I’ve been thinking recently about what this blog is all about and why I started it (particularly since reading Natural Beautee’s musings on the same theme recently). I began this blog because I was on a journey to switch my beauty regime to a more natural one and wanted to share tips, information and great products I found along the way. I never wanted this blog to be purely about product reviews, although it’s verged on that as of late due to the fact I’ve been sent some brilliant products , most of which I’ve loved, and because it takes a lot more time to research and write ‘advice’ type posts and I’ve had neither the time nor energy to do that recently.
In the meantime however, one of the things that I find incredibly helpful on other people’s blogs is quick-fire reviews of a few products within a particular category e.g. shower gels, body lotions etc. And I thought this would be great for the purpose of my blog – to provide a few options in each key cosmetic or skincare category that you could try if you’re looking to migrate towards a more natural beauty regime. I think it’s helpful sometimes to look at a category rather than each product individually, so you can get a feel for the different products out there. Hopefully one of them will be right for you!
The first installment of this “Tried and Tested” series is lip balms – every girl’s handbag essential, and even more so with winter approaching, when we all need a little extra TLC to deal with the dryness and chapping caused by cold weather and central heating .
The following lip balms all contain a minimum of 70% natural ingredients. The ‘ingredients’ rating is based on quality of ingredients i.e. how ‘natural’ they are. If something is 100% organic for example it’ll probably get a 5/5.
Packaging: 3/5 – This is a simple, clear glass pot with a black lid and very simple branding. I like the look of it and it’s nice and light, but personally I prefer a tube application as it’s less messy and more hygienic if you haven’t washed your hands beforehand.
Ingredients: 4/5 – MyRoo products are all 100% natural and handmade. Sweet almond oil and organic shea butter hydrates, Vitamin E repairs cracked skin and beeswax provides a barrier to the elements.
Fragrance/Flavour: 5/5 – Love this smell. This balm has a fresh, peppermint scent and if you happen to lick your lips you won’t be disappointed with the taste either. Very refreshing and a little bit tingly which I love.
Texture and ‘glide’: 4/5 – This is lovely and smooth to apply and a little goes a long way. It also gives your lips a nice sheen so it’s great if you want a glossy finish without any the stickiness of lipgloss.
Hydration and staying power: 4/5 – This balm is very hydrating and refreshing although doesn’t quite have the staying power of some others. When I used this on holiday I found I reapplied it frequently throughout the day to maintain hydration – but reapplying was a pleasure so it’s not a big criticism.
Overall: 4/5 – The key selling points for me with this product are the smell and the quality of the ingredients. If I could have it in a stick form with a slightly richer formulation it would be a 5/5.
Packaging: 5/5 – My preferred type of lip balm container – a simple tube with twist dispenser. I like this type because it’s easy to store and you don’t need clean hands to use it hygienically.
Ingredients: 4/5 – Again, this product is 100% natural but has a longer ingredient list than some of the others which as a rule of thumb I tend to think of as a negative. This contains natural flavour and fragrance so if you’re looking for something totally non-allergenic for very sensitive skin, this might not be the best option.
Fragrance/Flavour: 4/5 – When I first reviewed these balms I found them too sweet but I’ve grown to like the scents now. Funnily enough I preferred the mango at first but now am reaching more for the acai berry, which smells so sweet it’s like bubble gum – in a good way! If you don’t like sweetie smells though, go for the original Burts Bees flavour, which is much more subtle.
Texture and ‘glide’: 5/5 – The texture of his balm is perfect for an everyday balm in my opinion. It feels thick and completely smooth. It’s definitely got the ‘glide factor’.
Hydration and staying power: 5/5 – This is my favourite lip balm for hydration and staying power. It feels so nourishing and stays on your lips for at least an hour or even longer if you don’t eat or drink.
Overall: 4/5 – This is my favourite lip balm for overall performance. It not only nourishes but adds a layer of protection due to the beeswax in it which it perfect for windy, cold weather heading our way.
Packaging: 5/5 – I love Balm Balm packaging! The pastel colours are so lovely – like a nursery. This is another great lip balm dispenser – a squeezy soft plastic tube (10ml) with a diagonal shaped head that is great for distributing product. It’s also available in a 7ml pot for £2.99.
Ingredients: 5/5 – This definitely gets top marks on ingredients as it’s 100% organic and certified by the Soil Association. In fact the ingredients list is so short I’ll list it here: shea butter, calendula, sunflower oil, beeswax, jojoba. That’s it!
Fragrance/Flavour: 2/5 – This particular balm is un-fragranced. This is great from a health perspective as fragrance, even natural fragrance, can be considered an irritant especially for sensitive skin. The only downside about no fragrance is there’s no flavour, and the shea butter flavour isn’t that yummy really.
Texture and ‘glide’: 4/5 – This has a nice, smooth texture. My only qualm is that when I first squeezed some out it seemed to have separated as only oil came out. That’s the nature of 100% organic/natural products though and after that first squeeze it’s come out fine.
Hydration and staying power: 3/5 – I’ve used this for a few days and I’m a little disappointed with the staying power. It seems to hydrate but I think it must absorb quite quickly and/or get rubbed off easily as I need to reapply a lot to keep my lips feeling soft.
Overall: 4/5 – Definitely a great product with the highest quality of ingredients but falls down slightly on durability and (lack of) flavour. However, Balm Balm does have other lip balms in the range – one with rose geranium and one with tea tree – so try these if you want a little more scent.
Packaging: 5/5 – This is another tube dispenser – convenient, light and hygienic. The green and yellow colours are pretty too.
Ingredients: 4/5 – Alba coconut cream lip balm is 82% certified organic and 100% vegetarian. It shares a lot of the same ingredients as the Burt’s Bees balms, such as castor seed oil, beeswax, coconut oil and rosemary leaf extract.
Fragrance/Flavour: 2/5 – As you’d suspect from the name, this lip balm smells of coconut. Although I generally like coconut smells as they remind me of sun and holidays, this smell is a bit sickly to me. I gave all the lip balms in this review to my sister to smell however, and this was her favourite, which goes to show that smell is, of course, very subjective. In my opinion though it smells a bit sickly and tastes a bit plastic-y.
Texture and ‘glide’: 5/5 – Very smooth texture, similar to the Burt’s Bees. It feels very soft and nourishing on your lips.
Hydration and staying power: 4/5 – Good staying power – nearly as good as Burt’s Bees, and better than Balm Balm and My Roo.
Overall: 3.5/5 – If it wasn’t for the smell which I personally don’t like, this is a great lip balm. Alba Botanica also does a passion fruit and pineapple flavoured balm, so I’d be keen to try those instead!
As you can see, I gave all the above lip balms an overall rating of 3.5/5 or above. They all perform well and contain either mostly natural, or in the best case, all organic, ingredients. So far there isn’t one lip balm which is a complete all-rounder i.e. 100% organic, beautiful texture, delicious smell, ultra nourishing and fantastic staying power. But I’ll keep looking!
Do you have any lip balm recommendations? What’s your favourite?