DHC – Lip Cream, Kamill – Touch Orange & Grapefruit, Bouquet Garni – Citron, Neutrogena – Nourishing Lip Care in Nordic Berry, Kiehl’s Lip Balm #1, Smith’s Rosebud Salve, Uriage – Xemose Stick Levres
Whee, quite a few lip balm empties. Come winter, I go through these through water – though I do, generally speaking, tend to use lip balms up rather quickly. Most of these are Western brands, though some are Korean. Let’s get started!
DHC Lip Cream
Size/Quantity: 1.4g – tiny! Luckily, a little tends to go a long way.
Price & Availability: ₩ 7,900 if on sale / ₩8,900 when not on sale (ca. US$7/8). You can get these online or locally at Lalavla and Olive Young chemists here in Korea.
Opinion: This is one of the best lip balms that I have tried to date. I reviewed this in full a few months ago here, and I am happy to report that it still holds a very dear place in my heart. Though it is kind of expensive, especially given the small size, I still think that this is a fantastic lip balm for when your lips are cracked, bleeding and completely parched. This is very soothing, deeply hydrating, does not lick off too easily for all you lip lickers out there (~slowly raises hand~) and gives a slight transparent sheen to your lips. No tint or staining whatsoever, just a clear thick balm. Two thumbs up!
Kamill Touch Orange & Grapefruit
Size/Quantity: 4.8g – average but substantial enough for a stick lip balm
Price & Availability: I got this on sale for about ₩5,000 at Lalavla. It seems to be exclusive to Thailand and Korea for some reason. I also no longer see this in stores. Perhaps this was an experimental flavour, released only in a few territories, and temporarily at that.
Opinion: This lip balm was just so…. blah. It felt very waxy going on, did not exactly glide – it kind of skipped on my lips – and just did not do a very good job of hydrating my lips. The white cast that it left was not particularly flattering either, I must say. It was faintly scented, to the point where you could barely make out that this was orange and grapefruit scented. It could have definitely done with a bit more flavour or fragrance.
I would recommend this as a lip stick base for whatever lip product to go on top of, as this really seems to stay in place. Other than that, there are not many positives that I can tell you about. Seeing as this has been discontinued by the looks of it, it does appear as though others also agreed that this was not exactly a sensational lip balm. Next!
Bouquet Garni Fragranced Lip Balm Citron
Size/Quantity: 2.3 g – kind of on the small side
Price & Availability: I got this on sale at Olive Young for about ₩4,000. Regularly, this retails for about ₩6,000-8,000.
Opinion: At the time of purchase, I was looking for a nicely scented, clear lip balm and this was on sale. The packaging looked kinda cute too, more on that in a bit. When I swiped this on, I got a very, very faint whiff of lemon, though I have seen this advertised as to have middle and base notes of lily and jasmine. I never got any floral notes from this lip balm, and I also think that likening lip balm to perfume is kind of idiotic. As you have it right under your nose, this also means that your nose gets used to the smell right away, as opposed to a perfume, which you do not apply directly under your nostrils.
As for efficacy, this was not particularly great in any way, shape or form. It was very lightly hydrating, but did not do much in terms of healing dry, chapped or cracked lips. This could work under lipstick, but I would not wear it on its own as it hardly hydrated my lips at all.
Let’s talk about the packaging for a moment, though. Do you see what I see? That’s right, they stole fresh’s lip treatment design and did not bother one bit to at least change it up even a little bit. Super brazen and thick skinned, if you ask me. Disgusting.
I don’t know why Korean companies love ripping off other (mostly Western) companies’ designs so much. I absolutely despise this phenomenon. Why, why, why can you not commission someone to come up with an original design? If you have read my post on how Too Cool for School ripped off Charlotte Tilbury, you will know that this really gets under my skin for personal reasons. Take a look:
THEY. DID. NOT. EVEN. TRY. 😦
Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Nourishing Lip Care with Nordic Berry
Price & Availability: I picked this up at Olive Young, though I do not see it in stock at the moment. If I remember correctly, this was a little more on the expensive side: around ₩8,000.
Opinion: Though the formula left a slightly white cast on the lips, I really enjoyed using this, chiefly for its delicious smell and taste – lightly fruity-floral but not in a disgusting way. The aroma was very fresh and light, and pleasant, without being cloying or too strong. It also stayed on my lips for a decent amount of time in spite of the fact that I was licking my lips a fair bit while using it. Additionally, this moisturised and hydrated very nicely, even long after it was gone. A little went quite a ways, and I did not feel as though I went through it all too quickly. I would definitely consider repurchasing.
Kiehl’s Lip Balm #1 (left)
Price & Availability: This was gifted to me from my mother in law. No idea where she got it, but you can get this from Kiehl’s for US$ 9.50, apparently.
Opinion: I have been figuring out what I like in a lip balm, and I find that these days, petrolatum (petroleum jelly) based lip balms just do not do it for me at all. In fact, they leave my lips drier than they were before, and that includes this lip balm in particular, in spite of the fact that this comes with a number of other ingredients. I tried to make this work, I really did, but this just did not hydrate my lips at all and was super easy to lick off to boot. The oily texture is really off-putting, too. Kind of like smearing grease or lard on your lips. In the end, I reverted to using this on my eye brows and it does a decent enough job. I hate to throw away products and always try to use them up no matter what. Can’t help it, I am just all about that want not, waste not mentality.
Smith’s Rosebud Salve (right)
Size/Quantity: 24 mg
Price & Availability: I bought this for ₩15,000 at Olive Young Korea.
Opinion: I first heard of Smith’s Rosebud Salve in one of Michelle Phan’s makeup videos. Does anyone know what she is up to nowadays? I no longer see her online much. Anyways, the way she applied it was so beautiful, I just had to run out and get the rosebud salve for myself. It does smell beautifully of roses in a way that is not too sweet, too cloying or too floral. The vintage design on top of the tin is gorgeous, and the generous amount makes this decent value for money.
That being said, again, this has petroleum jelly as one of its main ingredients and it shows. As with the aforementioned Kiehl’s lip balm, this does not sufficiently hydrate my lips and they feel drier than they did before applying this. As before, I have since resorted to using this to tame my brows in an effort not to waste this, but I no longer use it on my lips.
Uriage Xemose Stick Levres
Size/Quantity: 4 g
Price & Availability: I purchased this as a twin pack at Olive Young (2 sticks each) for ₩12,000, which works out as ₩6,000 per stick.
Opinion: This was fragrance free, which I did appreciate. As much as I like scented lip balms, sometimes you just want something that you do not want to eat or lick off your lips right off the bat. This balm went on very light and it did hydrate a bit. I enjoyed using this on days when my lips were not overly dry and just needed a little bit of help. If your lips are not chapped and you are looking for something that is low irritant, this might be a good option for you. For me personally, it was not rich and nourishing enough – I need very emollient, waxy ingredients that stay on my lips, and this lip balm did not deliver in that regard.
Out of all the lip balms that I wrote about today, the DHC Lip Cream balm still reigns supreme. The only other lip balm I would get again is the Neutrogena Nordic Berry balm. These days, I am using Burt’s Bees (review coming up for when I finish some of them), plus I got the much raved about Nuxe Reve de Miel pot balm on sale recently, which I am excited to try out. If you have any lip balm loves that you would like to recommend, let me know in the comments!