"Non-foaming, velvety on the skin, smells slightly of flowers, & removes all makeup – even mascara" is how I personally have described it on my blog (& to friends).
You've probably heard of Milky Jelly by now. You've seen it on Facebook – or on top shelfies – & you've probably seen the ad campaign that generated some…snickers in the comments section (we get it, it's goopy & transluscent-white, okay?)
Basically, she was asking people to tell her what they wanted. The idea? A cleanser that would work on all skin types – & please all customers.
Of course, it's impossible to please everyone – we all know that. But I get a lot of questions about Milky Jelly, what skin is best suited for it, what's the scent, etc. These questions keep coming…so it means that people are still interestd. What is Milky Jelly like?
Recently, Glossier started promoting Milky Jelly again on their Instagram, as you can see here:
Four milky jelly bottles? Backups on backups on backups? My first instinct was to laugh – then I scrolled through my feed. A few minutes later, I'd found at least three photos of Milky Jelly that I'd posted at some time or another – all of them featuring more than one bottle in the frame.
I am that backup girl. That's me. I do actually freak out when I don't have at least one backup for this cleanser. I also drool over images like these uploaded to the Glossier Instagram story:
So…why do I love this so much? What's so great about Milky Jelly Cleanser for me? What are the ingredients like? What about texture? Scent? Let's answer some of these questions. When a product is being promoted, curiousity arises. So – I'm here to (hopefully) answer some of these questions.
Why do I love this so much/what's so great about Milky Jelly Cleanser for me?
Well, I have dry/sensitive skin. Most foaming cleansers are a living hell for me – they absolutely strip my skin of any moisture…something that toner cannot make up for. The only exception is the CLĒ Cosmetics Oxygen Foam Cleanser (read about it on their blog here), but that's a rare exception.
Milky Jelly works great mornings & evenings; it works well on dry or damp skin. It really does melt off my makeup – mascara can be difficult, so I'd advise you keep at least a little micellar water on hand. Other than that, however, I know that I don't have to worry about leftover makeup on my pillow if I wash my face with Milky Jelly before I go to sleep.
I also never get a tight or dry feeling after using Milky Jelly. That's good – it means that my skin is still hydrated, which is super important for someone with dry/sensitive skin.
I love the subtle, floral scent of the product – as well as the velvety texture. The texture is extremely difficult to describe; I'd say "velvety" is about as close as it gets. I can do better with the scent, though: let's call it rosy but not antique; summery but not cloying. It fades gracefully with time – like the best of scents.
So – I like Milky Jelly Cleanser because it keeps me hydrated, removes my makeup, has a relaxing texture & a fresh scent. It's easy to travel with & easy to use.
So – what's so great about Milky Jelly Cleanser that it's truly universal?
Emily Weiss says:
"Basically everyone wanted what we wanted—we were all thinking about it the same way. What we settled on is basically a jellified micellar water. Our formula is based around the same cleansing ingredient you find in contact lens solution—so super gentle—but with conditioning elements like comfrey root extract and betaine that moisturize and soothe the skin while you clean it. Once we had that down, it became about really nailing the right texture." (x)
So – soothing, hydrating. But what are some key ingredients that make it right for everyone?
It's pH-balanced. That means straight off that it'll work to cleanse without unbalancing your skin's dryness & moisture levels. That means calm skin – which means clear skin.
The gentle agents used in the cleanser (called Poloxamer) are also used in contact lens solution; that makes it safe to use around the eyes – which is why it's such a great (safe) eye makeup remover.
Rosewater replaced 1/4 of the H20 content in Milky Jelly's formula. Rose anything is soothing & reduces redness/inflammation. This, again, means clearer, calmer skin. Plus…smells great. (If you're sensitive to rose as a scent this product is not for you! Take note)
Comfrey Root Extract takes major credit for helping out those with dry skin – it contains allantoin, which heals skin that's dry or stressed.
Sounds complex, but works pretty simply: Aquaxyl refills skin's water reserves & improves the barrier to improve overall hydration. Strengthened barrier = less bacteria. Less bacteria = clearer skin (see what I'm saying here)
Hold up….it says "soap free"??? That's okay. Soaps contain detergents, which are drying & irritating. Just because it's soap free doesn't mean it's not cleansing – ex. cleansing oils!
A few extra bonuses: appropriate for all skin types, paraben free, sulfate free, cruelty free, non-comedogenic. So, basically: it's good for your skin (no matter what skin type you have) it won't clog your pores, it smells good, no animals were hurt, it works as a makeup remover…Shall I continue?
No, but seriously. I love Milky Jelly with all my heart. In fact, it's one of my Top 4 picks on my Glossier Rep Page:
Glossier's come out with some incredible products this past year – the whole time I've been a customer (& now a rep, too!) I've seen some amazing products that have changed the game for me. But – no matter what's next (& it's good, I promise) Milky Jelly will always have a place in my Top 4. For all of the reasons I mentioned above. & also more. I'll tell you more – you just have to ask. You might not even have to ask, actually.
Once we knew what we wanted it to look like—a milky jelly—then the name was obvious. It’s fun to say. I actually don’t remember a time when we didn’t call it Milky Jelly—sort of like with Boy Brow or Balm Dotcom. Those names were always the names.” (x)
There you have it. Oh! One more thing. The more bottles of Milky Jelly you buy, the better your sticker game will be. Mine gets better with each bottle – & each sheet.
Is Milky Jelly your holy grail cleanser? Why or why not? Do you have another holy grail cleanser (that you think I should try)?
Here's a link to my rep page. I'm honored & so happy to be working with Glossier! They've given me vision, direction, & creative inspiration (& good brows that stay put) & I am infintely grateful for that.
Amusement parks! The terror of some, the delight of others. Personally, I'm one of the people delighted in roller coasters, stomach drops, & the "I'm gonna fall" feeling.
Safe to say that I feel at home in amusement parks! I do! Just this week I went to one with my family. I hadn't been for three years & was excited to see what was new.
Why hadn't I been in three years? The summer I was diagnosed I was told I shouldn't be in evironments like that; the second summer I was out of state vacationing; this summer, finally…I would be able to return.
Obviously, many things drastically changed for me over the past three years. I'm sicker (boo) I'm more fatigued (boo) & I am very sensitive to the sun. It's incredibly important that I wear sunscreen; the medications I take increase risk of skin cancer. SPF is no joking matter for me!
So, without further ado, here's what I wore on my face to the amusement park!
There's a lot of debate on whether SPF 50 is truly more effective than SPF 30 or 35; there's not much research out there either. Most dermatologists agree that once you hit a 30 or 35 number, sunblocks don't really get much more protective. They all agree that sunscreen is important to apply frequently – especially when outside. That's why I brought my Invisible Shield – I'd never tried putting it on over makeup, but I would be doing that at the park. The gel formula hinted that I'd gently pat it into my face with no issues with my makeup moving. I also had the SPF from CLĒ's CCC Cream on my face, too – safe to say I was very sun-protected.
I started out the day fresh-faced, of course: here's a look at what I looked like on the way – 10 a.m.!
I have to note that the weather was beautiful. It was partly sunny, but it was very breezy – sometimes even cool. Still: the sun's rays are there, & I knew I had to take care of my skin no matter what.
Around 2 pm (few hours later) we stopped to eat & regroup. I reapplied my sunscreen…this time OVER makeup. The sensation? A cooling gel that is easily tapped into the face – & doesn't feel sticky, even over makeup. I was super impressed by this. I wasn't wearing a full face, true – but it didn't mess up any spot cleaning I'd done with concealer & it didn't mess up my highlight. Usually, a sunscreen would mess up concealing. This one did not.
I finished up with a spray of Milk Makeup's Soothing Face Mist & we were off again. Here's my look, mid-day, after sunscreen re-application:
Not much – if anything – moved around. I was very satisfied with the power of the sunscreen & the Tarte concealer. My brows were fine – I was wearing Boy Brow, after all…& everyone knows the brows stay put with that!
A few more hours, a bit more sun – I kept reapplying my Fresh lip balm & hoped that my sunscreen would last even though I only once reapplied. The day ended quickly, & we started to head back. I started to look at my face, wondering if redness or breakouts would pop up.
Nope!!! Nothing at all. Here's how my face looked on the way back home:
Chemical sunscreens are my thing from now on – especially this one. I like the gel consistency & I love how it absolutely doesn't mess up any makeup (Peach & Lily has some great ones I'm dying to try)
If you spend a lot of time in the sun: TRY CLĒ COSMETICS' FACE MAKEUP! Both their Essence Air Cushion & their CCC Cream (the one I used at the park) have high levels of SPF – they work for a lengthy time – & they work well.
When out in the sun, SPF lip balm is more effective than regular. I haven't ever noticed a difference inside…but walking for some hours under the sun is a different matter. I kept reapplying the Fresh balm – it smells & feels great, just like their original balms – & my lips were soft & crack-free on the way back. Hack: apply it to your browbone area/bridge of your nose/other small areas. It's a multi-purpose SPF; safe to use all over the face! Just don't put it in, you know, your eyes.
