Tatcha, Tatcha, Tatcha, Taaaaatch me! I wanna be dirty. -Rocky Horror Picture Show
Introducing Tatcha Gold Camellia Nourishing Lip Balm ($36 for 8g/0.28 oz.; sent by Tatcha for consideration).
Yes, you read that right. 24-KARAT GOLD. Fahncy! ::holds lip balm with pinkie in the air:: Even the box is fahncy (it’s currently holding hair ties on my vanity), and the jar is glass.
Topped with a delicate square of 24-karat gold leaf, the balm itself is a colorless firm jelly. The consistency is slippery, shiny, and thin with not a hint of wax–a big plus to me because I’m not a fan of waxy balms such as Fresh’s Sugar lip balms, which don’t add moisture or work well with lipstick. My preferences run along the lines of Dior Lip Glow for day and Hourglass Lip Oil or Vaseline for night.
In fact, the emollient ingredient squalane (not to be confused with squalene, from sharks) tops the ingredients list and wax is nowhere to be seen. Further down are various plant extracts and, of course, camellia seed oil and gold.
The formula really sinks in, instantly softening lips and plumping lip lines while also having cumulative moisturizing effects. It’s faintly and pleasantly scented like some sort of citrus…lemon or yuzu? Although it goes on glossy, it sinks in within minutes to leave a natural non-makeuppy sheen. It works well as both a lipstick base and a lipstick topper and can be built up without feeling heavy.
It lasts for 3-4 hours if I don’t eat or drink and is longer-lasting and more moisturizing than Dior Lip Glow. Tatcha is the better balm, but I still reach for Lip Glow more because of its “color-reviving”/”customized pink” quality. Tatcha leaves me with colorless albeit soft lips. If Tatcha came up with a Lip Glow version of this balm, then it might be game over.
As an overnight balm, it looks as if it’s disappeared by morning–yet my lips are soft and moisturized, so the balm is definitely moisturizing on a deeper level. It’s not as occlusive as Hourglass Lip Oil or Vaseline though.
As for the gold leaf, it’s there for decorative purposes only. The product page says it “adds a touch of sensual shimmer,” but I couldn’t see any shimmer once I rubbed the balm into my lips. The gold just…disintegrated. ::single tear::
But the gold isn’t gimmicky–unless you consider the double C’s on a Chanel bag gimmicky. The gold undeniably serves its purpose of upping the joy factor by 1,000 times. There’s a reason why I’ve left one side of the balm untouched.
For $36, you’re paying a premium not only for the high quality but also for the je ne sais quoi (the gold! that trademark Tatcha purple!). Worth it. After all, when was the last time a lip balm made you smile?
Pros: GOLD! Instant and long-term benefits. Deep moisture with light texture. Works day or night. Swoonworthy packaging.
Cons: Gold doesn’t show up on the lips.
BONUS: Tatcha is cruelty-free by PETA standards and does not sell in mainland China (and therefore isn’t obligated to submit its products for animal testing by the Chinese government). Yay!