Friday, February 27, 2009

Chopsaver: The Balm for Musicians

Chopsaver is the only lip balm I've ever seen that's created for a demographic as specific as musicians. Usually lip balms are for "people who get chapped lips", but not Chopsaver! I mean, musicians actually have to use their lips to perform their jobs. Imagine if you had to type with your mouth all day. I can imagine that would cause a bit more wear and tear than you're used to. I can think of another group of professionals who also use their mouths for money, but come on- this is a family blog!

Chopsaver was created by Dan Gosling, a professional trumpet player who grew tired of "the chapping, swelling and soreness that can strike your lips when you play a wind instrument". Check out the site- you can read all about how he developed it and read tons of testimonials from a lot of prominent musicians, including a didjeridoo player!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Crazy Rumors: A La Mode

If you've been reading Chaptastic for a while, you know by now that we kind of have a little crush on a Brooklyn lip balm company called Crazy Rumors (shhh...don't tell them!). It was love at first glide in 2006 when we first tried their Perk and Brew balms, which include delightful flavors such Irish Cream, Orange Bergamot and Ginger Peach. Could it get any better?

Yes, it turns out. Crazy Rumors has spent the time since our last review tirelessly developing fun new balms such as those in their Gumball and Candy Cane lines. But the pièce de résistance of their efforts is undoubtedly the ice cream parlor-inspired A La Mode line.

Price: $4.00 each on their site and elsewhere online, including Amazon (check out the coupon in the right sidebar!).

Appearance: Standard .15 oz. clear tube, labels as adorable as the Perk and Brew ones. Retro styling with a pop of bright color- fun and sophisticated.

Glide: Still one of the best glides I've ever come across. Always smooth and creamy, even in cold weather. It's like a little spa visit for your lips.

Flavor/Smell: What impresses me most about Crazy Rumors is that they don't just pick the obvious flavors like chocolate or strawberry. The varieties in A La Mode include Mint Chocolate, Almond Fudge, Raspberry Sherbet, Orange Creamsicle, Banana Split and my favorite, Pistachio. I found the Banana Split to be a little too fruity and lingering (and I love bananas), but others, like the Almond Fudge and Pistachio, were subtle and entrancing and as dead-on as the real thing. I'm not going to lie- sometimes I pull them out just to sniff them. They all have a touch of the naturally sweet herb Stevia so they're just barely sweet, which is perfect because otherwise I'd have eaten them all already.

Lasting Power: A wonderful 2+ hours. Every time I put some on I go hours without having to reapply without even noticing. Works wonders overnight, too- softens and helps exfoliate lips after a long day in the winter wind. I find myself wishing they weren't so effective so I could use them more often!

Product Pluses: 100% natural vegan-friendly ingredients (shea butter, soy wax, avocado, grape seed, olive and jojoba oils, Vitamin E, just to name a few), cruelty-free, freakin' cute.

5 out of 5 tubes.

Am I biased? Maybe. I'm not as floored by the A La Mode as I was by their Brew balms, but these still perform far and above other "good" balms we've reviewed. Crazy Rumors is seriously first on my Top Ten Desert Island Lip Balms. Oh, wait- if I were on an island it would be sunny so I should choose a balm with SPF for the top of the list. So second, and only for pragmatic reasons.

By the way, there is a good chance we'll get to go on a behind-the-scenes tour of Crazy Rumors sometime soon!

Guest Post! Avalon Organics Soothing Lip Balm

We have a slew of guest posts on backlog (apologies to those of you who've been waiting forever for us to get our act together- Ed.), so expect a lot of them in the next few weeks. Today we're putting up a second guest post from Becky, who you may remember from such guest posts as Einstein Lip Theory Hydrating Cream. She was not impressed at the time. What will she have to say about Avalon Organics? Put it on the line, Becky!

"Being 16 years old, I have nothing better to spend my money on than a tube of sweet balm every time I visit the drug store. And although I had seven tubes of the stuff on their way from Ebay (yeah, my addiction knows no limit), once I saw this beauty I knew it had to be mine."

Price: I live in Canada, and it was $3.99 ($2.86-$4.95 online- Ed.). But this is a GINORMOUS tube (.25 oz or 7 grams), so you're getting a lot.

Appearance: Really eye-catching, which is what attracted me to it. I guess the only downside is that it's so big and doesn't fit in tight jeans pockets so well.

Glide: Absolutely heavenly. Not greasy, and very fragrant the minute you pop the lid.

