Men’s Colognes That Smell Clean, Manly & Good. Also, Men’s Colognes Women Can Steal.

Men’s Colognes That Smell Clean, Manly & Good. Also, Men’s Colognes Women Can Steal.

I get asked for cologne advice all the time, so I figured I should share some of my favourite suggestions. I always feel a little nauseated when I peruse the men’s fragrance counter. Men’s scents have gone the same direction women’s have – everyone copying each other, nothing very original, and loads of ingredients that make fragrances stronger and last longer so they can use less fine ingredients. You don’t want those.

Let’s start with basic “eau de colognes”. These are usually citrus and herbal scents. Eau de colognes are soft and non obtrusive, allowing for the skin chemistry of the wearer to come through. The original eau de cologne can be traced back to 1709. You will never offend anyone in the office with soapy clean eau de colognes, and you will probably make new friends because you smell so darn good. Let’s start with cheap to spendy, emphasizing that cheap doesn’t mean “smells bad”. I’m only recommending stuff that smells good, and you can choose the price point you like.

The Bargain Hunter Who Smells Amazing:

4711 cologne

4711 Eau de Cologne: This cologne has a storied history, but let’s say it’s been around in it’s current form since around 1800. I love it, it smells clean fresh and wonderful. It is very soft, and not particularly long lasting, but it costs a song, so reapply as you wish. Bottles around 100ml ( I think they are 90ml/3oz) are under $20 at pretty much every drugstore. You’re welcome.

roger gallet jean marie farina

Roger & Gallet Jean Marie Farina: This guy started making his eau de colognes before 4711 did, and apparently there was some drama between these two houses. At any rate, Roger & Gallet Jean Marie Farina is a bit stronger and longer lasting than 4711, and I’d say its more “zesty” and interesting. I love it, and it really does have that clean soapy feeling without smelling like detergent. More like expensive French soap. A 100ml bottle is around $40, in Canada you can get it at The Bay. US shoppers can find stockists here.

The Sophisticated And Understated Guy:

hermes eau d orange verte

Hermes Eau d’Orange Verte: This is soft, elegant, simple and easy to wear. Hermes Eau d’Orange Verte was created in 1979 and really feels like splashing fresh invigorating citrus water all over. The green notes gently take over as the citrus notes fade, and like falling leaves, your skin is left subtly scented. It’s almost a dry scent, due to the mossy notes, and is understated and elegant in the way only Hermes can do. Available at Hermes boutiques and department store fragrance counters, a 100ml bottle is around $115.

guerlain eau de guerlain

Guerlain Eau de Guerlain: It’s no secret I am a massive Guerlain fan, and their 1974 contribution to the world of eau de colognes is one of my favourites. The citrus notes are simply gorgeous – elegant and understated in a way that only the French can do. The base of this eau de cologne packs a little more punch than most with a sexy musky undertone that makes it irresistible. Try this if you want to walk softly and carry a sexy scent. Available at Guerlain boutiques and some of the larger Guerlain counters in department stores, it’s around $130 for 100ml.

The Cologne Connoisseur: 

aqua di parma colonia

Acqua di Parma Colonia: Cary Grant wore this. Ava Gardner did, too. It smells like Hollywood in the 50s, crisply ironed white linen shirts, and sailing in the sunshine off the Amalfi coast. I think the quiet woodsy notes in the base of this are what make it my number one favourite eau de cologne. I own it and love it, and think the world would be a better place if more people did the same. A 100ml bottle is around $165, and is available at finer department stores fragrance counters. Also, Sephora has it as it online exclusive.

tom ford neroli portofino

Tom Ford Neroli Portofino: Easily the most expensive of eau de colognes, Tom Ford’s Neroli Portofino is also a yummy one. Slightly more floral with emphasis on the orange blossom, and the soft ambery dry down, you’ve got to really love this one the most to justify the approximately $315 that a 100ml bottle will set you back. I really love it, but have yet felt moved to shell out that kind of cash. The bottle is gorgeous, and yes it smells amazing – Tom Ford brings his almost obsessive elegant aesthetic to all his fragrances, and this is no exception. If you want the creme de la creme of eau de colognes, then Tom Ford is your man. Available at Holt Renfrew in Canada and Neiman’s in the US. Maybe some other department stores too.

Steve McQueen Jaguar XK SS

Ok, guys, any eau de colognes I missed that I need to know about? Share!



