Product Review: Mullein & Sparrow Tinted Lip & Cheek Balm

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Last week I mentioned the Brooklyn-based “herbal apothecary” Mullein & Sparrow in my post about the BUST Magazine Craftacular. I picked up one item for myself at the Mullein & Sparrow table: a handmade, all-natural Tinted Lip & Cheek Balm packaged in a screw-top tin with a vintage-inspired label.

The ingredients for Mullein & Sparrow’s tinted balm are sunflower oil, extra virgin olive oil, castor oil, cocoa butter, alkanet root, patchouli essential oil, and orange essential oil. The balm has an earthy citrus-chocolate scent, from the cocoa butter and essential oils, and a muted neutral-red color from the alkanet root.

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This balm is solid to the touch, so you’ll need to apply some light pressure (or the edge of a fingernail) to get into the product, but once you get a bit of balm loose, it turns soft and glides onto skin. It’s a thin, shiny balm, rather than a thick, waxy one. It feels moisturizing, thanks to the various oils and beeswax. (For vegans, a beeswax-free version is also available.)

When I applied this product to my bare mouth, it gave just a hint of natural, muted red and a “dewy finish,” as promised. When I wore it over a semi-sheer red lipstick (Lipstick Queen’s Moment), it amped up the color and added a glossy sheen, like a red-enhancing filter. Nice!

I’ve been keeping my tin of Mullein & Sparrow Tinted Lip & Cheek Balm on my desk at work, so that I can touch up occasionally throughout the day. It keeps my lips feeling soft and looking healthy, and I like its unusual scent.

If you’ve been looking for a natural alternative to the petrolatum-based Smith’s Rosebud Salve and similar tinted lip balms, this might be the one for you.

A one-ounce tin of Tinted Lip & Cheek Balm sells for $14 at the Mullein & Sparrow Etsy shop. Gift sets of balms and salves are also available.

Images by Tinsel Creation.

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  1. Oh this does sound lovely. My wallet is empty after Christmas shopping, so I hope it’s something they carry on a regular basis so I can snag some next year!

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