Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Sites We Dig: Labello Collectors

Sprechen Sie Deutsch? I sure hope so, because, started by Labello-afficionado Janina Hirdler, is entirely in German. But that shouldn't stop you from clicking around and finding every possible version of all the Labello, Nivea and Liposan brand balms that have ever been made.

People, this is impressive.

Guest Post! June Jacobs Lip Renewal

Today's poster is Ericka, whom we know nothing about, so we're just going to say that she's a very attractive, smart and succinct young woman with a bright future ahead of her. Let's hear it, Ericka!

Ever since I heard that most lip balms with petrolatum are made to get your lips hooked on balm, I’ve been purposely searching for balms without it. I came across June Jacobs Lip Renewal while on a spa vacation in Arizona.

[Note: This review refers to the product "June Jacobs Lip Renewal", NOT to "June Jacobs Lip Renewal with SPF 20", which DOES contain petrolatum but can be found for $12-20 -Ed.]

Price: $24 for ½ ounce.

Appearance: Capped toothpaste-style tube.

Glide: It’s not slick or sticky. You just notice a real softness and smoothness, which makes it good for guys who don’t want anything too girly or fruity.

Flavor/Smell: It’s pretty much colorless. I love the slightly citrus scent, and I felt like my lips were getting better, working better on their own.

Product Pluses: There are lots of natural ingredients like Shea Butter and others (I won’t get into it here ‘cause I know y’all will go online and search it out). The price is steep ($24), but I swear it lasted me a year!

Alas, my last tube has run out, and with the economy I’ll be slumming with cheap drugstore tubes for a while. I have definitely seen my lips do a backslide into petrolatum addiction. I give it 4 out of 5 tubes and might have given 5 if not for that price.

Updated: Oh Wow! For Lips

We just got an update from Oh Wow!, the exclamatory lip balm makers we wrote about a couple of years ago. They've got a new look and a new formula. They write,

We listened to your comments from a couple of years ago and here is what we have: special flavorings give the aroma of the flavor, not taste. No need for users to lick their lips, thus licking off the moisture. They receive the optimum benefits of our ingredients: only coca butter and vitamin E (a few flavors contain essential oils).

I must say, they are true to their word: the glide remains truly excellent, so much so that when I applied it I actually said, "!" I kid you not.

High marks for the Island Delight and Mint Chocolate varieties I tried. They have unobtrusive yet enjoyable scents and no discernible sweetness. I still can't believe that such a lovely balm has so few ingredients! This would be a solid solution for vegans and anyone with sensitive lips.

They're updating their website (about time!...stay away from the Comic Sans next time around), but you can still order from it. $4.95 a tube and various discount bulk rates. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

New Crazy Rumors! Fresh Squeezed

I will deflate all the suspense we try so hard to build up in most of our posts right now: Crazy Rumors can do no wrong. This is no news to those of you who've read our glowing reviews of this darling company in the past, but we were especially delighted by their bright, refreshing and summery new line called Fresh Squeezed. I mean, just look at them!

Price: $4 each, totally worth it.

Appearance: Utterly charming. One of the things I love about their aesthetic is the careful attention to detail. Each flavor has its own lovely color scheme and each line (Perk, Brew, A La Mode, Gumball, etc) has its own look, and yet the products as a whole have a very cohesive look. Despite the many varieties, it's hard to mistake one flavor for another. These look fun, appealing and citrus-y.

Glide: Classic Crazy Rumors: smooth, slightly creamy and almost sinful to apply.

Flavor/Smell: Spot on with the citrus fragrances and flavors, probably owing to the essential oils contained within. There's Orange Juice, Lemonade, Limeade and Pink Grapefruit Juice. I can't decide which one I like best, and I'm not a big fan of grapefruit in real life. What makes these balms amazing is the balance between the flavors and the subtle sweetness- neither cancels out the other, and together they are not overpowering. I've always appreciated that they use the natural sweetener Stevia, and sparingly, at that. After use, a gentle scent hangs in the air that always makes me wonder, "Who was just peeling an orange in here?"

Lasting Power: Superb. 2+ hours, quick to soften lips, perfect for overnight application. I consistently use these more frequently than other balms, stopping only when I realize I may soon run out.

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

In short, 5 out of 5 tubes, and another winning effort by Crazy Rumors. If I woke and learned that no other lip balms existed but these I would mourn momentarily but still be content.

So...This Exists

I didn't really want to link to this, but perhaps that would be a disservice to the small, slightly skeevy fraction of our readership. Apparently there's a need for a product line by International Body Labs called Boob Butter (sort of NSFW). They mostly make tattoo-related "butter" products, but they have a lip balm as well. Melon flavored, of course.

Looks legit enough with decent ingredients (there's a bit of over-emphasis on hemp as an ingredient). If only there weren't a douchey cartoon guy with a flavor saver and a girl with giant boobs on the tube. Or, you know, the word BOOB in giant letters. But I presume I'm not the target audience, so I'll let that one go.

Here & Gone- Almost

So we have some good news and some bad news for you all.

The good news is that we'll be posting for the next couple of weeks after a long hiatus! Hurrah!

The bad news is that this will be the last month of Chaptastic. Boo!

The decision came after we realized we've been doing a disservice to our eager and astute readers by basically never having time to post. Rather than keep you in suspense with our sporadic and annoying schedule, we've decided to give up the ghost and pass the lip balm baton to the other, admittedly more dedicated bloggers out there who've already jacked our content, our rating system, and our guest post idea.

We have adored writing and reviewing for you and we are left with so many fond memories, not to mention piles and piles of lip balm.

So stay tuned for a little bit until our big adieu.

Ask Chaptastic: Recycling Lip Balm Tubes

Dear Chaptastic,

Last year I recycled my chapstick tubes by sending them to the Eco Lips program. I couldn't find it on their page anymore. Do you guys have any idea if they still have that program available? I have many tubes to recycle!

Lose or Reuse

Good question, LOR. The Eco Lips recycle program does indeed seem to have disappeared. There's no explanation on their site, but Burt's Bees provides this entirely reasonable explanation for why they stopped their own recycling program:

The program was meant to promote recycling and Green living, but the lip balms we received in the mail were often over-packaged with bubble wrap and excessive taping. Instead of succeeding as a positive Earth-friendly effort, the program was creating un-recyclable trash. We regret that we have had to phase out this program, but hope that you will continue that recycling effort on your own.

The containers for most lip balms are made of #5 plastic, which is also used for things like yogurt, hummus, and medicine bottles. Unfortunately, #5 plastic is not often accepted as part of many municipal recycling programs.

However, Whole Foods, in cahoots with Organic Valley and Stonyfield Farm, has a Gimme 5 initiative that accepts #5 plastics in some stores. You should check to see if there's one in your area, since chances are you're throwing #5s in with the other plastics and it's getting fished out.

Another way to recycle your tubes is to repurpose them. My Lip Stuff creator Brea has these and other awesome ideas about how to reuse your tubes:

Salt & Pepper- Pour a little salt and pepper into clean empty tubes and toss in your bag for a little salt and pepper at work or whenever you are on the go eating.

Perfume refresher- Don't have a travel size perfume? Soak a cotton ball in your favorite perfume (or essential oil) and stuff inside an empty lip balm tube. When you need a refresher, just remove the cotton ball and swipe on! Also great for tossing in a drawer for freshness, or even coat pockets when they are stored for the summer.

How do you recycle your tubes?