Floris Rose Geranium, Marilyn Monroe’s Other Perfume

Floris Rose Geranium, Marilyn Monroe’s Other Perfume

Marilyn Monroe is famously known for wearing Chanel No5, ‘What do I wear in bed? Why, Chanel No. 5, of course.’ Maybe she had a deal with Chanel, who knows? Because it would seem that she also loved another perfume, and she loved it so much that she had her personal assistant purchase six bottles. That would be Floris Geranium Rose, an unusual yet classic perfume composition of rose, geranium, citronella and cedarwood.

Marilyn Monroe reading (1)

I say unusual because it is not a devastatingly feminine scent, nor is it a scent one might associate with a sex symbol of Marilyn’s stature. Instead, I like to think Floris Rose Geranium would have been the scent of the Marilyn  who was well read, intelligent and savvy. Not the breathy, flirty Marilyn she showed the world, but a deep thinker and an incredibly charismatic woman who, to this day, still holds the fascination of the world.

Floris Rose Geranium Marilyn Monroe

I was fortunate enough to receive a beautiful bottle of Floris Rose Geranium Bath Essence. The perfume itself is sadly, not made anymore, but Floris London still makes Rose Geranium in a Bath Essence and Luxury Soap. The scent is bracing, fresh and I would even say unisex. The citronella and geranium combine to create an illusion of a green lime scent – as green as the magical essence itself. The rose is there, but it’s no soft powdery girly rose. In fact, there is nothing really soft about this at all. It is fresh and clean in a big way, and makes me think of a dew covered giant tea rose. There is a soapy aspect to the scent, as well as a classic and traditional scent, without being old fashioned. The perfume lasts on a the skin for a few hours, and by then has softened considerably. It also gently softens the water and your skin – lovely.

I can only guess at what the perfume smells like, but the bath essence is one of the freshest and most invigorating products I own. My whole house smells like a garden with roses and fresh green citrus after I take a bath. I still wish I could have sampled the perfume, but am thrilled with my little bit of perfume history in a bottle, with my Floris Rose Geranium Bath Essence.

Floris London Rose Geranium Bath Essence is available in their shops and from their website, and is around $85 USD for a 50ml bottle.

Summer Scentsibility

Summer Scentsibility

Hot steamy weather calls for different scents than you might want to wear when the weather is cold. Soft, tropical and lush florals, fruity delights, herbal “pick me ups” and “out of the shower fresh” perfumes can take the place of  the heavier, richer and sweeter more resinous perfumes we might bust out on cooler days.

Joy Harmon's famous car wash scene in Cool Hand Luke

Joy Harmon’s famous car wash scene in Cool Hand Luke



mimosa pour moi

la chasse aux papillons

My favourite summer florals right now are both by L’Artisan Parfumeur. La Chasse aux Papillons, a tuberose-orange blossom-jasmine walk through a sunny field of wildflowers, is a perennial fave. It’s soapy and sexy at the same time, and will always be in my collection. It’s soft and airy, so don’t let the tuberose scare you. It’s like orange blossom soap, and I rhapsodize about it here. Mimosa Pour Moi is another one I adore. The uber fresh top note of violet leaf is a lovely foil to the sexy sweet and musky mimosa, and adds a green freshness to this lovely floral. A touch of cassis and a sexy skin musk base make this lovely on hot summer nights.

Fruity Delights:

diorealla pic 2 dark

mary greenwell lemon perfume eau de parfum

Citrus fruits are cooling and energizing, like the perfume version of a cool shower, which makes them perfect for summer’s heat. Wearing them makes me feel freshly scrubbed and pretty. Dior Diorella is a lemony delight, with a sexy green and earthy base to keep it from being too clean and sterile. It has that 70s unisex eau de cologne vibe, and goes perfectly with a that slinky maxi dress and glass of prosecco. This is a grown up fruit scent, the female side of Dior Eau Sauvage. Sweet little girls may want to stick to Bath & Body Works. You can read more about Diorella here. Another sexy lemon is Mary Greenwell Lemon. This baby is amped up with some oakmoss and patchouli for extra allure, and if you love lemons you must try this. Check out my review of Lemon here.