I'm really getting into Milk's Face Mist. I love the way it feels going on. It's very cooling, so: great for summer! It's also seemed to clear my skin a little bit. The only issue I have with it is that it often stings my face for a few seconds after the coolness of the spray has dispersed. Anyone have similar reactions? Do you know what it's from? I haven't gotten a rash or anything like that; it just stings a few seconds after I put it on
Well…that's about all the groundbreaking conclusions I've come to today! Remember: amusement parks/fairs/other outside summer activities are great fun…but they're not as much fun when you're boiling like a lobster. I personally escaped this year with zero (0!) redness or ruddiness to my face. I just had a bit of a neck burn. That's nothing a little aloe gel won't fix, right?
What are some of your favorite products to use when you know you'll be spending some time outside?
“Have you tried it?” “Does it work?” “So cheap!” “There are dupes for everything!!!
The things being said in the opening questions are most likely about the line called The Ordinary. You’ve probably heard of it in the past half year or so, right?
DECIEM, a larger brand that carries several lines – all have different prices & effects. DECIEM by itself is described as “The Abnormal Beauty Company.” They carry one called Foundation & White RX, to name a few. Their most popular, however, is The Ordinary.
If you haven’t heard of The Ordinary by now, I might be a little surprised. I’m not quite sure how DECIEM pulled this off, but with virtually zero online/paper advertisements, The Ordinary became a cult-favorite line in the skin care community. Serums for $5! Oils for $7! DECIEM “Monkeys” (customer service employees) help you map out a personalized skin routine over email – for free. No one could figure out the catch. It seems that there is none. It’s good for beginners; good for old-timers, too.
I was introduced to The Ordinary thanks to an anonymous message on my Tumblr, telling me I should check out the brand’s prices. I was intrigued, of course – who can resist claims of $5 serums?! – but skeptical. I kept my distance for a while – but everyone else was way ahead of me. I watched the photos of these little bottles whisk down my Instagram feed. I tried to figure out what their “Advanced Retinoid” meant. Then…I started to hear that some products carried by The Ordinary contained some of the same (almost exact) ingredients as the Glossier Supers (Glossier’s famous trio of serums released last September).
Look – I love Glossier! (Duh) & I love using their products. But…no one can ever say no to trying a dupe that might be better than the real…right?
Still, I balked. I just didn’t feel like it. & then I got some Sephora sample rewards one day, & discovered Sunday Riley’s Good Genes. I was (obviously) floored…the results were incredible & an overnight difference was evident.
Buttt…Good Genes is over $100 for a not-very-big-bottle. I don’t have $100+ to spend on a single product. I wish I did! But I don’t. So, I started doing my research. I figured out what lactic acid was, what it did, & what it didn’t do.
A few months later, I was doing my nightly routine, browsing online as I waited for a mask to finish… & I came across (& read a review) of the Lactic Acid 5% on Into The Gloss – a serum I’d been happily using for over 2 months!
When ITG says it’s good, it’s good. When the Lactic Acid 5% got the ITG stamp of approval, I decided to give some others a go. I decided to get the Super Pure & Super Bounce “dupes” – as well as something completely unique.
Without further ado, here’s the list of products by The Ordinary that I already own; I’ll include a small wish list at the bottom & explain why each would be a good choice for my skin
I first bought the Lactic Acid because of my sad inability to regularly purchase something like Sunday Riley Good Genes. I quickly became grateful I’d found out about this product – even if I knew nothing about Good Genes.
The serums are either light yellow or a dusty brown rose color; the 5% is paler because it is less concentrated. Both have a gel-like consistency – not watery at all. It’s something I like putting between my hands then gently patting into my skin, kind of like an essence.
The serum smells rather odd – plastic-y yet sweet? – & has a tacky consistency even after it’s dried. That’s the only thing I don’t like about the serum(s); bad smells don’t matter to me – as long as a product works, it’s fine!
I noticed brighter, fresher skin & fading dark spots & scars. This got better as time went on. As with all acidic products, I take extra time to ensure that my face (& body) are protected. Remember – AHAs & other peeling products make your face more sun-sensitive!!!
After I used about 3/4 of the 5% serum, I decided to go for the stronger one to see if it would make a difference. I should say: I don’t think it does. The 10% is slightly more jelly-like in texture, & is a darker color. It might tingle a bit more, too The end result, however, is exactly the same as I have seen using my 5%.
I’ve gotten many questions as to whether the 5% vs 10% have different/better results. I’d have to go with no. perhaps, if your skin is less sensitive or oily-type, you could go for the 10% to start off – it might penetrate more easily. For me, however, I saw no difference in the strengths, & next time I refill, I’ll probably go with 5% again. It feels the same, is gentler on my skin, & I can’t notice a difference in results. All good!
Described as a “10-minute peeling solution,” you may have seen this on various Instagram stories – more as a joke, since it’s hard to take an attractive selfie with this stuff on your face; you’ll end up looking like you were in battle.
Despite all the blood/vampire jokes (seriously, make sure you’re wearing something you don’t mind getting stained, just in case) this stuff works. It may be a great introduction to those curious about products like the Herbivore Blue Tansy Mask, or the Drunk Elephant Babyfacial – but those who don’t want to spend $40-80 just out of curiousity.
If you’re looking for a cheap, effective resurfacing masque, this one might be the one for you.
I will say it feels more intense on the skin as opposed to the Herbivore or Drunk Elephant products – & the results aren’t necessarily as good. Still – when I use this, I look & feel brighter/softer in the following days. I just have to be careful to leave it on for only ten minutes (the stuff burns) & to wash all of it off. When using this masque, I only find it necessary to use once a week. It’s that tingly! It can also be a bit drying. If you have dry/sensitive skin, I wouldn’t say it’s a product that gets a hard “no” – I’d just say tread carefully!
This product has barely any scent to it, & the liquid, although thick & gel-like in texture, dries down on the face very quickly. The only two things truly noticeable about the product are its color – & its burning (yet) effective sensation.
This was what everyone was telling me to get as a replacement to my Glossier Super Bounce. I’ll admit it – I was doubtful at first. Eventually, however, curiosity took the better of me & I ordered a vial about 2 weeks ago.
Firstly: oh boy, is it great!!!
Secondly: I feel like a fool not to have purchased this earlier.
This serum is truly great – probably my favorite thing by The Ordinary that I’ve tried. It has no scent to it – it’s just cooling, hydrating, soothing – I could go on. It has a slight tackiness when it dries down, but I’ve found this to be the case with most (if not all) Ordinary products I’ve tried.
I had a bit of a reaction on my face last week & I cut my routine down to the essentials…I added this on, however. I’m convinced my face calmed & cooled down more quickly because of this product. If a Glossier Super can be duped, this is the dupe for Super Bounce Serum. Good product, good quantity, low pricetag.
Again, I was told, another perfect Glossier dupe – this time for Super Pure Serum. Some of you may know that Glossier’s Super Pure Serum is something I use every day, no matter what – it’s a holy grail for me, it’s improved my skin exponentially – so I was doubtful when someone told me that this serum was a dupe for it. I was also curious. Super Pure is $28, right? If a $6.80 serum felt the same as Super Pure, & had the same results, I’d certainly be reconsidering my favorites. So – I got it. & I used it for a week straight.
First impressions: same texture as super pure: a watery gel. There was no strong scent to it; no overpowering chemical scent. It feels very cooling & refreshing when first applied.
Then – & this is what I don’t like about the serum – it dries down tacky.
This is the big difference between Super Pure & Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%. Yes, they contain an extremely similar list of ingredients. But the Ordinary’s “dupe” dries down tacky, & doesn’t reduce inflammation or redness as well as Super Pure does, in my opinion. It’s also slightly drying – Super Pure never dries out my skin. That was another thing to consider. While this is a great clarifying serum, it is more drying than Glossier Super Pure & it does not reduce redness as well. I think by itself, it’s a good serum…but it’s not close enough to the Glossier Super Pure to be called a dupe. Dupes are supposed to perform almost identically to the original product. In my opinion, this one does not. If you want a dupe for a Glossier Super, go for The Ordinary’s Hyaluronic Acid – it’s a great dupe for Super Bounce.
So…let’s go back to the question I’ve been getting all the time lately: “What do you think of The Ordinary?”
I think they’re an amazing company. They’ve grown exponentially in a very short time. They’ve kept their prices lowest of the low. This allows “skin care newbies” to feel comfortable. It’s very intimidating when you’re new to skin care & only see talk about products that are over $40. The Ordinary is a great source for those new to the skin care scene because of their inexpensive yet effective products.
I would recommend The Ordinary as a brand to anyone – & I often do just that. I would, however, advise you to regard The Ordinary as their own brand. Might you find some dupes for more expensive products? Absolutely! But don’t expect everything to be a copy. I think The Ordinary is very focused on its own message. You don’t to be looking for a dupe to shop their products. They will provide you with quality skin care (& customer service) no matter what. They’ll help you come up with your first-time skin care regimen…or help you refine/add to it. It’s just a great, affordable brand that’s been getting a lot of buzz – for very, very good reason.
