You know – the memes where people call Glossier for the perfect-skinned; the memes where people coat themselves in Vaseline, saying "I love the newest Glossier highlight!"
Basically, what's been coming to pass is: Glossier's been criticized for appealing only to those with dry, clear skin. That their products don't suit those with more oily skin; that they're not being inclusive; that their "no-makeup makeup" only really works on one skin type.
Well, Glossier heard, & Glossier responded – in the best manner possible: by using a meme making fun of their own brand.
Two days ago, on Instagram:
First: nice response! Light-hearted acknowlegment that yeah, maybe their products weren't for everyone – up til now. The link was wowder.net. This redirected to glossier.com/wowder, which claimed:
A little information, a little video, & a waitlist. People complained that they couldn't stand the wait! That this was going to be Glossier's most unique product yet; a product that strayed from natural dewiness – & helped people with more oily skin control their shine.
Some of you into the beauty scene may have spotted "Wowder" in a video made by YouTuber Jackie Aina – you can watch it right here.
The video was titled: "Trying NEW Makeup! First Impressions and More." Jackie tried a host of products made by a host of brands, including Burberry, Natasha Denona – & a brand that Jackie said she could not reveal. In the description box, it says: "One of those products is a product I previously tested BEFORE agreeing to collaborate for this video. Today you'll get a sneak peak of that product!"
Jackie went on to test the "Wowder" – she used two shades: "Rich" & "Dark/Deep." Jackie said: "These powders are designed to set the makeup. They control oil, they are mattifying, they help with long wearing of makeup – BUT! These powders do not respond the same way some others do, & I'm going to show you what I mean by that."
Jackie went on to use this for her under-eye area, & also used a bit to dust all over her face. She mentioned that the product had a special brush – but used her beauty blender when applying Wowder on her under-eye area. She mentioned how neutral this powder was – no excess red or yellow under-tones. She seemed to be quite happy with her results, by the end.
For Glossier to send a product to Jackie Aina to test out speaks volumes. She's an extremely popular YouTuber – but she's "different." By different, I mean: She's not afraid to speak her mind about certain brands & their questionable ethics; she's not afraid to call out brands for their lack of shade diversity; she makes videos with a full face of cruelty-free makeup, or a full face of makeup made by black businesses.
Basically – Jackie is a hilarious, talented, politically correct YouTuber – & I trust her because of her unapologetic reviews. She's extremely open – so for her to say such positive things about Wowder? Again, it speaks volumes.
Right off the bat, this told me that Wowder would be good for those with oily skin, & there would be shades that would suit women of color – yes, even dark-skinned women of color. Great! I was a bit apprehensive, though – would I like Wowder? I have dry skin; I have pale skin. I love highlight & I love looking dewy. Would Wowder appeal to me?
Well, I got to find out a bit sooner than the rest of you. Full disclosure: I am a Glossier Rep, & while I am not paid for this review (or giving this information) I have been sent Glossier products in the past & continue to get sent new products if I make sales quotas as a rep. I was lucky enouh to make my quota (thanks to all of you!) & I got a mysterious email a few weeks ago, from "The Wowder Team."
I wanted to make sure that it wasn't spam, so I reached out to my wonderful community director. I got a winky face, & a bit of a tongue-in-cheek confirmation. Low & behold – my Wowder arrived about 5 days ago, & I have been testing it ever since I got it (quietly, that is). Let's take a look at my first impression photos. First: a letter to me from The Wowder Team:
Basically: identities were revealed, & there was a box that I was extremely excited to open.
As you can see, I got "Light/Medium." I was…extremely apprehensive about getting this shade. Turns out – this is the lightest one! & it suits me beautifully. Why? Well, turns out it's actually okay to have a powder that is slightly darker (or the same shade) as your skin, as long as it's neutral. For me, in fact, choosing a powder that is my exact foundation shade could be detrimental if I happened into a paparazzi event – the flashback would be terrible. Should I say James Charles terrible?
