Fall lips with Arbonne

Posted on November 08, 2015 under Reviews

This post features press samples. I was not compensated for writing this post and all thoughts and opinions remain my own.

The makeup category that is my Achilles heel is lipstick. I cannot get enough of the stuff. I could fairly happily do the exact same eye and face makeup every day, but if I couldn’t change up my lipstick on a daily basis I would be a sad, sad girl indeed.

When Arbonne asked if I would be interested in trying some fall lip products, obviously I jumped at the chance. I had never tried any Arbonne products before, and, um, lipstick. Sent to my house. For me to put on my face.

arbonne-fall-lip-products

I ended up with the Intelligence Lip Treatment ($46 CAD), Smoothed Over Lipstick in Aster ($34 CAD), Glossed Over Gloss in Hyacinth ($31 CAD), and Lip Liner in Berry ($28 CAD) – in theory, everything you’d need for fall statement lips. These particular products go well together perfectly because each step slightly increases the intensity of colour, meaning you can go with a light berry with the liner all the way up to a rich, deep, and decidedly bold look with the lipstick and gloss layered on top.

All of the products are gluten- and paraben-free as well as vegan, for anyone who’s into that.

Intelligence Lip Treatment

arbonne-intelligence-lip-treatment

I’ve been playing around with this stuff for about two months now, except it’s not really playing because it’s SERIOUS BUSINESS. I don’t know how a lip balm with such a lightweight texture does its job so well, but either way it blows my mind. I use it before I put on lipstick and before bed and my lips have stayed soft enough to handle my most drying liquid lipsticks. It also sinks in really quickly and doesn’t feel greasy or otherwise unpleasant. It does have a scent – it reminds me of a popsicle.

According to Arbonne, the Intelligence Lip Treatment “helps soften the appearance of fine lines on the lips and contours, and supports the skin’s natural moisture barrier. Lips feel replenished, hydrated and moisturized. Arbonne Intelligence Lip Treatment enhances the appearance of lip volume and multitasks as a primer for lipstick or gloss.” Anti-aging lip products aren’t on my radar so I can’t speak to that, and I don’t find that it particularly increases lip volume – though I already have full lips, so I probably wouldn’t notice much of a difference anyway. However, it absolutely does make my lips feel “replenished, hydrated, and moisturized”.

This is a really pricey product, and there’s no getting around that. At $46 CAD for 0.33 fl oz/9.8mL ($139.39/fl oz or $4.69/mL), it does feel a bit like highway robbery. But it is, so far, honestly the best lip treatment I have found for my chronically dry, chapped, and peeling lips – and after using it twice a day for two months, there is still a tonne of product left.

Lip Liner in Berry

arbonne-lip-liner-berry

I don’t have super strong feelings about this lip liner. I like the twist-up packaging because I’m lazy and hate sharpening products. I like the colour, as well; it’s definitely berry, but it’s not too intense. I don’t find it super smooth nor terribly dry. It drags a tiny bit and goes on slightly patchy, so sadly I don’t think it would work amazingly worn on its own. As a base for a lipstick, though, it’s fine. Personally I would not pay $28 for it, but I’ve been happily using it. This isn’t one I would say you need to run out and buy.

The Lip Liner retails for $28 CAD for 0.01 oz, or $2800 per oz. Which is… up there. But you already know that twist-up liners contain hardly any product, don’t you?

Smoothed Over Lipstick in Aster

arbonne-smoothed-over-lipstick-aster

This lipstick goes on very smoothly and glosses over any dry patches beautifully. It’s also a beautiful colour, I think – it’s a very deep, mauve-toned berry that’s just enough for day-to-day life. It’s a great hydrating option for the cooler months when, at some point, we are all bound to have chapped, dry-feeling lips.

However, we all know that the trade-off for hydrating lipstick is that it does not last well. This one is no exception. I don’t have before and after pictures, but it barely holds up through a Second Cup White Hot Chocolate, let alone a meal. For a lot of people, this isn’t an issue – many would prefer their lips being in good shape to their lipstick being impenetrable. For shorter, less busy days, this is fine for me. For longer days where I know I will be eating on campus and may not have time to touch up, I skip anything and everything hydrating and go straight for the budge-proof formulas. But I know that the day will come when the most important thing to me is that my lips are comfortable, and this will be the first product I reach for.