What’s on my wish list for The Ordinary?
Well, as I type this, I am adding The Ordinary’s Rose Hip Seed Oil – the Marula Oil is also on my eye…as soon as it’s back in stock. Those are the two I have my eye on…especially the Marula. Drunk Elephant sells one for $70 – The Ordinary’s is under $10…which is why it’s always out of stock. A girl can dream, though!
Rose Hip Seed Oil reduces redness & calms inflammation – a great thing to have on any top shelf! I’m was using a Mario Badescu rosehip oil that was much more expensive than The Ordinary’s. I can’t wait to give this cheaper one a go – my sources say it’s incredible.
Like I said – I have absolutely nothing bad to say about The Ordinary! They provide quality service & products; they make everything easy to read/learn about on their site; they give good recommendations. They keep rolling out new products: their foundation drops were all the buzz about a month ago, & they’re coming out with some very cool-looking Vitamin C products that I’m very excited for. Because of all this buzz, shipping can be slow – especially when a new product drops. It can take up to two weeks to get a product.
Once I noticed Beautylish was carrying The Ordinary, I started shopping that brand through Beautylish. Shipping is slightly faster – but my favorite thing about Beautylish x The Ordinary? The stickers that come with every order (as seen in cover image). A small sheet contains labels like “1” “2” or “3.” Some say “Niacinamide” or “Vitamin C.” It’s great for someone trying to build a regimen who has trouble keeping track of the steps to their skin care. It’s great for me too – I’m a Glossier aficionado, after all. Who doesn’t like free stickers with a skin care order?
What Ordinary products have you tried? What are you thinking of trying? Are there any favorites – or hates? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!
We all know that some high-end skin care really isn't all that. At least, I know it…I hope you do. We've all seen beauty gurus doing their "hot or nots" on Youtube, trying out $200 face primers, $100 face masks, & $60 lip balm by La Mer (Jackie Aina says it's not worth the money; I'll trust her).
All that sounds super appealing – I mean, the thought of putting a gold leaf sheet mask on my face just because of the aesthetic concept. But…I know that some of my dirt-cheap, K-Beauty face masks will do more than any gold leaf ever could. I know that oftentimes, I'm just paying for packaging when I buy a higher-end product. However…there are some that are worth the money, just like there are some that are not. I'm going to give two of my top high end skin care products, & two of my top low-end skin care products – & provide reasons as to why they're worth it, or why they're so cheap & still so good. Read on!
I've purchased this only once (in early March) & I am not close to being finished with it – even so, I know I will be buying it again. One of the reasons I'll be buying it again is because I'm still not done with it! A high-end product's longevity is a huge concern for me. Yeah…the full-size Caudalie Beauty Elixer is beautiful & wonderful & I adore how cooling it is on my skin – but I cannot drop $50 on a facial spray, no matter how much I love it (I get the $18 travel size when I want to give my skin a special treat). So, since I only need 2-3 pumps of the Babyfacial – not more than two times a week – I can justify the $80 price tag.
Also: the Babyfacial has drastically improved my skin, & continues to do so. It's a powerful, effective detox – I always have softer, clearer skin after using it, & despite my sensitive skin, I've never gotten a bad reaction to it (like a burn or a rash). Plus, Drunk Elephant's super hygienic packaging (Babyfacial comes in an airtight container that doesn't expose it to the light) is just one more reason for my immunosuppressed skin to love it. I'm not ashamed to say I bought the Babyfacial, & I'm not ashamed when I say I will continue to buy it. This stuff lasts, it's effective, &…yes, it has beautiful, pale-pink packaging.
Eye creams don't really…work on me. I have dark circles constantly – thanks anemia! – which I'm not really bothered about. I think they give dimension & contour to my face & have come to accept, even love them. However, what I do not accept or love about my under-eye area is the puffiness I wake up with in the morning. This is all thanks to late nights – thanks chronic pain! Thanks anxiety! – & even though I tried a couple eye creams before this one, they didn't do anything to help my puffiness. Sure, my skin under my eyes was softer…but that didn't make me look any less sleep-deprived.
Literally the next morning after I used this cream for the first time, I woke up with absolutely zero puffiness. Yes, I was still tired, & grumpy, & wanted to get back in bed – but it didn't look like I felt that way. I was truly shocked. I don't expect most products to work overnight; I understand that sometimes, skin takes a while to get used to/garner full effects of a product…but this one wasted no time. Now, I use the Saturday Skin cream every night, paired with the Milk Makeup Cooling Water Stick (also a great product that I adore – just not truly categorized as "high end") & (eventually) fall asleep, content with the knowlege that no matter how tired I am when I wake up, I sure as hell won't look that way. This will keep being refilled on my top shelf. Thank you x 10 to Saturday Skin for keeping me looking fresh!
Truly ride or die. This isn't just good because it's cheap…it's good because it's good. I have backups of this absolutely everywhere; I use it as a toner, as a light hair fragrance, as a refresher in the middle of the day when I'm feeling parched & dull, & as a setting spray. It's so multipurpose, so effective, works for all skin types – & you can purchase it in the tiniest little 1 oz. bottle (at Ulta's checkout) for your weekend getaway for $5, in the 4 oz. version for $8, or the jumbo 8 oz. bottle for $12. I have it in all three. You'll always catch one in my purse, two on my top shelf (one for a backup, one for use) & probably another tiny one in my bag – just in case. Are you afraid it's going to smell like your grandma's potpourri? Don't be – it's fresh, light, & absolutely not grandma-y. No offense to grandma. Mario has treated me better than any man ever has – & he'll be here with me til the day I die.
You know the Sunday Riley Good Genes Lactic Acid Treatment? The one that costs $105 for 1 oz.? Try this lactic acid, instead. You get 1 oz. for $6.79. No, it's not as good as the Sunday Riley – but it's nearly as good, & is more than 10 times cheaper for the same amount of product. The 5% version made Into The Gloss'sBeauty Editor's May Favorites article – I initially used the 5%, then worked my way up to 10%. I can't say that the 10% is significantly better than the 5% (10% does tingle more & sometimes I wake up with brighter, clearer skin than when I used the 5%, but it's hard to tell whether it's that product or just chance)…but I can say that they both work beautifully as a chemical exfoliant – even on my poor, dry, sensitive skin. Seriously, it's amazing. Just ignore the smell…some call it "maple syrup," some call it "burnt plastic" (I'm team "burnt plastic") & some say, oh so eloquently, "ass but it still works really well so I don't care" (thanks to one of my followers for giving me that priceless description). Regardless of what you think it smells like, this stuff works. Give it a chance; I don't think you'll be let down. In general, try all of The Ordinary's products – you won't break your bank, & you won't be let down. You might even be let up.
There you have it! Two things I'm unashamed to say I love (& why) & two things that, even if a higher-end brand has something similar, I'll politely pass on & continue to use my cheap, effective, good products.
Remember – a high price tag does not mean a product will be life-changing! Oftentimes you might just be paying for a name, for packaging, & just because some pricing markups are ridiculous. Don't feel bad about not getting that $60 La Mer lip balm. I'm happy with my $12 Balm Dotcom.
Get 20% off any Drunk Elephant purchase here, & get $10 off a $50 purchase from Peach and Lily here!
It’s been more than a year now since Glossier pulled their first corporate “Beyoncé” & released their highlight, called Haloscope, into the wild.
It made perfect sense at that time – strobing was in, “glowing to the gods” & “highlight so blinding you can see it from space” was the kind of aesthetic people were trying to achieve. So, of course Glossier would launch a highlight around that time.
Like most things Glossier, Haloscope is effective without being over the top, beautiful without being gaudy, simple without being dull. It just…is. Haloscope is the highlight you can carry in your bag (however big or small) when you don’t have time to finish getting ready in the comfort of your own home. It’s the highlight you can wear to work or school without getting that “well, that’s a lot of makeup!” – but it’s also the highlight you can apply with a heavier hand for that evening summer (or winter) party. It’s practical, it’s elegant, it’s perfect.
Glossier first started out their Haloscope campaign with two shades: Quartz, described as “a universally flattering, pearlescent glow,” & Topaz, “a healthy, sun-kissed glow.” They were marketed for being flattering on all skin tones & types, for being easy, for being enhancing, nourishing, & easy (before I get into product description, let’s finish with the last shade, shall we?).
Glossier then released a “limited edition” Haloscope in the shade Moonstone, described as “an opalescent glaze.” It only came in the 2016 Black Tie Holiday Set – you couldn’t get it as an individual item. But then…people loved Moonstone so much (people like me) that Glossier officially made Moonstone a permanent part of the Haloscope collection in March.
So, here we are, in July! A year & one month after Haloscope first launched. So…why am I talking about it again? This is kind of old news, after all.
Well, it’s mostly because Glossier revamped their Haloscope campaign – two new gorgeous girls, lots of swatches on different skin tones, &, best of all, a “space theme” – something I find ironic, given all the overboard comments on “highlight from space,” etc.
