Lip Care


Hurraw! Vegan Lip Balms – Get Smooth Soft Lips


Hurraw! I’ve found a new favorite lip balm! 🙂 I’ve been searching for a vegan lip balm that actually seems to help my often dry lips for what feels like ages now. A while ago, I reviewed my prior favorite – the Badger Cocoa Butter Lip Balm – and haven’t found anything that seemed to work better. I tried the Hurraw! Lip Balm quite some time ago during my love affair with the Badger, but somehow the love never stuck. What’s different now? I tried a different flavor and it’s made all the difference! 🙂 So why is it so wonderful? Keep on reading and I’ll try to explain….

Bite Beauty Whipped Cherry Lip Scrub – Review


If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you may remember that my favorite lip scrub was from Paula’s Choice (see it here). Unfortunately and fortunately, it’s been yanked from the shelves because it contained those horrible little plastic beads that are killing the ocean. As I understand it, these have currently been banned for use in the US. Feeling lost without my favorite lip polish, I’ve been trying to find a suitable replacement. Well, turns out the best thing I’ve found is a scrub I’ve reviewed before…albeit not that well! 🙂 What is it? It’s the Bite Beauty Whipped Cherry Lip Scrub!

Soft, Smooth Lips for Fall – Kari Gran Lip Whip & Paula’s Choice Lip Perfecting Gentle Scrub

I have a ritual every night that keeps my lips soft, smooth and flake free. With Fall upon us and probably many a matte lipstick in store, I thought I would share my “secrets” with you! It’s a truly simple routine that consists of two products and is usually done before bed. If you want to know what this miracle combination is, keep reading! J

Kari Gran Tinted Lip Whip – Nectar From the Gods!!!

Keeping my lips soft and smooth can be a real battle. I feel like it is for a lot of people. I find scrubs and balms help, but somehow never fully corrects the problem. That is until I found the Kari Gran Lip Whip! This seems to be a relatively new addition to Sephora and I am so glad because I am not sure I would have found it otherwise. With regular use, the Lip Whip, along with the Paula’s Choice Scrub, has pretty much completely healed my lips! I’ve talked about a fair number of lip balms and treatments on the blog before, but I think I have finally found the one!!!

Given that this miraculous wonder balm works so well, it almost certainly is filled with some strange potentially horrible for you ingredients, right? Nope! J It is literally just natural oils, waxes and flavor most of which are organic. It’s truly amazing! Having said that, you might be able to make something similar in your kitchen with a little bit of know-how, but I am totally willing to pay for this because it is so spectacular!

Ingredients for the Tinted Lip Whip: Organic Castor Oil, Organic Beeswax, Organic Sunflower Oil, Organic Camellia Seed Oil, Organic Olive, Sunflower and Calendula Oil, Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Carmine, Tocopherol (non-GMO Vitamin E from Sunflower), Wildharvested Pimenta Berry Oil, Organic Cinnamon Bark Oil or Organic Peppermint Oil.

So, what makes it so glorious? Well, I’m not sure quite how to explain it. It is definitely a nighttime treatment type of balm because it is quite thick. It’s not going to work well under other lip products. Because of that I kind of wish the tint (I have the Tinted Peppermint version) were a bit stronger, but whatever. I sleep with it on my lips and that’s sufficient to keep them at their healthiest. It’s one of those textures that feels kind of pillow-y and cushioning upon application. It has a definite mask-like consistency to it. It’s a bit like the Bite Agave Lip Mask (see my review here), but without any lanolin and not quite as I guess greasy and almost slippery (I’d test them next to each other, but I can’t find the Bite Mask at the moment). The Kari Gran literally just feels like thick, nourishing goodness on your lips. You only need a pea-sized dab at most to cover your lips. It isa tad slippery and plush, if that makes sense, but not in an uncomfortable greasy manner. I feel like you can really feel the product soaking into your lips, not just sitting on top and protecting them. It does protect as well, but I really feel like it’s hydrating, plumping, softening and conditioning at the same time. After wearing it overnight, you definitely still feel it there in the morning. Interestingly, every time I press my lips together, it almost feels like moisture is released upon contact too. I seriously cannot say enough good things about the Lip Whip!