The Smoothed Over Lipsticks go for $34 CAD for 0.14 oz, or $242.86 per oz. That’s obviously getting up there in price; I personally don’t get enough use out of hydrating lipsticks to drop that much on one, but if that’s your thing this is a great option.

Glossed Over Gloss in Hyacinth

arbonne-glossed-over-lip-gloss-hyacinth

I’m normally not a lip gloss person, and pigmented lip gloss is something that bewilders me. If I wanted a bold colour that would come off the second I took a sip of water, I would buy, well… a lip gloss. But I don’t want that, so I don’t buy lip gloss. I decided to try out the gloss for the sake of completeness, and I’m really glad I did.

First of all, that colour is gorgeous! This is the exact type of colour I gravitate towards in the fall. Purple lipstick is kind of a thing of mine, but even I can’t deny that a purple-toned berry is much more wearable. Arbonne claims that this product provides sheer to medium coverage, but I would argue that it can be built up to full coverage. It is worn over the lip liner and lipstick in the above photo, so it is especially opaque.

The gloss has a slightly sticky feel to it, but nothing uncomfortable. If you hate any trace of stickiness in your gloss, this is not for you – but if a bit (which does fade with wear) is okay with you, you won’t have a problem.

What really impressed me was the staying power. I decided to have a cup of tea after applying this lipstick, and after one sip I was ready to be disappointed:

lipstick-mug

Surely that does not bode well, right?!

Wrong. Despite the gloss left on the mug, after chugging my tea it barely looked touched:

arbonne-lip-after-tea

I was very pleasantly surprised by this result (especially considering the lipstick did not hold up to the same test), so I moved on to phase two: having a bagel. (St. Viateur is the only way, incidentally.)

arbonne-lip-after-eating

Clearly the bagel did a lot more damage, but I still think that for a gloss the results are honestly pretty great. Despite the fact that I am lip gloss avoider, I honestly do see myself breaking this out during the colder months – as long as I think I’ll have a chance to touch up if I plan on having a meal while I’m out.

I also really like the applicator of this gloss; doefoots are never precise enough for me, and tend to gloop product on. I found that the individualized hairs on the brush-style applicator gave me more control and didn’t distribute too much product on my lips.

The Glossed Over Lip Gloss goes for $31 for 0.11 fl oz/3.36 mL – that’s $281.82/fl oz, or $9.23/mL. Again, getting steep – but if you’re a gloss fan, this one is excellent.

Here’s everything on my face in the context of a full makeup look.

arbonne-fall-lip-look

On my eyes, I used Garnet, Sable, Espresso, and Mauve from the LORAC Pro palette. My blush is Sleek Flushed.

Swatches of everything:

arbonne-fall-lip-swatches

All in all, I’ve really been enjoying the fall lip products I’ve tried from Arbonne. The Intelligence Lip Treatment is my favourite, but the gloss is excellent too. The lipstick is great for what it is, though it’s not my favourite of these products. The lip liner is the only product that truly falls short for me, but it’s not bad – just underwhelming.

Note: All products in this post were sent to me for review purposes, but as always this does not influence my opinion whatsoever. This post is not sponsored.

Body care for winter: Avène Akérat vs. La Roche-Posay Lipikar Baume AP+

Posted on October 26, 2015 under Reviews

This post features press samples. I was not compensated for writing this post and all thoughts and opinions remain my own.

I have keratosis pilaris on my arms and legs, and it’s a fairly bad case. Unlike some people, mine doesn’t clear up in warm weather or even respond terribly well to most treatments. Since Canadian company Dermaglow went under, taking my beloved 8% glycolic acid body lotion with it, I’ve mainly been making do with physical exfoliation and thick body creams. This doesn’t get rid of the KP, but it helps keep my skin as smooth and soft as is possible with this condition.

Obviously, this gets a lot worse in the winter. I have been genetically cursed not only with KP but with the driest skin in the entire freakin’ universe. If I’m not very vigilant with my body lotions when it gets cold out, my arms and legs are pretty much unfit to be seen, touched, or generally existent.

Today I’m here with a comparison of two mid-range body lotions: Avène Akérat Smoothing Exfoliating Cream and La Roche-Posay Lipikar Baume AP+*. Both of these are French pharmacie brands formulated specifically for sensitive skin. Americans may have a hard time finding them, but my fellow Canadians will be able to pick them up in any Shoppers Drug Mart or Pharmaprix. (Both brands are also available at Boots in the UK!)

