A Fresh Start
“Tomorrow is always fresh, with no mistakes in it.” – Lucy Maud Montgomery
In my search for a reputable lip exfoliant to add to my MUA kit, I had read many a magazine article and blog review that repeatedly mentioned a certain lip scrub which rose above the others. I wanted something potted so as to maintain sanitation standards for my clients and (so a single product wouldn’t be transferred mouth-to-mouth), and that aspect alone slimmed down my choices.
I dragged my feet purchasing this lip product due to the sheer price of it, but when I was making plans to visit a friend in Boston and researched cutesy makeup boutiques nearby, I saw that the brand was located in a free-standing shop in the heart of the city! Of course I had to stop in, and as I pulled back the heavy glass door, I was warmly embraced by the idyllic, aromatic world of “fresh“! Dozens of sizable clear vials of fragrance framed the tiled back wall, tubs of moisturizers in simplistic, clean packaging stacked to the ceiling, a rustic, circular sink reminiscent of a town-square water pump in Renaissance Italy graced the center of the room, and smiling faces waited to greet me. I was sold on everything, but my wallet said “no ma’am!”.
I asked to see the scrub and after hearing about their philosophy, how great the scrub was, and then offered a skincare demo on my arm, I wandered to checkout, knowing if I stayed much longer, I’d need to ask for a job application! There, after chatting with the store manager and her discovering I was a beauty business owner, she pulled out a handful of samples and dumped them in my bag (even the BAG was cute!). She gave me a brief rundown of what they each were/claimed to do, wrote down a list of local Boston MUAs and beauty boutiques for me to check out during my stay, promised to follow me on Instagram and the blog, and sent me practically skipping out the door! What a glorious experience! But now let me tell you about the products I’ve tried, because it gets better
Let’s begin with the coveted Sugar Lip Polish! It truly lives up to the reviews – it’s not too rough, not too slimy, doesn’t taste vile, and is easy to apply and remove. I personally love it, and I know my clients will appreciate it too as an added luxury service.
Sugar Lip Polish – $24
Oh gracious – now this could break my bank! The store manager at “fresh” said I’d fall head over heels with this, and she couldn’t have been more accurate. Upon initial squirt into my hand, I doubted its makeup removal properties because it felt like a thin gel in a watery suspension. It smells divine – like cucumbers and tea and sunshine and everything good and natural and wonderful for you! And yes, that makeup magically disappears without a stripping sensation or oily residue. If it wasn’t so expensive, I would absolutely swap my Olay Gentle Clean Foaming Cleanser for this!
Soy Face Cleanser – $38
I wish these samples were larger! Let’s start with the Lip Serum Advanced Therapy: not my favorite, but I have large, dry lips and am used to slathering on Vaseline (which is thick and solid) at night, so it’s a preference, not an absolute. In my opinion, serums are far too hyped up and misrepresented as miracle liquids promising to turn back the clock, and one dedicated solely to lips is a bit excessive. The serum is half-cream, half-liquid in texture (think of sweetened condensed milk), fairly fragrance-free, and absorbs quickly due to its lightweight texture. It has a high price point, and for not being an essential part of the beauty routine, I’m not a huge fan.
Next up, Black Tea Firming Corset Cream! “You’re not good, you’re not bad, you’re just nice”, borrowing from Stephen Sondheim’s “Into the Woods”. It is nice, but not worth $95! It soaks evenly into the skin without feeling heavy or slick, so I really enjoyed the texture and the fragrance is very pleasant as well. Honestly, I think all skin types could benefit from this at least as an overnight cream, but it would probably be a bit too much for oily skin during the day.
And speaking of overnight creams, we have the Black Tea Firming Overnight Mask! Very similar to the Corset Cream, it claims to soothe, firm, and restore the skin and “works in sync with the skin’s natural nighttime recovery process”. Again, not worth the $82 price tag, but an agreeable non-comedogenic option for normal to dry skin types.
Sugar Lip Serum Advanced Therapy – $36, Black Tea Firming Corset Cream – $95, Black Tea Firming Overnight Mask – $82
So there you have it! Has anyone else tried “fresh” products and do you admire them as much as I do?