In addition to the amazingness of the Lip Whip, Kari Gran also sells other Natural, Organic, Wildharvested, non-GMO products that are always paraben and toxin-free. Everything is handmade and hand poured in Seattle, Washington as well!!! Love that. JThe Lip Whips are available in Untinted, Tinted, as well as the shades Radiant, Naughty, Nice and Marsala. Perhaps the more color-oriented shades have a bit more color to them, but I have yet to try any of them. The line also consists of skincare and mineral makeup. I believe Sephora is only carrying the Untinted and Tinted Lip Whips right now, but if they’re successful, I’m sure more will be added. The other products can be ordered from Kari Gran’s website. Check out the brand’s Philosophy here because it is absolutely amazing! I love this quote: “We believe that beauty is achieved by how you live your life, and the choices you make and that beauty comes from being kind to yourself and to your skin.” Words to live by!

The Tinted Lip Whip comes in a 0.25oz/7g pot that retails for $15 and can be found at Sephora and the Kari Gran site. Definitely check this out – your lips will thank you!!! J

Whole Foods Beauty Bag + My Favorite Brands

This past week, Whole Foods highlighted their beauty department with various events that culminated with the availability of a beauty bag! Not being one to pass up samples-that-I-paid-for-but-convinced-myself-they’re-free kinda deal, I thought I’d check out what the bag had in store. Since the bags were supposed to be available on Saturday only, it doesn’t make sense to talk a lot about the bag itself, but I thought I would share some of my own Favorite Beauty Brands that are available at Whole Foods…at least my local Whole Foods! I’m sure there is some variation from store to store, but I feel these brands are pretty universal. All beauty products sold at Whole Foods are cruelty free (though not necessarily vegan) and are free from over 50 questionable common ingredients. So, if you’re browsing the aisles of Whole Foods and decide to do some ethical and good-for-you beauty shopping, here are some of my favorite brands worth checking out (plus a peak into the Beauty Bag at the end)! J

Something that I use every day…first and last thing in fact…is from Sibu Beauty. Sibu Beauty uses the increasingly popular Seabuckthorn Seed Oil in all of their products. They produce not only skin care, but they have a body lotion and also make some oral supplements! Though I have not used a ton of Sibu products, I definitely have gone through a few bottles of the Seabuckthorn Seed Oil (rave here) and the Balancing Facial Cleanser. I love them both! I would like to try more, but am not in the market for new skincare at the moment.

