Not Safe For May

Disclaimer: Real-life exposition.

I have very sensitive skin. Beyond that, I’m allergic to Vitamin E. I first found this out in 2008 when I went to San Diego for Comic-Con. I tried a new lip gloss and my lips became INFLAMED. Itchy, dry, peeling… red around the edges. Ugh. At first I thought the climate change was responsible for the pain. This continued for some time, then I discovered Aquaphor. That held me over for a couple of years. I had to reapply at least twice in an hour. Last year I made the switch to Bag Balm, and slowly I reverted back to something I could buy under $3 at the drugstore: old, faithful Chapstick. Medicated, of course. Since then, I’ve been introducing lip products to my skin, testing to see if they work or not. Last year I tried on a gorgeous Laura Mercier lip gloss that unfortunately, made my lips itch like crazy. I finally thought to compare ingredients. I knew the Sugar lip gloss from 2008 was a no-go. I could handle a MAC Cremesheen. This Laura Mercier one, nay. What I discovered was that the Sugar & LM glosses both had Tocopherol in them. Tocopherol is a derivative of Vitamin E. So is Tocopheryl Acetate, but I seem to be able to tolerate that. I think I’ve come to the conclusion that Tocopherol has to be towards the end of the ingredient list for me to be able to wear it without flaring up. So as you can imagine, my hunt for lip products is an excruciating one. For a lip product to become a staple in my purse, it has to go through weeks, if not months of testing.


Today I wanted to answer Birchbox’s Birchblogger prompt:

How Many Lip Products Are in Your Purse?

For me, the magic number is 5.
1. Medicated Chapstick – I enjoy the menthol tingle; it really helps to calm my lips when they get itchy or irritated or just plain wind-blown. Plus, this is my go-to lip base. It creates the perfect canvas!
2. Fresh Sugar Rose Lip Tint SPF 15 – This is so pretty and has such a subtle tint. I’m able to wear this because Tocopherol leans towards the end of the ingredients list. This lip tint is super easy and cute. If I don’t have time to look in the mirror to apply, I’ll usually reach for this. The packaging is uber chic, too.
3. MAC Jubilee – A pinky brown nude. I spent a long time at a MAC store finding my perfect nude, and I think it’s between this and Cherish. Jubilee has a little bit more kick to her, so I favor this one over the other. It’s always smart to have a nude on hand when you’re feeling all Kardashian-like.
4. Revlon Lip Butter in Candy Apple – I’m still testing these butters out but so far, I think they’re potential candidates. This is a great classic apple red. And because of the balm consistency, if I over apply, it’s really easy to blot/dab to adjust to my preference. I save this one for those pin-up days (you know).
5. Stila Lip Glaze in Grapefruit – This sheer pink lip glaze looks good over anything, I swear. I don’t know what it is about this, but I would wear this over black lipstick if absolutely necessary. Probably my favorite lip gloss!

So those are the guys hiding out in my purse! I wonder what the next trial product will be. I thiiiiink I hear Too Faced’s new La CrΓ¨me calling my name. Take a look at that ingredient list; no Tocopherol to be found!


Mayette Villanueva is a California-based natural beauty & style blogger.


  1. Reply


    August 27, 2012

    I love that you’re a Stila girl, too! πŸ™‚

  2. Reply


    September 4, 2012

    Fresh Sugar smells so good, ugh.