Tag: dry lips

Happy Green Beauty Month Everyone! Don’t already know about these lip colors from ILIA? you’re in for a real treat.

March 31st, 2012 — 2:35am


My first introduction to ILIA lipsticks happened last year while poking around ABC’s apothecary section (I think that ABC, in NYC, is one of the most well edited, well curated stores, both in content and aesthetic.) In addition to a ton of beautiful things for the home, they carry the best of the best when it comes to non-toxic hair/face/body products. When you’re in NYC you have to check it out. It’s beautiful, you’ll want to own everything, and you’ll be bummed that so much is so expensive. That said, these well designed, sleek little silvery tubed lipsticks caught my eye, and were reasonably priced compared to other high-end lipstick lines. When I gave one a try on the back of my hand, I was surprised to find how well pigmented the color was, and how smoothly it went on. The only down side was that there were only 6 or 7 different shades available.

I came home and wrote to the ‘info’ email address from the ILIA website and asked some questions. Almost immediately I got really thorough answers back from owner and creator, Sasha Plavsic (who hails from Canada, but now calls LA home). She explained to me that she’s learned  a cosmetic can still be completely non-toxic, even though it contains a very small percentage of synthetic color.  Synthetic doesn’t mean bad for us, just as all-natural isn’t always good for us.  Without allowing for that teeny percentage of synthetic pigment, she explained, there’s no way to achieve the rich intensity of the colors we love in favorite lipsticks from MAC, NARS, and Tom Ford, to name a few. So the base into which she mixes the color is all-natural, organic, super nourishing, healthy for the lips and perfectly healthy for the rest of you – which is important since we all eat and absorb our lipsticks into our bodies every day.

Sasha worked diligently to create a product that would meet the Environmental Working Group’s strict guidelines (if you aren’t familiar with the EWG, please check them out.) They are highly informative and influential as an online encyclopedia for ingredients found in cosmetics and rates their levels of toxicity. I will absolutely write about them in their own post this month, and found a way to offer all the intensity of bold colors like orange, pink, and red, that have been missing thus far from all-natural lines. Then Sasha put them in great-looking containers. I’m a sucker for packaging, and this woman knows what she’s doing, with her strong background in design and marketing within the branding world.

The best news ever is that ILIA just launched a new collection, complete with 14 lip colors – 6 are highly pigmented, and the other 8 are still well pigmented tinted lip conditioners.  I’ve been wearing ‘Nobody’s Baby’  and ‘In My Room’ the past few days, which look like my lips, but better. I also love the hot pink lipstick shade ‘Neon Angel’. In addition Sasha’s also come out with some cheek tints and highlighter creams in a tube that look wonderful. (highlighter creams are for cheekbones, eyelids, bridge of the nose, cupids bow, etc.)  I’ll give them a try over the next few weeks and report back.

Finally, I really love her no-color lip balm. It’s one of my new favorites for sure.

My only request: ILIA, can you work on coming out with a a bright orange-red for your next edition?  I’d proudly wear it every day.

*note about the photo above: this is how much of a beauty product nerd I am – I got the products from ILIA on Friday around 6 and I decided to call off my plans that night so I could stay home and play with them, and play with taking pictures of them for the blog. Don’t they photograph beautifully?  Thanks, ILIA!!!

ILIA is sold at a good number of locations across the country and around the world (GO ILIA, GO!), see here for specifics as well as online at www.spiritbeautylounge.com


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Get those lips in Springtime condition! Presenting my favorite lip balms…

March 14th, 2012 — 2:35am

I LOVE a lip balm with good-for-you ingredients like shea butter, honey, beeswax, and any one of the healthy oils like jojoba, coconut, and olive.  I do not recommend any lip balm that contain petroleum or petrolatum. Have you heard how many pounds of balm and lipstick it’s estimated that women ingest every year? Yuck.

Lip skin is the only skin on our faces without the ability to self-lubricate  since it has no sebaceous or sweat glands. The rest of our face, as well as the majority of our body, puts out its own hydration in the form of oil – for some of us it’s too much, some it’s not enough and causes us to feel dry – but our poor lips are left defenseless. Luckily, there are so many great lip balms on the market nowadays, and it’s really just about deciding what feel, smell, and shine level you like the most. I like having a bunch of options on hand at all times.

Here are my current favorites, in no particular order, and  a break down of what I like about each one. As always, I welcome your feedback on my Facebook page, or via email.


Lip balms in stick or squeeze tube form:

  • Organic Badger Creamy Cocoa Butter Lip Balm: Yummy cocoa butter scent, olive oil, cocoa butter and beeswax makes it a little more heavy than some others, which helps it stay put longer, and makes for a less shiny finish. Comes in a stick form: $5
  • Desert Essences Lip Rescue with Shea Butter: I have a few of these in my possession at all times. One in my pocket, one in my purse, one in the silverware drawer, just in case… Little to no shine, really hydrating, less slick, sticks around for quite a while. Good choice for your guy, as well. Comes in a stick form: $2.50
  • Ama.la: Has a really interesting, slightly salty taste. Organic fig seed and shea butter imparts a really nice sheen with little to no scent, and hydrates super well. Comes in a squeezey tube form: $18
  •  John Masters Organics Lip Calm :  Deliciously lemon/lime/tangerine oils make this one smell good and Springtime-y. Olive, jojoba, and borage oils make it emollient, and a more on the sheeny-side, but not too slippery. Comes in a stick form: $6
  • Intelligent Nutrients Lip Delivery Nutrition:  This product line comes to us from the same eco-conscious, organics-loving product master who created and recently sold Aveda. I’m super impressed with this entire  line, which consists only of products that are safe enough to eat.  Minimal shine with lots of lasting hydration make this one a favorite. Comes in a stick form: $12

Lip balms in a pot:

  • Dr Hauschka Lip Balm Pot: I’ve been a long-standing loyal user of this one at work and at bedtime. I love to keep lip balms in non-stick form for use on the night stand because I’d rather only put my finger into it when I know it’s clean (not while riding on the subway or in a taxi), and every model and celebrity who knows me knows this is the first thing that I’ll be putting on them when we sit down to do makeup. The scent is light yet memorable, and unmistakably floral. The texture imparts a good amount of shine, but not nothing like a high-gloss. $16.95
  • RMS Beauty Lip and Skin Balm: An all-natural rich, yet not greasy lip balm developed by makeup artist Rose Marie Swift. Although this comes in a little jar, RoseMarie assures buyers that since its base is the antibacterial coconut oil, there’s no reason to worry about double-dipping. I’ve only tried the one made with real vanilla, but she makes another with cocoa as well. YUM! Leaves lips appearing well moisturized, but not lip-balmy reflective. $25
  • Bee Yummy Lip and Eye Cream: Unscented, olive oil based, rich and creamy, melts into the lips nicely yet has staying power. Comes in a little jar:$18

It can also be fun to make your own lip balms. There are plenty of wonderful recipes online to walk you through doing so, and you can play with scents and even add a hint of color to customize it to your liking. I love a fun project!


The gorgeous lips above belong to my friend Camilla Hansen, who just happens to be a model. The rest of her is just as incredibly (and naturally) gorgeous as are her lips. Thanks, Camilla!

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