Monday, April 21, 2014

All's Fair- LBBC Fine Honey Lip Pomatum

After having picked up some pretty promising historical cosmetics from LBCC in February, I decided that it would be kind of cool to, you know, officially review them (now that I've had time to use most of them).

While my husband and I purchased a number of items, I'm going to review them one post at a time so that I can give them my full attention and be detailed without going nuts with the word count.

Up first: 

Fine Honey Lip Pomatum (1747)

Cost: $5.00
Product Description:  .5 oz Tin
This lip salve is made from an 18th century recipe from The Art Of Cookery (1747).
The original recipe calls for "virgin's Wax" (beeswax), Hogs Lard,  Spermaceti ( Sperm Whale's oil), Honey, Almond Oil, Sugar, and Raisins (which seem to be popular in 18th century recipes). Today we use Jojoba oil, which is a comparable replacement for the Spermaceti, Bees Wax, Honey, Almond Oil, and Sugar. I left out the raisins and added spearmint, which was also very popular in the 18th century.
This is also available in a modern label as well. (I purchased the historical label, but if you'd like to see the modern label check out the LBCC etsy page.)
This is what the actual insides look like!
Uses: Well, it's a lip balm. 

Pros: I really like that it's a historical receipt and it's not tinted, so guys can use it, too! The spearmint is a pleasant touch as it adds a nice scent to the balm. It's not overwhelming, though. I can't use the regular Burt's Bees lip balm because the minty-ness is too much for my lips (yea- I'm super sensitive to that stuff). However, I can use this balm with no burning tingles.It actually lasts a long time- so if you're thinking $5.00 for lip balm? You're crazy! On average we spend $3-$4 per 0.15 oz tube of Burt's Bees.

Also, I know what's in it and from whence it came. That's important to me.

Cons: The biggest con for me is that when I have greasy fry fingers I can't get my tin open! LOL! I guess in reality it's good that the lid doesn't just pop off willy nilly (and my husband never seems to have this problem- so maybe my lady fingers are just not brawny enough?) but there it is... take it for what you will. Oh, and because it's not a stick like modern lip balms you use your fingers for application. Not necessarily a con, just something to keep in mind.

How well does it work: Pretty well. I actually started using this instead of my "modern" lip balms. But, to go the extra step check out the picture below. I stopped using my pomatum for a few days and took a picture of my "naked" lips. Then I took another photo directly after I applied the pomatum. Then I waited about an hour and took another photo of what my lips looked like at that point. I may post a follow up with a photo after long term use again, but I thought this would at least give you an idea of the effectiveness of the product. (P.S.- sorry for the creepy lip pictures. If you can believe it, it was kind of creepier when I left in more of my face so I just cropped it down to my mouth!)

My lips before, shortly after, and a bit later after application of the pomatum.

As you can see, my lips are noticeably less dry and chapped looking after application and the effect of the product lasts a couple of hours before I felt like I wanted to reapply.

Modern Counterpart: I have used Burt's Bees lip balm before, but I have to say that this pomatum makes my lips feel more like when I use the MK Satin Lips lip balm. It's very soft and silky and not as "waxy" feeling as some of the BB's products. I feel like it absorbs better because of that and leaves me feeling like I need to reapply less often. I also don't feel like I get that coating on my lips that some lip balms leave- you know when some of the skin peels in kind of a mushy white weirdness. (Maybe that's just me?...Moving along...)

Recommended for: Everyone. Whether you're into historical cosmetics or not this is just a nice lip balm. Even better if you're needing something for your living history events so you don't have to hide the tube of shame! (Just kidding- but we've all been there, right? Cold, windy, event and your lips are chapped and you have to huddle in a corner to pull out your chapstick tube and apply quickly so nobody sees what you're doing... and then you realize that the "corner" you're hiding in isn't a corner at all and thirty people just took a picture of you applying product from a plastic tube and you just know it's going to be on some "reenactors caught red handed" facebook page or something. this also just me?)

In Conclusion: A good product for your money in any period. It's nice when some products can do double duty and work in both my modern life and my historical one. This is happily one of those products.

Stay tuned for more historical cosmetic reviews, including the 1772 Rose Balm Lip Salve, 1889 Bay Rum After Shave, and the Ancient Insect Repellent!

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