I have been a working makeup artist – meaning having people pay me for makeup with no ‘side gigs’ necessary – for going on 15 years now. When you’re in the makeup biz you really do think about product a lot. Therefore for me as a beauty blogger, when I write about makeup I tend to gravitate to products that I’ve found that work for photographic use, and to the latest greatest of what’s happening in the cosmetics world. I am frequently reminded, however, that “normal people” (aka – non makeup artists/fanatics) do not think about these things at all, they just want some basic products that work so they can look their best and go on about their way. Reality is – when women find out I am a makeup artist – they are MUCH more likely to ask me what is the best mascara or moisturizer than they are to ask about some esoteric micro makeup brand. Let’s be real: they’ve never heard of the esoteric micro-makeup brand, nor do they particularly care. Over the next few Makeup Mondays I will be going back and revisiting some basics. These are the things that real women ask me about all the time and all the time. Being a pro makeup artist I’ve gone through umpteen brands of each type of product and these are the ones that make my cut. To start The Basics: Lip Balms and Lip Moisturizers.
Now – A word about what I look for in a lip balm: First and foremost anything Petroleum based is out. Some folks love Petroleum based lip-balms and if that’s you and it is working for you then great. Keep doing you. I do not like Petroleum based lip-balms at all. They do not actually moisturize, in my opinion, nor do I like the way they feel (greasy) and then as a makeup artist I cannot use them under lip color because they make the color “slip”. Therefore there will be no Carmex, Chapstick, Rosebud Salve (although I LOVE Rosebud salve for other things), or even the ever popular Keihl’s Lip Balm #1. I look for balms that are creamy in texture and feel and are derived from natural oils often in some kind of an oil/water emulsion formula. Here then are my picks of fabulous lip moisturizers.
6) Burts Bees Beeswax Lip Balm
Sometimes you just do not need to be brand new with things. Burt’s is a classic and with good reason: it works. What is particularly nice about the Burts Bees formula is not only is beeswax a natural wax, but it’s smooth yet dry in texture. Therefore it is very comfortable to wear – even men like it because it doesn’t feel like there is “something” on your lips – and it is usable under lip color. It is also naturally matte which makes it great for men’s grooming or anytime a glossy look is undesirable. There are a zillion different versions of the Balm now some of which are oiler/glossier/more fancy-pants than others… For my money the road keeps leading back to the original formula. (Note: I have the tin pictured because that’s what I personally use, but Burt’s Bees Lip Balm is available in tubes as well)
5 ) Korres Organic Lemon Lip Scrub
Flakey lips are not cute, nor does it particularly work to put a standard lip moisturizer over flakey lips. And lip gloss or lipstick? Forget it. When lips are flaking and acting up your best bet is to get that mess off. This isn’t technically a moisturizer, but it is moisturizing and when you use this and then follow with your lip moisturizer of choice, your lips will feel brand new once again. What I like about this scrub is that it is a finer grain than some other scrubs so it does not feel quite so gritty and it is easier to get the grit off once it has done its work. Also, the tube design is less messy to use and easy to take anywhere. Finally – whereas most lip scrub brands are super sweet – the lemon scent/flavor is yummy and refreshing. LOVE this product!
4 ) Blistex Medicated Lip Ointment
I know what you’re thinking: Did I not just say that I do not like Petroleum based products? Well, that is correct. Let’s be clear: I am only talking about the lip OINTMENT, not any of the stick balms. The Ointment is not petroleum based. It has a little bit of petroleum in it, but petroleum is well down the list of ingredients. The Blistex Ointment is pretty much unbeatable when you are dealing with dry, cracking, sunburned or any form of distressed lip that is past the point of using a scrub. The main active ingredient is Dimethicone which acts as a barrier to protect the lips, and the next 3 active ingredients are Camphor, Menthol and Phenol all of which are healing ointments. These ingredients are set in a creamy, not waxy, base that really stays on the lips and heals them right up. When lips are crying for mercy, Blistex Ointment is there to answer the call.
3 ) The Merry Hempsters Vegan Hemp Lip Balm
Too many people hear the word “hemp” and their minds go to one – wrong – place. Hemp seed is very high in vitamins and omega-3 acids making it very healing (it is particularly beneficial for those suffering from eczema). This is just a good, basic no-frills balm. What’s unique about it, of course, is that it is vegan friendly, using plant-based candelilla wax instead of beeswax. This balm is smooth, creamy, long lasting, and everything I look for in a balm. Like Burt’s Bees it is dry enough for use under lip color.
2 ) Anita Grant Lippy Pucker Lip Balm
Anita Grant is a UK based personal care brand. I was first reeled into the brand by her haircare products for coily/curly hair and I have been a devoted user ever since. One of the times I ordered her amazing Rhassoul Deep Hair Conditioner she slipped in a tube of her Lippy Pucker lip balm and I have been a fiend ever since. The Lippy Pucker is a blend of all-natural, largely organic vegetable oils blended with a couple of natural humectants (honey and castor oil) to make the smoothest, creamiest, most fabtastic lipbalm I have ever used. It comes in a scrumptious array of natural flavors such as Tangy Lemon and Dark Chocolate, but I tend to stick to the unflavored Original formula. Lippy Pucker is one of those rare lip moisturizers where not only do you not have to reapply constantly, but you can skip a day and your lips will still be soft. Oh yeah. It’s like that. I use it underneath lipgloss all the time without any problems. It might need to be blotted down a bit to but used underneath lipstick.
While I wish I could just go to my local natural foods store and buy a tube, it is completely worth it to buy online, in my opinion. It is that good. Next time I order some of my deep conditioner, I am going to order several tubes of the Lippy Pucker and just keep them in my ‘fridge. I cannot be out of this wonderful product ever again. (Anita Grant does have a few stockists in the States and in parts of Europe. You can check the website to see if there is one near you.)
So if Anita Grant is so amazing, what brand is #1 you say? Well, Anita Grant is what I use on myself on a day to day basis, but in my kit I use the one and only…
1 ) Malin and Goetz Lip Moisturizer
When I say you have never experienced anything like this product, I mean you have NEVER experienced anything like this product. Malin and Goetz exists in the realm where nature meets science. Unlike any of the other natural brands mentioned which just melt down a recipe of oils/butters/waxes, Malin and Goetz synthesizes the best properties of its naturally derived ingredients to create something altogether different. The result is a glossy lip moisturizing gel. It feels both hydrating and velvety at the same time. It is shiny like a gloss (so you minimal gals can wear it alone and be good to go) but it is not at all greasy or slippery so it works a dream underneath lip color. Like Lippy Pucker it is long lasting to the point where you can skip a day and your lips will still feel soft. It has barrier properties to protect dry lips from the elements, yet it penetrates into the lips and heals as opposed to just laying on the surface as most balms do. It’s just amazing, frankly. It is not cheap ($12 for .35 oz), but since it is so potent you do not need much and I find a tube lasts me quite a long time even with using it nearly everyday in my work. There are very few “wonder products” out there but in my opinion this is one of them.
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