Ok, so. On to the business of Fun.
Among the many things that I enjoy in other blogs are product/company recommendations. So I thought I might endeavour to offer a few of my own. My one cosmetic vice is lip balm... not super vice-ish, I know, but it is more about the quantity in which I consume it than anything else. I do wear actual make up most days (usually just mascara and a little eye liner) but it is not NEARLY as exciting to me as shiny little tubes of lip balm. They make me so happy! I don't know why, THEY JUST DO (hi Andie!).
So, that said, the thing I feel most qualified to review and give a hearty thumbs up or down to is, naturally, lip balm. I have discovered a few other great products too though so if lip balm is not your thing, maybe some of my other faves will be more useful to you.
One thing that is always important to me, whether I'm looking for shampoo, mascara or the all important perfect lip balm, is the ingredient list. I am certainly not an expert in this area, but there do seem to be a few nasty ingredients out there that I'd rather not have soaking into my skin every day. Parabens for example. I don't really know the low-down on them... mostly it is rumour and innuendo, but it seems to be bad. So, just in case, I try to avoid them. And in any case, there is PLENTY of selection in the whole "natural/organic" lip balm catagory now, so it's not like staying there is in any way limiting. I am not vegan, so I don't necessarily look for that in a balm, but I don't avoid it either.
[Side note: Recently I have been using this website: Skin Deep
It allows you to search by ingredient or, in many cases, by product (they don't have everything in there, but I did find quite a lot of brands and products) and gives you both a rating of 0-10 (0 being totally harmless and 10 being toxic grossness) as well as a % of uncertainty called a "data gap". Meaning that if hardly any research has been done on a particular ingredient (a high data gap) it may have a rating of 1 (mostly harmless! Just like Earth!) but all that means is that it is not PROVEN to be harmful. It also references the journals used to generate the ratings. So far it seems to be pretty helpful.]
So, without further ado, I shall commence by recommending my very favourite current lip balm. I do tend to have several favourites, so I can't really be trusted to have ONE ALL TIME BEST EVER... Often my favourite is either A) my most recent purchase or B) the one I can find. But, I am kind of picky about it (after all these years of searching and sampling) so I probably don't loose the ones I really like.
The one I use most right now is MLuxe Almond (beeswax lip balm) by mudlark (whose website is not yet up and running, apparently). I can't seem to find any photos of the lovely tube online, so I will have to take a photo of mine and add it later (the image to the left is of their coconut lip balm). It looks as if they have a variety of pretty designs even within one flavour choice, so you can get a different one each time if you want. Nice! Not surprising though, since one part of their business is making stationary.
Ingredients: Beeswax, Coconut Oil, Sunflower Oil, Flavor, Lanolin, Tocopheryl Acetate, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Comfrey Leaf Extract, Rosemary Extract.
There are a couple of ingredients that may irritate very sensitive skin, but on the whole, not bad. Especially since they are not actively going for the Health Nut crowd (of which I am a mostly active member. Mostly.).
I found this one by happenstance while visiting Toronto a couple of weeks ago (Hi Andie! Again!) at one of those stores that sells a hodge podge of stationary, fancy lip balm, and semi-goofy touristy stuff. As the mLuxe/mudlark website is not working, and as I'm having trouble finding their products online otherwise, I am guessing that this is the best way for others to lay their hands on a little tube of their own. Don't find it, IT WILL FIND YOU. Trust Serendipity.
What I like about it: smells great (very almond-y... like the middle of an almond croissant); is smooth but not too soft (so it doesn't smear and go on way too thick, but it also isn't so hard that it hurts to apply). There is no flavour to speak of, which is fine (I don't really like super sugary flavoured balms anyway). It was not too expensive ($3.50 I think) and, as I say, the label is really pretty. So. HEARTY THUMBS UP!
Maybe I should come up with some kind of rating system... like 5 out of 5 kisses! Or something less nauseating. 5 out of 5 thumbs up? Suggestions?