It Just Didn't Work Out Between Us: High-End Lip Balms

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

I've been hunting and trying out all different kinds of lip balms in my quest to save my chapping lips and discover The Perfect Lip Balm. I think I may have found it (and by it I mean a small handful of products to suit my very high maintenance pucker), but I've unfortunately discovered some duds along the way. You'll hear all about my favorite lip balms on Thursday, but since it was entirely too long before I could get my coffee this morning (sure sign of a bad day), we're starting with the disappointing products. (Or, Part One of Lip Balm Week here on Materialistic Musings!).

1. Marc Jacobs Makeout Lip Balm: I literally went out and bought this the day after I told you I wanted it (in this post). It got rave reviews on Sephora's website and from my favorite folks at Into the Gloss, so I thought it'd be a winner for sure. The packaging is unisex, sleek and sturdy in a distinctly expensive way, and it's minty without giving you Colgate mouth, but the balm itself doesn't perform that well. The consistency and texture of it when you first apply it are absolutely lush, which is why its inclusion here is kind of surprising. It's slippy and smooth but still holds onto your lips and forms this barrier over them while creating a really lovely, healthy shine. It's just such a comfortable texture to have on the lips that I kept rubbing mine together to enjoy how smooth they felt. But beyond that, it doesn't really feel like it's doing anything for your lips, and I mean really healing, soothing and moisturizing them. It all feels very surface-level, which is why after maybe 20-30 minutes, this balm makes your lips feel shrink-wrapped and leathery. They don't feel dry, exactly, but they do feel uncomfortable and like you haven't applied lip balm at all. You can reapply to get that lush, cushy texture back, but that's obviously not solving the problem. I suspect this is one of those lip balms that actually makes your lips drier (anyone know what the ingredient is?), and am surprised it gets such rave reviews. I still love the initial texture, but what is the point of a lip balm that you have to "fix" by using another lip balm to do its job?

2. Kevyn Aucoin The Sensual Lip Balm: I've been dying to try the Kevyn Aucoin line for ages, but it always seems so out of my league if you know what I mean, so I dipped my toes in with the most humbling of products from their line. (This was my equivalent of going to a Celine store and getting a keychain--exaggerating only a little). I probably had the highest hopes for this one, which is why I'm extra disappointed that it sucks. Yes, sucks--it's such crap that I can't even be eloquent about it. This isn't a lip balm at all, it's more like a lip primer. Slick it on and you'll discover the thinnest, measliest kind of siliconey "hydration" ever. It's so surface level that if you even rub your lips together a few times, you start to feel like there's no product there at all. Just like with the Marc Jacobs, my lips start to feel shrink-wrapped and leathery after application, but this balm is so barely hydrating that my lips feel uncomfortable after just five minutes. The only conceivable way this might work is if you use it as a lip primer to smooth out any lip creases or lines you might have and get a smoother lipstick application. But it absolutely does not deserve to be called a lip balm. *Have just read a description of this product online that says it's a lip balm + lip primer two-in-one. Nice to know I'm not raving mad, but this still needs to be called a lip primer, period.

3. Sara Happ The Lip Slip: I bought this lip balm and coordinating scrub a few years ago, and every year once it turns cold, I break them out to see if my opinion of them has changed. I ranted about the scrub here, and writing this post might be my way of accepting that I will never like this lip balm. This is another one that is praised by beauty bloggers and editors alike as a fantastic lip balm, and I just don't get that. It does moisturize my lips ultimately, but again, I'm all about texture which is where this falls short. It seems like this was supposed to be a lip balm/gloss hybrid, with all the pretty shininess of a gloss and the hydration of a balm, but it's not a comfortable product to wear on your lips. It's very sticky and a bit too thick--one of those products you're hyper-aware of having on--and I loathe having to stick my finger into the pot. If I absolutely must use my fingers, it better be for a damn good lip balm (I usually don't even do it for Nuxe Reve de Miel), and this just isn't it. I might be able to forgive the unfortunate stickiness if the balm was super moisturizing and soothing, but it isn't.

4. La Roche-Posay Ceralip Lip Repair Cream: Okay, so I'm not actually sure if this qualifies as a high-end lip balm, but it's over $10 and I don't like it, so here we are! I've always been weirdly attracted to Avene and LRP lip balms, believing that they must be good if their skincare for dry and sensitive skin is so fantastic. I've already blogged about my bad experience with Avene Cold Cream Lip Balm (here), and now it's LRP's turn to disappoint. This is another one of those surface-level lip balms (seriously, it must be some sort of common ingredient) that has the added bonus of smelling and tasting like plastic. Of course, it also has the shrink-wrapped, shriveled, leathery feeling, though it kicks in sometime after Kevyn Aucoin, and before Marc Jacobs would.

Out with the bad, in with the good!

Stay tuned for Thursday's post on my favorite lip balms!

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