Herbal pick me ups for out of the shower freshness:


guerlain eau de lit

Lavender is a lovely note that calms and relaxes while smelling squeaky clean at the same time. My fave lavender is Chanel Jersey, which is lavender with a feminine powdery twist. It has a sexy musk base that makes sure this is NOT your grandmother’s lavender sachet. Calming for daytime, elegant and ladylike for nighttime. You can read my rave about Jersey here. Another lovely herbal scent for summer is Guerlain Eau de Lit, with notes of coriander, sage and even star anise. A touch of fruit adds sweetness to this unusual yet gentle skin scent, making it perfect when you just want a touch of perfume. Make no mistake, Eau de Lit is feminine, and only Guerlain could toss herbs and fruits around, then add a soupcon of vanilla and musk, and ta-da, you smell like you are ready for bed. Or a party. A bed party? Your choice. Guerlain Eau de Lit is only available at select Guerlain boutiques (I got mine in Toronto on Bloor Street) and some exclusive Guerlain counters. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Guerlain Jicky, the world’s sexiest lavender perfume. Also, the worlds oldest perfume still in production, Jicky is lavender mixed with sex. Don’t believe me? Try it yourself. You can read my ode to Gueralin Jicky  eau de parfum here. Jicky eau de toilette is lighter and fresher and perhaps, less dangerous.

charlies angels white summer clothes

Don’t get me wrong. These are not the only perfumes I wear in the summer, and you can take the fruity/floral/herbal themes and explore a whole world of lovely perfumes. We have to start somewhere, though. What are your favourite scents for summer?

Smell Like The Future: Robert Piguet Futur Perfume

Smell Like The Future: Robert Piguet Futur Perfume

Robert Piguet Futur is one of their original fragrances, originally released in the 60s.  At some point it was discontinued, likely due in part to the 60+ ingredients in the original version. Yesterday’s Perfumes has an enchanting review of the vintage formula. It’s been re-released and reworked with published notes of  bergamot, neroli, violet, jasmine, ylang, vetiver, cedar, patchouli. This perfume makes me think of the sounds of brilliantly discordant jazz. It seems haphazard but somehow it works and is strangely beautiful.

Futur is a “green” scent, and true to a good green perfume, I smell a ton of forest and resinous galbanum. It’s not listed as an ingredient but that may just be because by today’s perfume note listing standards, it’s more about advertising than actually listing the “notes”. My first impression of Futur is neon Irish Spring soap in a field of wildflowers. The floral notes just sing, in a gorgeous classical perfume way. I get an impression of floral/green classics like Joy, Ma Griffe, a hint of Miss Dior (original) and even a bit of Guerlain Chamade. The fresh florals give way to sexy jasmine and ylang and then become smoky vetiver. It’s like a ghost of classic perfumes with a crisp clean modern perfume built around it. It is clean and sexy at the same time – the sexy has something to with the woodsy patchouli base. It’s almost like an incense with that intoxicating smoky resinous goodness. I feel engergized when I wear Futur, and like I can do anything. Futur can go from jeans to the boardroom to a night out on the town. I love it, and wish I could try the parfum/extrait version – it must be so dense and gorgeous. The chewy mouth watering green-ness of Futur is addictive. I huff my wrists when I wear it.

Verdict is love, but I would caution buying this without sniffing. It’s not for the faint of heart, even though in the end it dries down to a sexy skin scent that smells like heaven to me. It’s not easy to love, and it doesn’t have the mass appeal of, say, Pink Sugar. If you are willing to step outside of the average perfume box and smell special, you should sniff it out. Also – if you like Irish Spring. Manly, yes, but I like it too….


Robert Piguet perfumes are available at specialty department stores, listed here on their website. And at The Perfume Shoppe in Canada. I don’t see Futur on their site but perhaps they can order it in. Ogilvy in Montreal carries the line as well.

7 Virtues Afghanistan Orange Blossom: True Beauty in Perfume

7 Virtues Afghanistan Orange Blossom: True Beauty in Perfume

Have you heard of The 7 Virtues, the Canadian perfume company headed up by Barb Stegmann? If you haven’t, please let me share the amazing story behind this company with you. Barb Stegman, the CEO of The 7 Virtues, is an amazing woman, with a compelling mission. I have corresponded with her a bit, as I had asked her for some samples of her perfumes to review. I kept reading lovely things and wanted to know more!

