L-R Top Row: Tint & Shine, Lip Vibrance, Medicated Berry Balm
L-R Bottom Row: Daily Conditiong Treatment, Lip Medex, Moisture Melt
L-R: Moisture Melt, Lip Vibrance, Medicated Berry Balm, Tint & Shine, Daily Conditioning Treatment, Lip Medex
Years ago, we didn’t have as many lip balms out on the market, in Kuwait, as we do today. We only had a small selection of Bonne Bell, Chapstick, and Nivea (which we’ve previously established is marketed as Labello over here) available for purchase at most cooperatives in the country. I mean sure, the potted lipbalms from The Body Shop were always around, and MAC came out with tinted lipbalms from time to time (usually limited edition), as did several other makeup brands, but it just wasn’t a “thing”, like it is nowadays. We didn’t have Maybelline’s Baby Lips and the like. The ones we had fell into one of the two categories. They either had an overly sweet fruity scent and tacky glittery packaging because it was aimed at tweens or it had a medicinal scent, some sort of spf, and plain packaging aimed at people who wanted to protect or heal their chapped lips. For the longest time, to me, lip balm was pretty much synonymous with tween girls, even though it was essentially created for people with chapped lips. So if you wanted a lip balm, you had to choose between tacky and cheap (aimed at tweens) or practical and boring (everyone else).
So when I found this Tint & Shine lip balm randomly at a pharamacy, I purchased it because the pink packaging had caught my eye, and I liked what I read on the back (click on the pictures to enlarge them). I believe this was around 2008. I didn’t have high hopes for this product. The name of the brand itself sounded so unappealing to me and actually conjured up images of band-aids and blisters but I just wanted a change from the lip balms that I normally used (namely Labello more widely known as Nivea) because as I’ve stated before, familiarity breeds contempt and I had grown bored of the ones that I was already using, especially since I’d been repurchasing them over and over again for years.
Tint & Shine had a subtle sweet cocoa butter scent to it that I found pleasant. It was unflavored which was disappointing. However, it looked exactly like MAC’s Soar on my lips, back before I even knew Soar existed. Although it was named Tint & Shine it was actually matte and as opaque as a lipstick (once you built it up). Even without any makeup on whatsoever (not even eyeliner) Tint & Shine looked flattering on me! Sure enough, soon after, my girls all went and got their own tubes of Blistex Tint & Shine and even though we all had different complexions, it looked great on each and every one of us. It pulled a little more brown on a friend who was a smidge darker than I am, and it pulled a little more reddish on a friend who was several shades lighter, and yet somehow it looked so complimentary on each one of us, regardless of our varied skintones. Even better was that it wasn’t blatantly obvious on our lips, which is why I thought the shade name Blush was spot-on for this flattering brown-y pink.
The best part was that after applying the lip balm, I felt a slight tingling sensation. It wasn’t a full-blown lips-on-fire sensation like LipFusion (which I actually enjoy) or the less severe tingling (but still irritable to some) from MAC‘s Plushglass, or DuWop Lip Venoms or even the slight tingling from less potent lip plumpers. Blistex’s Tint & Shine felt more like a whisper in comparison to the others, so subtle yet equally satisfying. Pretty soon, the whole group was addicted to Blistex Tint & Shine. I went through so many tubes of this stuff. It just felt so comfortable on the lips, practically hugging your lips while absorbing into them without forming a thick waxy barrier. I grew to truly love Tint & Shine and we all lived happily ever after… until one day when I couldn’t find it anywhere. At first I looked everywhere for it in pharmacies and drugstores in the country and abroad before it dawned on me that Blistex had discontinued Tint & Shine (because it was close to achieving Holy Grail status so of course it had to disappear from the face of the Earth) and I’ve been looking for a dupe ever since.
