Sunday, October 21, 2012

Nivea Lip Care Balms

Before I left to Taipei, I picked up 2 of these Nivea A Kiss of Smoothness Hydrating Lip Care SPF 10 for hubby. I had just seen Citrine's post on the Kiss of Milk & Honey Soothing Lip Care and was rather curious, but I figured I already had an ample supply of balm tints I'd be bringing with me, and hubby is quite fussy and hates lip balms with any kind of scent or taste in it.

Nivea A Kiss of Smoothness Hydrating Lip Care SPF10. In Taiwan, they are called Hydro Care Lip Balm and in Japan, they get a bit confusing with 2 similar products, one in the same sky blue chubby round tube called Moisture Lip Unscented and one in a more classic chapstick twist up tube called Moisture Lip Water Type Unscented

- A Kiss of Smoothness Hydrating Lip Care SPF10: similar to the Fruity Shine Lip Balm SPF10 available in Taiwan, I find this to be way better, as in more moisturizing and lasts longer than the Maybelline Baby Lips 010 Peppermint and 005 Quenched (will review later). Hubby loves this as well, though he says he doesn't need it as much since it's so humid here in Taiwan that his lips are seldom dry or chapped. I slathered on lip balm regardless ^.^

The below 3 lip balms I picked up here in Taipei at the same time as the Fruity Shines. The whole Nivea lip care line was on sale at Watsons for NT$65 each (~ US$2.20) which is cheaper than US retail of $2.99, so I thought I'd give each flavor a try. They are called Nivea Pure & Natural "insert flavor", versus A Kiss of "insert flavor" at home. In Japan, they only come in the classic chapstick twist up tube and are called Deep Moisture "insert flavor".

Nivea Pure & Natural (Taiwan) Milk & Honey (left), Olive & Lemon (middle), and Camomile & Calendula (right).

The Nivea Pure & Natural come in the chubby round tube with flat end-ended caps. Like the Fruity Shines, they are not localized products but are made in Germany and have Chinese descriptions taped over the original English. Their texture is just a touch thicker and waxier than their tinted sisters, but still they glide on satisfyingly smooth and still are excellent lip balms in terms of moisture and lasting power. They are totally clear and also leave a slight sheen, though less so than the Fruity Shines. Either way, save for the name change, I expected them to be essentially the same as those at home. Well, as it turns out, this is not necessarily true ^.^

Milk & Honey

Olive & Lemon

Camomile & Calendula

Milk & Honey: smells more like honey than milk, which seems to be consistent with the ones at home. I usually can't stand honey scents because they can get quite too sweet and coying, sometimes even pungent. However, this scent is mild and is nowhere as strong as, say L'Occitane Honey & Lemon Delightful Cream

Olive & Lemon: this one is the biggest, and most pleasant, surprise out of all the Nivea lip balms I have ^.^ The moment I opened up the cap, I did a double take because I thought I had bought the wrong lip balm. It doesn't anything like olive or lemon. Instead, has a distinctive scent of - guess what - tea! To be more precise, it has a top note of green tea and an end note of tea leaf, totally reminiscent of the facial green tea soaps that are so popular in Japan like the Cow Brand's Shizen Gokochi Cha Sekken Tea Soap, which scented my sister's entire luggage when she lugged it with her on her move home, and the Tabibijin Cha Sekken Facial Cleansing Bar, which made my whole toiletry cabinet smell nice. Let's just say I had a major huh?-what-the-!! moment before going on to sniff my stick of lip balm like a lunatic. It's a pretty damn authentic tea scent and not the "pretend-tea" you get at home, formulated by someone who obviously has no idea what tea really smells like. Have you ever sniff a pouch of of fresh loose leaf Asian tea? Because that's what this Olive & Lemon lip balm smells like! It smells so freakin' convincing I scrutinized its list of ingredients. I was so sure that tea is in there somewhere! But nope, no actual tea ingredient. It just smells wonderfully like tea.

Anyway, I've read a few people's complaint on Makeup Alley that the tea scent is a tad too strong for them. So yes, do keep in mind whether or not you like the fragrance of tea in general because it's not for everyone. As for myself, I grew up smelling this stuff so to me it's super fresh and invigorating, if not even a bit nostalgic. I gave it to hubby to take a whiff, and he loves the scent too. Apparently the US version only has a mild lemony scent, and between hubby and I, we totally agree that the tea scent is way nicer. You know, before toothpaste and teeth brushing was invented, upon waking up in the morning people used to rinse their mouths out with strongly brewed tea to get rid of morning breath. I totally see that wisdom now whenever I apply this lip balm and can smell the lingering tea scent on my own lips. I've never had a tea scented lip balm before, and after gushing about it to my sister, who by the way is coming to visit me here in Taipei in just a few days(!), she promptly "pre-ordered" 6 sticks for herself. Erhh...let's see about that, because after having combed through so many different Watsons and Cosmed branches in my area, I could only find 2 sticks. I take that to mean I'm not the only one who finds this tea scent addicting.

- Camomile & Calendula: after the super nice Olive & Lemon surprise above I couldn't help but feel this one is just meh LOL! It smells somewhat like herbally Chinese medicine, with a faint swipe of Irish Spring soap. Yes, sounds weird, but it's not a bad scent, though nothing tops the tea scent above. Also, this particular lip balm is slightly waxier than the other two. Still better than Baby Lips, in my humble opinion.

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