Another fantastic skin care brand at Whole Foods is Anadalou Naturals. The line touts anti-aging “Fruit Stem Cell Science” and includes a full range of skin care, bath and body products, as well as hair care! I have been regularly using (in fact I’m on my second tube) the relatively new 1000Roses Color + Correction with SPF30 CC Cream. I absolutely love their many Masks too…I think I’ve tried nearly all of them (the Kombucha Enzyme Exfoliating Peel is my fav and I reviewed it here)! The Meyer Lemon Creamy Cleanser, the Clementine + C Illuminating Toner, the Blemish Vanishing Gel, also fantastic. I have yet to try something that I actually disliked from Andalou Naturals.
Probably one of the most buzzed about brands is Acure Organics. They products are fair trade, natural and certified organic, and utilize natural plant and food-based ingredients in all of their fantastic products. I have tried a sampling of them, but certainly not all! I recently started using the Argan Stem Cell + Chlorella Growth Factor Brightening Facial Scruba few times a week and it genuinely makes a difference in the appearance of my complexion right away! My face looks much clearer and brighter with a more even texture, plus no irritation! I also noticed a similar immediate result from their Cell Stimulating Facial Mask (a sample of which was in the bag). However my skin went back to looking normal by morning, so the mask seems like something better to use before a big day instead of before bed. I also really love the Shampoos and Conditioners! The Moroccan Argan Oil + Argan Stem Cell versions smell delicious…if you like almonds as I do. The Argan Stem Cell + CoQ10 Dry Shampoo (more here) is probably one of the best I’ve tried as well! There make body care products, and are probably best known for their facial oils, though I really haven’t given them much of a test. Overall, a fantastic brand with an amazing product line up.
An all-natural luxury body care line that I love is Deep Steep! Their Dry Oil Body Spritzer is truly life changing (full review here). The Hand Cream is wonderful as well! Not only do the products work well, but their scents are spectacular! I can’t even pick a favorite, but my most reached for Dry Oil is the Brown Sugar & Vanilla. Delicious! JDeep Steep sells a full range of body care and has recently added hair care products to the line!
Giovanni is a natural “eco-chic” brand that I often see at drugstores too, but Whole Foods definitely has the most complete selection of their line. They make hair care, body care and skin care items. I especially love the Hot Chocolate Sugar Scrub (discussed here) and a number of their hair care items like the Natural Mousse Hair Styling Foam, the 2chic Brazilian Keratin & Argan Oil Ultra-Sleek Leave-In Conditioning & Styling Elixir and the Don’t Be Flaky! Soothing Anti-Dandruff Shampoo. I don’t think I’ve tried any of their skin care products, but I really should given my satisfaction with everything else! J
I am always pleasantly surprised to find Nail Polish at Whole Foods as well. Most recently they’ve added a good selection of one of my favorite brands – Zoya! I love that I can see a wide range of the shades in person. I also first discovered Mineral Fusion Polishes there – another amazing brand with some beautiful classic shades mixed in with the fun, on-trend hues. Though I can find both brands at Ulta now, the selection at Whole Foods is far superior.
I absolutely love browsing all the amazing Lip Balms at Whole Foods. It’s becoming a tradition when I pop in. JI would be remiss if I didn’t mention my typical go-to from Badger Balm, which is the Cocoa Butter Lip Balm in Creamy Cocoa (more here). I also have discovered a similar balm that’s not as hard for those who like a less waxy formula and it is called Mongo Kiss. I grabbed the Vanilla Honey flavor and the scent alone is heavenly! J When I picked up the beauty bag last Saturday, I stumbled across a newcomer to my Whole Foods that I had actually been hunting for – Waxelene! I can already say that in the few days I have been using it, my lips are in the best condition that they have ever been!!! It literally only takes a pin-point dot to cover your lips with the stuff, so the tube will last you decades. If you’re ever at a Whole Foods wondering where I’ve wandered off to, check the lip balm selection because chances are that’s where I’ve been for the past 15 minutes. J
I know that I haven’t mentioned any actual makeup items, but those are available as well. I just haven’t purchased much in the way of color cosmetics from Whole Foods. The few items that I have are not carried there anymore. I know that my Whole Foods currently has a good selection from Mineral Fusion and Gabriel, as well as bits from Pacificaand a few other random brands. I tested a few things from both Mineral Fusion and Gabriel (yes, they have testers!!!) last time I was there and I’m definitely considering purchasing, but I reallydon’t need anything new right now!
So I guess that’s going to do it for this installment of my Favorite Beauty Brands at Whole Foods. I may revisit this from time to time as I feel their selection is constantly evolving. I am always surprised by just how extensive their beauty department is, and I’m glad to see that the stores are making more of an effort to bring attention to their cruelty free beauty selection! I would love to know some beauty products you always pick up or are just intrigued by at Whole Foods.
The contents of the Beauty Bag are below. Until next time, thanks for stopping by!!!
As promised, here are the contents of the beauty bag – it’s possible they may still be selling them if there were any left over, so it never hurts to check! J
Derma E Microdermabrasion Scrub
Acure Cell Stimulating Facial Mask
Trilogy Vital Moisturizing Cream
Gabriel Mascara
Giovanni 2chic Blackberry & Coconut Milk Ultra-Repair Shampoo
Pacifica Eye Shadow Duo (a Devocean Lipstick was substituted in some stores)
RIJI Beauty Bag

