Silent Poetry Reading . . . 2013
Those Were the Days!

A Winter Diversion: The ChapStick Challenge - Week 1


For a long time this year, I didn't think it would happen. 

But it did.



Cold.  Snow.  (Lots of snow!)  Ice.  Cabin fever.

And my lips are chapped.

I've never been a lipstick kind of gal, but I've always been a ChapStick kind of gal!  Ever since I was a kid, I've always carried some kind of "lip product" with me to keep chapped lips at bay.  (Oh, and I don't mean the ChapStick brand -- I just tend to call all lip products "ChapStick" just like I call all tissues "Kleenex.") 

When I was a pre-teen . . .  I used to prefer Vaseline for my lips.  But then, when I was in middle school, a Most Glorious Product was invented:  Bonne Belle Lip Smackers.  I LOVED my Lip Smackers!  Remember those unique, oversized tubes?  I was particularly sold on Strawberry.  Of course, I also loved Max Factor Lip Potion* -- a little oil slick for your lips in a sweet little roll-on bottle.  (Oh, those were the days!)

Anyway.  As I grew older - and less fond of Strawberry flavored anything - I started using Carmex for my lips, and I was was sold.  I've been using Carmex for decades now.  And, in the last five years or so, I've added Burt's Bees to my lip balm lineup.

During a recent visit to my local Walgreens, though, I discovered nearly an aisle of "lip health" products.  (Yeah.  That's what they were called.)  Wow.  We've come so far in lip balm!  Anyway, I decided it might be fun to try some of the newer lip products! 

So I bought a basket-full.  I figure it's time for a little Winter Diversion here in blogland.  Join me each Monday this month for  . . . The ChapStick Challenge.


Over the next month, I'm going to try out each of these products to see for myself how they stack up against my "gold standard":  Carmex.

There's a role for you, too!  Whenever you weigh in or comment on my ChapStick Challenge posts, your name will go into the "hat."  At the end of the month, I'll draw a random name -- and the winner will win . . . (what else) . . . an assortment of lip products! 

Let's start with . . . the Basics.


Familiar products that have been around for a long, long time!

As I mentioned earlier, I've been a decades-long user of Carmex.


This product has been around since 1937.  It claims to be the "#1 Pharmacist Recommended Lip Balm."  I can attest to the fact that is is the #1 Mom-Recommended Lip Balm in my family.  My own Mom has been a Carmex gal for as long as I can remember.  In fact, she got me hooked on Carmex back when the little jars were still made of glass!!! 


I'm convinced that nothing keeps my lips from drying out overnight like Carmex!  I know it comes in other forms  - a squeeze tube and a "stick" more like ChapStick - but I don't like them.  I like the little jars.  Apparently, Carmex now also comes in flavors, but I just can't go there.  Carmex. . . needs to smell/taste like Carmex.  Slightly analgesic and somewhat "medicated."

A tiny little dab lasts for hours.  It keeps my lips from drying out -- and it really takes care of cold sores, and peeling, split lips quickly.  It's an easy container to stash in a purse or a pocket, and it's quite inexpensive.  A little jar of Carmex lasts me for months.  On the downside, there is no sunscreen in Carmex.

(It'll be tough to knock Carmex out of my #1 lip spot!)

 Next up . . . Classic ChapStick.


I don't know about you, but I can't think about ChapStick without thinking about this . . .


I haven't used ChapStick for years and years (decades, probably), but when I opened the top and smelled the tube. . . I was flooded with nostalgia.  Nothing has changed about ChapStick! 


I was never a ChapStick fan.  It was always waxy and cake-y.  Still is!  When I use ChapStick, it just sits there and feels like a coating of wax on my lips.  Not soothing at all.  In fact, when I tried the ChapStick classic over this past week, my lips got MORE chapped.  (Maybe that's because I didn't like using it, so my lips dried out more. . . but I think the ChapStick didn't help much even when I used it.)

As I said, I had a rush of nostalgia when I opened the stick and smelled the lip balm!  The Cherry ChapStick, particularly (although overpoweringly fake and pretty awful),  took me right back to the halls of Carey Junior High School!   I couldn't use the Cherry ChapStick, though.  I tried. . . but had to wipe it off immediately.  I just couldn't with that waxy, fake, red stuff.

So.  Classic ChapStick?  Not for me!  In fact, I think I prefer dry, chapped lips to wax-coated ChapStick lips.  (And that's saying something.)

Up next week:  Products from the Blistex line!

How about YOU?  What's your favorite "lip health" product?  Don't forget to leave a comment to be entered into my ChapStick Challenge Extravaganza!


* Picture This . . . because you won't find the real picture here on the blog:  I have a photo of me, circa 1973, so I must be in 7th or 8th grade.   I have long, stick-straight hair, parted in the middle (workin' my best Marcia Brady).  I'm wearing HUGE silver hoop earrings (rockin' the Joni Mitchell look).  I have braces on my incredibly crooked teeth.  I have hideous (hideous) blue-green eye shadow (must have studied "Try Cybill Shepherd's Eye Make-up Secrets" from the latest issue of Seventeen magazine).  And - saving the best for last here - my lips are COATED in a slick, shiny sheen that can only be Max Factor Lip Potion.  Trust me: This photo is priceless. . . but will NEVER appear on the Internet.  Never.



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


I had to buy the "Candy Cane" Chapstick over the holidays...just because the display called out my name! I don't see my favorite in your photo...but I'll save that for another post!


Chicken! :)
Lip balms! Oh grrl, do I have a saga about my love/hate relationship with them. It all boils down to sensitivities or allergies as I break out in an immediate rash from so many products, Burts Bees being the worst! Hidden gluten? Not sure. I'm an Aquaphor fan, but fall back on Vaseline by default. I'll be interested to see if you find something to replace your fave.


I'm a relatively new Carmex girl but I do love it. No Chapstick...everrrrr. I've been wearing a lot of Buxom lip gloss these days - surprisingly moisturizing!


My question: why change a proven, well working all time favorite?

It is this awful consumerism! We shouldn't let do it to us! No More!

Heheheeee.... sorry about that - it is on my mind lately!


You have both my favorites in your test group, can't wait to find out what you think of them. Of course everyone has their own preference but for me it's Burt's Bees (the original, the other "flavors" do nothing for me) during the day and Neosporin Overnight (the only one I've found works for me) for bedtime. Happy testing!

kathy b

a good lipstick seems to coat my lips well enough
My family loves Carmex though


I'm not a fan of Chapstick either and I'm embarrassed to admit I've never tried Carmex. I'm a Blistex girl. It's what my grandfather used and I loved him and wanted to be JUST LIKE him so I starting using it too and I've never found anything else I liked as much.


my favorite? Bonne Belle Dr Pepper flavor. It has the slightest red tint so I don't look completely colorless, it tastes great and doesn't "dry out my throat" as many of the other flavors do. I don't really know how to explain it. The other thing I've noticed is that I need way less chapstick even in the winter if I remember to drink water. Lots of water


fun! I do love carmex and don't like chapstick at all. my best lip balm is one marc gets on korean air (I'm about out - he needs to take a trip soon!). I also love bobbi brown lip gloss - not too much color and it really does keep my lips feeling protected.


I have a vast array of lip balms usually because I don't have one in my bag and have to (have to) but one.

We have Chapstick in the UK, I have several but know what you mean about gloopy. We also have Burts Bees which I like but find the mint flavour a bit strong. My favourite is the Nivea mint flavour, not gloopy and mildly minted. The pink one is a bit girly though, I don't do girly.


I grew up with Lip Ivo in the engraved silver tube. Never cared for Chapstick, and now I read that it has ingredients that actually dry out the wearer's lips. Have used Carmex, both in jar and tube form, on and off for years -- great stuff. Blistex in the the tube was great, too, but the little metal tube always seemed to develop a crack eventually and leak all over the inside of my purse. Now I use whatever free stuff my dentist (and employer, go figger) hand out. My mainstay, though, is a jar of Mentholatum on my nightstand. Most nights I put some on before sleep. Weird, but it works.

Diana Troldahl

I used to love Burt's Bees until they added sunflower, to which I am allergic:-{
Still trying to find a produce with no sunflower, and no citric acid.

Blistex and Carmex are both possibles.
But since Carmex can be purchased without fragrance, I may end up a carmex girl.

I want to try Badger Lipbalm in Highland Mint. I prefer a tube because arthritis makes opening tins difficult.


I'm not sure what shocks me more. That they still make Chapstick or that Carmex jars are no longer glass!

Nivea makes a stick style lip balm with a little added color that isn't bad. Burt's Bees has been a favorite for years and years. Although, I use an herbal balm for sort of thing at night. Works a treat and doesn't feel weird or fake. You know I can't stand that.

Good luck with the experimenting!


Thank you for your ChapStick Challenge! It's almost like you read my mind. I had to go to our local Walgreen's today for cold medications and found myself standing in amazement in the "lip health" aisle. I use Burt's Bees (the original mint one), but spent far too much time wondering whether Neosporin or Nivea would do a better job. Looks like you'll answer this burning question for me!


I'm A Burt's Bees gal. Though only the original form. I'm not a fan for chapped lips of the other options. They do have a nice line of lip glosses, but they don't really help with badly chapped lips.


Aw come on! Post that picture! Although your description leaves a good picture in my head. ;)
Burt's Bees. It's my current go to "chapstick".

Cheryl S.

You are such a tease to tell us about that photo and not show it.

I prefer Carmex, too, but I have too much trouble getting it out of the container once it's halfway gone. I don't like it getting under my fingernail.

The comments to this entry are closed.