Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Site We've Been Digging: Bag Lunch

This is old news, but Bag Lunch makes some of the most fun lip balms out there. You can choose from an endless variety of tasty balms from the diner-esque menu, everything from Pancakes and Syrup to Tropical Mai Tai. You can also buy sets of "Breakfast" and "School Lunch" balms for a mix of familiar flavors. They also have a customize feature for your next wedding or birthday party. Check out the site and indulge.

Monday, April 28, 2008

N'Sync Lip Balm- Admit It, You Had It

I didn't, but if I'd known about it I probably would have bought a set with all my minimum wage money. Come on, eBay- why don't you have them?!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Guest Post! Natural Ice Sport

Here's a long-delayed guest post (there are lots of those coming up in the next few weeks) from one of our repeat guest posters, Rayfreester. You may remember her from such posts as Chapstick® All Natural. Here's her take on another chain store find.

So here's another one from me. This is a review for Natural Ice Sport. It's made by Mentholatum, which also makes Soft-Lips. Coincidentally, Mentholatum was bought out by Rohto, which makes the balm in those Japanese commercials you guys post. It was in a spiffy Walgreens display, and I picked it because I recognized most of the ingredients but mostly because I really liked the label color scheme. This was pretty much a random pick, I guess. In hindsight, it probably wasn't the most fitting choice for me: it has SPF 30 and not only do I not participate in any outdoor sports, but I live in the Pacific Northwest, which is famous for rain.

Price: $1.99, normal for most lip balms.

Appearance: Really spiffy, I bought this one merely on looks. It has a pleasant contrast of dark-blue purple and light yellow orange with some white, there's even a sort of sunburst on it, no nonsense font with outlining it sort of feels like an athletic shoe or a computer wallpaper. It's pleasant, striking and unisex.

Glide: Fabulous, smooth, easy, but with plenty of control. It doesn't really coat, but leaves a light layer of non-greasy moisture. Nice.

Flavor/Smell: Although no flavor is stated on the package, it has some light orange juice scent to it. It also has some menthol that gives it a mint-ish smell and a tingle. No real taste to it but it smells like a mentholated cough drop in a citrus flavor in a non-offensive and good way. Also you can't taste the sunscreen, which is always good.

Lasting Power: 5 to 15 minutes, tops. GRRRR, my spiffy stick with fabulous glide and a nice, non-offensive scent has next to no lasting power! The last ingredient on the list is petrolatum, so there's no wax to stop it from absorbing right in. However, my lips do feel moisturized afterwards.

Product Pluses: SPF 30, aloe, vitamins D/A/E, and .01 more of an ounce than your average stick.

It's a good price, easy enough to find if you live in the States, has a nice scent a a bit of a tingle. The flavor and package are unisex and spiffy. The only thing about this balm that I don't like is the short lasting power and the fact that it has petroleum products in it. I'll give it 4 out of 5 tubes.

Have you tried Natural Ice Sport? Do you agree or disagree with our guest poster?

Fred Flare's Next Big Thing - Deadline May 2!

Chaptastic hearts Fred Flare, so once again we're encouraging all you crafty types to put your skillz to use and enter their "Next Big Thing" contest. One of our first reviews was for Heather Joy's lip balms, which we loved, and don't you know it she won the NBT 2006 contest. Coincidence or Chaptastic bump? Check out their FAQ for all the information. Get on it, get famous, and let us take the credit. Deadline is next week!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

ChapNews Volume 14: Lip Balm Lab

A few weeks ago the New York Times had a cute article about junior high girls taking a weekend seminar called Cosmetic Chemistry at Boston's Museum of Science. I would have loved this at that age.

Dr. Huang, whose mother used to work as a chemist who formulated shampoos, designed the course last year with fifth to seventh graders in mind. She wanted to pique young women’s interest in science by teaching them a bit of chemistry about everyday consumer items, she said.

To stoke the students’ curiosity for cosmetic ingredients, Dr. Huang simply invoked the gross-out factor.

“Cochineal beetles, if you squish them, give you a beautiful carmine red that is used in some lipsticks,” she said. “Why would you want to eat that, right? It’s gross.”

Not only do they get to learn about what's in the cosmetics, but they got to use the lab to make their own products.

Luci Proud, 12, of Braintree, Mass., decided to make vanilla lip gloss. Into her jar went a spoonful of coconut oil, a spoonful of petroleum jelly and a dollop of aloe vera. Ms. Proud, a seventh grader, said that she had decided to take the class because her mother had recently instituted an organic-only rule at home.

My favorite quote was from Ms. Cornelia Bendel, who after the seminar concluded,

“O.K., so there’s no pig fat in lipstick, but people are still spending hundreds of dollars on a tube of fatty goop,” she said. “You could just make that at home.”

Adorable! The Times also provided the lip balm recipe used in the lesson.

