The Balm Series

Thursday, January 01, 2015


With the amount of pigment that I place on my lips everyday, I have so much love and particularity for lip care products. I remembered one of you asking how I maintain dry and chapped lips despite the matte lipsticks (when I was still in that phase!) and below, I will share my favorites and my wardrobe as I call it - because I use different ones for different occasions and needs - and some techniques that might help you as well in this kind of season.

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1. MIDNIGHT RECOVERY


One of my techniques that I proudly share to my friends and relatives is the night technique which always happens after a super matte or pigmented lipstick has stayed on my lips for more than 8 hours. The key is to use rich balms (and good ones as well that doesn't just sit on top of the lips!) that could soften dry skin deeply while sleeping.

swatch product review best lip balms carmex nivea burts bees
Swatches of Classic lip balms/tins/butters - 2 coats, with flash
At night, I religiously put a balm/butter all over my lips and the sorrounding skin/area in a super religious excessive way (haha). The kind that overlaps the linings/borders! In the morning then, I scrub my lips with salt/sugar and the dry skin comes off easily as it has become soft (see below swatch). The sorrounding areas and lines also become less apparent with this. I suggest you try this tonight and let me know how it worked for you!
After the midnight technique, dry skin becomes soft in the morning. Scrub the excess using fingers (with a balm) or scrub it off with sugar. 
swatch product review best lip balms carmex nivea burts bees
After removing excess soft skin, lips are renewed temporarily with minimal cracks. 
As mentioned, the products to be used need to be quite thick or concentrated and usually, the classics are to be trusted in this.

BURT'S BEES LIP BALM / TIN (PHP 325)* - An original since 1991, the natural beeswax present with Vitamin E conditions skin. Has a lot of complex oils like soy bean, canola, almond etc. I love how thick the formula is and is perfect for overnight conditioning. What I like best is despite the waxy texture and finish, it goes deep down the skin of the lips.
CARMEX ORIGINAL BALM / JAR (PHP 100)* - The formula for 75 years has a medical history for relieving lips instantly, and the"medical" scent is really because of camphor and menthol that relieves dry lips. with petrolatum and lanolin, it "replicates the way the lipid bilayer in your skin retains moisture." It also has beeswax and Seed Butter. It's quite glossy but mattifies after time.
NIVEA Lip Butter in Classic (PHP 100+ ) - I like its rich formula which is classic of NIVEA (and a packaging that is like my favorite NIVEA tin!) despite the butter texture and finish. For more than 100 years, with shea butter and almond oil.




2. LAYERING ESSENTIALS


One kind of lip balm I search for is the one that I can put as base - like a Step 0 when in comes to makeup - even before a lip primer ( like MAC Prep & Prime). This one, it has to be thin and quite matte (or waxy) and consistent in its formula. It cannot interfere with the texture and finish of the lipstick you are about to wear. Below is a sample of how my dry lips look when I wear matte lipstick without any base or balm under it.



I usually put a lip balm 10 minutes before primer and lipstick application to let moisture settle in, but it helps also that it quickly dries. Below are swatches demonstrating the finish and consistency of balms alone and under a retro matte lipstick.

swatch product review best lip balms carmex nivea burts bees
Swatches of Lip Balms under a matte lipstick - 2 coats, with flash
Lip primers also are nice to have to preserve quality of the lipstick. It is also non-glossy and doesn't interfere much with the lipstick formula.

swatch product review best lip primer MAC prep & prime
Swatch of MAC Lip Prep+Prime - 2 coats, with flash
For the demonstration below, I used the Burt's Bees balm and primer. See how despite 2 layers, lips don't look too glossy. it has like another skin layer that is ready to be painted with a super pigmented lipstick ;)
swatch product review best lip balms burts bees mac prep & prime
Swatch of MAC Lip primer + Burt's Bees balm - 2 coats with flash and iris blur to focus on center
swatch product review best lip balms burts bees mac prep & prime mac matte
Swatch of MAC retro matte lipstick on top of MAC Lip primer and Burt's Bees balm - 2 coats with flash and iris blur to focus on center
Based on above swatches, despite the cracks and dry skin, a super matte lipstick appeared quite flawless, concealing cracks and lines and consistency was still great.

MAC PREP & PRIME LIP (PHP 600+)* - a color-free base that has a lightweight moisture and feel.
CARMEX / BURT'S BEES balms (see above)* - see above benefits as well, these ones only come handy in tubes. In this use, I prefer the matte finish and feel of Burt's Bees especially if I wanna wear a matte lippy.