Barb tells me she had a normal life, a good life, and business was good at her firm in BC. Then, the unthinkable happened. Her best friend, a Canadian soldier, was attacked and wounded while in Afghanistan. She spent a year in the hospital with him, visualizing his healing journey with his wife and family. She promised him she would take on his mission of economic empowerment for families in Afghanistan while he healed [I told you – Barb is no ordinary woman]. She realized that she was not a brave soldier, nor was she a world leader with political clout. But, as a North American, she felt she didn’t have a way to touch peace. Yet- she knew she had buying power. She began writing her book and dedicating it to her friend- The 7 Virtues of a Philosopher Queen. The 7 virtues are: Wonder, Moderation, Truth, Courage, Justice, Wisdom and Beauty. She told me that her fragrances are the thesis rising up out of her book. The principles of the book, the stoic wisdom she has is the action through the fragrances. With her best friend’s mission in mind, Barb read about this gentleman named Abdullah Arsala. He was growing the legal crops of orange blossom and rose to provide an alternative to the illegal poppy crop. Barb knew Abdullah was the way to peace. She reached out to him and began to purchase his legal oils for her fragrance collection. She has invested over $100,000 legal dollars in Afghanistan instead of the illegal poppy crops. This liberates farmers and is her way of helping to build peace. Every time  The 7 Virtues sells a fragrance, they can buy more oils to liberate farmers from the same oppressors that attacked her dear friend. Again. No ordinary woman.

Ok. Now that I have warmed your hearts and restored your faith in humanity, let’s talk about perfume! The 7 Virtues Afghanistan Orange Blossom is what I am wearing today, and let me tell you- I love it. If you click the orange blossom tag on my blog you’ll know it is a favourite note of mine, and that I am a sucker for the scent of orange blossom. It’s a sensual and warm floral note, and The 7 Virtues Orange Blossom is that and more. It has the rich creamy deliciousness of orange blossom that I so adore, yet it seems to sparkle on the skin like raindrops. It’s not heady or heavy, and even if you are a little shy of floral scents, you need to try this one. There is a light sprinkling of jasmine and freesia that balance the orange blossom beautifully. The freesia adds freshness and a green aspect, with a little bit of a peppery note, which keeps the orange blossom and jasmine from being too sweet. It’s beautifully balanced, and brings to mind a beautiful orange blossom soap I got in France years ago. Afghanistan Orange Blossom smells pretty, fresh and clean. Verdict? I love it. It’s soothing and easy to wear, and I’ve already had a few compliments….which always works for me! So, if you want to smell AND feel wonderful, get The 7 Virtues Afghanistan Orange Blossom, and watch Daly Beauty for more reviews and a surprise….

Here is one more thing from Barb. Remember her dear friend, the soldier who was wounded in Afghanistan? He was the best man at her wedding this summer. As Barb said to me “We can leave a better footprint than we found. It is possible”. Thank you, Barb. And thanks too, to Brett Wilson, her partner and mentor. He took a chance on her perfume when she visited The Dragon’s Den.

The 7 Virtues perfumes are available across Canada at The Bay, on Air Canada Duty Free, and, starting in November, Daly Beauty is thrilled to announce that American buyers will be able to buy The 7 Virtues perfumes at Lord & Taylor! You can also buy directly from The 7 Virtues website


Who Doesn’t Want Lovely Jubblies?

Who Doesn’t Want Lovely Jubblies?

Seriously? Is there anyone? Ok, just to be clear, jubblies is a cute word which is British slang for “breasts”. I don’t know why, but I like it. It sounds so….happy. Happy, perky and bouncy even. See what I did there?

My, my, Miss Mansfield, what lovely jubblies you have….

Anyways…LUSH has a cream called Lovely Jubblies for those of use who would like a delicately fragrant, firm and pert chest. This breast cream is full of rich and delicious moisturizing & skin tone improving ingredients like coco butter, almond oil, jojoba oil and rosehip oil. LUSH uses cold-pressed organic oils and fresh flower infusions with the aim of tightening and firming the skin, as well as improving skin tone and elasticity. Then there are the “delicately fragrant” ingredients, which are gorgeous and feminine, almost to the point of being dangerous. Rose, jasmine, orange blossom, orange blossom honey (fragrant AND good for your skin) and ylang ylang.  There is a delicate lily note hiding in there – Tiger lilies actually. They apparently have astringent properties and are often used to tighten the skin- perfect for “firming up wobbly bits”.These are all beautiful scents on their own, but downright intoxicating when combined. Especially with the sweet creamy base of coco butter. Mouth-watering, almost. The cream has a lovely texture, without the greasy slippery base of the ubiquitous silicone based products. Coco butter isn’t greasy, and basically just soaks in to beautifully moisturize. So I am using this on more than just my “jubblies”. It soothes and smoothes the skin, and leaves only soft scented skin behind. I use it on my chest, my neck, as well as on my stomach, thighs…and more. It is wonderful on knees and elbows. Have I noticed a marked improvement? Not really, but I don’t ever use any product expecting miracles. Does my skin feel soft, smooth and does it smell good? Absolutely. I really like using LUSH Lovely Jubblies at bedtime, or after the bath. The scent and soothing ritual of the application just feels good, and the scent has encouraged sweet dreams….