Now, on Glossier’s home page, you can find this:
So, we have the “best in the universe” thing playing with the “universal shades.” Clever! But…do all three really work on all skin tones? Having tried all three, I’ll go with “yes.”
I’m not the only one who thinks all three shades are universally flattering. Take it from Kim Johnson, Glossier’s Community Manager: she was featured on Into The Gloss last December, demonstrating how she uses all three Haloscope shades – at once – to amp up her look for a night out. According to Kim:
“I highlight with Haloscope in Quartz, Topaz, aaand Moonstone. Yes, I use all three shades of highlighter. They’re like children—how can you possibly love one more than the other? Answer: You can’t. I apply Topaz on the sides of my nose and blend outward for the sunburnt look and in a line on my cheekbone right above where I’ve just contoured. I follow up with Quartz down the bridge of my nose, on the cupid’s bow and in the corners of my eyes and finish off with Moonstone in a half halo above the Topaz towards my brow bone. Blend it all out with your fingers and boom (read the complete feature here).
My kind of gal! I’m not a bronzer person – & I never will be. Okay, sometimes I’ll use a little bit during the summer…but it never feels quite right on me. More often than not, I’ll end up regretting a bronzer purchase (& I only have two), & wish I spent it on a highlight instead.
So, do I have all three at home with me right now? This very moment? Sadly, no. I have Quartz & Moonstone still in stock – Topaz ran out a while ago. I will be repurchasing it, however, after this campaign brought back to mind how all three Haloscopes can be the only makeup you wear (other than a skin tint or foundation). For example: Topaz as a bronzer, Quartz as a highlight, & Moonstone on the lids, inner corners of the eyes, & browbone. Done. Glowy, slightly flushed, & extremely effortless.
Now, for some examples: the new campaign girls, wearing (all three) Haloscope shades.
As you can see, they all look really good. Both of these models have drastically different undertones & skin tones – but Haloscope still works its magic. I really don’t know how it works so well – someone as fair as me would usually steer very clear of a shade as dark as Topaz – but it just does.
Maybe some of the magic is due to its formula. I remember being verrryyy skeptical about the formulation of Haloscope when it was first released. As you can see in the photograph below, Haloscope has an outer halo, & an inner ring:
The outer core is infused with genuine crystal extracts – either Rose Quartz or Golden Topaz, depending on the shade you choose – which is what gives Haloscope its glow, sheen, & its all-day staying power. The inner core (what looks like a lip balm) is a solid oil core of vitamin-rich moisturizers: Coconut, Castor Seed, & Sweet Almond oils.
Yup. Coconut oil.
I actually cringed when I saw that this is what half of the highlight was composed of – I’ve always been more than a little afraid of putting coconut oil on my face (it’s comedogenic…for me, at least) so this was a big balking point for me. When I ordered my first Haloscope in June of last year (shade: Quartz) I hurried around my house, worrying that the oils would melt the highlight before it got to me – or, even worse, that the oils would mess up my skin.
Neither happened. My Haloscope arrived, safe & sound, & I tentatively swiped it on my cheekbone. Then swiped again. I checked for a yellow/orange undertone – something I can occasionally get when working with a champagne-y color. Not there. I went out for the day, checking my reflection every once & a while. Still on. Still on. Still on. It stayed the whole day – despite the heat, despite my doubts, despite the coconut oil (seriously…still can’t figure that one out).
Okay, so enough about the product information: What do I personally love about Haloscope?
Several things. One: the stick formula. Anything in a little tube or stick (ex. Cloud Paint or Haloscope) makes life a lot easier. Haloscope’s stick packaging allows me to very quickly swipe on the day’s glow & run out the door – great for when I don’t have much time but still want to look awake & put-together. It allows me to throw one in my bag, to dab on the center of my lids if I’m going out right after an evening class & don’t have time to go back home to amp up my makeup. It gives me a very dewy, glowy finish without having to layer a bunch of powders. Basically: it’s a very subtle strobe (or medium, depending on how much product/how many shades you use) that never looks sweaty – or powdery! It doesn’t fade out to sheer glitter, like so many cream or stick highlights – thanks, moisturizing inner core! Best of all, there are now three glowy, gleaming shades – all of them multi-purpose. I’m going to have to snatch up Topaz soon, & finally complete my trio. As for right now, check out the swatches (one swipe each!) of the two Haloscopes currently on my makeup table
So, once again, Glossier proved to me that I could do it! I can wear orange blush (thanks, Cloud Paint in Beam), I can wear a highlighter that has coconut oil in it without a hint of a clogged pore or a blemish.
I don’t usually talk as much about Glossier’s makeup products as I do their skincare products. That’s on me! There’s more than Boy Brow going on at Glossier’s labs – so let me start with reintroducing you to Haloscope.
Oh – & if you’re unsure where exactly to apply Haloscope…don’t worry. You can put it pretty much anywhere (that’s what I do), but if you really want to know the best places, Glossier has it mapped out for you:
I’ve always known the three crucial steps to taking care of your skin: cleanse, tone, moisturize. Sure, all the other things (like serums, oils, & face masks) are great, fun, & (hopefully!) beneficial – but if I were to take three things only for my face, it would be a cleanser, a toner, & a moisturizer.
For the longest time – actually, ever since I can remember – I’ve been using facial sprays as toners, like Caudalie’s Beauty Elixer, Herbivore Botanical’s Rose Hibiscus, Glossier’s Soothing Face Mist, & my holy grail: Mario Badescu’s Facial Spray With Aloe, Herbs, & Rosewater. I thought that was the default for toning.
I started seeing people on social media, especially Youtube & Instagram, talk about their favorite toners; sometimes even demonstrate them. Yes, I saw a lot of facial sprays! I also saw a lot of “real” toners – you know, the ones you drip onto a cotton pad & swipe all over your face. I also got told by a lot of people that I should try one like that (Thayer’s Witch Hazel, for example), but I balked. I was perfectly happy with my spritzer toners. They worked just fine for me, & I didn’t like the concept of rubbing a fiber on my face – it just sounded irritating. I have sensitive skin, so the idea of such a thing kind of sent some shivers down my back.
I was quite ambivalent about the whole thing, but as I started to see more & more people talk about “real” toners, I decided to give one a go.
I’d known about the Mario Badescu Cleansing Lotions for a bit, mainly because I saw them at an Ulta, decided to check out the cleansers, picked one up a while back to test…& jumped in surprise when a watery product spilled all over my hand, without a single soapy bubble.
I’d read the label “Cleansing Lotion” & had assumed that it was a cleanser. It was not. I went home, googled “Mario Badescu Cleansing Lotion why?”, & saw a post MB had made on their blog (which I recommend checking out!). According to Mario Badescu, the Cleansing Lotions are absolutely toners – & absolutely not for washing your face or body. “Cleansing lotion” is just the original or classic name for “toner.” Mario Badescu formulated his toners when the term “cleansing lotion” was more commonly used, & the company now wants to “keep the label true to Mario Badescu’s original product names so his legacy remains intact and we remain authentic to the brand’s heritage.”(x)
After finding that answer, I still didn’t feel like trying one out. Laziness? Lack of interest? Already having a toner that worked just fine for me? To be completely honest, it was probably all three. But – I decided to finally give it a whirl, & was futher encouraged by some friends that also had sensitive skin – if they could do it, why couldn’t I? I (tentatively) decided to give it a go. I went to Ulta about 10 days ago, looked for some cotton pads that wouldn’t be too rough on my sensitive skin (theseare great: cheap, 100% cotton, unscented, & quilted for extra softness), &, once I’d found those, wandered over to the Mario Badescu shelves. I figured that since my friend Mario had already given me the best toner of my life, I might as well try one of his “real” toners. Or maybe even two. I ended up with two – if you’re intruiged, keep reading!
This was the first of the two I picked up. I did a little online research on the MB website & blog before making a trip to Ulta, & this one seemed to fit my criteria. It’s labeled as being ideal for dry, sensitive, or combo skin, & is described on MB’s site as being their “most universal toner.” This description, & the fact that it’s alcohol-free (yay! No stinging or burning!) were selling points for me. Alcohol-based toners can be great for oily skin – sometimes even combo skin – but it’s a whole mess for my dry & sensitive skin.
This toner contains witch hazel, which clarifies without being too rough or drying; aloe vera, which soothes & moisturizes; &, of course, the seaweed: bladderwrack extract, which also soothes the skin, & is rich in minerals. It’s a pretty moss-green color, & has a clean, fresh, green scent to it that doesn’t linger for an uncomfortable amount of time.