My point is – no one's face is "HD-white" – not even me, whitest of whites. So – we start with the lightest shade, which is "Light-Medium." Then there is "Rich" & "Dark/Deep," the shades Jackie used combined. The shades are sheer, so they are adaptable. They're not necessarily universal, but these three shades will cover the whole range of skin tones – becaues of the neutral undertones the powders possess.
I was a bit suspicious of the color of the powder – & how it would look on my skin – but I had (& still do have) faith in Jackie Aina, so I persisted.
I don't use under-eye concealer, so I don't set my undereyes. I decided to be creative – that's what Glossier's all about, right??? I decided to use it in place of a "face makeup" aside from concealer. So, basically, I used a bit of Tarte's Shape Tape Concealer in Fair or Glossier's Stretch Concealer in Light for spot coverage/coverage in the middle of my face. Then, I would lightly buff Wowder over my forhead, center of my face, & other areas I might want to cover.
Wowder is truly amazing. Take it from an oily-skinned, extremely famous YouTuber like Jackie Aina – & a quiet, dry-skinned, not-famous-at-all writer (????) like me. We both love Wowder! We use different shades, & we use it in different ways – but we both love it.
I've found that Wowder has a blurring effect. It definitely prevents flashback in photos. It's almost like a filter when you wear it. It's buildable – I could see myself wearing Wowder, & Wowder only – I like it best, however, in the way I have been using it the past few days.
What're some other fun facts about Wowder? Read away:
Contains diamond powder for dimension; no flat effect here! & no, don't believe the people on Reddit – diamond dust does not hurt your skin
It has an airy, weightless formula – it absorbs oil, but vanishes into skin (this is why it's great for all skin types)
The "trampoline mesh" that keeps the powder safe = no mess packaging. It's easy to shake out a little; it's equally easy to make sure you're not wasting product, either.
"Does it come with the brush?"
According to Glossier, the Wowder Brush was "specifically designed to work with Wowder" (I would hope, anyway!!!). The bristles are very soft, but they're also dense – great for a powder like Wowder, or even for a more intense powder highlight. Its shape makes it easy to buff Wowder all over the face, or focus on smaller areas: like under-eyes. Glosser: "The Wowder Brush ($20 USD, $25 CAD) & Wowder ($22 USD, $27 CAD) were invented to work together, so we've made you The Wowder Duo PDP - this includes Wowder & the Wowder brush, which total to $35 USD or $45 CAD. In both currencies, you'll save $7 by buying the duo.
Don't want a powder, but want the brush? The Wowder Brush is available separately! Don't want the brush, but want the powder? Wowder is available separately!
Is dewy OUT now? Is Glossier being trendy by switching things up? Will they maintain their relevance?
I'm biased – but I think Glossier's here to stay. They're reaching out to more people by releasing Wowder. Now, people with oily skin; people who enjoy a matte finish; people who retweeted or reblogged the Glossier memes (!!) will start looking at Glossier with a more serious eye. Glossier itself said:
"Fresh, real skin is what we’re known for, and Wowder is an extension of that. Still healthy and glowing, but matte where you want it—no more shiny t-zone. We aren’t backpedaling on the dewy look that’s core to our brand (dewy isn’t dead!
we love dewy!). Makeup is a choice. Choose your finish."
Choose your shade. Choose your finish. Choose the way you want to do makeup – or not! I'm here for it – & I never thought I would say that I love a powder as much as I love this one! But I really do. I might be switching my CC Creams out for Wowder & a little concelaer on extra hot, sweaty days. I think my skin will thank me. But now, I can choose a finish – & still shop with one of my favorite brands.
As I type this, Wowder is now available, & you can get it here!!! Get it! tell me what you think. I can't wait to here your opinions on Glossier's latest – & most unique (for them, anyway) product. & while you're waiting for your shipping, here's a few photos of me rocking Wowder last night:
But it comes down to this: if you follow me on social, or if you read this blog, chances are that you have dry/sensitive skin, & you might not normally wear powder. Are you worried about using a powder?
