Guest Blogger: Beauty & the Bibliophile

I'm so excited to be a guest posting with The Beauty Book! You can take the girl outta Texas, but you can't take the Texas out this girl. So, when Anne-Marie approached me about guest blogging together, I jumped at the chance! This has been such a fun collab, and I look forward to meeting some new folks because of it! 

So, without further ado:
It's that time of the year - kissing season! You better have those puckers in tip top shape. Here I present some of my current fave balms to soften those babies up (and help with any needed recovery - wink, wink).
Happy Valentine's Day!

I found this product while feasting my reading eyes on my most recent addiction, Essie Button. Being a yank (correction: Southern yank), I rarely get to buy all the fun things I see all the across-the-pond beauties rave about. When I saw this on Birchbox's website {AND free shipping} I just could not pass 'er up! 
It's foundational ingredient is honey. It smells so pure and sweet (with some citrus hints). It also goes on a bit gritty, but then your body heat takes care of the granules - much like putting honey in or on something warm melts it. Many balms go on glossy, but I love how this just settles in subtly. It doesn't appear you have anything gooey and healthy on, so topping it with a lipstick or gloss is just fine. 
It also last for eons! 
The only con (for me - and it's not really a con in real life...) is that it's in a pot. It's a beautiful glass pot, but it's not quick and easy to swipe on while driving. So, it tends to stay at home in the bathroom where I use it in the evenings or when I'm lounging about. 
One other thing - what are the darn ingredients? I cannot find them online anywhere. It was probably on the box, but I'm terrible about tossing packaging. So, I am curious as to whether it's really as healthy as it seems.
The website also says to use it on cuticles and small burns. I haven't done that yet but will definitely try to remember to!

Let's be real... this is more fun than practical. In a normal tube this product would be considered of the mill. But put it in a ball and call it a "Smooth Sphere" and you've got yourself a niche-y winner! 
I saw this at my local Target recently and had to snatch it up. I like the smell, though I am not a huge fruity flavor person. It goes on well (somewhat thinner) and lasts a good amount of time. 
I'm really attracted to it being organic, paraben free and sweetened with stevia (as opposed to saccharin or sucralose). 
I also love the shape of it. It's easy to find this "ball" in the bottom of your purse (while driving... I tend to need to moisturize during that daily drudgery). 
I also feel like a little kid every time I apply it. I hope someone is watching, thinking Man, I wish I had her lip balm! Silly... I know. 
Only con is how little it's available in my area. This flavor is the only one I've seen. I would really like to get my hands on the Sweet Mint!

Speaking of mint... For years I've been addicted to Burt's Bees original Beeswax Lip Balm Tube. Who isn't?!? It's $3 on their website, but I'm pretty sure I've seen it higher in stores... a bit on the high side for a boring ol' chapstick, so when I stumbled across this goodie in Whole Foods at the check out stand I grabbed it up. (Kudos to your add-on skills, WFs!) It was LESS than $2 (crazy talk), organic (and a bargain?!?) and it's mint (perfect). 
Beauty Book's readers don't know me, so let me tell you a little something about myself. 
I once bought 6 boxes of my favorite mint green tea online because they were discontinuing it. 
The only facial water I can stand is Caudalie's elixir which has what some describe an obnoxious minty smell. (Disagree!)
I also use peppermint essential oils to relieve headaches, add to drinking water, and rub into sore muscles.
I even sniff it! (At least it's that and not Sharpies... though I do think there is something kind of disturbingly good smelling about those...? Right?)
Back to the balm... I once lost this puppy for two days and tore the house up looking for it. My husband said, "Just buy another one..." Are you kidding me? I don't leave a product in the lurch like that - especially my best, brightest and most loyal! Abandonment was not an option; I finally located her; and we've been inseparable ever since.

Because I do love all things Burt's, I have to include this goodie. Although the packaging it came in was fun and almost keep-able, the tube itself is not fun or sexy. Good! It's easy to use. I can blindly grab it from my bag, swipe it on without a mirror and toss it back in.
It doesn't feel especially healing or treatment-like, but the pigment is a fun extra to add to an already great lip balm. I like how many color options there are. I've owned two of these, and this shade was the most pigmented on my lips.
Like I said before, I do love me some Burt's original beeswax balm, but the tint makes this my current go - to.

Keeping on the same tint track...
I would definitely consider this a more luxury item. Granted it is only a few bucks more than the Nuxe, but being that it's heavily tinted, it's not as versatile. (ie. Use before bed or under lippies).
It does feel heavenly, and it provides a major pop of color. 
A few dry-shampoo, sock bun Sundays ago I wore it with highlighter, mascara and fuschia blush and got a compliment on how my makeup was "glowing"! I was the best looking hobo in Tennessee... 
It lasts quite a long time, too. 
A pro and con: the packaging. I love that it's a metal tube, it's beautiful and feels really cool. However, I have to twist it up (and back down) every time I use it. And the topper screws onto the tube. So, it's not a one-hander. The downside to the metal part of the equation, I found, is that if it's in your pocket your body heat will be conducted by the metal and melt the balm. Mine is now all kinds of lumpy and melted. When I apply it, the stick pushes over the side. For $22 I would expect it to not be so soft, unless they put it in a pot. Despite the packaging and application issues, it's still a enjoyable "treatment." It smells divine - lemon-y and fresh!
I received it as a Birthday gift from Sephora, so I am not complaining too much. However, I will probably just enjoy it while it lasts and not repurchase. I just might have to resort to a lip brush... and it will be worth it.
Although it's paraban, sulfate, phthalate, etc free, it does score a 7 on EWG's Skin Deep database for a sizeable list of other undesirables. Disappointing! Another reason I won't repurchase but will enjoy in the meantime.

I recently included this balm in my January Favourites post. I've had it for years and years. It is probably  the best bang for my buck in this post. Ten ounces for $9!?! Amazing. 
As ranchers were milking cows and applying this to their udders they realized how soft their hands were getting. The rest is history.
I mainly use it on my lips (big ol' blob!) before bed. I also like to put a huge dollop on my feet, then socks and sleep on that for softer tootsies, too. 
I have used it on my cuticles before, but it made my polish bubble up... Twice. Weird! I avoid that now.
Being that you don't really find this in health food stores, I wondered how non-toxic it could be. I was pleased to find it scored a 1 on EWG's Skin Deep database!
Only cons are 1) it will last until I die, so I probably won't ever try anything else again that is similar. I have my eye on some Badger Balm. And 2) it smells a little weird. Just think, cows don't care about fragrance.

What about you lovelies? What lip-savers do you trust your V-Day kissers to? 

Thank you so much Tara for your amazing post!
The Beauty Book

Visit Tara's lovely beauty blog at:

If you want to see my guest post on Tara's blog: