Friday, 4 January 2013

chapped lips and various lip balms

Just before my Christmas holiday started, I got sick. It was your typical winter virus, except this time it decided to hang around for a few weeks - even now I'm still coughing and feeling bunged up - but the virus itself wasn't the problem. Oh no, I was in agony because my lips were chapped to the max! I have no idea why this time they were so bad as I've never had terribly chapped lips, but they hurt like hell and it made eating and drinking very unpleasant. On the bright side, I did look like Angelina Jolie in the mornings!

Just to show you all, I took a picture of my lips a few days after Christmas. They were on the road to recovery at this point, but still quite painful. I didn't take any pictures of them while they were really bad (except on instagram but thankfully the quality prevents you from seeing what they really felt like).

In hindsight, they don't look too bad but then they were covered in lip balm incessantly at the time. What I will point out is that they look slightly ombred, which meant that they were quite sensitive too.

So enough of the how, the main point of this post is to go through the various lip balms I used and more importantly, which actually helped?

 So here we have all the various products I used, including another method that I will mention when I come to the product. I have edited these images as I felt they needed jazzing up and the true colours of these products don't actually matter.

 Agatha Ruiz De La Prada
 Vaseline lip therapy
Lypsyl Lipbalm Original

 Agatha Ruiz De La Prada raspberry lip balm: This was the lip balm I happened to have in my bag and frankly, I wasn't expecting much from it. First off, it's scented so it's more of a little trinket than a useful lip balm that's meant to heal your lips. It did give me a bit of relief when I had it on but that didn't last long, nor did it help in the long run. Aside from that, it's incredibly difficult too get the lid off (at school, I've had five people try and take it off with only one succeeding) so that it's a major drawback. I would give it 2/5 as I didn't feel it was that effective.

Vaseline lip therapy: We all know Vaseline is the go-to solution when you have chapped lips, but does it always help? No would be the answer. As my sister rightfully pointed out, it's just petroleum jelly and only coats your lips. So like the first lip balm, it doesn't do anything to heal them. I also thought it had an addictive side, as I could not stop slathering it onto my lips. I was nearly finished with the pot after three days! Having said that, putting it on my lips gave me more relief than the first balm, but I really had to put a thick layer on. Mind you, it does only claim to sooth dry skin and chapped lips, so it did do what it tells you it will but it didn't improve the state of my lips.

Speaking of which, I got rather desperate and googled the problem and found a suggestion to put honey on your lips and Vaseline over the honey and leave it for ten minutes. Not only did it not help, it also stung a lot and was quite painful so I wouldn't recommend that method.

So I would give Vaseline 2.5/5 as it did help when I had it on, but sadly it didn't improve the chappedness (not a real word, I know).

Lypsyl Lipbalm Original: I asked my Granny to get a lip balm in a tube as opposed to a pot when she went out to get her morning paper and she came back with this. I was quite optimistic when I saw this because it says it contains Aloe Vera and vitamin E so I was hoping it would be more effective than the previous two. Unfortunately the consistence is what ruined it. The texture of the lip balm is very rough and not at all pleasant to use on very sensitive lips! Nor did it seem to blend well with my lips so I didn't get the feeling that it helped a lot. I had hoped for a lot from this but it was very disappointing and not at all soothing so I'd give it a 1..5/5.

 Crabtree & Evelyn Aloe Vera Lip Balm
Labello Med Protection SPF 15 Lip Balm
 Hema lip rescue

 Crabtree & Evelyn Aloe Vera lip balm: Admittedly, this one is a few years old so its effectiveness is most likely quite lacking. I found this on my desk when I'd concluded that the Lypsyl one was useless and I was looking for a new one. Unfortunately this didn't help a bit and was also quite rough so I wasn't very impressed with it. 1/5

Labello Med Protection SPF 15: I asked my Dad to buy me a lip balm that looked like it would help damaged lips and when he came back with this, I was suitably impressed. It looks quite official and quite medicinal. I also checked and the brand has a line that is meant for damaged lips, so no flavours at all. I felt like this helped quite a bit more than anything else I had. It wasn't a miracle but it definitely seemed to have some long-lasting proprieties. I would give it 4/5.