As I started applying the toner to my face with one of the cotton pads, I felt completely comfortable. I didn’t feel irritated or dry after I’d finished gently swiping the toner-covered cotton pad over my face. I just felt clean. I even noticed that it had removed a tiny bit of makeup which my cleanser had glossed over. I didn’t feel tight or dry – & my face didn’t sting, either (something I was really nervous about). Basically, it was love at first use. I went to sleep, hoping I’d see something the next day. I woke up, looked in the mirror straight away, & saw a brighter, fresher face staring back at me. My pores looked tighter, my skin looked (& felt) clearer & cleaner, but I had no dry patches or sensitive, stinging areas. I kept using it, wondering if I’d break out, or if I’d end up with drier skin over the course of the week; sometimes, products take longer than one night to do something to your skin – good or bad. Nope. My skin only got better. I was truly floored. Yes, my facial spray was (& still is) amazing…but this took my skin up a level or two.
After I saw amazing results with the Seaweed Cleansing Lotion, I decided to give the other MB dry/sensitive/combo-targeted toner a go. This product is described as a brightening, energizing toner, enhanced with AHAs. It is also alcohol-free, which, again, is a plus! I was a bit warier of this one, however – I know what AHAs are like, & they work well on my skin…but I’d never tried a toner containing AHAs – just masks or masques.
The AHAs in this product come from grapefruit & lemon extract – hence the product’s name. Once I saw that the other key ingredients were aloe & linden (both have soothing properties), I was less worried about how this toner would feel on the skin. I took it home & gave it a go.
This one does sting a bit, & it is definitely less moisturizing than the Seaweed Cleansing Lotion. I don’t find it to be drying in & of itself – but if I were having a bit of an extra sensitive skin moment, I probably wouldn’t reach for this one; I’d grab its sister, Seaweed, instead. For me, this is most similar to a Vitamin C serum – it brightens, tightens, closes pores, & reduces dark spots.
I wondered whether this toner would be more clarifying than the Seaweed, but I don’t believe so. I do think it’s been helping even out my skin tone a little bit; nothing fancy, but it’s definitely doing something. It’s a super pretty color: a soft, glowy orange. The scent is, surprisingly, not at all citrusy. I just get a slight whiff of herbs. This one doesn’t have a heavy scent, either. I really was surprised that I didn’t detect any citrus-y smell in this product…it does have “grapefruit” in its name, after all. I’m not complaining, though: in my opinion, most skin care products shouldn’t be heavily scented (I have a few exceptions that I enjoy).
Overall? Both of these are a game-changer. I have fully incorporated them into my skin care routine, & have only seen good results. I will say that I prefer the Seaweed Cleansing Lotion to the Alpha Grapefruit one. Both are good! I think it just comes down to personal preference. If you’re more interested in a soothing toner, & less interested in a brightening one, I’d recommend you give Seaweed a go. If you’re trying to make your dull skin a bit perkier, I’d say go for Alpha Grapefruit! Like I said, I enjoy using both…but I think Seaweed has my heart. I can’t guarantee I’d repurchase Alpha Grapefruit, but Seaweed is definitely going to have a permanent place on my top shelf.
The funniest thing about all of this? Well…I kept excitedly telling everyone about it, like this method of toning was a new discovery. I got “we know,”& “told you so” a lot. I even got: “Wait…you’ve never used a toner like that?” That’s my personal favorite.
Nope! I hadn’t. I was perfectly happy that way, too – so was my skin. But…now that I’ve finally tried it, this method of toning will now have a permanent place in my routine. The MB facial spray was, is, & always will be amazing – so will the Caudalie Beauty Elixer, & so many others. I’m just experiencing a new feeling with this method of toning…& I’m really enjoying it. So is my skin!
To all the sensitive-skinned people out there who might have worried about how abrasive this kind of toning method may be, let me assure you: it’s not! Just make sure your cotton pads are soft, & that the toner you’re using is for your skin type. You can get a pack of 80 hypoallergenic, unscented, 100% cotton pads for less than $4 at Ulta. You can probably order even more for even less online. Both of these toners cost $15. This isn’t expensive skin care! It’s cheap, it’s effective, & there’s one for everyone. Oh, & don’t worry about spilling product all over your hand, like I did once upon a time. Unless you’re treating it like a gel or a cream, the little flip-up tube that’s built into the product’s cap dispenses the toner just fine. No spillage!
So, to all of those new to this toning method: come join the club! It’s pretty big over here. I find it pretty funny that I’ve been taking care of my skin for a good while – & never given this method a thought up until a few weeks ago. But I’m here now! I’m loving it! & I think you will, too. To those who might be rolling their eyes at my “discovery” over here: I hope at least one out of the two toners I mentioned sound appealing to you, if you haven’t already tried them.
I’m always figuring out new things when it comes to skin care! This time, I figured out an old thing – but it was new to me. I’m just glad I finally went for it. Maybe it’s time for you to do the same.
Okay. I said I’d do it. I said I’d make a post about lip balm…lip balm only. Since I like to overdo things, this turned into a post about lip balms…but also lip scrubs & lip masks. Because, like I said, I overdo things.
Just for some reference, though – I truly am always on the hunt for lip balms. I’m dehydrated a lot!! (I drink water, don’t worry) That means that I’m always reaching for or digging for a lip balm to save my smile…or just my mouth in general.
So, here’s a post about lip balms. A lot of them. Throw in a couple scrubs & treatments/masks, & I feel like by the end of this post you’ll have found a balm that sounds good, is available in your country, & that you can’t wait to buy. That’s what I hope, at least. Enjoy!!!
Before we get started let me address the thought that might be running through some of your minds: “just use Chapstick, for god’s sake!” Let me be clear: Chapstick is easy, it’s accessible, & it…doesn’t really work on me. Most times that I’ve used Chapstick, I’ve ended up with flaky, dry lips with a bunch of product sitting on top of my lips. No product absorbs into my lips when I use Chapstick…that’s why I’m not a fan! Some of you may feel differently…but my lips always say “no” when it comes to using Chapstick.
This isn’t like I never have used it – I absolutely have, & I still do if I’m in a pinch! It works, but it’s not a long-term solution to chapped lips, in my opinion. Don’t worry: there are a lot of options waiting for you right after this introduction, & no matter your budget, you should be able to find a balm that works for you.
Okay, we’ve all heard of this baby (probably). You know: the retro, almost pharmaceutical metal packaging, the one that’s casually scattered on someone’s bed along other skin care products in those effortlessly elegant Instagram posts you may come across (seriously…how do they do it?). But if you haven’t, here’s a little info:
The Rosebud Salve was first sold in 1892. That’s right…1892. So, yeah, it’s been around a while. For good reason – it’s simple, elegant, delicately fragranced, & multi-purpose. It was the first lip balm I ever bought (age 14) other than chapstick – that’s when I decided I wanted to be fancy.
I’ve used this off & on throughout the years. It’s not my favorite, but it is a good balm, no question about it. Rose-scented? Yes. Grandma-scented? No. But seriously…I know that’s often a fear. Who wants to smell like Grandma’s potpourri bowl? Don’t worry. With this one, you won’t. The scent is very light & fades quickly, even if you don’t like it. It’s a shiny balm, & melts into your lips – more oily than waxy – therefore, it’s a great multi-purpose product. My cuticles & elbows always feel softer & more delicate after using this baby on them.
Only $6, a cult-classic (that even makeup artist use) & you’ll find it in the checkout line of any Sephora, most Ulta Beauty stores, & even places like Urban Outfitters. Easy to use, easy to get your hands on, easy to grab on the go.
Still not a fan of rose-scented products? The Rosebud Perfume Co. has exponentially expanded their line: there’s Strawberry (which I love), Rose & Mandarin, Minted Rose, & many more. Prefer your lip balm(s) to be in tube packaging? Again, they have your back: the original rose one & several others are available in squeezable tubes (that’s the version I have in the photos above). This way, you don’t have to carry around little spatulas for hygiene (like I sometimes do) or make yourself sick because you forgot to wash your hands after applying that one time.
Is this balm my favorite? Nope! But it always hangs around. I might not use it on an extra dry day, but it’s a product I have a lot of fondness for. Plus, my elbows are always silky soft after using it. It’s cheap, effective, & easy to find – even outside the U.S.! Also, that packaging! Retro, elegant, & a cute accessory to keep in your bag when out.
All the salve products in this collection are cruelty-free. Some, but not all, are vegan, too.
This salve is a much more recent purchase than the Smith Rosebud Salve. In fact, I didn’t really have interest in buying it – I do have a lot of balms, after all – until I decided to make a post about lip balms! Milk is an up-&-coming, hyped brand, & a lot of people are talking/posting about Milk products because of this. So! I took the plunge.
I really like the scent of this product; very fresh & a bit herbal. It contains ojoba, grape seed, orange peel, & lavender oils, shea butter, & candellia wax. The combo of oils ensures that the balm doesn’t sit on top of your skin; rather, it sinks deep down. This means that the ultimate amount of hydration is thrown at your lips. It also means that this is more of a shiny balm, & less of a matte one. Just be aware! Like the Rosebud Salve, it’s also multi-purpose…hence the product’s name: “salve,” rather than “balm.” I’ve been using this on off days as a highlight (just gently dab & pat into cheekbones) as well as an eye gloss (slide it right over your lids). I thought I’d see a lot of slippage – balms don’t usually have much staying power as a face or eye gloss – but nope! My glossy lids stayed on for more than 4 hours (I’d probably retouch after then if I wanted to keep my shine as good as when originally applied) & the salve on my cheekbones stayed put, for the most part.