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?
"Blurry lips" have had a bit of a moment this summer. Whether it's dabbing a bit of creamy lipstick into the center of your lips & patting it outwards or carefully dropping a red, ink-like substance into your lips – I say into because it literally sinks into your lips as you watch – waiting in satisfaction for the slight blur it provided the outer lines lines of your lips.
Blurry lips look effortless, easy, & windswept. They look beautiful on days out; they look sexy when paired with a good liner & mascara. They can be done all kinds of ways. Here's a look I've been loving lately:
This is the easy, care-free, blurry look I'm going for. However – I was about to go out for the evening when I snapped this photo. I had to make sure my lips would last at least an hour or two – it's no use to keep applying a product that simply flies off in thirty minutes or less.
To make sure my lips stayed blurry…but also stayed in place, I took a few extra measures here. I used the Stila Lush Lips Water Plumping Primer Stila Lush Lips Water Plumping Primer – described as a "two-in-one aqua balm treatment and primer to keep lips looking and feeling full and plump." I don't think this is necessary if you don't struggle with dry or chapped lips; this is a product I use simply because it's like a lip balm underneath a lipstick or liner – without the greasiness. This one melts into my lips, & makes sure they have enough hydration to keep on a lip color without flaking or feathering. I don't think it's a "necessary" product & I have done many a look without this…but if you struggle with chapped lips, this is a nice primer for you.
When I apply the liner, I'm not 100% precise with it; I'll make some areas a bit darker & others a bit lighter. I just make sure to define my cupid's bow & the lower bottom lip. Everything else is fair game. I blot the liner over with my finger before I use Glossier's Generation G Lipstick in Jam – my favorite shade, besides Zip. Jam is a great autumn/winter shade because it can be built down to a quite dark, berry, "jammy" shade. It's also gorgeous during the summer when lightly patted into the lips – which is exactly what I did for this look. It glosses over the feathered look the liner gives; softens some harshness. Then you're ready for the final step!
I used the Milk Makeup Oil Lip Stain in the shade Feelz to finish off my look. This product is very self-descriptive; the oil gives a good bit of sheen to the lip; it is not, however, glossy or sticky. This sheen eventually gracefully fades into the color already onto the lip. It's beautiful by itself; I also love using it as a lip topper. Whether sheen or matte, this product is a great finishing touch & ensures the color will stay for hours – thanks to the "stain" in the actual name of the product.
I've swatched all three of the lip colors used on my hand below. I love this plummy shade at all times of the year; it just depends on how heavy a hand you want to use, really. I love using these products alone or combined – all three or just one. They're great products – all three are super easy to apply…even if you use more than one.
The end result is slightly sexy, illusion-of-wine-stained lips. I like pairing it with a few sweeps of reddish-bronze eyeshadow. It looks sleepy – again, we're going with the effortless theme, remember? It's summer.
What's your favorite summer lip/eye/cheek? Tell me about it!
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!
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.
Happy official summer, everyone! Now that we’ve had our first global heatwave (hello, reminder that the planet is getting warmer), it’s truly time to get serious about sun protection.
Yeah, I was joking about the planet getting warmer (except not really…because it is), but it’s no laughing matter. As summers (& winters) get warmer, we lose the protection of the ozone layer, which makes us more susceptible to UV rays – which cause cancer. Sun burn is bad, & cancer is worse. Of course, we’re all at risk for skin cancer – but making an effort to wear SPF on your body & face every. Single. Day. Will drastically reduce that risk.
So! I’ve already posted about a few sunscreens & SPF products, but here’s an even long lineup. Some of them are just plain old sunscreen; some of them are CC cream-type products; one is even a moisturizer that contains SPF. Two in one, perfect for those lazy summer days. I hope one (or more!) of these suit you, & even if none of these are particularly appealing…please wear sunscreen every day! You’re doing your own body a huge, huge favor.
