A Mint-Haters Guide To Non-Minty Lip Products

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I tried to come up with a pithy title for this post, but I couldn’t make it work.

No doubt you have read my thoughts on mint scented/mint flavored beauty products previously, but if not, I will sum up for you: there is a special place in hell reserved for them.

There is nothing I find more galling that to have paid good money for a beautiful lipstick or soothing lip balm or what have you, only to ease off the lid and be greeted by the repugnant odor of peppermint or, (worse), spearmint [EDIT: or even worse–wintergreen!]. These odors remind me of chewing gum (which is the most disgusting thing of all time, ever) and the dentist office (an association for which I don’t think I need to justify my dislike).

Though most people associate the smell of mint with adjectives such as “cool” or “fresh”, I find it nauseatingly antiseptic, clean and pure to the point of parody, where it’s almost a mockery of the associations it’s supposed to conjure forth, where it somehow loops around and becomes vulgar and tacky.  I’d almost rather smell rotting garbage or poopy diapers, to be honest.

14156601_673154089518253_883477789_nI started thinking about all of this when I finally gave in and bought one of the Lip Tars that everyone seems to adore from Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics. I’d been on the fence about it for awhile; I mean, just the name itself, “Lip Tar”, brought up unsavory imagery for me: a gooey, glunky product that would sit on my lips and annoyingly ensnare stray hairs. But I thought, well, I’ll just give it a try.

And I knew just from twisting the cap off, before I’d even slid the wand out of the tube, that it just wasn’t gonna work. A smell wafted forth and struck me full in the face, an odor not unlike my worst nightmare, which is to say that it smelled like being trapped in close quarters with someone chewing and smacking on their gum, and they won’t stop talking to me, not even for one second.

Another one which recently broke my heart this past year are the liquid lipsticks from Nero Cosmetics. Miss Argentina and Gold Dust Woman are such stunning shades, but alas, I cannot handle their foul stench.

Are you like me? Can you just not even with the mint scented/flavored things? Do you hesitate before purchasing a lipstick/gloss/balm because it’s kind of a crap shoot and you just don’t know if it’s going to be pleasantly fragranced or if you’re going to wind up with a toothpaste-scented piece of garbage?

Well, I hear you. It’s an unfriendly world out there for us in the us mint-hating minority.  And so beneath this image of my weird, staring eyes and blue-lipped crone kisses you will find that I have compiled for you a list of brands that I have recently tried and found to be free of the mentholated menace. If there is anything you think that I am missing or that I should try, let me know in the comments!

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Note: don’t expect in depth reviews on these products. It is not my aim to be a beauty blogger! When possible, I have included links to photos of yours truly wearing these colors, although I get a little nuts with the Instagram filters so they might not be totally true to life. Also note, I know everyone hates Jeffree Star right now, and to a lesser extent I realize that Lime Crime is problematic for certain people. I am including them because I have tried them and they fit into this non-mint category; but yes, I am also aware of the issues surrounding them.

💄 L.A. Splash Lip Couture – Favorite color: “OG Ghoulish” (grey/nude); a liquid lipstick that smells aggressively like nailpolish remover. At least it’s not mint! Also, this stuff will not budge; you need a sandblaster to remove it.
💄 Necromancy Cosmetica Matte Lipstick – Favorite color: “Deadly Nightshade” (light grey with soft blue undertones/as worn by me). A tube lipstick that smells vaguely of crayons.
💄 LimeCrime Velveteen – Favorite color “Cashmere” (greige). A liquid lipstick that smells of sickly sweet butter creme frosting.
💄 Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick -The only color I have tried is “Unicorn Blood” (dark, rusty red/as worn by me), and I really don’t love it on me. I don’t love the formula either, it’s really quite soupy and drippy. It smells of acrid, acidic fruit candies.
💄 Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick -Favorite color: “Ayesha” (pinky lavender/as worn by me). I think, even after everything I have tried, KvD’s will always be my favorite. It’s unfragranced as far as I can tell (though other folks say otherwise), the formula never gets gross and crusty throughout the day, and it’s not *too* much of a hassle to wash off. Second favorite color: “A-Go-Go” (bright orange red)
💄 Ofra Long Lasting Liquid Lipsticks – Favorite color: “Purple Rain” (pearly deep purple/as worn by me). Many folks comment on how good these smell, but I don’t get that at all. The few I have tried have a mild, chemical smell. The colors are gorgeous and there’s usually a coupon code floating around at all times for this brand.
💄 Black Moon Cosmetics Liquid Lipsticks – Favorite color: “Grim” (cool toned brown). I love the packaging from this brand and the product itself smells plastic-y and a little sweet, sort of like the top of one of your old Strawberry Shortcake doll’s heads.
💄 Lipland Liquid Lipstick -Favorite color: “Retrograde” (purple grey/as worn by me). Several folks say this this shade is similar to MAC’s stone, but I can’t personally confirm that. Like Ofra, the smell is vaguely chemical (it reminds me of synthetic fibers, like warm polyester, I guess?)
💄 DNA Cosmetics Intense Pop of Color Lipstick – The only color I have tried from DNA is “Disco” (silver grey/as worn by me). I recall thinking that the formula wasn’t very …slippy? It was kind of dry, and it had a lot of drag to it.  Smelled waxy. But I really dig the ghastly grey blue, and it doesn’t smell like mint, so it remains in rotation.
💄 Colourpop Lippie Stix – As much as I loathe the name (which is super dumb), I do love the Lippie Stix. They smell exactly like crayons–which is totally okay with me– and at $5 each they are relatively cheap in comparison to the rest of the stuff on this list. They have a million colors and though I don’t find the formula to be very long wearing, well, I don’t fault it much for that. I mean, you get what you pay for, right? Favorite color: “Tootsi” (described as a cool-toned grey beige, but it seems pretty warm toned on me) Bonus: they have matching lip liners (“Lippie Pencils“) for every shade they sell, and “Marshmallow” is a greyed out lavender that matches just about everything I am into lately.
💄 Rituel de Fille Forbidden Lipstick – Favorite color: “Strange Creature” (cool, silvery grey). There is not much I don’t love about this brand.  I believe it’s run by three sisters, which of course I find powerfully compelling, and their aesthetic is absolutely gorgeous, full of magic and mystery. Their Forbidden Lipstick smells waxy and faintly herbaceous. Lavender, perhaps? Exactly like how you’d want something that looks like this to smell. Tip: “Strange Creature” goes very nicely with ColourPop’s Lippie Pencil in “Marshmallow”!
💄 Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipstick – Favorite color: “Lavender Jam” (electric blue-violet). I’ve saved the weirdest for last with this one. This is a beautifully creamy formula, and I really love this stunning color, but the strange thing is, sometimes this smells a little minty to me, just for a split-second. But as soon as I catch notice of it, it immediately morphs into scent of a lime freezee pop. Odd! However, there is no mint listed in the ingredients anywhere, and the so allow it to remain on the list.

