think?

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Honeybee Gardens: Strawberry Champagne

The motto of Honeybee Gardens is "We make products you can feel good about using". The company is, to put it mildly, quite adorable. It's president, Melissa Hertzler, writes a cute blog on the site and the company prides itself in making cruelty-free, all-natural cosmetics- everything from shampoo to nail polish.

I bought a tube the last time I was in Whole Foods, but you can also find them in other natural foods stores and of course online.

Price: $2.99 online. Sample pack of 4 available for $9.99.

Appearance: Standard sized, simple yet fun colors.

Glide: Easy like Sunday morning.

Flavor/Smell: The Strawberry Champagne is incredibly similar to Chapstick®'s strawberry tube, which I used to love. The smell, the taste...although Honeybee's is clear-colored unlike the alarming and artificial red of Chapstick®'s. Honeybee's is also a gentler version, much less aggressive on the strawberry flavor and sweetness. Can't say I know where the champagne comes in, though.

Other flavors are Tropical, Vanilla Pie and Orange Mimosa (perfect for brunch).

Lasting Power: Pretty darn good. At least a couple of hours indoors. Softens lips instantly.

Product Pluses/Minuses: I know I said it's like Chapstick's strawberry, but check out the ingredient comparison:

Chapstick Strawberry: [Active ingredients:] Padimate O, White Petrolatum (44%) (Skin Protectant) [Inactive Ingredients:] Arachadyl Propionate, Camphor, Cetyl Alcohol, D&C Red 6 Barium Lake, Fragrance, Isopropyl Lanolate, Isopropyl Myristate, Lanolin, Lemon Oil, Light Mineral Oil, Maltol, Methylparaben, Octyldodecanol, Phenyl Methicone, Propylparaben, Saccharin, Waxes

Honeybee Gardens Strawberry Champagne: Beeswax, coconut oil, jojoba, sweet almond oil, vitamin e, flavor

Which would you rather "ingest in small quantities throughout the day"?

Verdict: 4 out of 5 tubes. Solid performer.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

ChapNews Volume 14: Jesus Trouble

Remember how we wrote about novelty company BlueQ and its "Lookin' Good for Jesus" line of products? Well it turns out that some Roman Catholics in Singapore weren't too happy about the blaspheme-tastic products (yes, that's the pope on their website) and made a ruckus about it. Such a ruckus that BBC news, which only reports on the things that matter, picked up on it:

Catholics complained the cosmetics' marketing was disrespectful, full of sexual innuendo and trivialised Christianity.

About 15% of Singapore's 4.4 million population is Christian.

The products included a "Virtuous vanilla" lip balm and a "Get Tight with Christ" hand and body cream, featuring a picture of Christ flanked by two adoring women.

"Why would anyone use religious figures to promote vanity products? It's very disrespectful and distasteful," the Straits Times newspaper quoted accountant Grace Ong, 24, as saying.

How do we know those two adoring women aren't Mary Magdeleine and Jesus's mom? I guess the point is that we shouldn't put Jesus on any products that aren't actually of heavenly quality. Let's keep Jesus where he belongs: in the ceramics business.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Lip Balm Source: ETSY

If you're anything like me then the thrill of the convenience store lip balm aisle has long faded- been there, done that. Seems like the only "new" balms to pop up in stores are the same old sticks that have been re-branded. How is the Finding Nemo lip balm any different from Disney Princesses one? I don't really want to pay ten bucks to find out.

So where do you go to find new lip balms (aside from on Chaptastic)? An excellent, nay, sensational source of new and quirky lip balms is Etsy, the DIY afficionado's dream online marketplace. Etsy is like the Wikipedia of handmade goods. You start looking for a crocheted tea cozy and the next thing you know you're shopping for origami earrings (check out the Shop By Color feature!). There are dozens and dozens of talented, inventive and vegan-friendly lip balm makers out there, just itching for you to stumble upon their Lime Sugar or Apricot Plum or Lusty Lip Lush or even Pink Lemonade balms. If you find something amazing, let us know!

Monday, February 04, 2008

Guest Post! Bonne Bell Lipsmackers Vanilla

I can't believe no one has called us out for not yet reviewing Bonne Bell lip balms. I mean, they're quite possibly the most nostalgic products I've ever come across. I see one and suddenly I'm in 5th grade again playing with my Skip-It in acid wash stirrup jeans. Maybe Bonne Bell is infused with so many memories it makes it hard for one to look at the balm objectively. I think our guest poster Cathy may be faced with this bias, but we'll let it play:

Bonne Bell LipSmackers in Vanilla is my all-time favorite lip gloss. I have used Lipsmackers since first grade when they used to make the ginormous tube that came with a cord that you could hang around your neck (Ed. note: OMG, yes!). I was into the strawberry flavor back then.

Price: I found it online for $1.60 on Drugstore.com, but I usually buy it in person at Bartell's or Walgreen's.

Appearance: Cute and fun, but may be too elementary school-looking for certain occasions, although that's never stopped me.

Glide: Slick but not slimy, it slides on without any waxy residue.

Flavor/Smell: Smells like vanilla, but not in a cloying way and fades after you first put it on, so you don't smell like you used vanilla extract as perfume. Has a faintly sweet taste when you first apply.

Lasting Power:
Lasts for a couple hours, but I am a chronic re-applier, so I re-apply even when my lips are not super dry.

Product Pluses: This is my go-to lip gloss. It's moisturizing, gives a bit of shine and smells nice to boot. Plus, it's cheap enough to put a tube in every purse, on your desk and in your night stand drawer and still have money left over for a fancy pants lipstick from Sephora (my addiction doesn't stop at gloss - it goes straight on to the stick, as well). Not to mention that you can feel great using it because Bonne Bell does not test on animals.

Rating: I give this stick 5 out of 5 tubes.

Ed.: You heard the lady. As for the "Isn't this lip gloss?" question...meh, it's close enough.

Friday, February 01, 2008

DIY: Lip Balm Cozy

Aside from watching the Superbowl ads and picking out your Super Tuesday voting outfit, there's nothing exciting to do this weekend. So why not try this Lip Balm Cozy project from sewer extraordinaire Just Tutes. Check out her excellent taste in lip balm- do I spy Labello?

Like any cozy (check out the TV cozy she made), it's entirely too much effort to make but cute as all get out. It hangs on your keychain so you won't lose track of the slippery things. If you have a creative DIY lip balm-related project, send us a photo. In fact, we're about to announce our big 2008 contest, so maybe you should hold back your creative juices until we do.

If you're too lazy to sew, check out Roxypop Designs for the most adorable crochet lip balm holders ever.