SPF Products With No Tint
These will give you sun protection with no tint, coverage…whatever you want to call a foundation product! Just plain old sunscreen kind of SPFs.
Dr. Jart is, all around, a very solid brand. It’s K-Beauty at its finest (check out their Beauty Balm, their Ceramidin line, & their rubber masks if you want to be blown out of the water). This isn’t my favorite product of theirs, but its a product my mama purchased for me when we found out my new meds would increase my sensitivity to the sun. SPF 50 is about as powerful as it gets! There’s some debate over whether an SPF 50 is truly more effective than an SPF 35, but if you’re paranoid about being protected, go with the 50 & your mind will be at ease. This is a physical sunscreen, so its active ingredients are zinc oxide & titanium dioxide – ingredients that sometimes leave a white cast or a tacky feel. On my skin, I haven’t had either of these issues with this product. Just remember I have fair skin, so this sunscreen might leave a white cast on those with deeper skin tones (feel free to comment below if you’ve tried this sunscreen – or any of the others – & what your experience with it has been).
This sunscreen has a slight sunscreen-y smell, which I don’t like. At the same time…it is a sunscreen…plus, it has powerful SPF, doesn’t break me out, & leaves no stickiness or white cast. The price is reasonable for the amount you get (& the strength of the SPF). If you’re a fan of Dr. Jart’s products & aren’t wary of physical sunscreens, I’d say give this one a go! Even though most physical sunscreens are a hit or miss for me, I’ve had no issues with this one.
One of the newer sunscreens to hit the market, the Glossier Invisible Shield is a chemical sunscreen – that means that it does not contain zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, the ingredients that are classically found in a physical sunscreen. This also means that it leaves no white cast, even on the deepest of skin tones. Glossier made this clear by casting a dark-skinned model in their Invisible Shield campaign.
I enjoy this sunscreen a good deal! It has a pleasant smell (citrusy), so if you’re bothered by the “sunscreen smell” this is a good option for you. It’s super lightweight – the texture reminds me of Drunk Elephant’s B-Hydra Gel – so I like putting it on if I’ll be wearing a full face of makeup. It sinks right in & I know that it won’t interfere with how my makeup sits on my face. You’re getting less product than the Dr. Jart sunscreen for about the same price (Dr. Jart’s is 1.7 fl. oz.; Glossier’s is 1 fl. oz.), but if you’re looking for a sunscreen that definitely won’t clog your pores or feel sticky/heavy on your skin, it’s worth it, in my opinion. Not my favorite Glossier product, but it’s a sunscreen that’s worth mentioning, especially for readers who have deeper skin tones.
I own three of Farmacy’s products (this one, the Honey Potion mask, & their Green Clean double cleanser) & have nothing bad to say about any of them. This is also a physical sunscreen, so it does contain titanium dioxide & zinc dioxide, but I get no stickiness, white cast, or sunscreen-y smell from this product. It’s a slightly lower SPF than the Glossier one, & significantly lower than the Dr. Jart, so this might be a reason for its lack of sunscreen-y scent. It’s also worth noting that it’s in the same price range as the Dr. Jart & Glossier – but has slightly lower SPF.
Still, I have nothing bad to say about this! It claims to be non-greasy &, interestingly, says it helps with fading dark spots. It’s definitely non-greasy, & I really enjoy the scent of the product; it’s super fresh. Another defense for the price of this product is that it’s cruelty-free & formulated with all-natural ingredients (side note: Glossier is also cruelty-free). &…I do think it helps fade dark spots – at least, the ones that you get from blemishes. I noticed a decrease in dark spots after I used this 5-6 times. It’s also great for sensitive skin – actually, all of Farmacy’s products are. I think it’s even less sticky than the Dr. Jart one (which isn’t sticky at all) & I enjoy the smell of this one a lot, too – which says something, since I usually despise the scent of most physical sunscreens. I’d say grab a sample & see how it feels! I have nothing bad to say – & you’re paying for 1.7 fl. oz rather than 1 fl. oz (which is what you get from Glossier Invisible Shield). Plus, it’s 100% organically-sourced & cruelty-free.