Medicated Berry Balm was one of the ones I purchased in hopes that it would be a dupe for Tint & Shine in updated packaging. I was wrong. For starters, the smell was vile. I absolutely detest the smell of artificial cherries in products, let alone when coupled with a medicinal scent. It smelled like straight up cough syrup! It didn’t taste as bad, though. Another issue I had with this was that it applies completely clear. I mean with the name Berry, you’d think it would have some color to it, at least a tint, but nuh. The one thing I did like about Medicated Berry Balm was when you applied it your lips, it had that slight tingling sensation. It also felt nice and moisturizing on the lips and since it’s medicated it supposedly heals chapped lips. If you don’t mind the cough syrup scent, Medicated Berry Balm is alright as a lip balm. It’s just not for me. Even if it had been an exact dupe for Tint & Shine, I couldn’t get past the smell to use it anyway.
Lip Vibrance was another one I purchased online in hopes that it would be a dupe for Tint & Shine. I could not have been more wrong. Where do I begin? The whole thing looked, smelled, and tasted cheap! Where Tint & Shine had a subtle cocoa butter scent, Lip Vibrance had an over-the-top fruity scent. Normally, I love anything and everything fruit-scented but this was just too obnoxious, even for me. It smelled like Nivea’s Fruity Shine Strawberry gone wrong, very very wrong. Tint & Shine was unflavored whereas Lip Vibrance had an awful saccharin flavor. It tasted sweet but not in a good way. As for the color, it was a sheer red… with glitter. What’s more? Once the color wore off your lips, the glitter still remained. I’d like to point out that Tint & Shine was just like its shade name suggests, a blush of color on the lips as opposed to Lip Vibrance which was a glittery mess on the lips. Just to be clear, I’m not opposed to color, shine, opacity, or even glitter in my lip balms, so long as it’s done right, like these Jordana Easyshine Glossy Lip Colors. I thought the mirror on the cap was cool but that was pretty much it. The packaging is a bit too bulky (I’m assuming to fit the mirror). All in all, Lip Vibrance veers way too close to tween territory, for my taste. Needless to say this was not a dupe for Tint & Shine.
Here’s a picture of all three side-by-side. Notice how much larger Lip Vibrance is than the other two. I didn’t want a duplicate just for the sake of the color alone. I wanted a dupe of Tint & Shine because of the way Tint & Shine performs. With Tint & Shine every time I rubbed my lips together, it reactivated the super-subtle tingling sensation and as I’ve stated earlier, it just felt so comfortable on the lips while protecting/healing them. It also smelled sweet like cocoa butter and even though it was pleasant, it was actually a very subtle scent unlike the pungent scents of the other two (which weren’t even that nice to begin with). Overall, the other two just don’t even compare. At this point, I pretty much gave up on ever finding a dupe for Tint & Shine from Blistex.
When a well-known British Beauty Guru (Fleur) first started making Youtube videos, she recommended the Daily Conditioning Treatment (DCT). It was about a year or two after my beloved Tint & Shine was discontinued. Based on her recommendation, I totally purchased my own little tub of DCT and have been repurchasing it ever since. For starters, I absolutely adore the way the packaging looks. I’ve mentioned this on my blog before but applying anything that’s in old time-y packaging just feels so romantic! However, I do have an issue with the screw on cap (much similar to the issue I had with this body souffle from Bath&BodyWorks). You have to align it just-so, for it to be able to screw on tightly, otherwise air can and will seep in, eventually effecting the product’s potency, if not its performance.
The scent is extremely strong too. Some people claim that DCT smells like a minty vanilla but it doesn’t register as such to my nose. I think the subtle sweet scent they are talking about is most probably a by-product of cocoa butter in the ingredients but like I said, my nose can’t detect it at all. The scent actually reminds me of tiger balm, one of my nannies used to use for muscle aches. I believe the strong scent is partially due to camphor (which is second on the ingredients list, aloe being the first). I’m not quite sure what camphor is but I’ve seen it on enough ingredients lists to know that it’s smelly. I don’t mind the scent because I only ever apply this at night-time before falling asleep.
