Product: Tokyomilk Dark Lip Elixir in Salted Caramel
Review: I got this lip balm as part of Tokyomilk Dark's Tainted Love Tempting Trio during my neverending quest to find my perfect perfume. Just to save some of you time in case you're interested: The perfume rollerball is great and the lotion is strongly scented and is the perfect size for a purse, isn't greasy and is moderately moisturizing. You will like the fragrance a lot if you're into sweeter gourmand scents, like vanilla/tonka bean, and don't loathe sandalwood (you can smell a bit of the sandalwood in the dry-down). It's a great deal, so if that's up your alley, I highly recommend it. Now, for the lip balm, which was my favorite part of the whole thing.
I LOVE this lip balm. I love it so much, I want to buy 2 more (the coco noir and cherry bourbon scents sound amazing to me), even though the tins are huge and it will take me forever and a half to get through them all. These are great value. Each lip balm is $7 and you get a huge tin of the stuff. Have you tried Smith's Rosebud Salve? The tin is even bigger than that one. Awesome. Packaging-wise, the tin is so cute and vintage-y. Some people have complained about the lid, but I've had no problems with it whatsoever. I'm used to tins, though. As for the balm itself, most people seem to either love it or hate it. You will hate it if you hate thick, waxy balms like Burt's Bees or if you hate petrolatum-based or perfumed balms. You will love it if you don't care about balm texture, ingredients, perfume, and just want an awesome cheap lip balm that will last for ages, smells great, and tastes pleasant. Texture-wise, you can expect it to be thick and a little tacky at first, but once it warms up on your lips, it actually feels really smooth and pleasant. It winds up looking really natural with just a hint of shine. Plus, it made my lips really soft.
I have probably over 30 different lip balms (5 are in my purse right now), and while a lot of them are great at keeping my dry winter lips from getting worse or masking the problem, none of them have actually improved the texture. Only exfoliation and night treatments have done that for me. This is the first balm I can remember that actually makes my lips noticeably softer, and I honestly can't understand why this works so well and none of the all-natural balms or balms with super-amazing-sounding ingredients have had the same effect. I'm not saying that this balm doesn't have some nice-sounding ingredients. It's got aloe extract, vitamin E, safflower seed oil, green tea extract, bee balm extract and jasmine extract, but the base is petrolatum, microcrystalline wax and canola oil. Some good, some bad, but I don't really get how it works so well. I just know that my lips are soft and I guess that's all I care about. Also, the smell of the Salted Caramel balm is awesome. It's like handmade soft caramels mixed with a little maple. Yum. And it's sweetened with stevia, so it even tastes nice. More yum. All in all, I LOVE this balm and it's going to be my new best friend.
Funny story about this balm-- when I first tried it, my lips broke out 2 days later with these tiny, itchy little bumps. The bumps were so tiny that I had to get right up in the mirror to see them, but I could sure feel them. I thought I was allergic to this balm, which made me so sad, because I had freakin LOVED it up until that point. This weird lip problem has happened to me before, and I'd always just assumed I'd developed an allergy to a lipbalm ingredient, even though I could never pinpoint what it was. But since I hadn't had any issues the first day, I decided to do some research. Turns out, some people who eat mangos are allergic and get contact dermatitis that exactly resembled my little issue. And I'd eaten mango a couple of hours before I noticed the bumps. I started wearing this balm again after the bumps went away and haven't had an issue since! So, now I know I have a mango allergy. Thanks, internet!!
Rating: A- (if you like this kind of balm)
Where to buy: Sephora