Flavor/Smell: It doesn't taste like anything, but it smells like oranges (there's lots of Vitamin C in this one). Mmmmm.

Lasting Power: A while. I haven't yet let it dry out completely on my lips, since I'm always pulling out a tube and smearing it on as reflexively as I blink. Hah.

Product Pluses: Big=long-lasting. Pretty. Colorless on lips. Uncommon, which is always trendy. And the label says it has 'antioxidant protection', so that's gotta be good, whatever that means. AND the rotating part (the part that raises the actual balm) is at the top instead of the bottom. Neat-o.

4.5 out of 5 tubes, because my mom always says nothing is perfect.

PSA: Sweet Action Ice Cream Opens March 6!

You all know and love Sam, my partner in crime here at Chaptastic. She likes camping and isn't a big fan of mint in her lip balms. What you may not know is that she moved out to Denver, Colorado a while ago and she and her man Chia (who we once convinced to do a guest post) built an ice cream store!

Seriously- an ice cream store. How great is that? It's called Sweet Action Ice Cream and it's set to open on March 6, 2009 at 4:00pm at 56 Broadway in Denver.

So if you live in the Denver area or in any state that touches Colorado, you had better go and tell me just how delicious their handmade ice cream is.

Stay tuned today for more ice cream news- Crazy Rumors has a new line out!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

All Your Balm Are Belong To Us (Contest!)

If you read Chaptastic then you've got to have more than one lip balm hanging around the house. More like four or five, right? Or maybe ten? Some of you, I'm sure, are crazy lip balm hoarders who clutch your balms and cower in damp corners in the dark and whisper, "Preeeecious...".

Well, get out of the dark because we want to see your collection! In fact, we're offering a super-awesome gift pack to the top three people who send in the most creative photo of their impressive collection. I emphasize creative because it's easy to dump them all in a pile and snap a picture, and I know a lot of you are much craftier than that. The winners will get a killer lip balm sampler (as if you need any more), hand-made cozies, and a gift certificate to whatever company ponies up first.

Send your entry to chaptastic[at] by tax day- April 15, 2009. Good luck!

(Photo via Flickr, by safecage)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Biggs & Featherbell: Soul Kiss & Eskimo Kiss

Is Biggs & Featherbelle not simply adorable? I'll give you a second to check out the website...

Am I right? B&F was started by two artsy sisters (neither named Biggs or Featherbelle) and has garnered a lot of press- Lucky magazine and Daily Candy, just to name a couple. Their products, which include soaps, body butter bars, and scrubs addition to two kinds of lip balm, are cruelty-free, vegetarian or vegan, and made from gentle, natural ingredients. You can find the balms online, at Whole Foods, and in many health food stores.

Price: $3.49 online.

Appearance: It's hard to see the balms in the photo above, but if you check out the site you'll get a better view. The tubes are standard size with black caps and the labels are brown, red and pink with cute font.

Glide: I had a hard time with them at first. It took more than a few uses to soften them up and get them to glide instead of rub. My Eskimo Kiss glides better than my Soul Kiss (why does that sound like a line from a bad R&B song?). At room temperature or warmer it takes a few swipes to get a thin yet functional layer. Neither is useful in cold weather unless you keep them right up on you in your pants pocket.

Flavor/Smell: Eskimo Kiss ("Minty Moisture") is quite minty whereas Soul Kiss ("Mega Moisture") has more of a tangy herbal scent close to the smell of tea tree oil. Neither is sweet, both are nice.

Lasting Power: A couple of hours, at least. I think these are definitely a spring/summer kind of balm because of their lightness. That said, they do soothe and soften lips wonderfully once you break in the glide.

Product Pluses: Few ingredients, and gentle ones at that. These might be ideal balms for those of you with very sensitive lips.

4.0 out of 5 tubes. Solid effort from Biggs & Featherbelle. Certainly makes me want to try all of their other products. I mean, come on- Heidi Klum uses their belly balm! Lip Balm Giveaway

One of our past guest posters, Chrissey, alerted us to a site called According to the site, it's the "best geek dating site on the web", which I think is a euphemism for "best cyber site on the web". I could be wrong (do people still use the term "cyber"? Sounds so 1996). The site seems to be sincere about helping geeks find their soulmates and IM each other and rate each others' profiles in terms of hotness and junk.

Anyway, my point is, and this is in no way an endorsement, if you sign up with the site they'll send you a free lip gloss for registering. Do with that what you will.