ChapStick Challenge

And It Continues


Not snow.

And not complaints about my computer being gone.

But this.


It's the ChapStick thing.  I'm having a hard time letting go.

Last week I stopped in at The Body Shop to pick up a few things.  (And to spend my $10 "birthday gift" coupon they sent me in the mail.) I was drawn (like a moth to a flame, Erin!) to the lip gloss section.  I ended up with these two

Note:  These lip glosses are pricey.  $10 each.  (Although I just noticed that they're on sale on this week for $7.50 on The Body Shop website.)  I used my coupon to get one of them, but then couldn't decide on just one color, so ended up with both.  I hate when marketing ploys work on me  like that.

Anyway.  These are more gloss-like than balm-like.  They add a nice shine to your lips without feeling heavy or gloppy (although initially it seemed like it would be gloppy; I was pleasantly surprised once I actually wore it).  It lasts a long time, feels light after you've got it on, and doesn't have a flavor.  Not being a lipstick-wearer (ahem), I like the hint of color I get from the peach-ish one (not detected by Tom at all).  These are just nice glosses if you're going for a little glam!

And then there's this one. . .


As you remember from my ChapStick Challenge, one of my new favorites is the Aveeno Essential Moisture Lip Conditioner . . . sadly, discontinued by Aveeno.  I've been snapping them up whenever I see them in stores, though, and I even ordered some online.  I have quite a supply, and they should last for awhile.  (As you can see, I'm mostly finding them in the Clearance aisles these days.)

And, lastly, I give you a Tale of a Satisfied Customer.

Brian was home for his spring break last week.  When he arrived, he complained about a pretty intense crack in his lip that "just wouldn't heal" and claimed "I've tried everything."

I handed him a tube of this. . .


(Because, of course, he hadn't tried everything.)

His lip was greatly improved in one day; completely healed in two.

He took the tube back to school with him,

Hurray for the ChapStick Challenge!  But, really.  I need to let it go.


A Winter Diversion: The ChapStick Challenge - Epilogue

Here we are, at the end of my ChapStick Challenge.  I've had a lot of fun trying out new "lip health" products over the last month.  Some I've really liked.  Some . . . not so much.  In the end, here are my new favorites:


For fun . . . the eos sphere in "sweet mint."

For overnight . . . Neosporin Overnight Renewal Therapy.

For general, all-purpose daytime lip balm. . . Aveeno Essential Moisture Lip Conditioner -- the apparently discontinued product.  (Not to worry, though -- I just ordered a 6-pack online!  I should be good for a while.)

For long-lasting moisture (like during a hard workout). . . Blistex Moisture Melt.

And . . . what's that other product?  There in back?  Why. . . something new!


Last week, a friend (and professional flute player, so she really knows her lip products!) brought me a tube of this stuff.  It's heavenly!  A bit pricey --- and not available locally in my neck of the woods (although available online from several distributors) -- this oversized tube of lip balm goodness  smells great, doesn't have a flavor, feels nice and smooth on the lips, and lasts for a long time.  I love it!  (It's gluten-free, too.)

And that just goes to show you that this winter diversion could go on for a long, long time!  There are so many lip balm products out there to choose from.  Really, I've only just scratched the surface.  Maybe we'll do this again NEXT winter!

And CONGRATULATIONS to Marilyn -- winner of my ChapStick Challenge comment contest!  An exciting prize package of (you guessed it) lip balm will be headed Marilyn's way soon.  (Marilyn is a Burt's Bees fan -- and that's a strong endorsement coming from Marilyn, who puts up with brutal North Dakota winters and doesn't need to mess around with chapped lips!)

Thanks to all of you for playing along on my ChapStick Challenge.  It's been a fun - and moisturizing! - adventure.

A Winter Diversion: The ChapStick Challenge - Week 4

Remember to leave a comment to this (or any of my other ChapStick Challenge posts) before Saturday, March 1 to be entered in my ChapStick Challenge Sweepstakes.  Winner announced next Monday!

