Edit: This is the balm that saved my lips during a recent illness...my lips had become completely shriveled and flaky, and after 2 applications of Carmex, they were almost back to normal! Some pros: - The SPF is broad spectrum, which means it prevents sunburn PLUS skin cancer on the lips as well as premature aging of the lips (thinning, reduced elasticity, wrinkling, etc). Most lip products with SPF are not broad spectrum and only prevent sunburn. I want aging prevention in my daytime lip balm. - It makes my lips as soft as any of my overnight lip treatments (C.O. Bigelow, Blistex Restore, plain Vaseline) - but my lips don't dry out during the day anymore, even between applications! - The scent/flavor is better than regular Carmex, IMO, and is actually very juicy and tropical...yet somehow like medicinal cherry at the same time. I can still smell the regular Carmex through the pomegranate, but it's not bad. It's very summery smelling. - It lasts a LONG TIME on my lips - I've gotten 2-3 hours out of one application, despite eating and drinking. I sometimes get sick of it and have to wipe it off. - It looks better than other balms. It enhances the natural pink color of my lips, makes them look fuller, and has a subtle shine that makes them look very soft. Also - because it doesn't irritate my lips, like other products, my lips maintain more of a pink glow than an orange-red glow throughout the day. - The ingredients are higher quality than other lip balms, and many are natural (aloe, beeswax, etc). - It's cheap. I found mine for $1.59 plus sales tax. The cons: - The SPF is only 15, AND it tastes just as bad as higher SPF lip balms if it gets in your mouth (very unusual for only being SPF 15). I had to take away one lipstick just for the bitter sunscreen taste, because that should not happen until you get into SPF 30-45 territory. - It can be a bit sticky when it lasts a long time, but I think that's fairly normal for balms with a certain level of moisturization. My C.O. Bigelow balm with SPF 15 does the same thing. Overall - The SPF is too low for major sun exposure, but it seems fine for everyday use and going to the beach, where I can reapply it frequently. I may repurchase this balm in pomegranate (for back ups) as well as one of the other flavors for comparison (either vanilla or lime). I wish they still made the mint version!
Lips -Burt's Bees - Ultra Conditioning Lip Balm- with Kokum Butter
ChaCaCheeze 3/15/2013 2:59:00 AM
I decided to give Burt's Bees another try - hesitantly, of course - after watching someone I know apply this product diligently, with good results. I am normally skeptical of Burt's Bees lip balms, only because I find that beeswax-based balms don't work well for me. I was pleasantly surprised by this greasy, citronella-y version! This particular balm is much smoother and creamier in the tube than other BB balms, and it almost feels like it's melting on your lips. It gives my lips a nice shine, though it's not what I would call "glossy," and it actually seems to plump my lips a little. It almost looks like I'm wearing the perfect shade of lip gloss for my face. The balm does moisturize my lips, but it's no one-application miracle. However, there are some downsides: It feels runny on my lips and dries up fairly quickly. There are no added fragrances/flavors, but BB did little to disguise the naturally occurring scent/taste, which is kind of like a citronella mosquito-repelling candle. It feels weird if I rub my lips together and accidentally swallow the balm. And - sadly - it's just too soft and melty to keep in my pocket. Overall, I only took away one lipstick because I can live with the things I don't like about the product. For now, at least, the way it makes my lips look is a weightier consideration.
Okay, once again, I am going against the Burt's Bees grain. I actually really like this product, and it's shaping up to be one of my favorite overnight treatments (I have a makeup bag full of them). It just seems to work for me, which is a miracle because I pretty much have to sleep with my mouth open due to a dental treatment I use at night (hence, the big bag full of lip products). My lips are no longer coated in a layer of dry skin, and are starting to feel softer. However, I can see why so many people dislike it...the texture is kind of odd, like runny Vaseline, and the taste/smell is a bit like citronella. There are no "added" fragrances or flavors, but it seems that Burt's did little to camouflage the naturally occurring scent. Plus, if you don't layer it on super thick, it does dry up pretty quickly, especially if you're eating/drinking. The tube is way too big for the amount of product you get, so you really have to crank on it to get anything to come out - this is a nice feature for ensuring that my lip balm won't explode in my pocket, but it's a nuisance most of the time. For the price, it's not the best alternative to more expensive products, like the Bigelow My Favorite Night Balm. I use the Bigelow balm fairly often...it's only $2.51 more than the Burt's treatment, but you get almost 1/10 of an ounce more (0.34 ounces instead of 0.25 ounces) despite the smaller tube. It's thicker, has more of a sweet vanilla flavor (like the taffy inside a Charleston Chew), and it still feels sticky in the morning, like it never quite dries up. Overall, I gave the Burt's Bees treatment 4 lipsticks just because it worked so well for me; I totally get that it's not for everyone, but I've been desperate for an overnight product that would at least keep my crusty lips to a minimum!
