Guest Swatcher: Lip Balm

You guys have met my friend Nicole once already; she was the gorgeous model demonstrating Bobbi Brown’s new Bikini Pink Rich Lip Color. Nicole has fantastic taste in skincare and makeup, a skeptical-and-scientific approach to product claims, and she’s willing to test drive anything in the name of makeup and truth. She and I recently discovered we also share a lip balm addiction (and we bonded over VMV Hypoallergenics’ Armada Lip Balm). Since she’s tried almost everything out there, I asked her if she would be willing to share her top three:

I started my love affair with lip balm in grade school. Mom was a lip-balm-aholic and apparently it runs in the family (I should have known from her chapped lip issues that mine were sure to follow). Long story short, I can’t resist a lip balm. I have also been working in prestige cosmetics for more than seventeen years, so I’ve test driven the cutting-edge, the classics… just about everything to hit the shelves.

I’d love to tell you about every single balm I’ve ever loved; unfortunately, many of them have come and gone (much to my dismay). Luckily, my “old faithful” will probably never be discontinued: Chapstick. I know all of us greener citizens want the most natural ingredients — beeswax, aloe, cocoa butter, etc. But I must proclaim: nothing does it better than good ol’ petrolatum, and Chapstick is the unrivaled best buy for your dollar (literally: a tube is about a dollar). I especially love cherry flavor (as have many boyfriends past), and it has been celebrated in too many indie songs to count. Other companies might try to sway you with shea butter as an alternative, but in my experience, if it contains petrolatum, it’s sure to work and work hard for your tired, chapped lips!

VMV Hypoallergenics Armada Lip Balm SPF 60+Since I am so in love with petrolatum as a main ingredient in lip balms, I have to mention my most luxurious new find, VMV Hypoallergenics’ Armada Moisturising Protective Lip Balm 60+ ($25). The texture is amazing, like honey and nectar (for thickness and comfort, not for stickiness) mixed into an insulating spread that heals as well as protects. And you gotta love the SPF 60! Wow! This one happens to be my new obsession. I also love that the packaging says “for men or women.” Armada lip balm is fragrance-free, packaged in a squeeze tube with a slant-tipped applicator. VMV Hypoallergenics is sold online, in their NYC boutique, and in Dillards in Texas.

Dr.Hauschka, Lip Care StickIf you cannot, however, bring yourself to use a petrolatum-based product, I do have an answer. Dr.Hauschka has an amazingly nourishing and healing lip balm (in stick or pot form, $13.95 and $16.95, respectively). With my mania for lip balms, it’s difficult for me to commit to one long enough to finish a tube… not a problem for Dr.Hauschka’s. It contains no petrolatum; the ingredients include shea butter, jojoba, and beeswax, as well as extract of carrot and anthyllis to soften and nurture (click here for a full list of ingredients). Hauschka asserts that their balm is non-habit-forming, and heals damage over time. Sounds like the ticket to me, and I have experienced the results myself.

I just wanted to add a few words to Nicole’s review. I am also a Chapstick-a-holic (the blue “moisturizing” tube is my favorite). And I can’t deny that $25 is expensive for a lip balm, but I find that VMV’s Armada balm has the same delicious “heavy jelly” feeling of Chantecaille’s Lip Chics. (Plus VMV products are rigorously allergen-tested, for people who have issues with sunscreen… or lip balms.) I haven’t yet tried the Dr.Hauschka, but based on Nicole’s recommendation, it’s next on my list.

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6 Responses to “Guest Swatcher: Lip Balm”

  • Just thought it was worth a mention since the Dr.Hauschka balm is marketing itself as “non-habit forming”. All balms are non-habit forming, at least physiologically (some people can get hooked on just about anything mentally!)

    The myth about balms being addictive is likely due to many balms including irritants like menthol, camphor and peppermint oil. These ingredients impair skin’s ability to heal- so the user is likely to keep using them, not realizing it’s the balm itself that’s making lips flaky & dry.

    Switching to a balm that’s better formulated will not only help cure the chapped skin, but should result in the user having to use less over time, not more :)

  • KarlaSugar says:

    Excellent point!

  • Sarah says:

    Thank you for this post! I also am a lip balm addict…or connoiseur…or voyeur…something like that. Just the mention of the phrase gets my attention like some kind of Pavlonian response!

    Anyway, I must press you on the question of the “unscented”-ness of both of these products. I’ve frequently found so-called unscented lip products with SPF to have a kind of “sunscreeny” taste, for lack of a more articulate description. Are you SURE these are unscented? If so, I may try them both!

    Thanks again!!!

  • Stella says:

    Thanks for the post! I’ve been in search of a good lip balm for ages. The best one I’ve tried so far is Chanel Hydramax + Active nutrition lip care but so far I couldn’t bring myself to spend $45 on the little pot. Any alternative? I really love the waxy, yet moisturizing feeling of this particular balm, and it makes all my Chanel lipsticks glides smoother, too.

  • Marie says:

    My favorite lipbalm, that I use as a night treatment, is Nuxe’s Rêve de miel lipbalm. It’s in a pot, so it’s not very practical (that’s why I use it as a night treatment), but they recently came up with a stick version.

  • Raines says:

    Must try this Armada one. Also love chapstick. Easy and on the go. Haven’t seen a blue tube, but Cherry is my choice. My absolute favourite is Laura Mercier Lip Silk, however. The only one that keeps my lips smooth, flake free and moisturised, even in cold winter.

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