As a stocking stuffer, a small token of thanks, or even "just because," nothing beats a cute little collection of lip balms. Companies seem to know this because there is no end to the number of absolutely adorable little lip kits available right now. Even the natural/organic brands are getting on board for the season and putting together some very appealing sets. Here are a few that have caught my eye...
Burt's Bees lovers are in luck as they have assembled some very sweet sets. The Burt's Bees Lip Balm Purse Pack ($10) contains four beeswax lip balms and a reusable, canvas, mini purse. It comes in two varieties:
- Classic Collection: four of the original Burt's Bees Beeswax Lip Balms
- Mixed Collection: a Replenishing, a Honey, and two Beeswax Lip Balms
If something a little more sturdy and a little less cutesy is more appealing, then try the Bee Keeper Tin Gift Set ($10). It comes in the same two combinations (Classic and Mixed) only the canvas mini purse is replaced by a fun little tin. Either set is an easy way to keep someone special's pucker in good shape using soothing, natural beeswax. This is especially a good gift for the beauty-averse since the Classic kits contain no tinting or color of any sort -- just helpful, protective lip balm.
Continuing on with the more "natural" brands, Yes to Carrots has a couple four-piece kits available. These tend to be more tinted balms and glosses, so they are a bit more daring than the Burt's. The Four Piece Lip Sampler in Naughty by Night ($13) shown at the left includes two lip glosses and two lip tints all in ravishing, sheer reds. C Me Blush Lip Tints work to enhance the natural lip color and soothe, condition and moisturize. The colors include Chocolate Kiss and Ready Red. Lip Gloss shades include Cocoa Loco and Red Hot. Both Lip Tints and Lip Glosses are made with 95% organic ingredients and get their colors from natural, mineral pigments. They are free of parabens, phthalates, phenols, petroleum and carmine. For the less dramatic, Yes to Carrots offers a softer collection called Delicious by Day ($13) with pinky rose shades that are sure to flatter.
The kit looks to be a very good collection at an even better price. The Nivea Gift Set ($12) includes a small 5oz hand cream perfect for easy carry, two Lip Care balms (one with shimmer) and three glosses in a shiny mini cosmetic bag. The bag has a kind of retro diner look to it, doesn't it?
One of my favorite natural brands, Korres, has several lip kits available for stuffing some stockings. The Korres Lip Saver Roll ($20) offers three of their best-selling, rich lip butters. Including flavors/colors of Pomegranate, Quince and Jasmine, any of these three will bring a natural-looking and healthy tint to the lips. Having previously reviewed the Lip Butters, I can vouch for the lovely, silky texture and rich protection that they provide. The tinting is very subtle and sheer, so this would be perfect for the color-phobe on your list.
And since we're on the subject of sets of three, then why not investigate the Rosebud Three Lavish Layers of Lip Balm ($16). All packaged in a vintage-inspired tin, this collection contains three of the cult-fav Rosebud salves. These popular, full-sized tins contain three varieties of the Rosebud brand: Strawberry Lip Balm, original Rosebud Salve and Minted Rose Lip Balm. Formulated without parabens, sulfates, and phtalates, the Rosebud balms protect, moisturize and provide a very natural sheen to the lips. Keep one for yourself or give the others away -- if you can bear to part with them!
Lastly, for those who prefer their lip balm in a more androgynous format, the Jack Black It's the Balm Lip Trio ($20) contains three of the brand's famous balms. The three different flavors include:
- Vanilla & Lavender: soothing, herbal and healing
- Lemon & Chamomile: mellow and refreshing to calm and soothe
- Natural Mint & Shea Butter: clean and tingly to freshen breath
Certainly there is no end to the creativity and fun that can be had with the very basic item that is lip balm. But, apparently, there is also no limit on the number of balms that I have lost going about daily life. If you are anything like me, then finding one of these sweet and practical little sets in your stocking would definitely be much appreciated.