Ipsy Review: Jersey Shore Spa Moisture Rich Hydrating Balm

Laveder lip balm? Hmm…

Jersey Shore Spa is a brand I learned about through Ipsy. They sent me their Vanilla Bean Hand Scrub a couple of months back and I really did enjoy that. This is a spa and store that focuses on selling organic, all natural products. I really like trying out different organic beauty lines to see which ones deliver great natural options. I know not everyone is on board with the synthetic materials in beauty products and I always get excited when I recommend good alternatives.

This time around, Ipsy sent an interesting product. I know people love their lavender, but I’m not so sure how well it works out in a lip product. That’s what I got this time, the Jersey Shore Spa Moisture Rich Hydrating Balm in Lavender (USD $10.00, full size).

Lavender has never really been a favorite scent of mine, so before I talk about the scent I’m going to focus on the formula.

For the $10 price point, which accounts for the organic ingredients and formulation you are getting a pretty great balm. My personal favorite lip balm is Nivea’s A Kiss of Smoothness, because it hydrates my lips without leaving them feeling greasy. This natural alternative has the same sense of being lightweight and hydrating on the lips. It’s not going to give you a deep hydration, but for daily use it’s pretty great. If you’re not a fan of petroleum in your balms, you’ll appreciate that this formula has none. It did, however, feel a wee bit more greasy than my Nivea, but not so much that it bothered me.

Now, the scent. This is going to be a bit tricky because I simply do not like lavender. Having said that, if you enjoy lavender I think you’ll like this because it can also be used as a solid perfume. The scent does stick around for a while, so as a solid perfume it does perform well. However, because the scent does stick around it made it a bit unbearable for me to wear. It’s not immediately overpowering, but having something lavender scented so close to my nose did eventually get to me. Since this is meant to be worn as a lip balm, I think it could have been more enjoyable had it been a “vanilla lavender” or “honey lavender” scent. Basically, I needed a complimentary scent to balance out all the floral.

I checked out their website and they do have other scents in the spa and kids versions that sound much more up my alley (chocolate, peppermint, strawberry, and even pumpkin spice!).

Bottom line: While the scent wasn’t for me, I was impressed by their all natural formula. Not all natural makeup is a hit, but I did enjoy this lip balm for daytime use. It’s not quite nourishing for me to use on my lips at night (I prefer something heavier, like Aquaphor), but as an everyday lip balm the formula was great.

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April 2016 Boxycharm Review #2: Pur-Lisse Daily Lip Nourishment

Oh, expensive lip balms.

Let’s be real. When it comes to lip balms, I do want a good formula that will keep my lips soft and maybe have some SPF for added protection against UV rays. (People, please remember that your lips can, indeed, get sun damage. So remember to protect them!) In all honesty, I can get that just fine at the drugstore. Here’s what I currently use:

Both from the drugstore. Both deliver great results for me.

Which brings us to Pur-Lisse’s Daily Lip Nourishment with Mango & Shea Butter (USD $16.00, full size). $16 may not sound like a lot in terms of luxury products. I’m sure somewhere out there is some $100 lip balm. But it is eight times as much as I spend on lip balm (Nivea’s is $2 a tube), so I’m expecting the moon from this product.

Looking at the ingredients, there are some promising ones that provide a good source of antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties, and some skin repairing agents. All things I love. The one ingredient towards the end of the list is Orange Peel Extract, which provides some fragrance to the balm. I wish this wasn’t there, as fragrance isn’t the best thing to put on delicate skin, but it’s also not a total deal breaker. Still, look out for it if you’re sensitive to that sort of thing.

The consistency of this product is liquid like a glaze. It comes in a squeeze tube and you just need a small amount to cover the surface of your lips. Even though it’s a glaze, the formula does allow it to sink into the lips in about 10 to 15 minutes, which I really do appreciate.

