My love for lip balms and anything with a vanilla fragrance is known to the ones close to me. This obsession grew and culminated into a collection of vanilla body polish, vanilla body butter, vanilla body mist and topped off with a vanilla lip balm (burp!). A sweet ending 🙂
Vanilla is soothing to me. It reminds me of the good ol’ vanilla ice cream sticks that I used to hog as a little kid (the ones that we bought for a ridiculous amount of Rs. 2!) The scent is ingrained in my mind as a reminder of simpler days, when all I needed to remain happy was a synthetic vanilla flavoured dry cake after a meal, or a cup of snow-white vanilla ice cream that my mom used to buy for me at the end of every activity class I attended during summer vacations.
Scents are deeply personal, as one that may appeal to you may never appeal to me. Also, scents are time-bound. What may seem pleasant to you today may seem outrageously kiddish or strong some years down the line. Whatever it may be, but I am glad to be blessed with the olfactory receptors in my nose (and my brain) that capture memories in a vividly different way!
I get back to my lip balm reviews with a vanilla lip balm by Burt’s Bees, aptly called Burt’s Bees Vanilla Bean Lip Balm! Lip balms, as always, remain my most favourite products that I buy and store and forget about and discover some days later in a bag or a forgotten clutch, and then I get hooked again!
Product Description and Claims:
Burt’s Bees website puts the following description and claims for Burt’s Bees Vanilla Bean
“A luxuriously complex and comforting lip balm bursting with all-natural vanilla. Couple that with moisturizing Shea Butter and soothing Vitamin E, and you’ve got a true treat for happy lips.
- Nourishes with Shea Butter and Antioxidant Rich Vitamin E
- Complex Vanilla scent
- 100% Natural”
It also mentions a couple of lines on the uniqueness of vanilla fragrance
“Some things are better with Vanilla.
Did you know that most vanilla flavors are not natural? Since the flowers only bloom for a single day, it takes a special hive of bees or hand pollination to harvest true, natural vanilla.”
Ingredients and Chemistry
Helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil, cocos nucifera (coconut) oil, beeswax (cera alba), flavor (aroma ), ricinus communis (castor) seed oil, lanolin, ammonium glycyrrhizate, butyrospermum parkii (shea) butter, canola oil (huile de colza), glycine soja (soybean) oil, rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf extract, theobroma cacao (cocoa) seed butter, tocopherol, vanilla planifolia fruit extract, vanilla tahitensis fruit extract
While it is pretty clear from the ingredients list what is what, I will try to break down below:
Moisturizing agents: Helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil, cocos nucifera (coconut) oil, beeswax (cera alba), ricinus communis (castor) seed oil, lanolin, butyrospermum parkii (shea) butter, canola oil (huile de colza), glycine soja (soybean) oil, theobroma cacao (cocoa) seed butter
Flavoring agent: Ammonium glycyrrhizate, vanilla planifolia fruit extract, vanilla tahitensis fruit extract
Antimicrobial agent: Rosemary leaf extract
Packaging: Like a typical Burt’s Bee lip balm, Burt’s Bees Vanilla Bean Lip Balm comes in a retractable tube of a honeycomb yellow color with a deep midnight blue colored cap. It is sturdy and snaps shut with a hard click. All the product details are mentioned on the pack. It is travel friendly and hygienic to use.
Color and Scent: This variant is white in color and goes clear on the lips, like regular Vaseline. The scent is what is the fight is all about! It is true to its name and completely reminds me of vanilla. I would go on to describe it as a milky vanilla aroma, which, for me, is quite comforting. This is what I seek in a flavoured lip balm, and I got it here! It still will not be my favourite vanilla lip balm (because you know, I have tonnes!). But I would recommend it if you are looking for a completely natural vanilla lip balm. To top it all, it is also slightly sweet in taste (definitely making you kissilicious!).
Texture and Effectiveness: It is light on the lips and leaves a very fine coating of the balm on the lips. It is quite comfortable and smooth. It does not leave your lips too glossy or shiny, making it fit for use by men also. The moisturization factor is just apt if your lips are not Sahara desert kind of dry. It heals minor chapping in a couple of days, so does get the thumbs up from me for the hydration part! It may feel a bit waxy to some as it obviously contains beeswax. But still, it is not cloying. With repeated use, I got used to its sensation and now find it quite comfortable and not waxy at all. It feels like you have a protective layer of something on your lips. Since I have used Burt’s Bees Vanilla Bean for a very long time and across several seasons, I found it lacking and inadequate during winters when my lips were drier, however, during Indian summers and monsoons, I kinda like it more (despite the tube being almost finished, I still reach out for it often!). So it becomes one of my favourite lip balms in summers, while it won’t be on my “To Buy” list in winters. I guess the temperature might be the culprit as winter coldness makes the waxes harder, making it difficult for enough product to deposit on the skin, while at normal temperatures, it does settle on the skin better, hence functioning better. All being said, I would say I do like it!
FFS Rating: 3.5/5 (major deduction because of availability issues and higher price in India. At $3.5 in the US, I would rate it a 4/5)
Price: I think it retails at Rs 450-500 in Sephora outlets. Online prices vary in India.
Where to Buy: Burt’s Bees Vanilla Bean Lip Balm is available in Sephora stores across India and some online portals.
PROs and CONs
- The vanilla scent is pretty true to its name
- It is sweet! And could be pretty yummy kissing experience!
- Travel friendly tube
- Little goes a long way, a single coat is all you need normally
- 100% natural, with no preservatives or artificial colors
- Unisex lip balm, can be used by the men as it is free from glossy sheen (which men are not generally fond of…)
- Works adequately well during summers
- Not easily available in India, you would have to go mall hopping to specific locations having Sephora
- Expensive! At ~Rs 500, it is one of the more expensive lip balms around at least in India.
- Not very effective during winters!
- Since it is only fit for day-time use hence, it lacks SPF
Final Verdict: Personally, I may buy it again but only if someone gets it for me from the US! I didn’t really find it worth Rs 500 or so (that’s ~2 times its US price). I would recommend you to buy it only if you are very fond of vanilla lip balms and want one with an authentic scent. The good thing is that it’s all natural and works in summers. Hence, you decide!