Verdict? LOVE. The floral notes in this cream are all my favourites, and are a home run for me. They work beautifully with any of my jasmine, rose or orange blossom perfumes beautifully. I can detect the provocative and sensual scent emanating from my decolletage for a few hours after application. Pampering myself with little rituals like this make me feel…well, sexy. And that’s a good thing.

*This is a scented product. If you are sensitive to fragrance, I would recommend testing it in-store before buying.

Lush Lovely Jubblies is available at LUSH Stores for around $25.

Barney’s Route du Thé Perfume Is Cool & Clean

Barney’s Route du Thé Perfume Is Cool & Clean

I admit it, I like a clean perfume, one that makes me feel fresh and cool, like I just stepped out of the shower. I really enjoyed Clean Provence perfume, the one that smells like French milled soap, and it always got me lots of compliments. I also like the ultimate in fresh scrubbed perfumes, Estee Lauder White Linen. The American squeaky clean ideal, White Linen makes me feel immaculate and, well, almost divinely clean. I adore these kinds of scents the most in hot humid weather. But sometimes I want the cool and fresh without all the soapiness, as much as I love soapy scents.
Enter Barney’s Route du Thé. This lovely and simple perfume was created in the 80s, which is hard to believe given most of the heavy hitting perfumes that the 80s gave us. But, a soft and simple scent it is, and it is so soothing to wear.  The name, translated roughly to “way of the tea” implies more of a tea impression, rather than an outright tea perfume. It is nothing like the ubiquitous green tea scents that are everywhere in perfumes. I would say it is more like the wonderful unsweetened iced tea they serve in the southern US. This is not a sugary or creamy tea, but instead brings to mind the delicious unsweetened iced tea they serve in the southern US. Add a squeeze of lemon for tart refreshment and some fizzy soda water as well. The notes listed by Barney’s (who sell this scent exclusively) are citrus, muguet and amber. After the lemony iced tea blast softens, I do get a gentle fresh floral note, but it is so soft, and not overly feminine or girly at all. The amber…well perhaps a bit of a powdery note, and by bit I mean tiniest amount ever, settles in as the scent dries down. But not a sweet powder. There is almost an astringent aspect to this scent, which I suppose adds to the cooling sensation one gets. For such an ethereal impression of a perfume, Route du Thé lasts an amazingly long time on my skin, and that fresh feeling goes on and on…and on….

where I spent a good part of my Canada Day long weekend- ahhhhhh
You know those super hot days, and the only way to cool down is to dive into a cool lake and just float and swim until your mind clears and you just want to flop down on your towel, close your eyes and breath? And how the water evaporates slowly from your skin, and the breeze you could hardly feel before you dove in the lake now just kisses your skin with a cool touch? That is the kind of fresh Barney’s Route du Thé gives me. 

Barney’s Route du Thé is available exclusively at Barney’s NY and some Barney’s outlet stores.

Jergens Original Cherry Almond Scent Lotion Leaves Skin Soft

Jergens Original Cherry Almond Scent Lotion Leaves Skin Soft


Being the product junkie that I am, I continually try new beauty products. Lotions and potions are my favourite, as I am a moisturizing fiend. Thankfully for my wallet, I have never found an expensive body lotion that has impressed me enough to ditch my drugstore fave, Nivea Q-10. It applies like a dream, sinks in and smoothes the skin, and gives the skin a lovely glowing appearance. Perfect for legs during sundress & shorts season, as well as keeping you soft and moisturized over our long heinous winter months. It has a fragrance that I’d call innocuous. I don’t hate it, but I don’t love it either, and anyways, it disappears in a minute or two and is forgotten.



