January 20, 2014 Sally Bjornsen
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PRODUCT REVIEW: KARI GRAN TINTED LIP WHIP (MY NEW HOLY GRAIL LIP BALM!!)

Happy New Year, everyone!

So it’s January and, from fingers to face, I’m feeling a bit chapped. It probably doesn’t help that this past week I put my skin through several flights and a 40-degree+ nose dive from So-Cal’s pretend winter into the real Canadian thing.

But this holiday season I came prepared. And there are some new stars in my arsenal of potent creams, balms and oils: namely this Kari Gran Lip Whip. It’s been a romance for months now between me and this stuff, so I feel confident that this is officially true love of the holy-grail-product variety.

Which is saying a lot. For moi, lip balms are not the most inspiring category. It takes a lot for me to even use them, let alone get effusive about one. I even think they should come with a warning: Often severely overused (I’m talking about obsessive several-times-an-hour application), even natural ones can create a dependency that inhibits your lips’ own capacity to hydrate themselves. Not cool. But in dry, winter weather few of us can go without the extra hydration. And now I don’t have to!

But to limit this little black pot of magic to “lip balm” doesn’t seem fair either. Not only does it hit my 3 required qualifications for a holy-grail product: look pretty, smell pretty, work. It also has multiple uses. Read on for a full dissection.

Why I love it.

1. Effectiveness and feel.

For starters, this stuff has an incredible texture. I’m guessing that’s the whipped-ness of it, making application a total delight. It feels incredibly hydrating and protective, and while the tint is almost imperceptible it does do something subtle and lovely. It’s just the right amount of gloss and shine that says “oh, hey lips” without screaming “LOOK AT MY OOEY-GOOEY-GLOSS MOUTH.” A perfect daytime lip!

2. Smell.

I have the peppermint one, and I lovelovelove the way it smells and tingles ever so slightly. Again, subtle, but it really adds to the whole pleasurable sensory experience of putting this stuff on.

3. Packaging.

A lot of our favorite brands use this same high-quality black glass. Kahina, Lotus Wei and May Lindstrom to name a few. I happen to know that this stuff is only made in one place and it doesn’t come cheap. Aside from its elegance though, this glass serves a very functional purpose: It protects natural products from damaging UV light. So for me it’s an indicator of care and thoughtfulness—the people who made this product believe it’s valuable enough to protect. As for this little black pot specifically, it  has a great hand-feel and weight to it. And these small things matter when you’re interacting with a product several times a day.

How I use it and why I will pay $15 for it.

1. On my lips.

The most obvious. Looks great, feels great, tingles great and keeps my lips hydrated and happy even in all weather.

2. On my cheekbones.

This is how I justify the price tag. We’re fanatical about multi-taskers here, and this lip balm is such a good highlighter that I think the ladies at Kari Gran should market it as such. When used in this way, it creates glistening cheek bones that people notice: I’ve had several your-skin-looks-great comments when I use it. (Even from straight guys! Ok, one straight guy. Once.) The best part is that it actually lasts too. Something in the oil-to-beeswax ratio means it’s not quickly absorbed into skin. Plus reapplication is a cinch. No mirror required.

3. On my knuckles.

Weird, but true. Because I always have this stuff with me, I’ve taken to rubbing a little bit into my knuckles when they’re noticeably dry. It really does the trick!

Now 3 questions for you: 1. How are your lips faring at this start of 2014? 2. What are you using to keep them happy and hydrated? 3. Has anyone tried this or other Kari Gran products? (Susannah, you may recall, loves the cleansing oil.)

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