I have a very specific packaging fetish: I like things in small round tins. But really, could you resist this particular tin?
Vaseline Lip Therapy in Rosy Lips is only the latest in a series of Tins I Have Loved. My first makeup products, when I was a young teenager, were Perfumeria Gal redcurrant and violet lip balms in domed Art Nouveau tins:
One of my most vivid memories from my first semester of college is of eating Les Anis de Flavigny rose- and violet-flavored pastilles in my dorm room overlooking the campus lake (I was a foppish 17-year-old):
So it’s no wonder that the little discs of Vaseline Lip Therapy caught my eye at a grocery store the other day. There were three colors: blue (original), green (aloe vera), and coral-pink (rose). I’d never seen them in the States, so I barely hesitated before buying a tin of Rosy Lips for £2.19, despite my misgivings about the formula: I’ve been known to smear Vaseline on my lips on especially dry winter days, and it’s never pleasant.
But as it turns out, Lip Therapy lacks that thick, squidgy Vaseline texture. It’s thin and emollient, with a strong but natural rose fragrance and, at least in the tin, a warm pink color. Though suspiciously similar to Smith’s Rosebud Salve, Rosy Lips is more heavily perfumed and colored. It looks and smells like liquefied Turkish delight–a confection much on my mind since last week, when I encountered (and plundered) this shop at the Borough Market:
If you don’t like tasting roses for several minutes after you apply your lip balm, you shouldn’t buy this; my own tolerance for good rose scents, however, is limitless. (Which explains why I bought both rose-walnut and rose-pistachio Turkish delight.)
Ah, that jelly-smooth coral surface! Make no mistake, though, this is a practically clear lip balm. There’s little point in posting an arm swatch, but never let it be said I’m not a completist:
Bare vs. rosy lips–as this low-budget diptych shows, the real difference is in the shine, not the color.
I do see a very slight pink cast, but despite the tin’s promise that Rosy Lips “gently tints and cares for lips,” it shouldn’t be mistaken for a genuinely tinted balm like the Fresh Sugar Lip Treatments. (That said, I’d rather have Rosy Lips, as I find the Fresh balms to be melty and ineffective and generally overrated–but that’s a subject for another post, or not.)
Finally, here’s the tin in my hand for scale, plus the ingredients list:
I’ve been using Rosy Lips for a few days now, both in the morning before I put on makeup and at night before I go to bed. I’m reluctant to take it with me on my London adventures, as the city grit always makes my fingers feel dirty, and the thought of sticking them into a pot of lip balm and transferring the particles to my mouth is unbearable. Victorian London would have made me a hermit. I’ve noticed a definite improvement in the softness and smoothness of my chronically dry lips, but I’ve had similar success with other brands of lip balm. The real difference with Rosy Lips is that the cuteness of the tin and the fragrance of the balm help me remember to apply it regularly. Who said packaging was merely decorative?
Rosy Lips has potential for other uses, too. It would make a decent, if one-note, solid perfume in a pinch. And after reading this interview with the model Ashley Smith, who likes to use Rosebud Salve as luminizer after a flight, I wondered if Rosy Lips would have a similar effect. So I tried it on both lips and cheeks after my lipstick and most of my blush had worn off:
It works, sort of! Though I confess I need very little help looking sweaty ethereal on a daily basis.
Finally, I’ve had to add a sad footnote to my recent review of Milani’s Bella Charcoal and Bella Navy eyeshadows. Not even my fetish for disc-shaped things will tempt me to buy another product from that range…