I’m not one to go around dropping $20 on lip balms. I like to keep it in the $10 range, $15 tops. But sometimes you gotta splurge, especially when it’s a lipstick wrapped in pretty packaging and a higher purpose. So splurge I did on the much-touted PlantLove Botanical Lipstick from Cargo. Encased in a tube made entirely of corn rather than plastic, this eco-friendly innovation is green-house-gas neutral and biodegradable. Even the heart-stamped outer box is made of recycled paper embedded with flower seeds. Just moisten the box, plant it and grow a splash of wildflowers. The lipstick is petroleum-free and formulated with natural botanicals like jojoba and shea butter. On top of all that, $2 from every tube sold is donated to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
On a mission to try this wonder stick myself, my first order of business was to make it through my local Sephora store — where the lipsticks are sold exclusively — without hording every juicy thing in sight. Not easy. And once I did spot the lipsticks, hidden inconspicuously among the other Cargo products, I had to choose a color. Although 12 shades are available online, only the five celebrity-designed shades were available in the store. I was instantly drawn to the Lindsay Lohan sheer pink cream color but couldn’t bring myself to buy anything in her image and instead settled for the Sarah Cahlke shimmering pink pearl.
The Al-Gore-loving, 60s-throwback, oozingly liberal side of me fell absolutely in love with the idea of a green, earth-embracing beauty balm. But the grown-up, tight-purse-strings side of me was disappointed in the product itself. I’m a gloss girl (Bobbi Brown Lip Gloss rules the lip world in my book) and although I loved the frosty hint of color, the product goes on much like a sheer lip balm. Creamier than the average drugstore lip balm, sure, but something was missing. Not a hint of scent and not the richness of a high-end lipstick. And it doesn’t have much staying power. Perhaps I’m just too used to the unnatural wearing power of the Bobbi Browns and the MAC Cosmetics. And maybe natural, biodegradable and charitable don’t go hand-in-hand with long-lasting, sexy and ulta rich. The PlantLove lipsticks did give me one thing though that no other beauty product has: Hope that we are moving back in a direction toward environmental awareness and an open-ended conversation about our health and that of our planet (and no, I have no plans to run for Miss America). Try Cargo’s PlantLove Botanical Lipsticks for yourself at Sephora.
Photo: The PlantLove collection, $20 each.