Full disclosure (as always!!): I got this sent to me by Origins (thank you!!) & was initially skeptical. When I put it on the back of my hand, it felt too thick to be a day cream…it seemed to be more suitable for night use. However, it was contradictory – because who needs SPF at night, right? Still, Origins has never done me wrong (& yes…I’ve purchased 99% of their products myself. I’m being honest!), plus the white tea made the cream smell really good – so no sunscreen-y smell that I keep harping on about. I decided to give it a go at night, first, to see how my skin reacted to it, then if it was okay, try it during the day.
Night time = good. Day time = good. It’s not sticky at all – not even a little bit! – & leaves no white cast on my skin. It smells amazing, it’s great to use on no-makeup days…& it’s also great to use on makeup days, when I just don’t feel like putting on moisturizer & SPF. This one does it all. I love it, & will be purchasing it myself when I run out – but I don’t think I’ll need to for a while. A little goes a long way.
SPF Products With Tint
So…yup! These are SPF products. With tint. For days when you feel like you want face makeup, but don’t want an extra step to protect your face from the sun. But still want to protect your face from the sun.
I like this product pretty okay! That’s probably the best way I can describe it: pretty okay. I will say that it was an introduction to CC Creams to me. Like… the guy at Sephora patiently heard out my rant (“Nothing matches my fair skin, I’ve tried every foundation & BB cream in the book & I still end up looking orange. Or dry“) & then guided me over to K-Beauty, placed this in my hands, put it on my face, & I left with my mouth wide open. I’d never seen a product that adjusted to one’s skin tone. That blew my mind (& yes…it was in January of this year. I’m behind on this trend, I’m aware).
However…after looking into more CC cream-type products, I kind of lost my love for this one. It wasn’t a perfect match for me. Some days it would look really good; others, I kind of felt like a Mattel doll. It worked, but it didn’t move with my face. It does have SPF, yes – but it’s SPF 25. I wouldn’t feel comfortable wearing this without some extra protection. Also, this is a good product if you’re pale – but Erborian only carries two shades: Clair (my shade) & Regular. Regular is in no way a shade for deeper skin tones. It probably would suit people a few shades darker than me. Erborian in no way is covering the shade range that it should. I get that it’s a niche brand, & I get that K-Beauty doesn’t usually have darker shades…but I know of other K-Beauty brands that do. So, Erborian…I love your holographic packaging, & your CC Cream works pretty well for me. But I’d love to see a larger shade range (like…come on!!) & I’d like to see you amp up that SPF a little, too. Xoxo, Gossip Girl.
Okay…yes!!! I first heard about CLĒ through one of the Glossier girl’s Instagrams (@ceciliagorgon), & was intrigued. It’s not often you hear a girl with a deeper skin tone (I believe Cecilia wears a combo of Deep & Dark in Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint/Stretch Concealer & Medium Deep in CLĒ but I’m not positive) talking about a CC Cream, so I checked out their shade range. Muuuuchhh better than Erborian’s. I haven’t seen them on all skin tones, but CLĒ has five shades. I know I’m always going to be the lightest shade in anything, but I like to look for greater diversity in shades now that I’m reviewing things for people with various skin tones & skin types.
Another plus: the CLĒ CCC Cream (CCC is for Color Control & Change) is $31, but has SPF 45 (!!), moves more easily on my face (it becomes part of my face rather than sitting on top of it), & boasts to be an all-in-one: a foundation, primer, & sun protector. I have to say they’re right. I’ve used this with & without a primer; sure, if I want an extra glow maybe I’d use that Becca Backlight Primer – but I don’t need one for it to stay on all day. & that’s great. In short – this is cheaper, is more likely to have your shade, has higher sun protection, & sinks into your skin rather than sits on top. !!!!