Hema Lip Rescue: And as this is the last one, you can guess that it's also the best! My sister gave it to me one evening, saying she found it and didn't need it and she thought it might help. And help it did! Not only does it have the typical aloe vera, it also contains mint which had quite the cooling effect and really helped sooth my lips. I definitely felt like this was improving my lips and continued to use it until my lips were almost back to normal. 4.5/5

So there you have my little review of the various lip balms I've used and I hope it helps some people! What do you think is the best lip balm out there? I've heard that Carmex is quite effective and I had the pot once; I believe it also has a slight minty scent along with cherry? I didn't have time to get that one when I was in England but please, let me know what lip balms you think help!


Tuesday, 1 January 2013

slight rant about clothes sizing

Hi everyone! I hope you all had a lovely New Year's Eve and are enjoying the first day of 2013. This post is slightly related to NYE as I was looking for a nice dress to wear. A week ago I saw this beautiful dress in Mango and I fell in love with it instantly. You know, the kind of dress you believe is your dream dress and you would actually be willing to buy, despite it being above your normal budget for clothes.

You can't see it very well on this picture, but the transparent material has gold sparkles that seem very festive and ideal for NYE. So despite it costing 50 euros, which is way more than I would usually spend on a dress, I was very tempted to buy it. And when the sales started, I was even more tempted as it may be reduced and I decided, even if it does cost 50 euros, I'd still buy it. 

So I go to Mango with my sister, find it in both L and XL, so everything was looking good at this point. I tried the XL on first and... it didn't fit. Now being a size 16 (sometimes 18), I was expecting an XL to fit. And by didn't fit, I  should elaborate by saying it squished my boobs down and I could have got it to fit, but it wouldn't have looked very nice.

So there I was, thinking maybe I had overindulged over Christmas and I'd gained a bit too much. But then I looked at the tag and apparently XL (their biggest size) is a UK size 14, or a size 42 in Luxembourg. Now I wasn't aware that 14 was considered XL, but apparently Mango is a Spanish brand, which means the sizes are quite a lot smaller. 

Now, what annoys me is that they only stock to a size 14. Okay, they're not the only brand that only stocks to a size 14 (isn't that right, Motel?) but the fact that a 14 is considered XL really bugs me (for reference, a 14 in Motel is an L). Does that mean a size 16 is XXL? Size 18 XXXL? Sounds ridiculous, doesn't it? 

Most brands stock to at least a size 18, perhaps they have a specific range for larger sizes, but the main thing is that if you're a size 16, you can still find nice clothes in most shops. It's not really fair that certain shops don't stock to an 18. It's like they're saying 'No, you have to be smaller to shop here'. In a way, it's their loss because they lose a customer (or more) because of their narrow range of sizes. But it's still me who feels upset because I quite liked that dress. I'm also quite happy with my size. Ok, I could lose a bit of weight from my tummy and face, but I don't want to go on a mega diet to drop a few sizes. And why should I? Yet still, the fact remains that I now feel that I can be considered as too fat for certain clothes when I am not actually grossly overweight.

Generally, you are excluded from certain shops as you can't afford their clothes. Nowadays it seems you're judged on your size as well, what with the size zero craze over in Hollywood. It disappoints me that you're not only limited in where you shop by your budget, but also by your size. And as I said before, it's a silly notion as limiting your audience means you could also potentially be limiting your profit. Maybe that doesn't apply to designer brands, but I think it does to high street ones. 
So now that I know that Mango doesn't stock clothes in my size, I'll avoid it and stick to shops that do. Of course, it is a shame as I wanted to branch out from where I shop, but I guess I'll have to try somewhere else.