But. I have finally found what I like to call a “complimentary” lotion. One that I can alternate with my Nivea, and that I love especially for my hands, feet, elbows and knees. And, here is the kicker, it smells like a little bit of heaven- right there on your skin- Jergens Original Scent lotion. It is substantial, but never greasy. It sinks in almost immediately and leaves the skin dewy and soft, but not shiny. More like…plumped? Glycerin is in there and can certainly help with holding onto moisture. One thing I find interesting is that the words “Original Scent” are almost the same size as “Jergens” on the bottle. It is a cherry almond scent, and it lingers beautifully on the skin. Not like a perfume but more like soft smelling skin. No wonder it has such a loyal cult following! I love to apply it at bedtime, as it leaves no greasy residue on the skin and the cherry almond scent lulls me to sleep. Bonus- I wake up with soft moisturized skin.
Jergens for soft skin after the bath....

Jergens for soft skin after the bath….

I keep a bottle next to my kitchen sink, for my hands after washing, and to smooth knees and even legs before I run out the door. Yes. I am that crazy. I also always have a bottle on my bedside table- obviously. I’m on the lookout for smaller sized bottles or tubes of Jergens Original Scent to carry in my purse as hand cream. So far no luck. I may have to decant…..
Verdict? Love.

Jergens Original Scent Lotion is available at most drugstores for less than $8 for a 21oz bottle.

Smell Like A Kiss By The Ocean

Biotherm has some gorgeous spa-like products. I love their skincare and the fragrances of their body products as well. They have a new perfume out for summer, Biotherm Eau Océane, and it is like a oceanside spa. It is a soft gentle perfume with very soft aquatic notes. These are not the cloying sweet aquatic notes that were done to death in the 90s *stares at Davidoff Cool Water & Issey Miyake* but a kinder gentler aquatic. More like an ocean breeze than actual water, and would be perfect on a hot day.
It starts out with crisp, citrusy and refreshing lemony and bergamot notes, and then you get to the cool breeze of the heart. There is a whisper of jasmine that plays off the aquatic notes so nicely and really keeps it modern. The base has soft notes of musk, cedar and moss and Eau Océane becomes a soft and fresh skin scent. And, leave it to Biotherm to add gentle moisturizing glycerin, mineral-rich marine source water and negative ions to this scent, so it also good for your skin. There is an accompanying moisturizing gel in the scent of Eau Océane to soften and soothe skin while extending the life of the scent on your skin. 
I think that someone out there needs a new perfume for summer, right? So, be sure to like Daly Beauty on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and Pinterest, and comment here with your email addy and on May 31st at 6pm I will draw a name to win a bottle of Biotherm Eau Océane and the moisturizing gel!

The contest is now closed. Congratulations to ConnyMc! Your name was chosen using the the generator at Thanks to all for reading and commenting! xo jane

Biotherm shopping information in Canada is here, and for the US here.

Get Beautiful Lips

Get Beautiful Lips

As winter drags on and the bitter cold outdoor air competes with our arid central heating, everything gets dry. Hair (that’s another post…) skin (that was last week) and of course, our lips. Stand in the Lip Section at your local pharmacy and you will see just how big a problem this is. Our favourite department store and niche cosmetic lines often have their own versions and some of them are just fantastic. I shared my love for Clarins Moisture Replenishing Lip Balm with Rose Wax here, but I have a few more faves to share, high & low,  as well as a few misses.


My most recent obsession is Christian Dior Crème de Rose. It comes in the same little white bakelite Dior pot as their iconic Crème Abricot nail and cuticle cream. Ok, the pot is not the most hygienic packaging but this one is so pretty I will forgive. This cream gets very mixed reviews on my go-to site, Make Up Alley, so I was hesitant to try it (I use the mobile Make Up Alley site on my Blackberry when I’m shopping for cosmetics- really). I’m glad I did try it, because it is GORGEOUS. There is a faint rose scent, but it is very soft. The texture is smooth and velvety, slightly sticky, but it really sinks in beautifully. It smooths and soothes my lips and makes them soft and moisturized but the best part is the gentle plumping and smoothing of fine lines. Oh yeah baby. A shea butter base with Damask Rose oil and vitamins A and E make this a winner for me.

