Sunday Self-care, Episode 6: Read My Lip… Care Choices

Three years ago, I shared with my readers the greatest discovery I made for my lip care.

I loved Agave Lip Balm and Agave Lip Mask from Bite Beauty and used them for a couple of years… until the brand decided to join the holier-than-thou crowd and went vegan. No. Same as fat-free or sugar-free foods are not identical to their less healthy predecessors (you might like them or prefer for health reasons or even for their taste, just don’t try to persuade me that they taste the same), lanolin-free Agave Lip Balm wasn’t as moisturizing as the one that I fell in love with. I found and bought a couple of old formula products postponing inevitable, but at some point, I had to accept that my favorite product was gone.

As I was on my last tube thinking of what to do next, I got an amazing tip from one of the YouTube videos. If you haven’t heard this yet, don’t laugh, but Lansinoh Lanolin Nipple Cream for Breastfeeding is just amazing for keeping your lips moist all night. It’s not expensive, and it comes in small inconspicuous tubes (in case you want to have some in your purse).

I was completely satisfied with my discovery and would have stuck to using it for years to come, but in my Sephora Birthday Gift, I got a sample of Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask. It was love from the first use! The one I got was the original (Berry scent), and not only it keeps my lips perfectly moisturized through the night, but it also has a very enjoyable light scent and texture.

You would think I’d stop there: I found two great products. But finding that Laneige mask made me think that I was so stuck on the loss of my favorite Agave Lip Balm that I didn’t even think to look for anything else. So, I just couldn’t resist when I saw on Sephora’s site a Give Me Some Lip Balm Set.

Lip Masks

It was quite educational to try 5 more products. I tried them without reading anything about them. While all of them are fine and quite… usable, none of them was love for me.

Sephora Coconut Lip Balm & Scrub – a strange combination, in my opinion: who on earth has come up with the idea that these two purposes can be served by the same product? I would have probably liked it more had it a more pronounced coconut smell/taste. I might finish it eventually, but it’s not something I will ever consider purchasing.

Tarte SEA Jelly Glaze Anytime Lip Mask in Strawberry Jelly has a light tint and some scent… The tint reminds me of a strawberry more than the scent. It is fine, and I use it at my work desk when I’m not wearing lipstick for a Zoom meeting. Since during the day I periodically eat or drink something, I’m not sure how well it hydrates – I re-apply it from time to time, which is fine with me. But once it’s gone – it’s gone.

Rose Petal-Soft Deep Hydration Lip Balm by fresh has a noticeable rose scent. It smells very pleasant until I apply it. Surprisingly, I discovered that I don’t like a rose in my lip products: it feels as if I had not fully washed off rose soap from my lips. I can’t complain about its moisturizing qualities, but I won’t use it if I have a choice.

Lip Fetish Divinyl Lip Shine in Nude Venus from Pat McGrath Labs is exactly what it promises to be – a lip shine with just the slightest hue. It’s not something to use at night, but during the day it has its uses – as a part of the discounted $21 5-product set. But I would have never paid its full price of $36. Almost all lipsticks, lip balms, etc. that I own are at least as nice as this Lip Shine, if not better. And most of them are less expensive.

Ilia Lip Wrap Treatment Mask is fine doing the job, but it is completely scentless and tasteless… For $26 it costs, I can buy more than a year supply of that Lanolin Nipple Cream.

My experiment has shown that with skincare I follow the same pattern as I noticed with perfumes and food: I do not like “all-natural,” “fat/sugar-free” or “clean” products (in the Sephora set all but Pat McGrath’s products were marked as “clean at Sephora”). In my book, all those properties are secondary to a good product. Quite rarely do I find something that I like among those that proudly announce their “virtues.”

I plan to keep taking advantage of the off-label use of the Lansinoh’s lanolin cream. And once I finish my small jar of Laneige, I’m going to buy the full version. Eventually, I might try their other scents: grapefruit and apricot smell nice. But initially, I’ll continue with the original berry scent, hoping that they won’t mess with a good thing that works. It is such a pleasure to use that product!

Do you have any favorite lip moisturizers?

 

Image: my own

In the Search for the Perfect Lavender, Take II

It’s not exactly true: I think I found my perfect lavender perfume – Lieber Gustav 14 by Krigler. Since I published that Take I post, I finished the decant of Serge Lutens Gris Clair and bought a bottle of it. And I’m still contemplating getting Fourreau Noir if I ever get somewhere where I don’t have to pay $300+ for the bell jar. Maybe I should go for a travel spray.

    

Rusty and Lieber Gustav

 

But lavender is still on my mind, and I seek it in many different forms. Earlier today, for example, I had a cocktail with lavender syrup. It was probably the best part of the dinner.

For the recent 3-4 years I kept planning to go to a lavender festival. But every year I was either traveling somewhere else at that time or would remember about it only when I saw some lavender at a store – and it was already too late for that year: the main flowering time would be over.

Before I proceed with my story, I want to remind you (if you haven’t read it before and/or didn’t follow the link I shared above) that lavender came into my life relatively late, so I wasn’t really familiar with many aspects that probably would be obvious to those of you who grew up in countries where it was widely used.

 

Lavender

 

A couple of years ago I bought a lavender bunch at a local farmers market and, as I do with other flowers, put it into a vase with water. It smelled nice but a week later it started dropping buds and, what was even worse, the stems were rotting. I cut off everything that was in water, fasten the remaining stems with a blue rubber band, and put that improvised lavender sachet into my linen closet. Unlike it happened with Le Labo’s Rose 31 (if you weren’t around 5 years ago, see my post Know-how [not to]: Freshen up a linen closet), this haven’t fended me off lavender, though, as it was drying, it kept losing its petals, which made it a little messy… But I put it on some napkin and kept moving that napkin from place to place when I needed to take something out of the closet or put in.

 

Rusty and Lavender

 

The next year, when I got another lavender bunch, I was smarter: I hanged it to dry in the spare bathroom and then, once it was dry, I used one of a bigger organza bags that I’ve got either with a purchase of something else or from a swap with a perfumista friend to put the bunch in to prevent a mess.

 

Lavender Sachet

 

You can’t imagine how proud I was coming up with that novel idea! What’s more, my vSO was very impressed with what I’ve done. I was (and still am) using it in our bed putting it between pillows during the day. By now I have probably half of it just bouncing in the bag loose, but it still smells nice though very faint. I bet Rusty can still smell it strong.

 

Rusty and Lavender Sachet

 

And then one day Robin from the NST posted in her Daily Lemmings this:

 

Diptyque Lavandier Wand 2018

 

I was gobsmacked: it was so beautiful, so elegant, so… in a different league compared to my creation. I don’t remember if it was still available when Robin posted it, but by the time I thought of getting it, it was sold out. And since it usually means that it isn’t coming back, after researching it online and discovering that, even though there were many similar products offered, nobody does it exactly the way Diptyque did, I started planning on trying to make one myself next time I get a lavender bunch.

I studied instructions, found ribbons to use (2 different sizes and colors!), and was waiting for the lavender season… It must have happened this summer, right? Every weekend I was on a lookout for the main ingredient for my DIY project – without much success. I don’t know how but I managed to miss it again. I blame my work schedule. I should try again next year.

Meanwhile, I keep adding from time to time a drop or two of lavender oil into my sachet. And I also found and was enjoying Lavender Lip Mask from Bite Beauty – a brand that makes my favorite Agave Lip Balm.

 

Lavender Bite Lip Mask

 

Images: all but Diptyque’s wand – my own