However, sometimes you can have great ingredients and for some reason the product is just lackluster. That’s what happened here. After the product sunk into the skin, the hydrating effect sort of disappeared. That’s not totally surprising, as you do need to reapply lip balms, but the hydration went away almost immediately after sinking into the skin. It only lasted a few minutes. My lips looked nice, but they felt a little dry and like I had to put something back on.

I just can’t use this as a standalone product. Instead, what I do is put this on, let it sink in, and then apply my lip balm over it. It’s basically become an extra step in my skincare routine until this stuff runs out.

Bottom line: Despite promising, wonderful ingredients, this lip balm from Pur-Lisse just didn’t work for me. I can appreciate the lightweight, liquid texture. I do think that whatever is in the formula that allows it to sink into the skin so quickly cuts down on the hydrating effect. In my opinion, it’s just not worth the $16 price point. Still, if you want to try it out, it’s not so terribly expensive that you’ll regret purchasing it. It’s really up to you.

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February 2016 Birchbox Review #5: ARROW Boost Color Enhancing Lip Balm

Guys, GUYS. Birchbox is hitting it out of the park!

We’ve finally reached the whole reason I passed on February’s Editor Box. Ever since Birchbox announced they’d be expanding their own makeup line to include everyday, active makeup I got incredibly excited. I was so impressed with their Love of Color makeup line and thought they’d do a great job with these new products. I watched the previews and thought, “I really want to try this.” When I saw one of the monthly sample choices was a product from the line, all bets were off. I was getting this.

Here is how Birchbox describes their ARROW line:

“Specializing in lightweight, long-wearing makeup and refreshing skincare, Birchbox beauty brand ARROW is designed to keep up with your on-the-go, active life—whether that means going straight from pilates to brunch or just powering through an action-packed, appointment-filled day. Each breathable product creates a fresh, natural, beautiful effect, so you can feel cool and confident from an A.M. gym session to a late-night work session (and everywhere in between).”

In the box this month was the ARROW BOOST Color Enhancing Lip Balm (USD $14.00, full size). For that price, I expect it to be some great lip balm. Not only should it be moisturizing, but it also has to deliver great pigmentation. As you can guess from the name, this lip balm is a “color smart” product, meaning the color on your lips will differ depending on your own body’s pH. So everyone gets a unique color.

Here’s the “before” shot of my lips. No pigment, but just a little bit of Aquifer, because they were feeling a wee bit dry. Good thing my nostrils were clean.

As a balm, it’s pretty moisturizing. The balm itself is quite lightweight and doesn’t feel like vaseline on the lips, making it very wearable. It’s also not at all sticky. I wore this to the gym several time and didn’t have the issue of fly-away hair sticking to my lips, like you do with some balms. The moisture won’t last all day and, like most lip balms, you will need to reapply.

This particular balm does have a light minty scent. It isn’t overpowering and I don’t see anything in the ingredients showing that it has peppermint oil, which can be drying, or fragrance, which can cause irritation. I do see some typical emollient seed oils and some hyaluronic acid (score!), as well as mango butter. Vegans should note this does have beeswax.

After applying the balm and letting the color set.

The color smart claim is legitimate. After applying the balm, I noticed the color adjusting within 5 seconds. I already have quite pigmented lips, but the color adjusted to a slightly darker, flushed pink. It could pass for being my natural lip color and was lovely.

Being completely honest, I was impressed with the lasting power of the color. It lasted through my whole workout…and I don’t mess around. I was covered in sweat, red in the face, but my lips still looked hydrated and prettily pigmented. This lip balm isn’t going anywhere. I even wore it through showering and it STILL didn’t come off.

The color does fade a bit as the balm wears off with eating and drinking, but will reappear once again when you reapply. Like most tinted balm, do be careful when reapplying because it’s still slightly prone to color build-up in lip lines from the wax collecting there. Just a quick swipe with a napkin before reapplying will take care of the problem.

Rating: 5/5. I love this lip balm. It’s what I wear every day to the gym  and on days when I don’t want to wear lipstick or gloss but still want a hint of color. It’s amazing. Right now, ARROW only has three products in the line, but since the launch went well I see they’re adding more! So excited to try!

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