9 Comments on A Mint-Haters Guide To Non-Minty Lip Products

  1. Minna
    September 8, 2016 at 5:16 pm (8 months ago)

    I’ve had similar results with Colourpop’s Lippie Stix (decent bang-for-the-buck, but also you-get-that-for-which-you-paid). I’ve been more impressed by their *slightly* more expensive ($6) ultra matte lip… paints? Trap has been my go-to grayish-nudish-pinkish summer color (with the Tootsi lippie pencil).

    And while I don’t share your mint-aversion, The Mister does though, and how. I feel your pain by association.

    Thanks for this comprehensive list! Lots of new things for me to try…

    Reply
    • S. Elizabeth
      September 8, 2016 at 8:21 pm (8 months ago)

      I haven’t tried their shamefully expensive upgrade, but now Ima have to, and probably the same color that you’ve recommended. Will report back!

      Reply
  2. OTB
    September 8, 2016 at 7:06 pm (8 months ago)

    Wintergreen mint is the absolute worst, it is like Sundays at church digging through your Mom’s purse for mints because you are hungry and you can’t go out to eat until church is over.

    Reply
    • S. Elizabeth
      September 8, 2016 at 8:18 pm (8 months ago)

      UGH, YES! Oh, man, that is the worst.

      Reply
  3. Victoria
    September 9, 2016 at 10:41 am (8 months ago)

    YES! I absolutely can’t stand mint-y or mentholated scents/flavors in my lip products. I have wasted so much money buying products and then finding out I can’t stand them because of the scent (just like that OCC Sebastian I just bought, ugh). I have the same associations that you do but in addition, mint makes my lips itch. My body is rejecting the mint.

    Your list is like a compilation of all my favorite lip colors. I’m with you with Tootsi too. I think it’s warm-toned. Right now I own all the RdF colors excluding one (or maybe too). They smell lavender-y to me but it’s so faint that I don’t notice. I love how most of their shades are totally weird but “wearable”. Plus, I’m one of three sisters so I’m drawn to the brand for many reasons.

    Reply
  4. lisabotany
    September 9, 2016 at 9:05 pm (8 months ago)

    My mint aversion is not as strong as yours, but you know how I feel about mint chip ice cream, candy canes, peppermint patties, and the like. Ick.

    As for lip products, I’m on plain old Vaseline ever since I had a bad reaction to lip balm that made my lips blister and peel off for two solid months (not nearly as sexy as it sounds). But I always love reading your perfume and cosmetic descriptions, even though I never touch the stuff myself!

    Reply
  5. Alex
    September 11, 2016 at 8:43 am (8 months ago)

    I had no idea this was a common thing! I *hate* added scents in cosmetics (though I’d rather it be mint than most other things, I guess.) I bought some gorgeous small batch eyeshadow at one point that REEKED of artificial vanilla and it was such a bummer. Like – why on earth would I want my eyeshadow to smell?! Not everything needs a smell! If I wanted to put a fragrance on myself (and I don’t) I would want to pick it separately from my eyeshadow or lipstick, for eff’s sake.

    Reply
    • S. Elizabeth
      September 11, 2016 at 8:48 am (8 months ago)

      Hear, hear! I mean our soap and shampoo and lotions and just about everything we anoint ourselves with, every step of the way has some sort of fragrance…so by the time we even get to our eyeballs, we are already highly scented enough as it is!

      Reply
  6. Tracey Lennon
    December 31, 2016 at 12:20 pm (4 months ago)

    Just like you,I CAN’T either..I’m lucky to have had lipsticks that smell like cookies or maple syrup..cinnamon is all I eat as far as chewing gum or mints!

    Reply

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