Battle of the Balms: Glossier and Bite Beauty

I'm a romance author, so I do a lot of kissing, don'tcha know? (L. to the O. L.) But did you know I'm also something of a lip-stuff aficionado.

I don't wear a lot of color, but I do like a good balm. I'm pretty sure I've tried them all. I'm suuuuuper picky. They can't smell or taste like poison (always a good rule of thumb); they have to go on smooth, stay smooth--never gloopy--and leave my lips feeling like buttah after it's all said and done; plus they have to be packaged well and not explode in my handbag, travel bag, bedside table, and in my Jeep's console. 

Yeah, when I love a lip product, I pretty much have one everywhere. Because you never know when you're going to have a KISSING EMERGENCY! ;)

Enter Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask: the current reigning champ of lip stuff. It's called a mask, so you know it's fancy. I have the clear that I put on before bed--and it stays on all freaking night long--and the cherry one that's my facsimile of grownup lady lipstick. (It's a nice, subtle sheer red. Ish.) It's lightly sweet. Not overpowering. Just a little hint of "oh, what's that?" (It's agave!)

This stuff is AMAZING! Seriously amazing because it lasts forever and never gets gross. Come on, you know how some long-wearing stuff can start to get weirdly thick and uneven after it's been on a while. But I've never (ever ever) had this issue with Bite. 

(And speaking of kissing emergencies, if your kissing partner doesn't enjoy lipstick or gloopy gloss kisses, all it takes is a quick rub of a finger over your lips to remove the mask and your lips are left LIKE BUTTAH. Bow chicka wow wow.) 

But I got seduced by Glossier's balm dotcoms--especially after they partnered with The Milk Bar and made a shimmery birthday cake scented/flavored product. The packaging is <heart eyes>. The balm is subtly shimmery (which is good, because for all I love GLITTER, I don't really like to draw that much attention to my lips).

Reader: I shouldn't have strayed.

The quick and dirty: the smell is more than I can handle--it's quite potent. The texture isn't as glorious as the Bite Beauty; it feels a little more slippery and unctuous (possibly because of the petroleum. . . which I'm not a huge fan of). And it does not last the night. 

The taste isn't noticeable at all to me, but the killer is that it has sodium saccharin in it. (Artificial sweeteners and I just don't get along.) 

So, the champ is still Bite Beauty in my (kissing) book(s). But I'm eager to know what your go-to lip stuff is...


Bite Beauty Agave Mask Ingredients: Lanolin* (medical grade), Organic Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil**, Organic Agave Tequilana (blue agave) nectar**, Olea Europaea (Olive) Oil Unsaponifiables*, Organic Cera Alba (Beeswax)**, Flavor, Vanillin, Siraitia Grosvenori (Monk Fruit)*, Vanilla Tahitensis (Vanilla) Fruit Extract*, Organic Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax*, Trans-Resveratrol*, Vitis Vinefera (Grape) oil*, Tocopherol acetate*, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract (And) Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract (and) Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil*.

Balm Dotcom Ingredients: Petrolatum, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Cera Alba/Beeswax/Cire d'Abeille, Lanolin, Aroma/Flavor, Dipalmitoyl Hydroxyproline, Theobroma Grandiflorum Seed Butter, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Extract, Calcium Aluminum Borosilicate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Extract, Silica, Tocopherol, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Sodium Saccharin, Tin Oxide, Limonene, CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide)

Gifted and Talented

Birthdays. Mother’s Day. Graduation. There’s a lot going on this time of year. And if you’re on my list, you may or may not be seeing something similar in the near future. Just saying. (You should probably stop reading now, Mom.)

It’s not coming out until August, but there’s no law against IOUs. Julia Blake’s (aka Julia Kelly) CHANGING THE PLAY is only $1.99 on pre-order right now. So maybe also pick up one of these while you’re at it. (I loved my paperwhite--why did I ever get a Voyager?)

Word on the street: you can get the rose agenda monogrammed this year! I'm also fond of the upbeat reminder that YOU'RE KILLING IT. 

And if you’re grabbing one of the beauties to give someone, you should probably also grab one my favorite multipacks of pens. The Le Pen (quite unfortunate moniker these days) or the Staedtler Fineliner are glorious felt-tipped pens. I love them. (Yes, I still love my FLAIR PENS. But sometimes you need a thin profile.) Also, make sure you aren’t greedy like I am. The super multipacks of the Staedtlers don’t come in the fabulous plastic carrying case. So stick with the 20-something and not the 36 or 48. 

Now that I'm putting this together, I realize it's basically a list of everything you should get me. #SorryNotSorry. 

Sugar Paper

You know I love pretty paperie. And graduation is a super great time to give stationery. (Thank you notes make especially good gifts, don't you think? There’s no excuse not to get one in return that way.) Sugar Paper is all about millennial pink, but these stellar cards on a gorgeous dove grey are my favorite. Now if they’d only make them in rose gold foil...

And while you're at Sugar Paper...take a look at this pretty little doo-dad. My mom keeps a well-stocked desk, but I think her stamp dispenser is a lame plastic one—we might be changing that this year.

The best gift you’ll ever get is amazing skin and non-hurty joints. Lindsay Emory got us all on the collagen train, and I adore her for it. If giving a jar of powdered bovine…stuff...isn’t your idea of a great gift, well, order some for yourself. Your marionette lines will thank you.

Oh, and grab a giant bottle of this while you’re at it. (Don’t let that gorgeous blue tint scare you. It really does sink in beautifully.) Retinol can be scary, but this is so nice on my super oily and sensitive skin. Have a college grad in your life? Give her the gift of stopping the clock. She'll thank you in 15 years. 

But what's a gift edit without a gift for you, eh? Remember, our HBIC Nation philosophy is that everyone should get free stickers if they want them. So head on over and claim your free stickers. And, if you're so inclined, grab up a super rad tee or tank for HBIC livin. 15% off during launch week (ends 5.11.17). 

The Joy of Pollen

I know why we need pollen. Scientifically. And I suppose, even aesthetically, that pretty film of chartreuse green that anoints everything in the spring is a joy. But what it does to my body isn't pretty. 

It's springtime in west Texas. We have pollen AND dust storms. I'm doomed. 

This morning, I woke up with insane allergy eyes: super puffy (like, get back Stay Puffed Marshmallow man, I'm the new sheriff in town), the color of a flamingo after a bender, plus a serious case of the itchies. In short, AGONY EYES. 

And then I remembered these Patchology dealie boppers I bought in bulk (on crazy sale) at the last FabFitFun add-on period*. (Mine are optimized for travel and come individually wrapped in a box, but you can bet your sweet Aunt Betty that I'll be buying these for home-use too.) 

I know I applied them incorrectly. #BeautyBloggerFail. But after 15 minutes** of toddling around the house with them on (raising a few eyebrows from both Mom and my poodle-brother), all of my complaints were addressed. 

All of them. 

I also got the lip patches, and I really want to play with them now that I think Patchology is a miracle, but I'm but a mere mortal and two miracles per day might be pressing my luck. 

But if you're lucky and follow me on Instagram, you can view my eye patch Insta Story hilarity. 


*PS that's your code to get $10 off your first box if you want one. :)

**Yes, I know it says 5 minutes on the packet, but I'm a rebel.