And, so. . .

What a difference a week makes when it comes to lip health!  Last week, I was hanging out with the Cool Kids.  And, really.  It was FUN.  But, like is so often the case with Cool Kids, there wasn't a whole lot of substance there.

Sure, Burt's Bees feels great on the lips.  And nothing beats eos when it comes to the groovy-ness quotient.  But.

They don't get the job done when it comes to overnight lip care!

This week, I checked in with some of the heavy-hitters in the lip health line up.  (I suppose we could call them The Nerds.)

First up . . 


Aquaphor (from Eucerin) makes several heavy-duty products for lips, including this one -- which is also suitable for healing severely chapped skin and burns.  Yow!  This is one serious product!  (Aquaphor does have a specific lip product; this is not it.  Although this one is great for lips, too.)

This stuff worked GREAT for overnight.  It is defintely Not Exciting.  No fragrance.  No flavor.  No preservatives.  No glitz.  It does not even register on the Cool-o-Meter.  But it gets the job done.  And that's good enough for me.  (It also worked great at healing a hangnail on my thumb!)

Next up . . .


Neosporin is a trusted name in our house, having healed many a boo-boo over the years.  When I first spotted this Neosporin Overnight lip treatment, I was excited to try it.  You can tell right away that this product belongs in the "overnight" category of lip products.  It's white.  It's creamy.  Maybe a little on the gooey side -- but in a good, it's-working kind of way.


No smell.  No flavor.  It works.  I like it.  (There is also a Neosporin daytime treatment with 20SPF.  I may give it a try this summer when I'm on the lake.) 

Then I tried. . .


Good, old-fashioned Vaseline!  (In a teeny-tiny little jar.)


(Shown with Burt's for size comparison.) 

Way back as a sixth grader, I started playing the flute.  My first flute teacher gave me a tiny little jar of Vaseline to keep in my flute case to use to keep my flute parts lubricated -- and she also mentioned that it worked great to keep your lips from getting chapped.  (The State of Your Lips is essential when you're a flute player.)  Anyway, she got me hooked on Vaseline.  I used it for a long time as my favorite lip product (especially at night or before band class).

I don't like Vaseline as well as most of the other overnight lip treatments available these days.  But I couldn't resist the little jar.  For nostalgia, if nothing else!

Then, I tried . . .


Visit the Nivea website.  You can just tell right away it's not an American company.  (We're so prudish. . . )   Nivea just goes right out there:  Touch and Be Touched.  Their products are all about sensation and touching and kissing.  Who can resist that? 


I like the Lip Butter just fine.  It goes on smooth, seems to last a long time (although not long enough for a good overnight product), and comes in a cute little tin that fits easily into the pockets of a bag.  There are other flavors . . . which I couldn't quite bring myself to try.  I liked the plain, old "Smooth Kiss" variety -- which has no smell or flavor. 

Unlike THIS Nivea product  . . .


I really like Mint flavored lip stuff, so this one had an immediate appeal.  I tried it.  There was a strangely familiar smell to me. . . but it wasn't mint-y.  Not really.  I tried it.  No real flavor.  And it felt pretty good on my lips; kind of tingly. 

I tried it again later.

Defintely a familiar smell.  Maybe faintly minty.  But not much.

Then, it came to me.

I had Tom smell it, just to verify.



(Moth balls.)

Not overpowering.  But definitely there.

My Nivea Mint & Minerals is now here . . .


 Then. . . I tried this one . . .


Aveeno Essential Moisture Lip Conditioner with SPF 15.  I love it.  It feels great -- nice and smooth and a little more creamy than, say . . . Burt's Bees or  eos.  And it works!  (Although, again, not well enough for overnight.)  I like the smell (it has no taste).

And. . .

It appears to be discontinued.

I can't find it in the stores any longer.  I can't find it on the Aveeno website.  It appears to be . . . Not a Product of Aveeno Any More.  Which is too bad.  (After I finally got used to rolling the tube up from the top and everything, too.) 