For those of you who want sheer coverage but MAX sun protection! The Essence Air Cushion was the first cushion foundation product I ever tried. I really like it – especially if I combine it with another product (sometimes it’s the CLĒ CCC Cream, sometimes the Glossier Skin Tint, sometimes the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer…it depends!), as it gives sheer coverage & sun protection without feeling sticky. This is so blendable that it’s guaranteed you’ll never have a “foundation line.” It comes in 4 shades – one less than the CCC Cream, has SPF 50, &, yes, you might be gasping at the high price tag – but that’s because the cushion comes with one compact already filled & a refill in a sealed bag. Essentially, you’re getting two products (& you can purchase cushion refills only – without getting rid of your packaging! here).
This won’t give you as much coverage as the CCC Cream. I’d say it’s somewhere between a CC/BB cream & the Glossier Skin Tint (if you know how that works) for a coverage reference. But…this is a great product for summer. It’ll even out your skin, give you enough coverage not to worry about redness or uneven skin, & protect your skin from the rays to the max.
Okay. I really, really love this stuff. I love it so much. It’s probably my ideal face makeup. Not my ideal face makeup when I’m having a bad skin week, let me be honest – but if I have a little redness & maybe one or two blemishes, I use this…& only this. It smells like freshly mown grass, goes on pale green but adjusts to your skin tone (like a CC cream). Yes…it’s expensive. I got the full-size version, but after using it for a bit, I feel like I absolutely could’ve gotten the $18 0.5 fl. oz. size & been just as happy. A little goes a long way. It absolutely obliterates redness from my face (even around & under my nose, which is a problem I always have with my dry skin), &, best of all, it moves with my face – if you can’t tell by now, that’s what I always look for in a face makeup product. I never feel like I have anything on; it sinks in like a moisturizer & doesn’t highlight any dry patches, doesn’t break me out or feel sticky (despite the SPF)…it doesn’t do anything I don’t want it to do, & it does everything I do want it to do. I just wish the SPF was a little higher. But…hey. I can’t ever have a perfect face makeup product, right? (Maybe so. I’ll keep looking)
There you have it. That’s a lot of SPF combined. In the end, I’m at the very least moderately happy (hopefully happier!) with all of the products I mentioned. Most of them I love, some of them I absolutely adore. But all of them give sun protection to your face, which is super, super important!! It’s important year-round, of course. But if you’re out tubing on a river or lake, or going on a sunrise hike, or riding a horse in the Rocky Mountains – or just sitting in your own backyard – you’ll be getting more sun than you would in the winter. So it’s crucial to keep your face shielded. Wear SPF! &, if you want to embarrass your siblings, wear a bucket hat, too!
Hello friends! I’m back, hitting you with my June favorites post. This is going to include some skin care, some makeup, & a nail polish & a bag!!! I’m truly branching out. Amazing! I hope you enjoy these mini reviews. I love all o these & am not faking (as always!! Why would I!).
I jumped on the bandwagon! It’s the one everyone’s been on for a while, but my ears perked up once I saw Ouai’s Rose Hair & Body Oilall over my friends’ Instagram feeds, as well as my own discover feed.
Okayyyy…I get it! I shaved my head again (you all know this…& stay tuned on a post about that) but I used these before I shaved it & will still be using a few even now that I have. I bought the Morning After Kit because it had three products that I was super interested in trying:
Rose Hair & Body Oil – it’s an oil…for hair & body! It is super Instagram-able. I get why it’s all over my feed…it’s truly gorgeous. I love anything & everything rose-scented, so I was excited to give this a go. Also…the color of the product looks like rosé. Very elegant, very summery. This is not a greasy-feeling, overwhelmingly sticky or slimy oil! Very lightweight, I only needed two small pumps for my whole head (now just one!) & the smell is absolutely gorgeous. I know people have reservations about rose scented products because of the whole “that’s my grandma’s potpourrie bowl” thing but it’s 2017, people! I promise this won’t give you potpourrie hair. Also…super shiny effect. It feels healthy on my scalp & hair. I really like this & even though I have no hair now, I’ll be getting full-size once I run out of this mini (also, stay tuned for a post on what i do to my hair/how i take care of it when it’s shaved down to almost nothing!)