Claims & Ingredients

avene-akerat-smoothing-exfoliating-cream

Akérat: “Ultra-rich targeted body care helps restore skin’s comfort level and balance for smoother, softer skin texture.” Contains urea as well as lactic acid and salicylic acid.

la-roche-posay-lipikar-baume-ap-plus

Lipikar Baume AP+: “Beyond immediate soothing, LIPIKAR Baume AP+ spaces out flare-ups of severe dryness. Supple and soft, skin regains a durable comfort.” and “Anti-Itching, Lipid-Replenishing, Soothing Balm.” Contains shea butter and niacinamide.

Texture

texture-comparison

Lipikar Baume AP+ has a thinner texture than Akérat, which feels thicker and more emollient. Akérat also feels significantly stickier, which is all the more noticeable after applying it to the skin. However, neither one is terribly thick at all; they’re definitely lotions rather than body butters or even creams, though the Akérat is moving into cream territory. Neither one feels slippery or greasy. Personally, I think the Lipikar Baume AP+ has a more pleasant texture due to the fact that it doesn’t feel sticky at all and sinks into the skin almost instantaneously.

Packaging

avene-akerat-packaging

Akérat: Classic squeeze-tube packaging, which I like. It’s hygienic and easy to get all the product out. I will admit I’m a bit spoiled by La Roche Posay’s easy squeeze packaging, which is thinner and makes squeezing product out a lot easier (especially when it’s running low and more elbow grease is required), but that’s just nitpicking.

la-roche-posay-lipikar-baume-pump

Lipikar Baume AP+: The 200mL version is the same squeezy tube packaging as Akérat, but the 400mL one that I have is a bottle with a pump. This is okay, but not ideal. It is hygienic and at first it’s easy to get the product out, but obviously as the product diminishes the effectiveness of the pump does too. Also, because the packaging is both opaque and fairly solid, it’s hard to tell how much product is actually left. Although the Akérat tube is also opaque, because of its flexible material it’s easier to determine how much I’ve used up. I’m nervous to travel with products with unprotected pumps like this, too; I’m much more likely to chuck the Akérat into a travel bag! The pump packaging isn’t enough to dissuade me from repurchasing this product, but it’s also not the most convenient.

Results

For three days, I applied the Akérat to my left arm and leg and the Lipikar Baume AP+ to my right. Overall, I found that the long-term results (and I’m using that term relatively, as this was a three-day experiment) were the same. Short-term, my left side felt slightly more hydrated – but also stickier. The Akérat left the sticky feeling lingering for hours, whereas the Lipikar Baume AP+ sank in right away, leaving my skin feeling hydrated but not laden with product.

Long-term, both sets of arms and legs felt smoother and more hydrated than when I started this little experiment. I will say that in the dead of winter I think either product would be most effective when combined with something very thick, like a body butter, to lock in the moisture – but on their own at this time of year, either one is adequate. Neither performs a miracle in terms of my KP, but they certainly help with my dry skin, which in turn helps to minimize both the appearance and feeling of the KP.

Akérat is billed as an exfoliating cream, while Lipikar Baume AP+ is merely a moisturizing body lotion for very dry skin. I don’t feel that Akérat is a particularly effective exfoliant; if my skin is smoother it’s because it’s more moisturized. Despite this, however, I feel that both products essentially live up to their claims. I’m happy with both, although both do have minor shortcomings.

Price and Conclusion

Akérat: $29.50 CAD for 200mL/6.76 fl oz; $0.15 per mL or $4.36 per fl oz.

Lipikar Baume AP+: $33.00 CAD for 400mL/13.5 fl oz; $0.08 per mL or $2.44 per fl oz.

Clearly, the Lipikar Baume AP+ is better value for the money, at least when it comes to the 400mL size. Both products perform well and I will continue to use them both throughout the (many) cold months to come. Avène and La Roche-Posay are both brands that I enjoy, trust, and will happily and confidently sell to customers with a variety of skin concerns. However, the Lipikar Baume AP+ has two distinct advantages when it comes time to repurchase one or the other: its texture is more pleasing to me, and it is far better value when it comes down to price per unit.

Note: Product marked with an asterisk was sent to me for review purposes, but as always this does not influence my opinion whatsoever. This post is not sponsored.