lip care

Review: philosophy The Winter Escape Gift Set

The Angel and the Devil: A Play in One Very Short Scene

The role of the Angel on Voxy’s Shoulder will be played tonight, as it is every night, by a Sophisticated Lady.

The role of the Devil on Voxy’s Other Shoulder will be played, as usual, by Little Voxy, a very vocal inner six-year-old who likes everything that sparkles, has rhinestones, is pink, and/or smells like cake (or anything in the same general family as cake, which includes pretty much everything that can be found in the baking aisle at the supermarket).

Little Voxy: Hey! Philosophy has a new winter gift set out! It has peppermint hot cocoa body wash in it! And MARSHMALLOW body cream and lip gloss!

Sophisticated Lady: You know that We do not like philosophy.

Little Voxy: But it’s on sale! A really big sale! And it’s marshmallow! That’s my favorite! I mean, besides cake, of course.

Sophisticated Lady: It does not matter. We have tried the products and We do not like them. Also, We have bath products coming out of Our ears.

Little Voxy: Oh. OK. Hey, look over there!

Sophisticated Lady: What? <turns elegantly coiffed head away briefly>

Little Voxy: <swiping credit card> Oh, uh, nothing. I just thought I saw something sensible and boring over there that you might like.

Sophisticated Lady: <sniffs disapprovingly>

Little Voxy: Never mind. Please, go back to what you were telling me about cashmere twinsets and pearl chokers. It was so very interesting. I will just hop on the computer here and take some notes in my web browser, so as not to miss anything. Don’t mind me.

~~ FIN ~~

So, that’s how I ended up with the philosophy Winter Escape gift set. You cannot turn your back on Little Voxy for one minute, apparently. And in her defense, it was a really good sale.

The Winter Escape gift set includes a 4-oz. container of Peppermint Hot Cocoa 3-in-1 (shampoo/shower gel/bubble bath), a tube of Melting Marshmallow Cream lip shine, and a 2-oz. container of Melting Marshmallow Cream body soufflé. I do love foody bath products, and as I think I’ve mentioned before, my primary complaint about philosophy’s bath products is that they are specifically engineered not to leave scent on your skin after they are rinsed off. This has always seemed to me to be a waste of a good fragrance. I don’t want to smell like cinnamon buns for three minutes in the shower; I want to smell like cinnamon buns all day.

And so what really made me buy this was that it had products in which the scent was designed to last: the lip shine and the body soufflé. And I have a terrible, terrible weakness for things that are marshmallow-scented (Little Voxy definitely rules the roost here). So this seemed like a win right out of the gate, yes?


The 3-in-1 body wash is just fine. It does, indeed, smell like peppermint hot cocoa. Yay. And, in accordance with the rest of their bath products, the second you rinse it off it becomes merely an olfactory memory.

The marshmallow body soufflé was a huge disappointment. First of all, it doesn’t really smell like marshmallows. If you waved it under my nose without telling me what it was and asked me to identify it, I would have said it smells like hot cocoa sweetened with powdered sugar. It is sweet, but it doesn’t have that particular marshmallow scent that I love. The skin-feel of the product is also disappointing. I expect something that’s called a soufflé to have a little more body to it — this is a lotion that when applied almost immediately becomes very wet, watery, and thin-feeling. During the absorption period my hands were extremely sticky, and a little bit of residue remained on my hands even after the product was long-dry. I didn’t find that it had any significant moisturizing value at all, even though the ingredient list has a lot of the right things in it. It just wasn’t for me.

The best-performing product out of the lot is the marshmallow lip shine, but even it doesn’t quite live up to expectations. This one does, at least, smell like marshmallows, and tastes reasonably like them, too. (You’re not supposed to eat it, of course, but you do end up tasting it when you talk or lick your lips or whatnot.) It is shiny, and has a little bit of iridescent sparkle in it that is unobtrusive and doesn’t make you look like you went bobbing for apples in a tub full of glitter. It’s not terribly long-lasting, and it’s a little thicker and heavier on my lips than I’d like, like marshmallow-flavored Vaseline.

