I am extremely picky about products I put on my face, but when it comes to lip balms, I am pretty low maintenance – As long as it’s a green product (no parabens, no mineral oil etc.), I will use it. That being said, Tatcha’s Camella Nourishing Lip Balm caught my attention immediately after its release. Packed in a somewhat heavy, high end glass container with a beautiful purple lid encrusted with Tatcha’s signature logo, this lip balm is designed to feel luxurious, and make people sit up and take notice. Tatcha’s never marketed itself as a 100% green brand, and they do use some iffy ingredients (phenoxyethanol being one), but on the whole, I am willing to look the other side, because everything that I’ve tried so far from this brand (and I’ve tried lots!), just works.
Price: $36 (8 gm/0.28 oz). Yes, it’s super expensive and completely crazy to spend so much on a lip product (by my standards, at least), but the pricing is somewhat offset by the quantity of product that you get. Also if you don’t use it everyday, or stick to using it just once or twice a day, you can really make a jar stretch for a longer time.
Packaging: Stellar. Breath taking. Just marvelous. That thin sheet of 24k gold that peeks out from the transparent lid adds to the magical experience. If there’s one lip balm you’d like to use when people are watching, let it be this. The glass container, although high end, is quite heavy for a lip balm – something to keep in mind if you like traveling light. I do have to add that I’m not a big fan of pots especially when I’m traveling, as I hate digging into the product with dirty hands – just not hygienic. I can understand why Tatcha chose to use a jar – obviously it’s much more difficult to make a plastic tube look high end, and if we’re investing (“spending” doesn’t seem to fit the image of this product) so much, we want our little pots to look like they’re worth it. Call me shallow if you wish, but I fall into this whole presentation trap far too often.
Application experience: Just a tiny smidgeon is needed to moisturize – it goes on very smooth and provides a semi-matte finish. It’s not glossy, it’s not 100% matte Nuxe de Miel style – I’d say it’s somewhere in the middle, but still nonintrusive enough to be worn under lipsticks and lip glosses. If I plan to wear a lipstick, I apply this lip balm about 5 mins before to let it sink in a bit.
Initially, I restricted myself to using this balm only while traveling, but that plan didn’t work very well and I soon found myself in an exclusive relationship with this lip product. Now I am at the point where I find myself reaching for this at least a couple of times a day. About four months since my purchase, I’m almost out of this product! My favorite method of application is to generously coat my lips with a thick layer at bed time – smoothest lips guaranteed the next day. Ever since I started using this product, I’ve hardly ever had to use a lip scrub. When I wake up in the morning, my lips are super moisturized, and dead skin’s (if any) brought right up to the surface (if that makes any sense…) and easy to get rid of without having to vigorously scrub my lips.
The fragrance is very light and in line with the scent found in other Tatcha products – Again, I’m very handicapped when it comes to describing fragrances, but I would think this is what the Camellia flower smells like. It’s almost undetectable after a couple of minutes.
I do want to mention that although the thin leaf of gold looks extremely appealing and adds to the overall look of the product, from an application standpoint, I found it a little gimmicky – the leaf does crush upon application, but the flakes don’t completely melt on my lips. I had to do a lot of rubbing in to make it blend. My expectation was that the gold leaf would add a hint of shimmer, a subtle glow, but that didn’t happen.
Overall, this is a beautiful product to own if you have the budget for it. This is not super heavy duty, and not something that you just slather on in the middle of winter when the temperature is in single digits, but it’s more of an everyday balm, to cherish, and to make those beauty moments extra special.
Ingredients from the website: Squalane (Olive Origin), Dimer Dilinoleyl Dimer Dilinoleate, Dextrin Palmitate, Fragrance (Natural), Dextrin Palmitate/Ethylhexanoate, Polyglyceryl-10 Pentaisostearate, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Germ Oil, Camellia Japonica Seed Oil, Water, Stearyl Glycyrrhetinate (Licorice Extract), Oryzanol (Rice Bran Oil Extract), Hydrogenated Lecithin (Soy Origin), Inositol (Rice Extract), Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Alcohol, Glycerin, Algae Extract, Gold.