(It does appear to be available here.  I'm thinking of ordering, actually.  I liked it that much.)


And, with that, I'm concluding the testing portion of my ChapStick Challenge.  Next Monday, I'll tell you which products have ended up with a permanent place (at least until I find something even better!) in my handbag . . . in my knitting bag. . . in my desk drawer. . . and on my night stand.  I'll also be announcing the winner of my ChapStick Challenge Sweepstakes -- so don't forget to leave a comment!



A Winter Diversion: The ChapStick Challenge - Week 3

My ChapStick Challenge continues!  This week:  The Cool Kids!

(And don't forget . . . leave a comment to be entered in my ChapStick Challenge Sweepstakes!)

So, based on the feedback I'm getting so far (comments, email, people stopping me on the streets of Kalamazoo to "talk chapstick"), I'd guess that Burt's Bees has a LOT of fans out there!

Burt and his Bees. . .


are definitely GROOVY these days!

Before I started my ChapStick Challenge, I was already a fan of Burt's Bees -- it has been my favorite, Go-To, daily lip balm for a couple of years now.  I especially like the just, plain Burt's (the original Beeswax Lip Balm; slightly waxy/sort of mint-y) and the Nourishing Burt's Bees with Mango Butter (VERY nice; not at all waxy; long-lasting). 


Lately, my Burt's-of-Choice has been the Tinted Lip Balm (I like Hibiscus).  It goes on smooth, feels nice and light on the lips, AND provides just a hint of color. 


(NOTE:  I don't wear lipstick except on VERY rare - and special - occasions.  Tom HATES lipstick.  HATES.  I think he was scarred as a very young child by too many forced-kisses by various lipstick-wearing females.  So.  No lipstick.  He doesn't seem to mind the tinted Burt's, however.

For this week's challenge, I decided to try to new Burt's Bees products:  Refreshing Burt's Bees with Grapefruit (it's okay; didn't seem to last as long as the Mango variety), and this one. . .


Ultra Conditioning Lip Balm with Kokum Butter (whatever THAT is).  It's supposed to provide 4-hour moisturization.


LIES!  4 hours?  More like . . . 4 minutes!  It does feel very nice when you first put it on.  But.  It doesn't last at all!  This is really the first Burt's product that was a dud for me.

Burt and his Bees have a huge Facebook following.  (1,375,555 "Likes" at the time of writing this post.)  They even promote their Facebook presence right on their tiny tubes!


That's pretty dang groovy.

The other Cool Kid product I tried was. . .


eos (short for Evolution of Smooth).  This one?   Definitely groovy!  Bright colors.  Appealing flavors.  Unique, spherical shape!


eos' tagline is "lip balm that makes you smile."  And. . . it does!  It's fun to use -- and it gets noticed.  Whenever I got out my "sphere" of eos this week, people around me would want to see it.  They'd ask, "Is that lip gloss?"  I could tell they were just dying to ask if they could try it!  (And I would've let them . . . if we were BFFs in middle school.)

eos is trendy enough that it's hard to keep in stock at most stores in my area - especially the sweet mint flavor (easily the most popular).  (I finally nabbed a sweet mint last week at Walgreens.  DEFINTELY the best.)

The eos works well -- I'd say it's comparable to Burt's Bees.  It's smooth, feels good, lasts quite a while.  And. . . it does make you smile!  (For those of you paying attention to ingredients, eos is gluten-free, paraben-free, and petrolatum-free.  It contains jojoba oil, olive oil, shea butter, and coconut oil.)

The drawback of eos, for me, is the size/shape.  Fun, sure.  But a bit bulky for most of my usual lip balm storage spots (mostly pockets).  It is great in a desk drawer, though.  Which is where my eos is hanging out now!

Next week, I'll be looking at some of the heavy-hitters in the lip balm world:  Nivea, Aveeno, Aquaphor and Neosporin . . . with a little Vaseline thrown in for good measure.

Don't forget . . . leave a comment to be entered in the ChapStick Challenge Sweepstakes!


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.