I know what you're saying. "Another lip balm review, G?" Well, I just can't help the fact that the lip balm gods have bestowed upon us so many new and interesting lip balms all at the same time! And you know me--I've got to try them all. Who can resist? I certainly can't, so here's my third lip balm review in a matter of a week or so, and I've got another on the way after this one (sorry, all of you non-lip-balm-loving people of Earth!).
I've made no secret on this blog about the fact that I don't care for Nivea lip balms. The first and only Nivea lip balm review I ever wrote on this blog was in 2010, and if you read that review, you understand why I haven't reviewed any Nivea lip balms since.
That said...I could not resist this new one. Olive oil and lemon? Those are two of my favorite things (especially on salads, but that's a whole other story). After I saw JenJen's review of this balm back in August, I. HAD. TO. FIND. IT. And I finally did a few weeks ago (I bought mine at Rite Aid), so let's take a closer look.
Nivea A Kiss of Olive Oil & Lemon Moisture Rich Lip Care
(retail: around $2.50, 0.17 oz)
Did this product change my opinion of Nivea lip balms? Find out after the jump...
Well shoot. There's more shea butter, glycerin and jojoba in this balm than actual olive oil and lemon, but I do love shea, glycerin and jojoba so, for me, that's not something to get angry (or even slightly annoyed) over.
Am I the only one who loves the color of this packaging? Please say you're with me here! It's so unique--I can't think of another lip balm tube that I've ever seen or owned that remotely resembles this color, and guess what? The stick itself is the same shade of green:
All together now: "Oooh!"
The big question:
Did Nivea A Kiss of Olive Oil & Lemon forever change my opinion of Nivea lip balms?
Yes. And no.
OK, I love this lip balm and it far exceeded my expectations. But it wasn't something that I immediately loved--it had to grow on me.
Remember when you were a kid and you tried your first sip of coffee and you probably said "Yuck!" because it tasted bitter and just, well, weird and unlike the beverages you were used to tasting at that point in your life?
But then as you grew older, you acquired a taste for coffee (or maybe not, but for the sake of this analogy let's say you did) and you now LOVE the taste of coffee and can appreciate the subtle nuances between different beans and blends? Yeah, that's kind of what's going on with this lip balm.
It doesn't smell or taste like your run-of-the-mill lip balm that you can find at any drugstore in America. It's a bit more sophisticated. The fragrance reminds me of something you'd expect to find from a brand like Fresh or maybe even one of the Asian versions of Nivea lip balm that's always so beautiful and mysterious, like Nivea Watering Avocado. In other words, this doesn't smell like your standard drugstore Cherry Chapstick (not that there's anything wrong with Cherry Chapstick, but it's predictable and it's what we're used to when it comes to lip balm).
Let me try my best to describe the scent to you. It's herbal but it's also a bit sweet. It's clean and fresh and lemony, but not sharp or sour. It's everything I love, all rolled into one beautiful fragrance. If I could wear this as lotion or body mist, I would. It sort of reminds me of the scent of a really expensive shampoo. It's addicting and I just want to sniff it, and sniff it again.
But the flavor. Oh yes, the flavor. Here's where the coffee analogy really kicks in. The first time I tasted this on my lips, I thought: LOTION! Just like every other Nivea lip balm I've tried, this stuff tastes like body lotion. But actually, no. It doesn't. You just think it's going to taste like lotion because that's what the fragrance reminds you of...but once you let this balm sit a minute on your tongue, there's a hint of lemon there and there's none of the bitterness that real lotion will give you if you happened to taste real lotion. This lip balm doesn't taste sweet or sugary or even what some of you would call "pleasant" but after a while, it really grows on you (well it did for me, at least).
That's the best I can do, folks. I realize you might be more confused now, after reading this, than you were before you clicked on this review, but to try and describe the fragrance and flavor of this lip balm is kind of impossible. It's one of those things you have to just experience for yourself.
As for the moisturization and texture of this lip balm, it's a big improvement over the other Nivea lip balms I've tried in the past. This balm feels slick on the lips, but not greasy. It's moisturizing but not heavy or waxy. It's not a heavy-duty lip balm, but it does provide me with enough hydration to be able to go a few hours without feeling the need to reapply. In a nutshell: it feels very nice on the lips and it doesn't dry out my lips. It also works well as a base for underneath lip color. Oh! Speaking of color, there's absolutely no color to this balm. It goes on clear with no visible green tint.
FINAL VERDICT: I didn't love it, but then I did. It's like coffee: strange at first, but oh so delicious after you get used to it. If any part of my description above piqued your curiousity, then shell out the three bucks (or less if it's on sale) and give this baby a try for yourself. You never know. And if you don't eventually fall in love with it, make sure you buy it at CVS, Walgreens or Rite Aid and keep your receipt so you can return it (all three retailers accept returns on used beauty products). I know at least some of you are curious about this now, right? So g'head. Try it. I'll be here. Come back and tell me that I was either spot-on or completely off my rocker about this one.