Yes, it’s not what you’d call a “cheap” balm – but the packaging is minimalist & elegant, the jar is sturdy (no dents here!), the smell is lovely, &, best of all, it really does work. I like using a heavy layer of Hero Salve at night as a “lip mask,” or a lighter layer for a dewy-lipped, minimalist look. Either way, it works – no flakiness, chapped spots, or redness. It works at its best when I do a lip scrub, wash that off, then apply this salve. Results: plump, exfoliated lips, receiving the ultimate dose of hydration. Still unsure? Don’t get the $20 full size pot! Go for the $12 travel size, & watch your lips thrive. Then go to pick up full size.
Okay…can’t not mention my favorite balm in the universe.
I know, you might think I’m biased, & I get it – I do rep for Glossier, after all. But…I’d been using this balm way before I even know what a Glossier rep was. It was one of my first Glossier purchases, & I have never been out without a tube (or three) since my first order.
Again, this salve is multi-purpose, so you can use it on other areas of your body. There are flavors! So. Many. Flavors. I love them all, but my favorites are Birthday Cake, Rose, & Cherry. Original, of course, is a given.
Don’t like scented products? Go for Original. In love with anything rose, like me? Get Rose, of course! Want a tinted lip – & cheek? Grab some Cherry. Want a highlight, lip shimmer, & eyeshadow all in one? Get Birthday Cake! It’s my current favorite, as well as Glossier’s newest flavor. I’ve used this on my cheekbones, lids, & brow bone. No sliding, no melting – just beautiful, holographic shimmer wherever I want it to be. Oh! It tastes like birthday cake, too. Glossier really outdid themselves on this one; it’s the amped up Balm Dotcom I never knew I needed but now have 3 of.
Why’s this my favorite lip balm? Well, it’s because although the texture is a bit stiffer than some of the other balms I’ve mentioned, it’s not too stiff that it won’t sink in effectively – but not oily enough that other lip products don’t sit well on top. I use thick layers at night, thin layers underneath my lipstick during the day, & a medium layer if I don’t want colored lips that day. No chapping – ever. For me, that’s truly what it comes down to. Does ____ lip balm ever leave you feeling chapped? With any of the Balm Dotcoms, the answer has always been a firm “no.”
The packaging is adorable, too. Each one is themed on a different color: the color of the flavor! Mint is a pale blue-green, Cherry is a bright…cherry…red, Birthday Cake is cream & holographic. This is one of those balms that never leaves my bag or bedside table – so, yes, I have (way) more than one. It’s something I can run out the door with if I forgot to put on lipstick. It’s something I can pull out casually at a restaurant or lecture without having to dig my finger into anything. Most importantly, it’s something I know will always work on my lips, no matter how parched they may be.
If you’re a Balm Dotcom addict like me, you can purchase Glossier’s Balm Trio – that way, you get three balms (flavor of your choice) for $30, so you can cop that free shipping, too.
Dr. Pawpaw’s multipurpose balm is to Australians what Balm Dotcom is to Americans. Celebrities & models like Miranda Kerr, Rose Byrne, & Duckie Thot call it their holy grail balm. They have good reason to, too. The original balm is fragrance-free, multi-purpose, & extremely soothing. The two most active ingredients are fermented pawpaw fruit (a huge factor in making the balm so soothing) & pharmaceutical-grade petroleum. This is a step up from regular old petroleum – you know, the kind you find in Vaseline. It’s milder & non-comedogenic; that means you’re less likely to break out from it, & less likely to get clogged pores from it.
On the back of the tube (which is a bright, eye-catching yellow), Dr. Pawapaw claims to “soothe dry cracked skin,” adds “finishing touches to hair and smoothing brows,” & even “helps with insect bites & minor abrasions,” finishing with: “don’t leave home without it!”
I’m going to say that this is a step up from the Smith Rosebud Salve. After rubbing the tiniest amount onto the back of my hand, I felt within moments that my skin was softer & smoother. Major plus! Since getting it, I’ve also used it on a scraped shin & on my dry elbows. Again – great results. I have nothing bad to say about this one! I’ve seen it in magazine spreads for ages, heard buzz about it for the longest time, but finally decided to give it a serious go after seeing Duckie Thot’s interview with Into the Gloss. I have a huge crush on Duckie (who doesn’t?) & if she uses it, it must be good…her skin is flawless, after all.
To put it simply: it’s a good product, it’s a cheap one, & it feels great on the skin – not just your lips! I love multi-purpose salves, & this one has taken the place of Smith’s Rosebud Salve when I want my cuticles or elbows to have a little extra hydration. Don’t worry…they have a U.S. website! They also have tinted versions now, too. There’s a Peach Pink, an Ultimate Red, & even a limited edition Red Sparkle one. You can also purchase a pack of three for $30, or get a mini travel size for $6. In other words – this company has it down. There’s one for everyone, & none of them will break the bank.
Before I get into the product, let me just say that yes, absolutely, this is an expensive product & you can get one just as good (or better!) for cheaper. That brings me to my (kind of?) point: sometimes, packaging makes a product worth it. Obviously, that’s subjective, & not everyone may feel the same way. That’s fine! To me, however, packaging can be worth it – not always, but sometimes. You just need to know what you’re looking for.
This balm’s packaging is classic Dior: translucent tinted plastic with a silver knob at the end. The silver knob is a trademark for most of their products (like the It-Lash mascara & their lipsticks). This shiny, silver-against-pink packaging makes this balm an accessory as well as a beauty product. It’s something you can carry in a fancy clutch to a red-carpet event; it’s also something you can casually whip out in front of friends (or enemies) to impress them. So: yup! Packaging can be worth the while. Sometimes, however, it’s not. We’ll get to that, don’t worry.
About the balm: these balms are, as the name suggests, tinted. There are four shades: Lilac, Pink, Coral, & Berry. All four adjust to your skin to make it look good on you, personally. It’ll look different on everyone, which I think is pretty neat. I have Pink, which seems to have the most buzz surrounding it. When applying, I definitely see a bit of color – but if you’re expecting a lipstick-like coverage, you won’t find it here. It’s more of a color enhancer, less of a color provider. Again, don’t expect full coverage! I like using this on off days as a lipstick. It’s pretty, it’s subtle, but it also lasts all day, keeping my lips plump & hydrated. The color fades after a few hours, but a light reapplication will rectify that.
The scent is pleasant! It’s also a classic Dior scent (their lipsticks smell this same way): minty, but not too strong; vanilla, but not too sweet. I’m not quite sure how to describe the scent balance, but I think vanilla-mint is the best description I can provide.
All-in-all, it’s an effective tinted balm. Can you find a good one for less? Absolutely. It’s the name & packaging that prompts this product’s high price tag. I still love it, though. I know!! I’m sorry!!!!
I’m quite a fan of Herbivore in general; I haven’t tried any of their products that I actively dislike, which speaks volumes!
I’ll admit it! I don’t usually like the smell of straight-up coconut. I know…I’m sorry! For whatever reason, it’s just not my thing. I find the scent a bit heavy & overwhelming for my nostrils. So, I was a bit doubtful when I first got this baby.
Not to worry. The coconut scent isn’t a pure, coconut oil kind of coconut scent. It’s combined with Moroccan rose absolute, resulting in a scent that is sweet yet fresh, delicate yet lasting, feminine yet masculine. So, if you’re a coconut hater like me, don’t worry about not liking the scent of this product. It’s not the stereotypical coconut scent – & even if it were, it fades gently & gracefully. You won’t smell this all day long!
As for the product: when first opening the pot, I found the texture a bit hard & waxy. Don’t worry…give it 10-15 seconds. The heat of your finger will warm up the product, making it easier to scoop out of its container.
The main ingredients in this balm are virgin coconut oil & Moroccan rose absolute. The coconut oil is rich in fatty acids, lauric acid & proteins. These aid in providing intensive hydration, replenishment and nourishment to the lips. The Moroccan rose absolute also provides hydration – & acts as an anti-inflammatory (if you’re a rose junkie, like me, you know that rose products are super soothing/help with reducing redness & irritation). Not only are both ingredients safe to taste…they taste good, too! According to Herbivore’s site: the coconut oil has a light, natural, vanilla taste – not too coconut-y! The rose absolute tastes like it smells: “light, floral & sweet.” These two combined results in a fresh, floral, sweet scent – & taste.
The best way I can describe the texture of the balm/conditioner/whatever you want to call it is: “buttery.” It leaves my lips pillow-soft, plump, & isn’t too greasy or waxy. It’s truly a Goldielocks consistency. I will say that it takes a bit of work to warm the balm when first using it. After a few uses, there will be a slight dent in the product. That makes it a lot easier to scoop it up & apply.
