Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Random Product Review: Honey Lip Balm

Ok, I know I said I'd blather on more about the sordid details of my love life, and I KNOW all zero readers of this blog are anxiously awaiting said details. But, right now, I feel like doing a Random Product Review. The name basically says it all. Look, I buy a lot of shit, right? And if I review all this shit, and put in online where others might presumably read it, it means that I buy this stuff for the futherance of Science, and the good of mankind, or whatever. So without further ado:

Welcome to the first ever Brain Spam Random Product Review*! Hopefully the first of many. Today's feature: lip balm! With an additional bitch session about the fucking cold sore I just got on my upper lip! For no extra charge!

Okay, so, I have this teeny weeny obsession with lipbalm. Pretty much anyone who has spent 5 mins with me will know this. I'd count how many I've got in my room right now, but I don't have 4 hours to spare. Anyway, my lips have been feeling especially dry lately. (Thank-you, whipping-cold Toronto February weather!) I had been using a Sephora Girl Strawberry Lipbalm for a while. It's really not that great as a lip balm... it's goopy, and I'd only give it a 5/10 for moisture and staying power. However, it smells just like candy, tastes sweet, and has a watery-looking shine to it that's nice for a natural look. Given the current state of my lips though, it wasn't cutting it.

So, digging in my book bag, I come across my Neutrogena Lip Nutrition Honey Rescue Balm:

I'd bought this little golden tub of happiness when I was down in Boston last summer. It was a bit expensive (something like $7 or $8 US for a wee container), but it was well worth it. The balm is a little bit sticky, but I find that I like this, since it means that it's got better staying power. It slicks on to a smooth shine; much shinier than most lip balms. In fact, I'd be tempted to call this a gloss, except it's thicker and much more moisturizing than your usual lip gloss.

I don't know if it's got a typical honey scent, but it smells softly sweet, in a subtle and pleasant way. I'm not sure how to describe it... it's certainly nothing artificial or candy-esque like the Sephora Girl one (not that I'm against artificial and candy-like. Sometimes that can be yummers). Whatever it is, it's a major plus in my books.

You know how when your lips get really dry, the skin gets all flakey, and a mediocre balm/gloss will just sit on top of the skin? Those glosses basically emphasise the problem, without helping the dryness. The Neutrogena Honey Rescue seems to "grab on" to the flakes, giving some much need moisture. After leaving the balm on for half an hour or so, the my lips feel much smoother. Even after the glossy looking sheen is gone, the moisture stays. Beautiful!

Of course, this love of Honey Rescue just might be due to the fact that I am down to the last dredges of the container. And of course, we can't buy the stuff up here in Canada. I guess I'll have to stock up when I'm in New York later this month. But, since I'm all about the instant gratification, I decided on a whim to check out my local Shopper's to find a good replacement balm until then. Since I liked the honey smell of the Neutrogena balm so much, I searched for another honey-themed product.

Maybe I'd have had better luck if I lived near a Sephora. Or maybe I'd just be continuously poor. But anyway, all that I found at Shoppers was Burt's Bees Honey Lipbalm:

Unless you've been living under a rock, you've heard of Burt's Bees. Their original mint-flavoured lip balm is incredibly hyped. I've tried it, and though I didn't love it in a pom-pom-waving, 'go tell it on the mountain' kind of way, I certainly didn't hate it either. So when I saw that they had a new Honey version out, I thought this would be the perfect time to try it. My first impression of the product can be summed up in one word: Disappointment.

Sure, it only cost $3, and sure, I wasn't expecting miracles. But I expected more. At first swipe, the balm felt hard and crusty and generally unpleasant. I figured this was just because the stick wasn't warm, and may have dried out a bit. So, I scraped the top off with some tissue, and stuck the balm in my pocket for a few minutes.

On 2nd try, the balm felt much nicer. When warmed up, the consistency of the balm is just about perfect. However: the smell! I don't know if I'm just so used to sugary sweet Bonnebelle scents that my olfactory is warped, or what. But dudes, this is NOT how honey smells. In fact, I don't know WHAT it smells like, but I sure don't like it. Someone on MUA described it as reminding her of urine. Gross analogy, but I see what she means. It smells vaguely... salty? Also kind of powdery. Smells like an old person's lipbalm to me, if that makes any sense. Yuck.

Apparently, some folks think the smell gets better as time goes on. We'll see about that. Other people have also complained that the balm felt 'grainy'. Aside from the first swipe, I haven't come across the problem. But maybe the key is to keep it close to your body, like I've done, so that the stick stays soft.

The smell thing is really too bad though. I like the feel of the balm once it's warmed up, and I like the moisturizing factor. But I'm a big fan of flavoured balms & glosses... so much so that I'll stop using a product just because I don't like how it smells or tastes. So I guess I'll keep trying Burt's Bees for a couple of days, and see how the scent thing goes. [EDIT: The scent thing did not go -- it remained yuck. Burt's Bees Honey Lipbalm has joined the ranks of my discarded products. Not quite in the garbage, but lost, forgotten, and not mourned.]

