So remember a few weeks ago when I was freaking out about these new Nivea Lip Butters? If you missed my original post, these adorable little tins have been available in the UK for a while now, but they just debuted in the US this year. What's great is that Nivea didn't change the flavors of these butters for the US, and the tins are identical to the UK version as well.
I found these at Rite Aid a few weeks ago, and I know they're also at CVS (not sure about Walgreens yet). There are four flavors in this range (Smooth Kiss, which is the unscented version, didn't come home with me because I was really only interested in the flavored butters).
Nivea Lip Butters in Raspberry Rosé Kiss, Vanilla & Macadamia Kiss, Caramel Cream Kiss
(retail: $3.99 each, 0.59 oz)
Keep reading for my full review...
I had heard that the UK version of these lip butters does not contain petrolatum, however that is sort of untrue. If you look at the ingredients in the UK version, you'll see that the first ingredient is Cera Microcrystallina (more commonly known as Crystalline Wax). Crystalline Wax is a type of byproduct of petrolatum (see full definition here). If you really want to get technical, Microcrystalline Wax is created during the process of de-oiling petrolatum, which is done when petroleum is refined (see more here).
The tins are a good size--not huge but definitely not tiny. I feel that the price is justified for the amount of product you get.
Raspberry Rosé Kiss
To my nose, Raspberry Rosé Kiss smells almost exactly like raspberry frozen yogurt. It's got that tartness of the rasberry, but it's also very creamy. I love, love love the fragrance. As for the flavor, it's nice too, but a bit subtle and not as tart as I was hoping it would be. The texture of this lip butter is the softest of all three that I'm reviewing today. If you're not careful and you press down too hard with your finger, q-tip, or whatever you're using for application, you can accidentally leave a huge dent in the product (actually more like a hole--it's very, very soft and almost lotion-like in texture).
Caramel Cream Kiss
I find that caramel-scented products are kind of hit or miss. Sometimes that can take on almost a musty quality, while other times they can be so syrupy-sweet that they induce a headache. I'm delighted to report that the fragrance of this lip butter is on the mild side, but it doe have a bit of a "caramel popcorn" note to it. I was hoping it would be more of a creamy caramel, but I definitely get some popcorn in this one. Also, the flavor is oddly fruity. I don't know exactly what type of fruit, but I detect a slight fruit note going on with this one. The texture isn't as soft as Raspberry Rosé Kiss, but it is a softer lip butter, so again, don't press down too hard.
Vanilla & Macadamia Nut Kiss
I'm not sure what happened to the surface on this one, but the product itself was fine once I started using it, and it's just as smooth as the others (no gritty bits). Anyway, THIS is my favorite of the three. The fragrance and flavor are so delicious I can hardly put it into words. You get the creaminess of the vanilla (a true vanilla--more like vanilla bean and not artificial-smelling) and then you have the nuttiness of the macadamia. Together they create what might just be my favorite lip balm fragrance of all time. I cannot stop sniffing this one--it reminds me of a fresh-baked white chocolate macadamia nut cookie! The flavor is also quite nice but, as with the other two, it's pretty subtle.
It's not full-on white, but it's definitely milky, which may or may not be your thing (could be cute to use to tone down a bright lipstick). Some swatches:
It was really hard to capture this in a photo, but Raspberry Rosé Kiss has a very slight pink tint to it, while the other two are essentially white.
The texture of these balms is creamy and they go on quite smoothly. They don't feel as greasy as pure petroleum jelly, but they are more slick than a lip balm that doesn't contain any petroleum. There is no stickiness to these lip butters, and the staying power was pretty good overall (about four hours on my lips). After they wear down, I do feel like my lips are a little bit more hydrated than before I applied them, but I don't feel any extreme hydration with these, and they're not something I would reach for if my lips were cracked or needed something really heavy-duty.
My one word of caution is that the texture of these balms is quite soft and if you press too hard, you can leave a big dent/hole in the surface. The raspberry flavor in particular has almost a thick lotion-like consistency so you'll need to be extra careful if you get that one. I know that some people like to put their lip balm tins straight up to their lips and apply it that way, and you can definitely do that with these lip butters since the tins are large enough to accomodate both lips. But just be careful you don't press too hard or you'll have a minor mess on your hands.
Due to their soft texture, I'm curious how these will be in the summertime when even lip balms that are pretty firm in nature can melt in extreme heat (I'll try to remember to update this post if anything crazy happens during the summer). Oh, and one more thing: the lids don't seem to fit very securely on the tins. I haven't had a problem with one falling off in my purse (yet) but they do lift off without having to use much force, so I would definitely store these inside a smaller bag or the inside zipper pouch of your purse, etc. if you're going to travel with them. Just to be safe...
FINAL VERDICT: Nice creamy formula, decent hydration and yummy fragrances and flavors (especially Vanilla & Macadamia Kiss and Raspberry Rosé Kiss). If your number one criteria for lip balm purchases is yummy fragrance/flavor, then I don't think you'll be let down by these (especially if you prefer gourmand fragrances). They're slicker in texture than non-petroleum-based lip products, so just be aware that they might feel greasy if you're used to non-petroluem products (although I don't think they're anywhere near as greasy as pure petroleum jelly). I'm glad these are now in the US and I'm glad I bought them. They're a fun choice when I just want to wear something yummy on my lips. I say wait for a sale (Nivea always goes on sale at the drugstores so you won't have to wait long) and give 'em a whirl.
Have you tried any of the Nivea Lip Butters yet? Thoughts?