Conditioner -Palmers - Coconut Oil Deep Conditioning Protein Pack
ChaCaCheeze 12/27/2012 1:30:00 AM
Okay, for $1.49, I can't complain toooo much...but this "deep conditioning" pack made my hair look terrible. I have very thick/coarse, curly, long hair. I applied the conditioner per package directions, waited 30 minutes, rinsed, and then let my hair air dry. A few hours later, my hair looked MORE frizzy, fuzzy, and just plain dry than when I use my regular conditioner!! Seriously. A coconut oil deep conditioner that made my hair look like I stuck my finger in an electrical outlet. What the heck.
I love this color! It's a beautiful eggplant purple. I took away a lippy because it's a bit streaky with one coat, and it takes foreverrrr to dry and harden. I know that most polishes require 2 coats for full coverage, but I applied a relatively thin coat and still got full coverage (minus a few streaky spots). Applying 2 coats just to cover the streaky spots wouldn't be worth the time it takes to dry. This is my first bottle of OPI, and I'm sure it won't be my last! I'm not crazy about the texture of the polish, but OPI's colors are very much my style.
Lip Treatments -eos - Lip Balm Sphere - Strawberry Sorbet
ChaCaCheeze 11/10/2012 6:09:00 PM
I am not a fan of EOS, but I bought this as an impulse buy at Ulta. It was one of those "I need to buy something else to meet the $10 minimum for my coupon" moments, the store was crowded, and the stand by the register was full of EOS. So, as soon as I paid and got to the car, I tried it out. I love the smell, but this is the same old EOS that I didn't love last time. The texture is smooth and kind of thin, but WAXY. The second ingredient? Beeswax. Something about it feels scratchy in my throat - not sure if it's the texture, or the strong scent (you can smell it through the plastic). It does give my lips a nice dewy look, which I like, but it doesn't provide much moisturization at all. The only reason I will keep/continue to use this product: the package that is already in the trash can...I would return this if I could, and I don't want to throw away a $3 lip balm. I'm already using a failed Carmex balm as hand cream, so we'll see how I decide to use this and not waste it!
Top/Base Coats -Sally Hansen - Hard As Nails- Natural Tint
ChaCaCheeze 11/10/2012 5:42:00 PM
BREAKING NEWS - a Sally Hansen product that doesn't have to be thrown away more than half full! I used 2/3 of the product before it even started getting thick! I use this as my base coat for every manicure, and as my go-to clear polish when I can't wear nail color. I've never had a problem with stains on my nails, a huge plus for me because I wear heavily pigmented, opaque polishes every week. It gives me a smooth, even surface for applying nail color, and on its own, it looks very "finished," like I just had a basic manicure. My only real complaint is that the brush doesn't reach anywhere near the bottom of the bottle, so I have to keep tipping it back and forth to coat the brush. I may just throw it out and buy a new one...it's less than $2 at the Target where I live.
Top/Base Coats -Sally Hansen - Advanced Hard as Nails Strengthening Topcoat
ChaCaCheeze 11/10/2012 5:26:00 PM
I won't be repurchasing this because: - It takes hours to dry fully. After 90 minutes, putting on a sweater has ruined my nails - more than once, even using SH brand colors! - Even 100% dry nail colors bleed onto the brush, so you have to really glop it on to avoid picking up color. My bottle has already been ruined and isn't even clear anymore, it's actually cloudy. - It gets thick, gloppy, and hard to work with several months after opening the bottle...so you need to use it up fast. - As far as shine and chip protection are concerned, this is a decent product...but other SH top coats offer the same thing, with faster drying times and less color bleed.
Yes, it's cheap and scrubby and all natural....but the texture is so bizarre. I've purchased this several times hoping I would start to like it (it's so cheap, you know), but it just doesn't work for me. It didn't cleanse my skin very effectively; it left my face feeling dirty, but scratched all over; the consistency felt uncomfortable on my face (it gave me the creepy-crawlies)...and to top it all off, I had major breakouts while using this product. The grains are just too greasy and too close together for me. With my Burt's Bees cleanser/scrub, my face looks soft, smooth, and glowing. With the St. Ives scrub, my face looked irritated, broken out, and every little bump or blackhead stood out like a sore thumb. So disappointing for a St. Ives product :( I gave this product 3 lippies because it would be awesome as a body scrub or manicure/pedicure scrub.