I love this as a lip primer! Like I said, this balm has a buttery texture that isn’t too greasy or waxy. This makes it perfect to layer lightly under a lip liner or lipstick. The product on top of the balm won’t bleed through – but it also won’t dry your lips as the day progresses. I’d describe this as a dewy finish…kind of strange to refer to a balm in that way, but it’s true! The texture is unique, & I mean that in the best way possible.
This is great for daytime use, whether it be by itself or with another lip product. Also: the small, compact container makes it super easy to carry! That makes it perfect for your bag – or back pocket. I don’t find this moisturizing enough to use overnight. If I had a day where my lips were especially chapped, I don’t think this is the first one I’d reach for. But…there’s a balm for every need! This one fulfills many, & it’s a great product.
Remember when I said that some things are expensive just because of the packaging? This is one of them. It’s basically Smith’s Rosebud Salve, but in a more elegant container with the Dior logo. I will say that it does not contain petrolatum (a filler ingredient in many, if not most, lip balms), so that might be a reason for the higher price point, as well. Instead, key ingredients are: Rose of Damas essential oil (anti-aging); Vitamins A & E (energizing); & shea butter (smoothing & hydrating).
The scent is very pleasant, but very faint. It’s rose-scented – like the Rosebud Salve, though, it’s not an “old lady rose” smell. It’s fresh & floral, not cloying & not too sweet. This product also contains SPF 10, which is…okay, I guess! SPF 10 doesn’t really do anything to protect skin from the sun, so I’m not sure why this was included in the ingredients. I guess better some protection than none, right?
The goal of this balm is to plump, smooth & hydrate. I will say it smooths & hydrates; I don’t, however, see much of a difference in my lips if we’re talking about plumpness. I wouldn’t buy this if your only goal is to find a plumping balm; it doesn’t live up to that claim well enough, in my opinion. The product is also described as having a transparent shine – I agree. The pink color of the balm doesn’t carry over to your lips. Just like the Rose Salve & the Glossier Rose Balm Dotcom, the slight pink tint of the product doesn’t do anything to change the color of your lips. I’m not mad about that – they do call it transparent, after all! Just know that you won’t be getting any color from this balm.
At the end of the day, however, this is Dior – it’s going to have a higher price point. It’s a very pretty balm (the color is gorgeous) & the packaging is elegant & looks chic on your vanity or in your purse.
What a breath of fresh air: a Caudalie product that won’t make your wallet cry! As many of you may know, Caudalie’s products aren’t what anyone would call cheap. I love all the Caudalie products I’ve tried…but my budget forces me to leave it on the shelf when I’m at Sephora. I will occasionally treat myself to the Beauty Elixir (travel size) which is probably my favorite product of theirs. Other than that, I keep my distance.
That’s why I was pleasantly surprised to see that Caudalie’s take on a lip balm was so (relatively) inexpensive. I was even more pleasantly surprised to see the amazing results I got from the balm: oftentimes, luxury lip balms don’t really…do anything. Not the case with this one!
The texture of the lip conditioner is more of a waxy one – like Chapstick. Grape oil and organic fair-trade shea butter nourish, renew, and repair; ceramides moisturize & protect; plant waxes provide a rich, creamy texture.
You saw the grape oil right at the top, right? Caudalie is famous for incorporating grape oil/water into their products. This is amazing because it makes them smell a bit like champagne – a breath of fresh air from the rose or vanilla-scented balms on the market. This one is very fresh & clean. Due to its waxy texture, I prefer not to wear this at night; it’s more of a daytime balm for me.
I’d say that if you’re looking for a “bougie” product to treat yourself to but don’t have much money, go for something like this! The packaging is elegant, the brand is high-end, but in the end, you’re only paying $12. Could you get the same effects from a different, cheaper balm? Yup! But the champagne scent, pretty packaging, & buttery texture on your lips makes you feel like you’re really treating yourself. It’s a nice little luxury that won’t break the bank.
I hold quite a bit of fondness in my heart for Fresh’s lip balms. I received a few of them years ago for Christmas (I was a tween!) as a stocking stuffer. The classic scent (citrusy yet sugary) always prompts a wave of nostalgia if I whiff it in my local Sephora.
As much as I love the Fresh lip balms, they’re not a staple in my balm collection – because, as amazing they are, a $25 price tag for a lip balm that’s not a “high fashion” brand is quite a bit. I’ll get one from time to time, but it’s not a product you’d count on seeing in my bag, my room, or on my makeup table.
However: I was browsing the “New at Sephora” page a few weeks ago & came across the Sugar Sport. I immediately noted the SPF 30, & took a liking to the sturdy yet whimsical packaging. I went back & forth for a bit, but finally decided to go for it.
Boy am I glad I did!!! Firstly, this balm smells like the original Fresh Sugar Lips, which I love. Whenever I wear it, I’ll pucker up my lips, closer to my nose, to get an extra whiff of the scent. There’s a reason Fresh made a fragrance inspired by the scent of their Sugar Lips – it’s that good.
Fresh named this balm “Sugar Sport” for good reason: it’s water-resistent, safe to use all over your face – even your eye area – & is ultra-hydrating. The SPF 30 obviously protects your skin/lips from UV rays; it won’t come off with water, either (as mentioned above).
Besides the chemicals used to incorporate SPF into the product, the main ingredients are Moisture-preserving sugar & a blend of various oils, including avocado & black current. The sugar is a humectant – that means it retains & preserves moisture. The cocktail of oils allows the product to sink more easily into the skin/lips. This ensures a long-lasting, effective wear.
I’ve also noticed that my lips are never chapped when using this balm. I chart it to the SPF. The sun dries out your face & body – so of course, it would dry out your lips, too.
I’m a big fan of this product. I’d never tried an SPF lip balm before, & I’m glad I gave this one a go. Yes, it’s pricey; it’s also water-proof & moisture-retaining…& it smells great. The bright-orange, sturdy packaging makes it easy to find, even if you’re carrying a big tote or a backpack. I’ll be taking this with me on “outside” days, like a trip to an amusement park, a strawberry-picking outing, or a day by the pool. This makes sun protection chic! No gross smell or stickiness – just the classic Fresh fragrance with some amped up protection. I love it!
Lip scrubs are a must for me, especially before putting on a heavy-duty lip product, like liquid lipstick. Okay, I’ll admit it – I kind of stopped using liquid lipstick because 1) the trend is a bit dead now 2) it would take a day & a half of lip prepping for me to know that my lips would look good in a liquid to matte lipstick. Despite quitting on the liquid lips, I continue to use lip exfoliators. That’s because I still need to get rid of old skin cells – & I like the plump, soft, fresh feeling my lips have right after a good scrub. It’s been hard for me to find ones I like; I’ve had a lot more difficulty finding a decent/good lip scrub than I have had finding a balm. At this point, however, I have at least two that will stay on my top shelf permanently. If you’re also frustrated by your inability to find a good lip scrub, keeeeep reading!
Okay, I’ll be the first one to say it: this is not worth your money – even if you like pretty packaging! Let me defend myself by saying that I saw a lot of posts (& ads) talking about how versatile & travel-friendly this scrub is. The theory is that you can rub it across your lips, rub your lips together, & then go on with life – the sugar will simply sink into your lips; no need to wipe it off.
Well, Dior really played me on that one. This does not sink into your lips. I’ve had to wipe sugar off my mouth every single time I’ve used it. Also, the stick formula doesn’t work for a product like this. There’s not enough friction if you’re applying it in gentle sweeps – & I’m scared to do it stronger than that, in fear of breaking the product.
Packaging: the same as Dior’s Addict Lip Glow Color Revival Balm: the pale pink tube with the silver knob. The scent is also the same: vanilla-mint is the best way I can describe it.
So…yeah. Save your money on this one. I’ll keep using it until it’s gone, but I won’t be re-purchasing. Even as I type “I’ll keep using it” a part of me wonders if I really will keep using it. It’s so ineffective that I usually forget I own it.
Cute? Yes. Effective? Not even a little. I’m all here for pretty packaging, but the product must at least be decent. This one, in my opinion, is not.
Most of us know Bite for its “edible” lipsticks & its versatile multi-sticks. I didn’t really know about their three-step lip collection until I saw the pretty, bullet-shaped tube of lip balm at the checkout line at Sephora. I went home, did a little research, & decided to try the scrub, since I didn’t need more lip balms.
According to Bite, this lip scrub is a three-in-one product: a cleanser, exfoliator, & conditioner. Why a cleanser? Well, rub the product into your lips for however long you feel is necessary, then add water. The scrub will turn into a milky foam, dissolve, & leave your lips free of product. That’s the cleansing & exfoliating taken care of! The conditioning comes from the oils left over from the lip scrub (even after it’s washed off). Let them sink in overnight, & you’ll (theoretically) wake up with soft, smooth, conditioned lips.
This all sounds amazing! But let me say this: while it’s entertaining to see the dark, molasses-colored product melt into a transluscent foam, & cool to think of your lips being “cleansed”…it really isn’t all that. I tried using it once all by itself, with no follow-up product. I woke up with kind of dry lips. I don’t think that the oils from the lip scrub work by themselves; they need another product to truly be effective.
