Saturday, November 12, 2005

The Case for the Basics: Lip Balm

Look here, folks: We could talk about Arrested Development getting cancelled and how it's the end of the world as we know it... or we can concentrate on the bigger picture and move on to the other things. Me, I'm not in the mood to take anything or anyone too seriously, so I'd like to go with something frivolous and non-confrontational for a change.

Take lip balm, for example. Now, there's a topic that we can agree on, right? Everyone can use some lip balm, especially now with the colder weather. (And don't look at me and tell me that we don't have cold weather here; the cold winds we always have here in the valley have a way of drying out a girl's skin, I tell you.)

I always insist on having lip balm on hand to keep my lips soft and moist. When I don't wear lip balm, it hurts more to talk - let alone smile - and that can only make me even more of a sour apple when I'm already in a grumpy mood. (This I learned after I got off the chair at the UH Dental Hygiene department after a cleaning - and realized that my lips had dried out from being propped open for three hours straight.)

There's always a lip balm for every occasion. Here are my favorites:

For the plane ride: A petrolatum-based balm will go on smooth in extreme dehydration. Kiehl's #1 Balm is the first thing that comes to mind; I took this with me on my first trip to Israel and it kept my lips sane even in the insane desert weather. Multitaskers like Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream and Smith's Rosebud Salve can double as a moisturizer or highlighter if you're not up to wearing any makeup during your flight. And if your lips really do get chapped to the extreme, there's also Blistex (the original formula in the tube) to keep it from hurting further; my Dad started using this after seeing me dab the stuff on whenever we travel.

For the hike: Whether you're negotiating some serious waterfalls or just going up the hill to your next class, you will need a balm with sunscreen. The classic, of course, is ChapStick Lip Moisturizer SPF 15 - not too pricey, not too waxy, very soothing and has that slight vanilla-y scent to boot. A more appealing choice would be the new flavored balms from the new ONBody line at Old Navy - I have the White Chocolate + Orange balm and I love both the texture and the flavor, which reminds me of expensive Italian cookies.

For your hot date: Flavored is definitely the way to go on this one - and unless said hot date is a rugged, outdoorsy type, you could probably get away with using one that does not have sunscreen. Lush, for example, has flavored plant-butter-based lip balms with names like Whipstick, Honey Trap and EggSnog (just in time for Thanksgiving!), while those more inclined towards fruitiness and softer balms - not to mention more frequent kissing - may find The Body Shop's Born Lippy balms more to their liking. Tinted formulas, like the ones from Almay and Neutrogena, are good enough to wear instead of lipstick - but they do wear off quickly, so be careful.

For your trip to the country club: An online friend of mine swears by Prada Shielding Balm, and I have to agree. Yes, the PRADA name is intimidating - and so is the accompanying price tag (which justifies the gimmicky packaging) - but it's one of those few balms that are buttery without being slippery, and stays put for hours. I've sampled the tinted versions at Neiman Marcus once; the balms look like melted chocolate and they perform just as well as the regular formula.


misscinnamon said...

Am i really boring? i used to swear my by benefit benetint until i dropped it somewhere in london and lost it forever. i know that's not really lipbalm but i loved it. then i rosebud salve became my holy grail of lipbalms then i got tired of that and for the past year i've been carrying a tub of vaseline in my bag.. yes VASELINE. god i'm sad.

meimei said...

Cinn, you are not sad, just practical. When my lips dried out during my cleaning I was also offered Vaseline. That was my first lip balm, actually, since Chapstick didn't work on me when I was a kid. Whatever works, right? :)