(Image via NYTimes)

Miss Oops Pucker Protector

Got a tip from a Chicago friend about Miss Oops, a company that makes "beauty-saving, problem-solving" products. Their line includes, among other wonders, a sponge that removes deodorant marks and other makeup messes, a "Popper Stopper" that prevents your belly button from showing through clothes, and JAKS, "the latest trend used to cover butt-crack and muffin tops". I guess chapped lips are pretty embarrassing, too, so thank Buddha there's the Miss Oops Pucker Protector. "It's a lip balm. It's a lip gloss. It's both!" Their line, not mine.

Now, I know. This is Chaptastic- we do lip balm, not lip gloss, but occasionally we do make an exception, and in this case I thought it a decent expenditure of my time to see if the Pucker Protector really does live up to its claim of being a balm, let alone a good balm.

Price: $14.00 plus S&H. Yowza.

Appearance: Makeup city, all the way down to the pink lip goop and the fuzzy applicator stick. This is not one for the sporty.

Glide: Good, I suppose. I'm more partial to markers over a paint and brush, but once you unscrew the cap and pull out the soft-tipped applicator wand the product goes on pretty easily, although I found I needed a few passes back and forth on the lip because the wand tip has much smaller surface area than your typical tube. Takes a few more seconds.

Smell/Flavor: Fairly generic but pleasant mint scent with sweet but not cloying mint flavor. That's something that surprised me, actually- a gloss that doesn't smell like berries or flowers.

Lasting Power: You know, it's actually pretty great. I put some on at the start of a night out and didn't have to put on lip balm all night. Sure, maybe the alcohol distracted me from my bodily needs (although it usually does quite the opposite), but this stuff actually hydrates! And its minty scent covered the tequila breath very well.

It's also shiny, shiny, shiny. And it stays shiny for quite a while, so the modest and work-appropriate among us should keep that in mind.

Product Pluses/Minuses: SPF 30. Can't stress how important SPF is, especially now that it's warming up out there. Has a bunch of unpronounceable ingredients, but so does that pop tart you're eating. Actually, it does contain salicylic acid, for those of you who have sensitive lips.

It's a gloss, yes, but it's a pretty darn good lip balm, too. So if you're looking for something to wear with that new Wet Seal sequined tube top and can't bring yourself to pull out the lipstick, this is a good alternative. Mine lives in my "going out" purse, desperately waiting for its once-every-three-months use.

4 out of 5 tubes.

Old Navy Green Apple Mint

I buy a lot of Old Navy. Some days I look down and 90% of my outfit is from that store, and on some days I have the thought "I'm wearing too much Old Navy to go into Old Navy." I've been amused by Old Navy's recent turn towards "serious" fashion and by their ever-expanding impulse item area near the register. No longer are the days of doggy chew toys (where is that mascot dog, anyway?). Now there are candles and fancy incense diffusers and journals and damask wrapping paper. It's all about class, people.

Among the new items is, of course, lip balm, which Gap (same store, more boring and expensive clothes) has been carrying for ages. A few weeks ago I picked up a particularly happy looking squeeze tube on an ON recon mission, despite my aversion to squeeze and goop. I was going to write a review on it until I found an awesome review that lip balm addict Njchicaa had written Viewpoints.com, and if it ain't broke then why fix it. You can read the whole review here. Here are some of the parts I particularly agree with:

Old Navy Green Apple Mint Flavored Lip Balm is a sheer and extremely high gloss product. The extra gloss just doesn't work for me as I'm a teacher. I can't go into work with a porn star mouth (Ed.- best description ever).

Aside from the shine issues, this lip balm dispenses easily from the squeeze-tube and smoothes across lips without effort. This balm creates a decent, satisfactory layer of [balm] on my mouth. Unfortunately it doesn't last on lips very long if you are speaking, eating, drinking, etc. This product disappears fairly quickly after application if you are doing anything more than sitting quietly at a desk.

Desk jockeys rejoice! I'd like to add that this smells and tastes exactly like green apple Jolly Ranchers, which I had a long and torrid affair with in junior high. The peppermint is sort of an after-thought, and brings up the rear after the sweet green apple flavor. They don't quite go together, but it's not a disaster. Sort of like most Old Navy products.

The rundown: $3.50 per, easy on the eyes, giant squeeze tube, lots of candy-ish and strange sweetness/flavor and scent, doesn't last very long. No SPF, lots of scary-sounding ingredients, really a gloss masquerading as a balm. Don't think this one's going into my bag, but it's fun to look at. 3 out of 5 tubes.

We're Back, Baby!

I swear this time.

That was a little too much Sapphyri, even for me.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Update: Sapphyri's Lip Chap

It's blowin' up, y'all. Check out her new video ad covering Lil' Mama's hit "Lip Gloss". I think I like her more and more.

New posts coming next week!