I don’t hate this product, but I also don’t love it. I use it, sure! But there’s other scrubs I prefer; ones that I think work more effectively.
Oh, Lush! The first skincare brand I ever was introduced to – I started poring over their (very cool) catalogs around 10 years old, & begged for their limited edition shower gels for Christmas (still love them). I’d tried one of their lip scrubs years ago – the Bubblegum one, which is still available – but ran out long ago & never thought to replace it. Once I saw they’d come out with a new flavor, honey, I squealed. I love honey-scented/honey-themed products, so this one already sounded amazing.
The packaging is classic Lush: you know, the slanted, white font against a black background. The amount of product you get is outstanding for the price you’re paying – I’d say this is the best deal, if you’re looking for something cheap.
Not only is it the best deal…it’s also one of my top two lip scrubs. The grains of sugar can be a bit large (size varies) so use the product carefully…you don’t want to scrape your lips. A little goes a looonnngggg way, which is another plus for someone on a budget. Of course, honey is the main ingredient. This softens the lips & draws moisture from the air to continue the hydration process even after you’ve washed (or licked) off the sugar. It also contains white chocolate, vanilla, & peppermint oil. The peppermint oil leaves your lips feeling cool & tingly – & makes them look plumper, too. The base ingredient is jojoba oil, which conditions, leaving lips soft, pillowy, & moisturized.
I love using this scrub before bed, with a lip mask on top, or in the morning, before applying a bright lip. The plumping effect is subtle – you won’t look ridiculous. It just will bring a bit more attention to your cupid’s bow…like a highlight on that area might do!
I love Lush, & always have. They have a great message, great products, & great customer service. I was elated when they announced their Honey Lip Scrub – & I wasn’t let down.
Okay…out of them all, this is the one – the one that I love most, the one that works best, the one that I’ll continue buying until I die (or until they run out).
Like the Coco Rose Coconut Oil Lip Conditioner, this product contains virgin coconut oil, shea butter, & rose oil – it smells just like the conditioner because of this. All three of these ingredients are ultra-hydrating, so you’ll end up with soft, smooth lips.
The best thing about this product, however, is the texture of the sugar. Raw sugar is used, but the granules are incredibly fine & delicate. This makes the exfoliation gentle; it also lets you get into every crevice of your lips. When my lips are at their most chapped, I reach for this one before putting on a lip mask. This is truly my holy grail lip scrub. Delicate but effective – & it smells like roses. Absolutely no complaints here!
This product is vegan & cruelty-free
Okay, so what’s a lip treatment? It’s basically a lip balm, but a goopier formula, usually containing more oils. The oils & liquidy texture are what makes these treatments like face masks for your lips. They’re ideal to use after a lip scrub – your lips will be exfoliated & ready for a punch of hydration & essential oils. They’re best used in the evening, right before bed. That way, your lips have a solid 6-8 hours (hopefully you can sleep that long; I can’t) to absorb all of the good stuff.
Can you use a plain old lip balm as a lip mask? Definitely! I certainly have. Lip treatments aren’t a must, but they’re a nice thing to have if you suffer constantly from chapped lips. There are some really expensive ones…& there are some very affordable ones. Let me share my favorites with you!
You can find these babies everywhere. By everywhere, I really do mean everywhere. Check your local pharmacy, Ulta Beauty, or even the beauty aisle at your grocery store. Chances are you’ll find a whole row (or two) of these.
There are eight “shades,” or flavors. Each contains a base formula of jojoba, avocado, & tsubaki oil – all three of these are healing & hydrating. Then, you get to choose your flavor. Each treatment is infused with a different oil. For example, Peach Mango is rejuvenating, Primrose is repairing, Lemon Honey is healing, & so on. I’ve tried Peach Mango & Primrose; I currently own Primrose. What’s unique about these treatments is that they work very well as a gloss, too. They’re great for overnight repair & healing – but look amazing during the day, whether by themselves or on top of another lip product. Depending on which one you choose, you’ll be getting a tinted – or untinted – product. Flavors like Pomegranate & Raspberry will give a bit of color as well as the shine that each of the treatments has; if you don’t want any color at all, I recommend you try either Almond Coco or Lemon Honey; those are the most translucent. You shouldn’t get any color at all from those…not even a little!
What’s most unique about this product is the applicator. It’s hard to describe; I guess I’d go about saying that it’s enormous! It’s a doe foot applicator, like most lip glosses; it’s just about ten times bigger. Milani describes it as a “plush, extra soft applicator that hugs the curves of your lips, locking in moisture.” I agree with this: thanks to this strange, pillowy applicator, these treatments are extremely soothing & easy to apply. I do have one complaint: the applicator is so large that product is used up quite quickly. If the wand was a bit smaller, I think the product would last longer. Regardless…it’s a very cool, innovative
If you’re looking for a super affordable, super effective lip treatment that doubles as a gloss (&, if you choose the right one, a tint, too), these Milani treatments are perfect for you.
I’ve made a post about Complex’s products before – some of my favorites, & why they’re so good! I really like supporting indie brands – if they have good products – & this brand is one of those. This lip mask is surprisingly effective. I say surprisingly because I see results within 48 hours or less! Like most lip treatments, I find it most effective to use in the evening, after an exfoliation.
Out of all the lip treatments/masks I’ve tried, I’ve found this to be the most “goopy.” It’s not a product I’d wear in the day time – if I were to go out, that is. I’m all good wearing this on an off day in my bedroom! It just means more moisture & nourishment for my lips.
Like I mentioned, this product is “goopy.” That’s mostly because of all the oils it contains. Oils are a good thing!! The two primary ones are castor seed oil, which soothes, moisturizes, & protects; & coconut oil, which moisturizes, heals, strengthens skin tissue, and protects skin cells from damage over time. Other key ingredients: a peptide blend, plant stem cells, & an amino acid blend. Together, these work to plump, hydrate, regenerate, firm, & heal skin cell damage over time. You’ll see short-term & long-term results with this product.
I mentioned that I liked using it after a lip scrub – Complex’s site says that this product “works best with exfoliated lips,” so we’re on the same page here! The site also says that it works as a lip balm for daytime, which I think could work for some – it’s just not my style! Remember, skin care is different for everyone. I’m not telling you it’s bad to use in the day time, & it won’t hurt you if you do use it in the daytime. It’s just not my balm of choice when going out somewhere.
I love love love the smell of this product. It’s a sweet yet not overpowering vanilla: closer to vanilla bean than grocery store vanilla cake. The one thing I actively dislike about the product is the way it’s dispensed: it works like a soap bottle; you push down to pump out product. I think it’s fine for using at night when your hands are clean, but when out & about, it’s probably not the most sanitary way to apply a lip product. Like I mentioned previously, however: I use this product exclusively at night, so I have no problem with the way it dispenses! When I have clean hands, there’s no wrong way to use a lip product.
Okay…out of the whole Dior Lip Glow collection (I have everything but the liner, which I didn’t get because of the less-than-stellar reviews), this is the one that is absolutely, 100%, without a doubt, worth your money.
Looks like a gloss, right? It is! That’s what I like about it. This product doubles as a gloss & a lip mask/treatment. The packaging is gorgeous (that millennial pink tube) & the product has a subtle, minty scent like the balm & the scrub from the same collection. The product dispenses very evenly, thanks to the odd but effective way the product comes out of the tube: instead of one large hole in the middle of the applicator, there are 6 smaller ones scattered all over the top. This makes it extremely easy to effectively coat your lips with an even amount of product. Also – comes in a tube, not a pot or a pump dispenser. This makes it great for on the go, great for at home, great for whenever. Did I mention it’s gorgeous? This is most definitely an accessory as well as a beauty product – & it’s one that’s extremely effective as both!
This whole Dior Lip Glow collection has been getting a lot of hype lately, thanks to Bella Hadid becoming a brand ambassador. I was curious – it’s hard not to see Bella Hadid wherever you go, & her ads appeal to a younger crowd…someone like me. I think the Lip Glow collection is okay. The balm is alright, the lip scrub is not, but the pomade is truly amazing. If you were to choose between one of the three, I’d say get the pomade. I won’t be repurchasing the scrub, I miiighttt repurchase the balm in a different shade (the berry one looks pretty), but I will, without a doubt, continue to buy this pomade.
My favorite thing to do with this product is exfoliate with the Herbivore Lip Polish, gently wipe off excess sugar, then apply a thick layer of the pomade right before bed. I wake up with soft, glowy, full lips every single time. If we’re talking dream combos, this one is mine. It continues to blow my mind each time I use it.
Well…that was a shamefully long post about one of the simplest products out there: lip balms. Still – I feel like this post is something that’s necessary! Everyone has their holy grail lip balm…some, however, are still looking for it. There are good options at every price point, & you will be able to find something that works well for you, looks cute, & feels great, too! If you feel like I missed one that you can’t live without, let me know in the comments.