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I squinch your lips


You guys already know I’m a shameless product whore. You would seriously not believe the products in our house, and I’m not even talking about the ones I got for review when I used to write for the product blog. I just can’t resist fun little brands and tubes and unguents and the hope that maybe they will fix my pitiful complexion, stunt my voracious mustache growth or maintain the “two shades darker than natural” shade of brunette that I prefer.

This OCD-like obsession with stopping time harmless little hobby has given me a crapton of knowledge that makes me an apprentice in the cosmetic industry but is completely useless in the real world. I can wax poetic for hours (or blog inches) about the best way to deal with undereye circles or wrangle that unruly sebum that is turning your nose into an Exxon spill before 10 am. I know the best body butters, eye goops and moisturizers and will rank them by price point. But in truth, I’m a little selfish about my favorite finds, and in fact, I tend to go quiet when it gets harder to locate them. I’m fully aware of how cult products get started and damn, their little price points just tend to skyrocket when that happens.

Take for instance my current favorite: a very emollient lip stain that is nothing but shea butter and moisturizers and basically acts like a fancy version of Chapstick but also has the benefit of looking good on any skin tone and just natural enough after the shine wears off that maybe you aren’t wearing anything at all, in fact, maybe that rosebud pout is one God intended for you from birth? You just don’t know.

I bought this stuff last year in California and have been wearing it obsessively ever since. It’s perfection: totally appropriate for work, completely casual at the Farmer’s Market in the morning, and yet, pretty enough when applied thick (see photo) that I never want to go back to sticky glosses or annoying lip stains that wear off unevenly again. No. This is it. I have found my love. It’s as much as a higher-end lipstick, but since I’ve had it for an entire year and have used it practically every day, I’m totally feeling justified that I have a winner.

This photo is courtesy of the always awesome Mopie, one of very few people who manage to catch me being totally natural and weirdly not self-conscious.

I made the mistake of sharing the brand with June. June has a very different skin tone and was fascinated that it felt like lip butter, but looked totally different on her than it did on me. I swear, it’s like it somehow takes your natural lip color and turns up the volume a little. June was smart (well, because she’s June): she went right to the website and ordered two immediately, despite kind of offputting shipping and handling. I held off, figuring that I’d certainly be in a million cities that would have it between now and then. And of course, I was right: I’ve been to Chicago and LA and Las Vegas and Chicago again and Chicago another time and Washington DC and Las Vegas again and either I didn’t have time to search it out or the place was closed because it was the 4th of July or the damned boutique had sold out.

I’m now down to the shaft, only half of the point even visible. I’m going to be scrapping my lips on plastic in a few days, and then I’ll have to start gouging it out with my fingernail.

I’m in pain, y’all. Pain.

Here’s the thing: it’s become one of those damned cult things again. The website is out of everything. EVERYTHING. I keep repeatedly refreshing the site, hoping that their availability will increase. And yet nothing. NOTHING.

Here’s the thing: I normally have my shit together, especially when a problem is as simple as punching in a credit card number and having a box full of happiness delivered via UPS in 5-7 business days. I’ve literally had the stuff in my virtual shopping cart (complete with some of their actual lipsticks, which are slightly better than MAC, but not as awesome as the stain), but have failed to follow through at least four times. Maybe more. I can blame the fact that I wasn’t spending money for about a year and viewed it as a frivolous expense, especially when I was on my sabbatical, but now? Now? I can totally justify this as an actual worthwhile purchase and have still dropped the ball. Damn.

You’ve undoubtedly noticed that I still haven’t told you which lip stain it is, right? Oh please, I still remember what happened with The Soap. The Soap, which hadn’t really been on anyone’s radar and then blammo, I raved about it and it had its own damned thread on Math+1. The Soap which quickly was completely sold out and whoopsie, that was the only US distributor and guess who was SOL? Me. Me with no Soap. Maybe I want to be selfish for just a bit longer?

