Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Lip Gloss Diaries

 I had the orange, strawberry, bubblegum and Sprite (green) ones  - memories!!
In the wake of Bonnie Bell's bankruptcy I thought it would be an appropriate time to share my expert analysis of non-toxic lip glosses (Yes, I am self proclaimed expert on glosses considering I've been obsessed for nearly 30 years).


I think it all began around 5th grade with the Bonnie Bell candy canes that I would get in my stocking at Christmas. Strawberry was always my favorite with bubble gum a close second. I have had a serious addiction ever since and am NEVER without some sort of a lip product at all times, usually my Burt's Bees which I buy in bulk. Clothing with pockets is a must - Ed loves it when I find church dresses with pockets so he doesn't have to carry it around in his coat for me. Burt's Bees and Simply Rustic lip balm is stashed all over the house - there's one in the bathroom, in the kitchen catch-all tray, on my bedside table, in all my purses and has a prominent spot in my car cup-holder. I can't think of a time that I have been without it, just never happens. If you ever have chapped lips, come find me and I promise I'll be able to hep you out immediately.

Lip glosses have been my preference for a long time over lipstick because I like the texture and moisture. Glosses with a lot of scent or flavor are a big turn off - something very subtle is okay though, especially if it's minty. I also don't like anything that is overly gooey that your hair will stick to. Most recently Nars and Bobbi Brown have been my glosses of choice. They meet all my requirements - that is until I learned about the importance of safe ingredients in cosmetics. It's hard to comprehend how lead, a known neurotoxin that has no safe level of exposure, is still found in lipstick. In this FDA study, lead was discovered in 400 lipsticks at levels two times higher than found in a previous study. This is especially concerning for pregnant women since lead can interfere with brain development. Lip gloss is especially critical since you end up, well eating it. 

I've switched out all of my makeup to green, safer products but lip gloss was my last holdout. Last month I ran out of my Bobbi Brown and Nars and decided it was finally time to venture out of my comfort zone. Luckily Burt's Bees is all natural, what a relief! Unfortunately I don't like their glosses or lipsticks, way too much fruity flavor. After researching different brands online and referencing the EWG website I decided to try out the following brands: Poofy Organics, Josie Maran, 100% Pure, Jane Iredale, and Tarte. Here is my report and review: 

  • Jane Iredale PureGloss in Red Currant: This was my first natural gloss purchase and I wish I had given myself more time to test out the product before purchasing (I also wish I didn't have the pressure of my toddler's short attention span while shopping…). There were many salons in Charlotte that I found thru the website that carry Jane Iredale products and I chose T. Reid in Dilworth. They only had about 4 or 5 different shades and I was drawn to the Red Currant. The color is very pretty and has a very subtle shimmer. It does have  a little more fruity flavor than I prefer and is very thick and gooey. If my hair gets close to my lips its a big sticky mess. It also doesn't stay on very very long at all - this is common with glosses, but the Jane Iredale is worse than others. If you've ever tried the Sephora brand lip gloss, this is very similar. Not my favorite and I won't be buying again. Grade: C-

Jane Iredale "Red Currant"
  • Jane Iredale PureGloss in Spice ($24): This very pleasantly surprised me! I recently switched my hair stylist and started going to Follicle Salon, which sells Jane Iredale products. Caroline was telling me how much she loves their glosses and encouraged me to try a few other shades. They had a selection of probably 15 compared to the only 5 at the other salon. I LOVED the pinkish nude with a gentle shimmer and shine that is appropriately named Spice (doesn't taste spicy though). Nice smooth finish, unlike the sticky and gooey Red Currant. Weird how they are so different, but I'm glad I found Spice! Will definitely buy again, very very pretty gloss! Grade: A-
Jane Iredale "Spice"
Here is a real life photo of the two. The "Red Currant" looks a little scary bright, but is much more subtle.  Love the spice and this is a better photo of the actual color. This tube fell out of my purse at the Trader Joe's parking lot and was unfortunately run over a few times - luckily I found it safe and sound, just a little beat up...
  • Poofy Organics is a brand I recently discovered and I'm crazy about everything I've tried - their EWG scores are all 0, which is unheard of with a gloss. The only problem is you can't try it on before you purchase (unless you live in New Jersey and can visit their stores…), which is a huge risk when buying cosmetics. Since I had been happy with all my other Poofy products and read several positive reviews about their glosses I figured I'd take a gamble. Their shade "Powerful Plum" looked very similar to my Bobbi Brown "Aubergine" which is my more dress up shade that I wear to church or out to dinner - my fancy, bold gloss. It is very full coverage, not sheer at all and a little goes a long way. It's texture is just right and stays put. I was surprised how much I like the faint vanilla scent because this fragrance is usually my least favorite. It smells just like the real deal vanilla extract you bake with, not the artificial fake stuff used in the likes of Bath and Body Works. While I like this shade, I don't LOVE it and am hesitant to make blind lip purchases in the future without trying on first. Grade: B
Poofy comes with VERY basic packaging - nothing fancy.
  • Tarte LipSurgence lip tint in Buff ($24) When I went to Sephora and found I was so happy I could have cried. For years and years my "signature" lip color was Shu Uemura's OR513 which was a gorgeous peachy pink with a little bit of frosty shimmer. It was perfection. I wore it on my wedding day and remember having Ed hold it in his suit pocket for me. If I would have made a late 20s personal time capsule would be in it. I was crushed when they discontinued it about 4 years ago and my search for a replacement ended when I discovered. IT'S THE SAME!!! (well almost the same - closest I've found).I love it's creaminess, the faint faint mintyness (is that a word?!), the slight shimmer, the perfect shade of peachy pink. It comes in a chunky pencil that you push up and is more of a creamy lipstick rather than a gloss - SO HAPPY!!!!! I want to try more shades - Obviously an A+ 



Buff deserves THREE photos!!
  • BeautyCounter Lip Sheer ($28): I'm itching to try this but you have to attend a party or host one as it is only sold thru reps. Raisin, Petal and Twig look like they belong in my purse. Awesome ingredient profile, but very pricey. Love the glam gold packaging - would make me feel super fancy every time I use it! I've heard nothing but rave reviews about this brand across the board - think I need to host a party soon :)  

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