Bite Agave Lip Mask Dupe?!?! – The Body Shop’s Aloe Vera Lip Care

Recently, I wrote a post about the Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask (check it out here) – not to mention the blogosphere seems to be buzzing about it as well. But, with a $26 price tag and the debatable status of lanolin as a cruelty-free ingredient, I’m sure plenty would love an alternative. I know I sure would, though I love the smell and taste of the Bite Mask. But somehow ingesting sheep’s wool wax doesn’t sounds terribly appetizing. Well, make way for The Body Shop’s Aloe Lip Care!!!

I believe I first heard mention of the Aloe Lip Care from EssieButton on YouTube. It sounded incredible from her description, and I decided the next time The Body Shop had a good sale, I’d grab one! Easier said then done because it is almost alwayssold out! J I finally got my hands on a tube and I’m really glad I did because, as I’ve hinted, it is quite comparable to the Bite Agave Lip Mask!!!

Like the Bite Lip Mask, The Body’s Shop’s Aloe Lip Care has a quite thick gel-like consistency that feels very protective on the lips. It is definitely still present on the lips after a good night’s sleep, so it is more than just a balm that wears away after half an hour. They both keep lips feeling plump, protected and hydrated very nicely. It is not at really sticky, but because it is so thick, it feels almost a tiny bit tacky. It’s not at all unpleasant or uncomfortable in my opinion, but it is definitely a nighttime lip care product that is probably not the best for general daytime use. I should also add that neither of these lip treatments are miracle workers. Yes, they will hydrate, protect and soothe lips, but they will not completely relieve dry, flaking or chapped lips immediately. Both good and bad, I would have to say that, at least in terms of texture and benefit, The Body Shop Aloe Lip Care is nearly identical to the Bite Agave Lip Mask…and for about one third the price!!! J

Though the benefits are pretty much the same, there are a few differences between the two lip products. Instead of using lanolin to achieve the hydrating and protective barrier, The Body Shop uses Aloe Vera – hence the name. J This is a welcome change in my eyes and fantastic for anyone with sensitive lips. In fact, this would be a great treatment to use post-sun exposure or for sunburnt lips. However, the Aloe Lip Care feels a tiny bit thicker, not quite as soft, and is more noticeable on the lips than the Bite. These differences seem rather minor and don’t make me choose one over the other. Another difference is the squeeze tube. The Body Shop’s tube has an applicator so that it can be applied directly to the lips, while Bite’s rigid tube requires applying with your finger. The Body Shop’s tube is also nice, squishy plastic so that it can be squeezed easily. The Bite tube is metal and a nightmare to get the product out of. I suppose it might be recyclable, but I always find it squeezes out waaaay too much, or I have to stand on it to get anything out…and then it dispenses way too much. J The only other significant difference that I see between the two is the scent and taste – Bite has a delicious vanilla-y scent/flavor, while The Body Shop’s tastes of aloe. In other words, it kind of tastes like a plant, which isn’t the most pleasant, but it’s not unbearable either. Overall, I feel like The Body Shop’s Aloe Lip Care is every bit as good as the Bite Agave Lip Mask! J

My verdict? If you’ve been hearing about the Bite Agave Lip Mask, but don’t want to shell out the hefty price tag or object to the lanolin in it, definitely give The Body Shop’s Aloe Vera Lip Care a shot because they are as close to dupes as is probably possible! J

The Body Shop’s Aloe Vera Lip Care retails for $9.50 (watch for frequent sales) and can be found in stores or on their website.

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