The Battle of the Lip Duos

Lip duos (part exfoliator/part balm) seem like the best of both worlds. For those of us with chronically dehydrated lips, a little extra on-the-go exfoliator is never a bad thing. Add that together with some moisturizing balm action and you've got a winning product. Or so one would think, but let's examine two lip duos on the market and see how they match up.

tarte fRxtion ($11) has both the natural sugar exfoliator and the moisturizing vitamin E balm mashed together into one stick. This makes it easy to quickly scrub with the sugar and then flip it over to moisturize, leaving you with a smooth, perfect pucker. FRxtion is easy and fun to use and the clever packaging only adds to the charm. The cap has a little pop-up mirror to ensure there aren't any stray sugar crystals on your mouth. This makes the container fairly bulky, however, and it seems like there should be more product in such a big container. I really liked both sides of the duo and thought that they each did their job effectively. One observation is that I wore down the vitamin E much quicker than the sugar, so maybe they should shift the proportion to have 2/3 vitamin E and 1/3 sugar stick. Just an idea.

Jane Iredale Sugar&Butter Lip Exfoliator/Plumper ($25) has a similar mission but goes about it in a slightly different way. It features a tingly lip plumper opposite the brown-sugar based exfoliator. It also segregates the two on either sides of the stick. The packaging for this one is the opposite of fRxtion: very minimal and sleek. The gold casing adds an extra bit of glamour. The sugar exfoliator works about the same , although the brown sugar is a bit harder in texture, which I didn't like. However, it did not wear down as fast as fRxtion, so maybe that is a good thing. The opposite-ended lip plumper is a mixed bag. It has that familiar lip plumper sensation, in this case, caused by a mixture of ginger and mint. As expected, the plumping is minimal. It also adds a not-too-glossy, barely tinted sheen for a nice, minimal makeup look. The problem is that it is definitely not as moisturizing as the vitamin E treatment, despite the fact that it contains shea butter. I would argue that it is hardly moisturizing at all, and maybe, even a little drying.

I love using all-natural sugar crystals for exfoliation (see: The Lip Scrub), so it is awesome to have a portable version. Of the two featured here, I have to say that I prefer fRxtion because my lips need moisture more than they need plumping (and plumpers don't really work anyway). Plus, it is less than half the price of Sugar&Butter and more readily available. Despite fRxtion's cute mirror, the bulky container is annoying and it really should contain more product. It took me just over a month to power through an entire tube, which is pretty incredible.

While both products are quite good, there is room for improvement on the whole concept. What product will be brave enough to step up to my chapped lips and enter The Battle of the Lip Duos? We shall see...

 

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