All right, I can’t be cruel anymore. It’s Poppy King’s Medieval and it is amazing. And available again. I just had to stall you until I got my receipt from their automated system that guarantees my two tubes of Medieval will be on their way to my little greedy hands before I told you about it. Now go get yourself some.

On second thought, forget I even said anything.

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  1. gwen wrote:

    Wow, I never even WEAR lipstick, and somehow, you’ve just convinced me that this stuff is going to change my life. Credit card plunked down in the ether!

    Tuesday, September 8, 2009 at 10:11 pm | Permalink
  2. Michelle wrote:

    I can’t believe how you had me hook, line, and sinker. And now I will patiently wait for it to arrive in my mailbox.

    If you don’t work in marketing, you should.

    Tuesday, September 8, 2009 at 10:14 pm | Permalink
  3. Renee from GA wrote:

    Wait – you were the one who got everyone scouring the net for the soap? The soap that Pamie and Anna Beth were told was “not for American skin”? The soap that cost an arm and a leg even before the monstrous international shipping charge and tariff and I don’t know whatall was added? I had that stuff in a virtual shopping cart for months and still scan shelves for that brand to this day, but I never knew you were the soap queen! [bows in your general direction]

    Also, this was a more fitting request for the product blog that is no more, but if you have any suggestions for an eyecream for someone with sensitive, combination skin that is acne prone (very oily in some spots, peeling in others, peels when you put acne stuff on it, but when you moisturize to try to stop peeling it breaks out again, etc. etc. etc. circle of life) I would love to hear them.

    Wednesday, September 9, 2009 at 10:37 am | Permalink
  4. maddy wrote:

    Oh my GAWD, the soap! I loved the soap. I have found a great replacement, for a fraction of the cost and available everywhere, but it doesn’t really hold a candle to it. My skin is fine, but my heart longs for the soap.

    Wednesday, September 9, 2009 at 11:38 am | Permalink
  5. Rosa wrote:

    First, your hair looks damned cute in that picture. Second, I never went after The Soap, as I am a hardcore Ivory junkie and my skin would revolt if I tried anything else. BUT! I am a lip product fiend. Fiend, I tell you! That lipstick website is like PORN. Damn you, ‘Bix! And: Bless you, ‘Bix!

    Thursday, September 10, 2009 at 6:26 pm | Permalink
  6. mo pie wrote:

    Ooh, that lipstick sounds sexy. Now I want it too! And I love that picture of you. And I miss you! And you are pretty. The end.

    Thursday, September 10, 2009 at 8:56 pm | Permalink
  7. AmyRad wrote:

    The soap is still available online at I buy it all the time and keep a stockpile. I seriously owe my awesome complexion (knock on wood) to consistently using the soap and Lush’s Cupcake facial mud mask. You have to buy Cupcake in the store because it has to be kept cold, but they’ll give you an ice pack to keep it cool if you’re not going straight home.

    Weet, after your soap and Mandalay Spa recommendations, I will follow you to the ends of the earth. The lipstick is ordered. In return I offer you three words: Grove Park Inn.

    Renee, have you tried Dr. Brandt’s Lineless? I would go to a Sephora to actually handle the product in person in person before buying it, but I love it.

    Thursday, September 10, 2009 at 10:42 pm | Permalink
  8. Stacey wrote:

    Go Australian Poppy awesomeness!

    Friday, September 11, 2009 at 8:05 am | Permalink
  9. editrix wrote:

    $26 for lipstick is so not in keeping with my yankee frugalness … and yet …

    I’m glad the blog is back. I missed you!

    Friday, September 11, 2009 at 5:05 pm | Permalink
  10. Heather wrote:

    Yay! Weetabix product recommendation! I also bought The Soap back in the day. And the Dayam Bra. Wow. I’m a lemming. But you’ve never steered me wrong.

    Monday, September 14, 2009 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

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