Lip balm is the only 'makeup' item I've consistently worn since forever ago, and I feel completely useless without it in close proximity. Growing up my favorites were Carmex and the Neutrogena in stick form. In my twenties I relied mainly on moisturizing clear gloss or my trusty Neutrogena. In my early 30's I read in some magazine that a makeup artist used Aquaphor as a lip balm and I've been using that ever since!!
Over the last couple of years though, I've been more curious about non-drugstore balms. Are they really that much better than my trusty Aquaphor?? Aquaphor is amazing because it serves as a balm plus it also has a ton of other uses...so I'll never be without it. But as a stand alone product - lip balm - are there better ones out there??
My first test was Korres Lip Butter and it remains an absolute favorite!! Rodin Lip Balm...a favorite (review HERE)!!! By Terry...hated the smell (review HERE). In Fiore...gave me a horrible reaction (review HERE). Koh Gen Do Chiffon Lip Balm...amazing, love it and it's a favorite (review HERE)!!! And now we have Bobbi Brown Lip Balm SPF15 and La Mer The Lip Balm!...
I really like the packaging. It's sleek, modern and decidedly Bobbi Brown - I love her crest motif!! The top is a twist off, and the container carries a fair amount of product for a more expensive balm.
The color is a soft pink in the pot, but does not impart any color on the lips. This has a very nice, thicker consistency that stays put all night and for several hours during the day. The texture is nice and non-greasy, I also really appreciate the fact that this has SPF - very handy for the upcoming Summer months!!
***EDIT*** When I picked this up at Nordstrom the BB SA talked me into it because she loved it plus she said it had SPF. I just assumed it did and paid no attention to what the box actually said. OOPS!!! I'm so sorry but evidently this version has no SPF. I guess the older version has sun protection, but this one is a newer version with no sun protection. It's confusing because it seems as though sites still carry the SPF version, and others carry the new one. The sites above carry the new version, neimanmarcus.com still has the SPF if you would like that one. I'm so sorry for the mistake!!! And I feel slightly duped because that was one of the reasons I wanted to get it!!! *sigh* I changed the rest of the review to delete the SPF part :-)
Packaging, consistency/texture and staying power...that's all I liked. The very important stuff - moisture/hydration, soothing feel - it lacked sorely. I don't feel this balm added any moisture to my lips. Instead, it sat on top and only sealed in what moisture was already there. If applied when my lips were damp, I would wake up with flakes. If I applied it when my lips were dry I was left with strange white marks where it looked as though someone had taken a vacuum and sucked every bit of moisture they could, and left me with Death Valley. With this feeling it could hardly feel even remotely soothing.
Will I be repurchasing? No.
While I'm not a fan of the packaging of the La Mer products that come in the white containers - I think they look clunky and especially the graphics look outdated - I do think the container on The Lip Balm is very nice!! The lid is silver with an almost holographic effect with the La Mer logo. The lid twists off and the bottom portion of the container is in a thicker plastic that is a milky color of their sea green-ish logo. I'm still unsure if it quite exudes the luxe feeling of a $50 lip balm, but it's a start!!
This has a gentle minty flavor and scent. The scent disappears after a short bit, but the minty flavor sticks around for a long time!! I don't mind this at all because it tastes really good - even my Husband commented on it and liked it!!
La Mer is definitely more moisturizing than the Bobbi Brown, though I'd still say it was on the low to mid end on hydration levels. Scale of 1-5, a 2...possibly a 3?? I really expected this to be a moisturizing powerhouse since it is always featured in magazines as a makeup artist and celebrity favorite. I wore this nonstop for about 1 1/2 weeks I had to stop because it actually felt as though my lips were getting drier. After a couple of days I picked it up again...then had to stop after a few more days because they started to feel dry again. Weird. Since then I've been using it every other night or so, alternating it with one in my arsenal of favorite lip balms.
The consistency is slightly less thick than the Bobbi Brown, but still has great staying power that lasts all night and for a solid 3 hours during the day. Once applied, La Mer gives a natural finish to the lips and does not add any color. The texture is non-sticky, non-greasy and makes a really great base for layering other lip products.
I knew pretty quickly that I liked this lip balm, but I really struggled to figure out if I loved it. I had to force myself to say, ok take the name La Mer out of the equation!! I went so far as REALLY like, but just couldn't bring myself to say I loved it. There was something missing that I couldn't quite put my finger on. I loved the minty flavor, I loved the staying power, I loved that it made a great base for other lippies. I liked the hydration, but felt it could be better. But that wasn't it. Of course the strange fact of feeling like it dried my lips out a bit over time I didn't quite like, but that wasn't it either.
Then it finally dawned on me when I applied Koh Gen Do Chiffon Lip Balm...La Mer isn't soothing!! I don't get the 'aaaaaahhh' feeling that I do when I apply my favorite balms. La Mer doesn't baby my lips...doesn't comfort them. I want my lips to feel swaddled and coddled, and La Mer doesn't do that.
In the end, I find La Mer to be a really nice lip balm. But for $50 I don't want nice - I want LOVE, adoration, devotion and not a shred of doubt. So...though I won't be repurchasing, I am very glad to have tried La Mer The Lip Balm. I've seen it in magazines for ages, and unless I played with it I knew I would always be curious!!! Oh, well...next :-)
Please see update to the La Mer The Lip Balm review HERE!!! I changed my mind ha ha :-)