It doesn’t taste good but it has that addictive tingly sensation effect when you apply it your lips. DCT has helped keep my lips in top condition for years. It’s no wonder that DCT has accumulated a cult-following. This stuff is amazing! However, I do not use it daily, regardless of the name. I only use DCT when my lips are cracked, chapped, etc… (i.e. when they need it). I will stray from time to time because I’ll get bored of using the same thing (see first paragraph) over and over again, especially since DCT lasts forever (you only need to use a little bit), and sometimes I’ll hold off on repurchasing because I’m trying out something else, but I always go back to using the Daily Conditioning Treatment, eventually. DCT does to my lips what Jergens does to to my skin!
Based on my love for DCT I decided to pick up another balm from Blistex in tub-form. I haven’t been using Lip Medex for as many years as I’ve been using the Daily Conditioning Treatment but I’m just as obsessed with it. Lip Medex has the strongest scent out of all the Blistex lip balms I’ve tried so far. It reminds me of vapor rub. I don’t mind because I apply this at night-time too. It doesn’t taste great either. However, it also has that delightful tingling effect on the lips that I’m so addicted to. It’s a bit thicker on the lips than DCT but equally effective. I always wake up to soft, supple lips when I use this stuff. I adore Lip Medex‘s packaging too and even though it’s significantly larger than DCT, there are no issues with replacing the cap. It always twists into place easily. I especially love using this when I’m coming down with the flu because all that excessive wiping of the nose accumulates to significant damage on the lips, practically shredding them to bits, as we all know. Lip Medex takes care of all that (just be sure not to double-dip).
Here’s the Daily Condition Treatment and Lip Medex side by side for comparative purposes. Whether from dehydration, over-exposure to extreme temperatures, or even as a side-effect of an illness, chances are you’ve dealt with chapped lips at one point or another in your life. If you toughed it out long enough, eventually your lips would heal on their own but using a lip balm sped up the process considerably. In my case, I always refer to either one of these two for that. Sure, the smell is a bit too strong but that’s just because of all the potent ingredients that soothe, moisturize, and heal your lips. It might just be my imagination but I truly feel that they plump up my lips as well. Also, let’s not forget the wonderful cooling effect (tingling sensation) these two have on the lips that I personally find so addictive! The consistency of these strongly remind me of Elizabeth Arden’s 8-hour cream. You don’t need to slather this on because a little bit goes a long way meaning these will last forever. All in all, I love everything about DCT and Lip Medex, from their names, to the old-timey packaging, the consistency, cooling effect and all, to their performance. Even the strong vapor rub scent eventually grew on me and now I find myself actually enjoying it (again, I don’t use either one of these daily). For what they do and how they do it, these are well worth your money. They’re pretty inexpensive as well but good luck trying to find them in Kuwait as I have to order mine online.
Since I’ve tried every other form of lip balm from Blistex, it was only natural that I’d be curious about Moisture Melt because it came in a squeeze-tube and let me tell you, it does not disappoint. It feels thick at first but thins out pretty quick, literally melting into the lips. It feels quite creamy and moisturizing too. It smells like Skittles! It also tastes sweet (in a good way, unlike Lip Vibrance), like candy. The packaging is pretty cool. The little floating spheres are just too cute! Honestly, I was expecting to be disappointed with Moisture Melt but it exceeded all my expectations in every aspect. It smells great, tastes great, feels great and does what it’s supposed to.
Overall, Blistex is a great brand that has a vast selection of lip balms encompassing a wide variety of lip needs. I like the fact that most of their lip balms have some sort of scent to them, even though the scents can be quite hit or miss. The same goes for the ones that have a hint of flavor to them. I also like that they come in either a squeeze-tube or a potted tub, in addition to the usual tube form. Some of them have spf while others are medicated. Some of them have color, while others are clear. A lot of them happen to have that addictive cooling sensation on the lips. I just love the variety! Best of all, it seems Blistex are always coming out with new lip balms (in comparison to other lip balm brands). The one thing they all have in common (regardless of scent, flavor, and texture) is that these inexpensive lip balms truly do protect your lips from the elements and actually heal them. For those in Kuwait, your best bet is to look for Blistex at Sultan Center (in the oral hygiene section).