Vegan Lip Balm: A Review and Confession in Three Parts (Part 1)Posted: February 27, 2014
I received a package of lip balms in the mail yesterday, and you probably cannot imagine my excitement. Chris knew how much I was anticipating their arrival, and we didn’t expect them to show up as soon as they did, so I sent him a very happy iMessage to his phone.
It only hinted at how much I was geeking out, but I’m sure he knew what was really going on — the happy dances and the squealing.
Back when Chris and I first became vegan, we debated over the issue of honey and beeswax, and eventually decided to eschew those things. Lip balm has always been a pretty big part of my life, so I began a quest to find awesome balms without beeswax. That’s easier said than done. This is why, unlike most people, I have my lip balms shipped to my house. It’s difficult to find vegan balms when out and about. I know some stores that sell them, but the selection is limited.
Because I buy them online and have to pay shipping, it makes sense financially to buy more than one or two. This has led to kind of a ridiculous scenario in our home. I have so many lip balms. You wouldn’t believe it unless I showed you, which I’m going to do… later.
First, I want to talk brands. The first vegan lip balm I ever tried was made by a company called The Merry Hempsters. I tried that balm before I went vegan, and I liked it okay, but the hempseed oil in the balm went rancid more quickly than I could go through the ones I had purchased. Rancid hempseed oil is not a scent you want slathered on your lips. The rancidity also affected the texture, so it was altogether an unpleasant experience.
I was also unimpressed by the variety of flavors, and the quality and strength of the available flavors. I like the company and their mission, and I’ve happily used other products of theirs (such as their Bump and Bruise salve), but when I went on the vegan balm quest, I didn’t seriously consider buying more Merry Hempsters.
I did a little online research, and found that a lot of people are happy with a company called Crazy Rumors, which specializes exclusively in vegan lip products. Their website is cute, you can earn loyalty points by registering an account with them, and their customer service is excellent. I communicated directly with one of the owners and was really happy with her attitude and promptness. The shipping was unexpectedly fast, as well, and the packaging was environmentally responsible.
The flavor selection is quite varied, and so we ordered more than we really needed, in the interest of finding out what we liked, and supporting such a great company. I picked out more than Chris did, which I do every time, which has led to me still having the original tubes from that first order, whereas Chris used his up long ago. I think he had an orange juice one, which he really liked, as well as their Leaping Bunny balm, which is plum-apricot flavored. I didn’t care for that one as much, but I like the idea of supporting the Leaping Bunny program.
I love the texture of these lip balms, and the flavors were, for the most part, quite true to their names. I found that the mocha didn’t quite smell like I thought it should, and I wonder if the stevia has anything to do with that. The stevia is nice, however, for adding a little sweetness to the balms. So many balms have a smell and no flavor.
The spiced chai was my favorite out of this group, but I ended up using the French Vanilla up a little before it. I have scrapings left in the mocha and the chai, with plenty of mint chocolate left over. This is partly because Chris doesn’t like it, and when we put on lip balm before we go to sleep, we use the same one, so the mint doesn’t get as much use.
I also think Chris goes through his more quickly because he gives up on them once he can’t smear them easily on his lips. I, on the other hand, will use any tool available — the long extension on a pen cap, a bobby pin, a car key — to scrape out the last bits. When I say my tube is gone, it’s really gone.
Crazy Rumors is one of the brands that I’ve actually been able to find in stores, but not terribly close to me, and they often have pretty lame flavor selections. I picked up a Grape Gumball one for Chris while I was shopping in a nearby health food store, but I didn’t see any that I wanted for myself.
Once we started to get pretty low on our CR balms, I thought we might want to try something else. Once again, I turned to the internet for advice. I found out about an Etsy shop called Orange Thyme, which has vegan lip balms and other skin goodies, like soaps and body scrubs. I decided to take a look. In the next installment, I’ll tell you all about it.