I thought I would try it, since it's 1) Carmex, which is allegedly a miracle worker, and 2) dirt cheap. It's not a bad product, but I don't think I would buy it again. I had mixed feelings... - The texture is similar to a thick body lotion, which kind of reminds me of the Blistex Medicated Lip Ointment and Neosporin Lip Health formulas (good). The product goes on smoothly, but does leave a slight white residue if you apply too much or don't rub it in long enough (bad). - It absorbs almost instantly, but as it dries, my lips feel like they are shriveling up. I constantly feel like I need to reapply something while it's drying. My lips ARE a bit softer when it's fully absorbed (good), but they don't feel protected at all...if I breathed through my mouth for too long, I think my lips would be snowing crust flakes (bad). - My lips looked completely matte after application - not "dewy" or "healthy" or whatever....somehow, a little more matte than before I applied anything. Weird? This may be a good thing for men... - The smell/taste is almost identical to an orange creamsicle...and it fades within minutes. The smell is one of the main things I liked about this product. - The packaging is more hygienic than a tub or twist-up stick, so bonus points for Carmex on that one. I will keep using this product until it's gone, but mainly for the smell/taste...and probably under a less tasty lip treatment. For less than $2, it wasn't a bad buy...but I think I would just prefer more time-tested products, like the Blistex ointment I mentioned above. Or plain Vaseline after I brush my teeth at night.
Conditioner -L'Oreal - EverCreme Intense Nourishing Conditioner
ChaCaCheeze 11/9/2012 9:22:00 PM
Edit: After I worked my way through an entire bonus-size tube, my hair developed the unusual texture that other reviewers commented on. I noticed that the end of my braid was sticking up in all kinds of weird directions, and when I ran it under the faucet to get it wet, I still couldn't smooth it down! I don't know if this was because of the shampoo or the conditioner, but it felt like I put wax in my hair...I switched to a different shampoo and conditioner and noticed a huge difference in the feel of my hair within a few washes. For less than $2 more each, I can buy certain salon brand shampoo & conditioner at Ulta with the weekly $3.50 off a $10 purchase coupons. I like this conditioner at least as much as I like the matching shampoo...for basically the same reasons. When I use the set, then let my hair air dry, my hair is sooo silky and soft! I apply a generous amount to the middle section of my hair, work the product down to my ends, and then run whatever is left through my hair at the roots. It's gentle on my hair (very course and curly), it's paraben free, it's 100% vegan, and it's not tested on animals. Plus, like I explained in my review of the shampoo...the packaging is very basic, but it doesn't waste any product. The conditioner doesn't stick to the sides of the tube, so there's no need to cut it open and get the last little bits.
Edit: After I worked my way through an entire bonus-size tube, my hair developed the unusual texture that other reviewers commented on. I noticed that the end of my braid was sticking up in all kinds of weird directions, and when I ran it under the faucet to get it wet, I still couldn't smooth it down! I don't know if this was because of the shampoo or the conditioner, but it felt like I put wax in my hair...I switched to a different shampoo and conditioner and noticed a huge difference in the feel of my hair within a few washes. For less than $2 more each, I can buy certain salon brand shampoo & conditioner at Ulta with the weekly $3.50 off a $10 purchase coupons. I love this shampoo....it's so gentle on my course, curly hair. I like that it's sulfate free, paraben free, 100% vegan, and not tested on animals. The only thing that I don't like about the shampoo is that it's not quite as easy to spread as other shampoos; the formula stays thick even after you lather it up really well. The smell reminds me of the Cashmere line by Regis, which is nice, but it's probably not for everyone (it's very warm and sweet smelling). On a side note, the packaging is really nice - it's just a basic tube with a cap on the bottom, but the product doesn't stick to the sides if you store it standing up. Therefore, product won't be wasted by clinging to the bottle where you can't reach it. I will definitely be repurchasing this when I run out!
Lotions/ Creams -Burt's Bees - Beeswax & Banana Hand Creme
ChaCaCheeze 11/5/2012 10:41:00 PM
The quick and dirty: It's not moisturizing enough - it's way too waxy! It just sat on my hands - they felt waxy and dry simultaneously. I could literally touch dry patches of skin even with a thick layer of product just sitting on my hands. Also, it comes in a glass jar, which is unsanitary and potentially unsafe. I gave it 2 lippies because I loved the smell.
I've only used this product as an overnight treatment, so my review is based on that. I used to scoop out a large amount of product, slather it all over my hands, and cover them with a pair of old cotton socks before bed. It was about as effective as using petroleum jelly for the same purpose - so, my hands were soft in the morning, but I paid a lot more for than I needed to for the same result. I loved the smell, and that it's a natural product. That being said...I'm just not crazy about spending that much money when I can do the same thing with a $2 tub of Vaseline. I gave it for lippies because it did work, and I may buy it again sometime.
I think this might be the most exfoliating product I've ever used. It made my skin feel very smooth and soft. Also, it smells very orange-y, but not in a fake way. It's a very oily product, though, so it may not work for everyone. If you leave it on for very long, the oily/crumbly feeling gets really uncomfortable. On a side note, the packaging of this product is a terrible idea! It's a GLASS JAR - so don't bring it in the tub, lest it slip and fall. If you drop it, be very careful about using whatever product is left inside, even if the jar doesn't look broken. Little fragments could break off and end up in your scrub.