La Mer lip balm is one I have had ups and downs with. Just when I think I don’t like it, I end up using it (often because it’s the closest to my hand) and then I love it. Right now I love it.  It is a more subtle effect and is more effective used for long term moisturizing. It is not thick so it doesn’t give the feeling of coating the lips. Used in the evening however, my lips are soft and smooth when I wake up. It is expensive but from what I am seeing, this stuff lasts forever. It has a subtle minty scent/taste and is again, in a little pot so you are dipping your fingers in it. It has a firmer consistency so I almost have to scrape a bit off with my fingernail to apply. That said, it then melts into your lips and works its La Mer Magic. Final verdict: now that I am not expecting a thick goopy balm, this is a love and serves its purpose. As with all things La Mer…less is always more…

Ok this is the big disappointment and even I am saying “I told you so” to myself. This year Lip Fusion came out with a balm and the thought of nice plumped lips a la Lip Fusion original plumper but in a soft matte balm sounded great. It seems to be a Sephora exclusive as I could not find it on LipFusion’s website. Maybe they have discontinued it… I read horrible reviews online but still felt the need to shell out $30 for their balm. It is in a shiny silver tube, with similar styling to the Fresh Balm, so it twists out like a lip stick. Lets just say that you can save yourself $28 and get a Chapstick instead if you are ever tempted to buy this product. Not sure what they were thinking…maybe because the first Lip Fusion was the most genius product ever make to plump our lips women will buy anything with Lip Fusion on the label. Boo.

Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment is a nice lip balm, maybe nicer and more luxe than Chapstick with gorgeous packaging but not nice enough for me to ever buy another one . Very pretty scent and effective moisture but at $25 it’s just not enough to wow me. How this made it onto multiple “Best Of” lists mystifies me. Meh.


Carmex is THE ONE when we talk drugstore lip treatments. Nothing really works as well to get rid of chapped lips and to protect when you are out the cold or wind. I think the salicylic acid is the key ingredient here as it exfoliates flakes and dry skin. This is a good one for guys too, the packaging is very utilitarian and the red and yellow colours don’t scream “make up” or “cosmetics”. The one issue I have with Carmex is the scent/taste. I find it so strong that I can’t smell my own perfume when I wear it. That may be because I wear it right under my nose but it’s enough to bug me. I do love it, it works, but I only wear it at home. It has proven to be the best for my younger daughter when she had braces and massive retainers that kept her mouth open at night giving her brutally dry and chapped peeling lips. Carmex was the one thing that saved her. I like the one in the squeeze tube for ease of application.

Blistex Lip Medex is the other ONE. My older daughter and I love this one- and we use the one in the little blue pot. It is medicated like Carmex, is nice and thick and is slightly less scented than Carmex. It is comparable as far as results go, however I don’t think it has salicylic acid so the sloughing properties are not quite the same. I remember reading years ago, before the Lip Plumper Revolution, that some make up artists used this as a plumper under lipstick. They would exfoliate the lip then rub in some Lip Medex for a nice healthy plump. Again, the gender neutral packaging works for guys and gals.

Another drug store fave is Blistex Deep Renewal Anti Aging Treatment. I bought this when I was cottaging and forgot my Lip Fusion (go ahead, judge me for wanting plumper at the cottage) and the only option for shopping was a drugstore. It has a lovely soft mint scent/taste, is not thick and seems to just sink into the lips nicely. Another nice one to use at bedtime it does seem to do a little to smooth lines and gently plump as well as moisturize dry lips. Bang for your buck is high here.

My other drugstore fave is not exactly low end at approximately $30 but I LOVE it- Olay Regenerist Lip Anti Aging Concentrate. This stuff is magic and works as well as one would expect an Olay product to perform. I love Olay and they really hit the mark with this lip product. It smooths, softens, and gently plumps, comes in a tube and is available everywhere. That said, for $30 I want more product as I go through a tube of this quickly, and some nicer quality packaging would also help. The cheapo plastic tube is ugly and belies the goodness inside. Speaking of packaging and Olay- can someone there please. Just. Stop. The madness. All the insane plastic packaging that is akin to electronics packages that need a grenade to open them…wasteful and you are almost guaranteed to break a nail prying them open. So, buy the Olay forewarned. Great product, but a bit of a rip off.

I saved the best, ultimate cheap and cheerful product for last- Aquaphor. Yes yes, its full of petrolatum. I don’t care. For under $10 I get a tube that will last me years, it is odourless, softens and smooths lips, cuticles and anything else you put it on. It will help heal hangnails and papercuts, and is a fantastic barrier lotion. I swear if I put it on chapped lips at bedtime, it is still on my lips when I wake up. I always have a tube of this multi-purpose stuffs in my purse and in my bedside table. Win.

What are your favourite lips products? Share! I love to discover new stuff!

 Photo of my fave gorgeous clazy rady Joan Crawford