I also have to mention the packaging, which is both cute and annoying. It’s cute because the interior of the box it comes in is like a room in a dollhouse version of a log cabin: there’s a little fireplace and a little window with little snowflakes falling outside, and it’s all very precious. It’s annoying because the damn thing is triangular and therefore you can’t stack anything on top of it. What I would really like to do is send it to my friend in Canada so she can use it as a stage for her Foucault and Jane Austen finger puppets.

So, all in all, a disappointment for me. I’ll use the products up, but next time I am tempted by one of these philosophy sets I’m going to have to distract Little Voxy with strawberry-frosted cupcakes with edible glitter so that we don’t have another one of these incidents.


philosophy The Winter Escape gift set: $19

Provenance: Purchased.

Price/Value Ratio (high-end: poor/fair/good/excellent): Well, if you liked the products, you would probably say Excellent, especially at the sale price. You do get a full-size tube of lip shine and the body soufflé container is generous enough in size that you would get some mileage out of it. I don’t think it deserves a Poor price/value rating just because I didn’t like the products, especially since I sort-of knew what I was getting into.

Purchase again? I won’t repurchase, but if you like philosophy products, it’s a good deal.

(Have you used this product? Love it? Hate it? Want it? Give a holler in the comments!)

Review: Korres Lip (and Body) Butters

korres pomegranate lip butterI know it seems like even though this blog is only a few weeks old, it’s already been kind of lippy. That’s actually unusual, because up until now I haven’t been that much of a lip fanatic. (You would not believe how much having this blog has changed my skincare and makeup habits. Of course I have to wear lipstick! I have a responsibility! It is my sacred duty!)

Here’s the review in a nutshell: run-don’t-walk to your nearest Sephora or ULTA and pick up the amazingly fantastic Korres lip butter. “Full price” for this is only $9, so I’m marking it a steal even though it feels like a splurge.

A full-size container of the Pomegranate Lip Butter came with the Sephora sampler pack I mentioned previously (which is made of win, by the way; more reviews to follow but I have three rave products already, of which this is one!).

But considering that November is All Largely Somewhat About Skincare, I figure I can get this in under “skincare” just as easily as under “makeup,” because it is without a doubt the most fabulous-feeling lip product I have ever had the pleasure to apply, and that includes hot fudge.

Some other time I’ll get into my rant about lip balms, waxes, and other supposed dry-lip solutions. (Do you know what’s in Carmex? Yeeesh.) So you can safely assume I didn’t have high hopes for this product. As has happened several times recently (DuWop Circle Block, Almay Smart Shade foundation), I am pleased to be wrong, wrong, wrong. The lip-feel of this product is nothing short of extraordinary.

Not only that, but the color is fantastic: a sheer translucent full-bodied pink with a hint of melon. Gor. Geous. This is a product with some fragrance, but I don’t find it obtrusive: it’s a delicious fruity scent.

I do, of course, wish it had more staying power. But it’s easy to reapply and feels so good that frankly you might want to apply every hour just for the sybaritic pleasure of it.

There are several other shades available, besides the scrumptious Pomegranate: Guava, for those of you who prefer an untinted lip butter, and tinted butters in the following shades: Quince, Wild Rose, Jasmine, Plum, and Mango. Bonus: you can also use them on your cheeks if you’re out of blush. (OK, I sometimes do that anyway, but these are specifically approved for that.)


To up the “skincare” legitimacy of this entry, I’ll also mention that I recently tested a sample of the Korres Guava Body Butter, which I liked but which I didn’t feel like plunking down $29 for. (I mean, really.) They have a sampler/gift kit that has three smaller-but-still-reasonably-sized tubes in it (Guava, Quince, and Fig), which was, I think, $24.50? Something like that. Anyway, still too expensive. But as it happened, my next stop on the way home was TJMaxx, and lo and behold, what did I discover in TJMaxx but the exact same body butter 3-pack for the low low price of $6.99. Well, now, that’s a different story. I may review these later as part of a hand/body cream round-up.


Korres Lip Butter: $9

Provenance: Purchased (part of Sephora sampler pack)

Price/Value Ratio (high-end: poor/fair/good/excellent): Excellent

Purchase again? You bet your sweet lips I will.

(Have you used these products? Love ’em? Hate ’em? Want ’em? Let us know in the comments!)