Dry Shampoo Foam – okay, this stuff kind of blew my mind. I’d never liked dry shampoo; it always felt too sticky or cruncy or stiff. This one is in an aerosol can, so it comes out like shaving cream. “Foam” is right – this stuff is like meringue! It smells gorgeous. Everyone describes it as “gardenia florals” & I’d have to agree! It’s definitely not overpowering, but it’s more scented than the Rose Hair & Body Oil. Regardless, it really got rid of dirt/oil, made some real volume in my hair, & is fun to use (I like foamy products if you haven’t noticed!).
Finishing Crème – again, another love! There wasn’t a product in this kit I didn’t love. This has a very subtle scent; it’s a lightweight hair lotion that gives hair shine – also makes hair look healthier! Easy to apply on damp hair.
I cannot rave enough about this product. It’s meant for face, body & hair – it’s organically sourced, cruelty free, has no scent (so if you’re sensitive to scents, this one is for you!) & makes everything better…not to be dramatic. Seriously, though! I put it on my hair (again…coming soon on how hair cair is still necessary even when it’s super short), my body, & recently, my face. I was worried it would break my face out, since the skin on one’s face & one’s body are different (the face is 100% more sensitive). Never fear. This oil hasn’t let me down, ever. It’s good on my face, my hair, & my body. It has 4 & 3/4 stars on Sephora, too…I’m not the only one.
This is a cleansing device sent to me by FOREO (thank you so much!!). It really changed my cleansing game, as I’d been using a charcoal sponge to cleanse previously. I recieved it in the beginning of June, fully charged it, & it still is going strong! It’s meant to be used once a day, & I use it in the evening. My skin is even clearer than when I was using the charcoal sponge, which I appreciate – since it’s a device that’s significantly more expensive! I like playing around with the different settings, depending on how my skin feels that day – & it stops every 15 seconds to let you know you should move to another area to cleanse. Very meticulously done, very well thought-out. I really love this! Oh…& now I can shower & wash my face at the same time. I didn’t like bringing my sponge in the shower. Loves it. (Read my review of FOREO products here!)
Truly the product of the month. One of my favorite Glossier products is their Balm Dotcom. This flavor/shade (??) was a game-changer. Holographic packaging, a shimmery balm that can be used on the lips, lids, or high points of the face as a highlight. Created in collaboration with Milk Bar (the famous bakery in NYC renowned for their special birthday cake), the balm smells & tastes (!!) like birthday cake. You get a special sticker (pink, with silver glitter, & balloon-shaped) – but only for the summer. The balm is here to stay; the sticker is a summer collaboration with Milk Bar – & a summer collaboration only! Get the sticker while you can (looks amazing on a phone) & if you want a full review of the Birthday BDC, click here!
Sheer coverage. SPF FIFTY. FIFTY!!!!! FOR A FACE MAKEUP PRODUCT! No greasiness, comes in various shades (unlike most K-Beauty brands), doesn’t leave a line, thanks to the cushion applicator, & gives a dewy glow – it’s like Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint, except in a cushion. & with SPF 50. Yupppp. Also…stay tuned for some special CLĒ stuff I’ll be doing soon 🌚
Saturday Skin keeps doing it! This is an airtight moisturizer, so nothing can get to it. Contamination risk? Zero. It feels velvety smooth & soft; the texture is so nice that I can wear it during the day (under makeup or just by itself) or as a night cream. It’s hard to find a moisturizer that can do day & night. This one does day & night…& it does it beautifully. Also: the cream has a light, fresh, citrus scent that is infinitely relaxing.
I absolutely love Herbivore, their products, their aesthetic, & their standards – they’re vegan & cruelty free, so for any of my readers/followers who are looking for skin care/makeup that’s vegan/cruelty-free, this is the brand for you!