Oh, but hurrah! You know how I was all sad because I couldn't get the Neutrogena stuff up here? Well, aparently, there IS one Neutrogena cosmetic product we do get: their Lip Moisturizer!

Everyone always RAVES about how well this product works. It's supposed to be the incredible-affordable-infallible product of the decade. The "Great Lash" of lipbalms, if you will. (Although how I feel about Great Lash is a whole 'nuther post!) Well. I was overjoyed to find it yesterday, and I promptly bought one.

I must say, the hype is not false! It's got a great texture and consistency, and it goes on satiny-smooth right out of the package -- no warming up required. I can imagine that if my lips are flakey, the Lip Moisturizer won't feel as good as the Honey Rescue would. And, it's scent- and flavour-free, which is less fun. But, since it is truly scent- and flavour-free, it's not a big deal. (Not like those supposedly 'unscented' products that somehow smell like ass.) Of course, it also has the cheapness and "available in Canada" factors working for it. So overall, I am very happy with this purchase. In fact, I just put some on right now! Mmmm.


On the topic of my cold sore:

(If y'all are opposed to reading about sores and stuff, I suggest you stop reading now and come back for my next post. Whenever that will be.)

DAMN. Normally, I'm not too upset with getting cold sores. I mean, sure, they're uncomfortable and annoying and awkard and look nasteh, but it's never been a huge deal. I don't get them often, and when I do, they're relatively small and tame. But, it is a helluvan inconvenience to have one pop up, and why be a victim if you don't have to?

At the first sign of it (which was probably not that early -- I'm bad at noticing stuff), I went online (of course) and Googled the heck out of the various remedies out there. Apparently, cold sores are triggered by stress, lowered immune system, lack of sleep, and too much coffee and salt. Well, considering I was WAY behind on my work, had the sniffles earlier in the day, had just pulled 2-all nighters, and was basically subsisting on coffee and beef jerky... well, no wonder. I was asking for it.

Anyway, the ever-helpful internet suggested lots of treatments. The drug store had closed, so I couldn't go get any of that Abreva stuff. Instead, I iced it. And put a tea bag on it. And used a tea-tree-oil ointment. And nail-polish remover.

Well, I'm not sure what did it, but it seemed to work! The sore has not gotten any bigger, and in fact has shrunk and dried up quite a bit. It's barely noticeable now. I'm pretty sure it was the ice that helped the most. The nail-polish remover stung quite a bit, but it did seem to dry it up. And hey, I figure if *I'm* hurting, then those little sucker virus bitches must be writing in agony. Serves them right.

I guess I'll continue to ice it then. I've got a big weekend coming up.


So, in conclusion, go buy some Neutrogena lip stuff, and make sure you are all rested up, body and mind. Your lips will thank you.

* BSRPR is not a very pleasing acronym, I'm afraid. Looks rather like someone blowing a raspberry. Oh well.


Sunday, February 26, 2006

Oh my God I just killed a puppy*

Um, yeah, I had the weirdest dream last night. My good friend H from back home was in a bar, and when I went to meet him, he hugged me, kissed me, and told me he was moving to Croatia for grad school. I felt this incredible sense of loss and "No-no-no-you-can't!". Strangeness!

And THEN, I think I became Buffy. I was at a party, and all these people kept becoming posessed by some evil demon thing, and I had to keep kicking all their asses. Nobody could be trusted! Anyone could be a demon! Oh no, now you have to go fight your host! While trying to convince H to stay in Canada! You're the worst guest ever!

Yeah. Bizzaro. Maybe I need to start drinking before bed.

*In my dream, people! It was possessed! Sheesh!

Friday, February 24, 2006


Y'know, blogs are great. They let you bitch and whine to an anonymous public (er, I mean, "captive audience"), and you can rattle on as lengthily and as often as you like about the most mundane things in the world that are of interest to no one but you. Sort of like a best friend, I guess, except you never have to send it birthday cards, and it never gets mad at you when you're really late for lunch.

Of course, a blog also lets you talk about things that you wouldn't even let your best friend know, for fear that s/he will realize what a mean/shallow/hypocritical/all-of-the-above person you really are.

Naturally, you'll find only terribly interesting and intelligent things on this blog. All high quality, very informative* stuff, I'm sure. With just a few intermittent paragraphs about the highs and lows of my romantic endeavours, stresses of my laughably-easy life, and other such trivial details. You probably won't even notice it amongst the Shakespeare-worthy prose.

Right. Let the games begin!

*Well, I might, like, post some recipes or product reviews from time to time. That counts, right?

Thursday, February 23, 2006


Woah! Huh? What am I doing here? I was supposed to be working....

Oh well. Remember to get plenty of Omega3 fatty acids everyone. It's brain food, you know.