3. BEAUTY & SCENTS


Now, when there are days that I need to rest my lips from ultra-drying matte's or when the season is really intense and when semi-matte or glossy lipsticks still dry my lips due to the pigment present, I use a slightly tinted balm - not the tint type. This way, it helps the skin breathe at day without having to not wear color.

swatch product review best lip balms nivea fruity shine
Swatch of NIVEA Fruity Shine in Watermelon - 2 coats, with flash and iris blur to focus on center

NIVEA FRUITY SHINE (PHP 90+)* -  The new formulation (with a new packaging) is better than the old. It is more rich and less glossy. Always, the color is subtle with a healthy-looking finish that's soft and smooth. Among all the lip balms, NIVEA has the most fragrant that makes me want to eat them sometimes ;) Also, it has Hydra-IQ and SPF10.

swatch product review best lip shimmer burt's bees
Swatch of Burt's Bees Lip Shimmers - 2 coats, with flash
swatch product review best lip shimmer burt's bees
Swatch of Burt's Bees Lip Shimmer in Caramel - 2 coats, with flash and iris blur to focus on center
swatch product review best lip shimmer burt's bees
Swatch of Burt's Bees Lip Shimmer in Rhubarb - 2 coats, with flash and iris blur to focus on center
swatch product review best lip shimmer burt's bees
Swatch of Burt's Bees Lip Shimmer in Watermelon - 2 coats, with flash and iris blur to focus on center 
swatch product review best lip shimmer burt's bees
Swatch of Burt's Bees Lip Shimmer in Fig - 2 coats, with flash and iris blur to focus on center
swatch product review best lip shimmer burt's bees
Swatch of Burt's Bees Lip Shimmer in Raisin - 2 coats, with flash and iris blur to focus on center

BURT'S BEES LIP SHIMMER (PHP 325)* - Which I got from Sample Room last year. This works as good as a lipstick, actually with colours derived naturally and volume from its beautiful shimmers. I really like the natural looking colors, especially Caramel and Fig!  While consistency is not so perfect for Watermelon for example, the luscious effect is natural (see Rhubarb) and staying power is lovely (it leaves a slight natural tint after a few hours) without that drying effect. It also has Shea Butter and antioxidant-rich Fruit Oils, Sunflower oil.

swatch product review best lip color argan oil colour collection philippines
Swatch of Colour Collection Lip Treatment - 2 coats, with flash
swatch product review best lip color argan oil colour collection philippines
Swatch of Colour Collection Lip Treatment in Bella - 2 coats, with flash and Iris blur to focus on center
swatch product review best lip color argan oil colour collection philippines
Swatch of Colour Collection Lip Treatment in Crema - 2 coats, with flash and Iris blur to focus on center
swatch product review best lip color argan oil colour collection philippines
Swatch of Colour Collection Lip Treatment in Amore - 2 coats, with flash and Iris blur to focus on center
COLOUR COLLECTION LIP TREATMENT (PHP 399)* - With argan oil as the main ingredient which is unique and beneficial for the lips while it is on top, this one is more pigmented and semi-matte than the Lip Shimmer. If you opt for a full bright color that cares, - because it also has Vitamin E which fights off free radicals, Vitamin F – essential fatty acids for skin elasticity and Squalene – an antioxidant, this one is a nice choice for everyday color with Ok staying power and consistency.





4. INSTANT HYDRATION


Now, there are these balms that offer instant hydration and with extra or ultra moisture, these are my quick fixes to dehydrated lips.

Swatch of NIVEA Lip Butter in Original - 2 coats, with flash and iris blur to focus on center

BURT'S BEES Kokum Butter (PHP 375)* — "Traditionally used in India as a balm for dry, cracked, rough and calloused skin", Kokum Butter is rich in essential fatty acids and Vitamin E. I tried this for 4 hours and it does give a fast hydration despite how thin the feel is.
KIEHL'S #1 BALM (PHP 600+)* - Appears liquidy, it helps relieve chapped and cracked lips instantly. I like its soothing emollients that also doesn't feel like sitting on top of the lips - Squalanea, Lanolin and Wheat Germ Oil, as well as Vitamin E
NIVEA Lip Butter in Classic (PHP 100+) - Swatched above, this is also one product that will go to this category as it has the NIVEA patented technology, Hydra-IQ which makes hydration deeper and better.
COLOUR COLLECTION Lip Therapy (PHP 300+)* - This is the clear version of the Lip therapy which feels and gives soft and smooth effect because of the Argan oil which is really "hiyang" to my skin. This one is the least glossy among the selection.




5. DEEP REPAIR



Also,  when my lips are in dire need of deep repair, like the phase where intense cracks (sometimes with bleeding!) and dry skin are present, I need extra hardworking ingredients to help me treat my lips. This is like the last step of a skin care routine. Below are my picks.

SNOE BESO BALM  (PHP 199) * - I like the deep repair it gives (which you can already feel upon application with its thick non-glossy formulation) with Coconut, Sunflower, spearmint oils and Shea butter + Beeswax. Plus, this smells like Mentos!
TONY MOLY KIS KISS LIP SCRUB (PHP 345)*- As a better way of doing the Midnight technique at least 2-3 times a week, this scrub has vegetable grains which will be less harsh on the skin. I tried this and it made me peel my lips easier at the morning. It's formula is creamy with Jojoba and macadamia oil to further help restore moisture.
BURT'S BEES REJUVENATING (PHP 325)* - I like Acai Berry and it has Vitamins A, C, D, and E, antioxidants and moisturizing Omega Oils to beautify lips over time. It smells great and I've tried this for a week, and it did wonders for the lines as well.



Have you tried any of these balms? What are your favorites? Do you also have a lip wardrobe for different lip situations?


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