I’d had my eye on this Herbivore Blue Tansy mask for a while, but restrained myself…since god knows I have enough face masks. However, about a week ago, Herbivore had their 6th birthday, & to celebrate that, had 15% off any purchase – & included a deluxe sample of the Blue Tansy mask in each order. I couldn’t resist! I ordered their Pink Clay Cleansing Bar (stay tuned for a post on solid facial cleansers), & eagerly awaited my package.
I was NOT let down. This is an amazing mask, I’ve used it quite a few times already, & I can really see an improvement in the brightness & clarity of my skin. It’s super lightweight – described as a “natural clarifying and cooling gel mask that gently exfoliates, smooths, and resurfaces skin.” “Gel” is absolutely correct. Although the mask is a deep, ocean-blue in the jar, it gives only the slightest blue cast to your skin when applied. It tingles, which is normal for any product containing AHAs, but is not unpleasant or uncomfortable. I love using this in the evening: I cleanse my face, apply the mask, brush my teeth, hop in the shower, come out, & rinse off the mask. This is the perfect window, since it takes me 15-20 minutes to do all that, & Herbivore recommends you leave the mask on for 15-20 minutes! If you’re new to AHAs, you should start with 5-10 minutes – just so you don’t risk a burn or a bad reaction! AHAs are great for the skin, but if you’re sensitive, it’s better to start slow.
Damn you, Herbivore – you really got me hooked, & I know I will be purchasing the full size once I’ve used up my sample. However, it’s a generous sample. I’m not too worried about running out that quickly! (For 25% off ANY Herbivore purchase, click here.)
Okay. I haven’t done these enough justice (I don’t believe you’d find a photo of these babies on my Instagram) but they’re really amazing. I love both! I love the toner more, since it’s 1) super soothing, cooling, & reduces redness (like a Milk Cooling Water Stick – but actually intended to be a toner) 2) the world’s first solid toner, which is pretty amazing 3) is TSA-friendly – something I’m always on the lookout for! I love the cleanser, too – just not as much as the toner. Don’t get me wrong – I really like it. It smells amaaazing (the toner is scent-free) & I always know I’ll wake up with clear, fresh skin after using it. I just am speaking out of paranoia here, since I’ve had no issues with it…but the cleanser does have some sort of micro-beads in it, so I’d be nervous to use it every single day in fear of breaking open my skin. Still, this is a suspicion that hasn’t occurred – I’m just voicing why I don’t use it every single day. I’d definitely take the cleanser & toner if I were to fly somewhere. It’s easy, it’s clean, & saves you a lot of extra little bottles & containers. Milk’s been putting out some very neat products lately (aka Glitter Stick for Pride Month!!) & I think this falls into the “neat” category.
I love this color so much! Essie calls it a periwinkle poweder blue – I prefer baby blue. Whatever you want to call this shade, it’s amazing – delicate yet unique. It makes your nails stand out, but doesn’t make them look streaky, like so many white nail polishes might do. Basically, it stands out in the best way, stays on forever (part of Essie’s gel collection) & the name is adorable.
I finally did it! My very own Pop & Suki Camera bag. I got it in Noir, didn’t choose to customize it, but got a luggage tag (also in Noir) with the pink letter “S” on it. Simple, minimalistic, so easy to carry around – &, despite its small size, it really does fit a surprising amount of things. At the same time, the bag’s small size encourages you not to overpack, which, as a serial overpacker, I truly appreciate. Did I mention that they’re the cutest brand ever? I want a P&S/Glossier collab now, please! They’re the brand queens of #millennialpink (they also have makeup cases, if you’re interested).
I wouldn’t have bought this bag myself, but I got birthday money – & I am glad I used it on this baby. Let me know in the comments if you’d like a “What’s In My Bag” post!
That’s it, everyone! My favorites for the month of June. As always, I’m being completely, 100% honest. I’d never post about a product I didn’t like – especially not for a monthly favorites type of post. Then there’s no point!
Let me know in the comments what your June favs were!