Saturday, February 5, 2011


Today I found out my favorite lip balm - Neutrogena Lip Nutrition in "Berry Smooth" - was discontinued. When did Neutrogena pull the plug? I have no idea. But somewhere in heaven an angel with dry lips just discontinued its wings... with a blowtorch.

You know how magazine editors are always pontificating their esteemed "beauty secrets" ("tee hee")? Well, this was one of mine. I discovered this little gem many moons ago, when I was but a poor college student, wasting time in the drug store while my prescription for IHaveAnxiety was being filled. I came upon this $7 miniature tub of lip balm that caught my attention because wow, that's a lot of money for .18 ounce of anything. What does it DO? Or perhaps (more sinisterly): what does it want from us?

The lip balm tubs came in 3 flavors at the time: Cool Mint, Refreshing Mango, and Berry Smooth. I'm not one for making decisions so I bought all three, then picked up my happy pills and went on my merry way.

That evening, I experimented with "Berry Smooth" because it was pink and that agreed with me. I noticed the consistency was a bit waxy, and you had to scrape it with your fingernail, rather than dab your fingertips in it. Using my nail to apply lip balm seemed like a silly way to go about things, but I was excited to try those interesting little jojoba beads in the mix.

The balm instantly tingled and I worked the waxy finish into my lips, rubbing in circles. The beads did not break very easily - I ended up eating my fair share of them, but sometimes beauty is mysterious.

What was I expecting from this new venture into Moisture Town? Soft, hydrated lips that wouldn't crack or dry. But what magical secret had I unwittingly discovered?

This. made. my. lips. HUGE.

Not in the hypoallergenic, go to the emergency room HUGE. But in the super moisture + exfoliating beads = bigger, softer, puffier lips HUGE. This was not even advertised! And remarkably, the effect of this lasted long after I'd kissed it off on the round end of a silver chicken flask (oh college!). It lasted for days. I'd wake up the next morning with an Angelina pout, much to my awe and delight. The unintended consequence of using this once a day is that I looked way poutier for the next 4 years than I had any right portraying myself to be.


I later replaced this with Too Faced Lip Injection Serum, a $30 investment for larger-than-life lips that were downright obscene. In college, buying this was a luxury when you spent less money on groceries. I remember loving how quickly it worked and it gave your lips a hydro glossy finish (as opposed to my secret weapon's waxy finish). The biggest downsides? Besides costing a day's wage at the radio station I worked at, it sometimes crept outside your lip line and turned your whole mouth bright red. Any skin it touched burned ruddy and inflamed. Also, the bulging effect didn't last much longer than a few hours.

After college, I stopped treating my lips with strange serums and topical gels. As long as they were hydrated, the Angelina look didn't matter so much any more. Only recently have I kind of missed the reliable comfort and ease of my Neutrogena Lip Nutrition balm and after a late night run to Rite-Aid, I realized it was no more.

Of course, never fear: that's why eBay is here. Just purchased a lot of *20* in 3 flavors. Win win win win (Butler).

Sabrina London