Glossier's Balm Dotcom: the balm that launched a thousand ships

Glossier’s Balm Dotcom: from OG to mango

Glossier’s Balm Dotcom: from OG to mango

Since its inception I’ve purchased six tubes of Balm Dotcom, the classic, unscented version being the first — it came with the Phase 1 set which also included the Milky Jelly Cleanser and the Priming Moisturiser. This fact alone doesn’t make me special by any means, more like persistent in my pursuit to find the best darn lip balm out there.

Balm Dotcom was alright at the start, but it was lacking something. So, I tossed it in my vanity and didn’t give it much thought until the launch of Birthday Balm Dotcom as inspired by Milk Bar's hundreds and thousands (a.k.a rainbow jimmies or sprinkles) birthday cake. Birthday smells of vanilla cake and features an iridescent finish, alas I was spellbound by the holographic packaging more than anything else, and so it goes Birthday was relegated to my vanity shortly thereafter.

Not wanting to stop there (for the sake of experimentation and all) I purchased a trio of flavours, which included mint, cherry, and coconut. Mint is refreshing and tint-less; I enjoy applying this before running out the door to help make myself feel a little more put together than I actually am most days. Coconut is more on the buttery side (think, butterscotch) — lovely enough, but I still hadn’t found my match. With cherry plan on feeling nostalgic; think Lip Smackers circa 1995, just more grown-up with its cherry red tint.

As luck would have it, more like being in a pinch when I found myself with dry cuticles a few winters back and no cuticle oil on hand, I grabbed for a tube of Balm Dotcom to help keep my hands and lips happy, and I’ve never looked back.

The texture is consistent across all of the flavours — thick and rich, never greasy, and emollient; giving quenched lips and digits a new lease on life over and over again.

What about Mango? Well, it’s my personal favourite! With its light coral pink tint and mango-y goodness, it transports me back to Hawaii whenever I need a hit of holiday feels.

Wearing Mango Balm Dotcom layered over Cloud Paint in Dusk on my lips

Wearing Mango Balm Dotcom layered over Cloud Paint in Dusk on my lips

It’s What’s on the Inside that Counts

Each tube features hydrating, good-for-you ingredients including:

  • Beeswax - a natural emollient used to help protect the skin.

  • Lanolin a.k.a. wool wax, but try slapping that term on a label for consumers to mull over - a moisturising ingredient which “mimics human skin lipids.”

  • Castor seed oil - a natural plant extract that acts as a humectant (helps to retain moisture).

  • Cupuacu fruit extract - moisturiser with Omega-6 and 9 fatty acids to maintain a healthy appearance.

  • Rice bran and rosemary leaf extracts - “antioxidants used to combat free radical skin damage” (free radicals are by-products floating around in the atmosphere, e.g. smog, dust, and cigarette smoke. Yay?)

Balm Dotcom, or BDC, well, it’s my jam — especially when it comes to Mango or OG BDC (balm dotcom, to you).

Wait, how much does it cost? I’m so glad you asked.

A single tube goes for $12 USD, or buy them in a trio and save $6 USD! So handy.

The cost of spots

the cost of spots

My entire being is covered in a constellation of spots. On my left thigh I can draw the little dipper; as for my back, I avoid letting it see the light of day out of embarrassment. I wish I was hiding a regrettable tattoo rather than an endless sea of spots most likely borne from fake baking in my early twenties.

I was checked from top to toes last Monday: freckles, and moles (mole-y, mole-y, mole. Mole.) - nothing was safe. My dermatologist was pretty casual about the whole thing as she peered through her handheld microscope to inspect my largest bodily organ. When we first met I think she half expected to find something, and she eventually did. She biopsied an unassuming spot located just above my ribs because she thought it looked funny. What's so funny about a mark no larger than the size of a pin head? I wasn't even aware of it, it appeared innocuous, and maybe it still is.

Yet in the wake of parting ways I replayed my stupidity. Buying tanning oil with factor 8, turning lobster red most summers, allowing myself to get so badly burnt during the summer of 2001 that my calves swelled to almost twice their size and bags of frozen peas were my saving grace, and for being recklessly (s)unaware. I love the sun. I worship it for its ability to make an okay day turn good, I love the feeling of its warmth on my back, and I'll even go as far as following it just for another glimpse.

The sun bookends our days, and highlights our memories - how poetic.

I mean, can you even fault it for moments like this?

Sunset captured at Spouting Horn, Kaua'i

Sunset captured at Spouting Horn, Kaua'i

Yeah I didn't think so.

The sun though, it hates my DNA. I'm thirty-two now, and it's taken me one too many sunburns to realise if I want a tan it's coming from a bottle (thank you, Clarins), a hat and a pair of sunglasses are way cuter than a peeling part and premature wrinkles, and factor 40 SPF is the bare minimum.

Come next week, good news or bad, that funny, little spot left a tiny hole in my side for my past sun sins to pour out. Two stitches made me whole again, and the discomfort and inconvenience was a nasty reminder that the bright, burning ball in the sky is a bully.

A few takeaways from last week's appointment (I am not an expert, but these tidbits resonated with me):

  • Pink and skin coloured (beige/tan) moles should be pointed out to your GP or dermatologist
  • Moles that you've had for eons are likely nothing to worry about, but it's still a good idea to keep an eye on them
  • Get your skin checked every year, or even sooner if spots become itchy, won't heal, bleed, or changes in shape/size
  • If you have loads of spots, photograph the entirety of your body in sections, and allow it to serve as your skin diary for the next twenty years. You can get this professionally done, or have a trusted partner, friend, etc. take them for you
    • Store these images some place safe, ideally protected with an excellent password
  • A cloudy day won't protect you from the suns' harmful rays.

For further reading:

Btw, Supergoop (specially formulated for people with sensitive skin) is my favourite sun care range.

The French Connection

Kerastase's Keratine Thermique and Decleor's Moisturising Body Milk

Kerastase's Keratine Thermique and Decleor's Moisturising Body Milk

French beauty products have been rocking my world as of late. Dior, Chanel, Kerastase, Bioderma and Provence Sante. Always happy to name drop things that make my day.

It's taken some serious willpower and self-control to only wash my locks every other day; there are days when I struggle to keep my head away from the shower's warm spray. If you can find the patience and the will, your hair will thank you in kind with smooth strands, minimal to no frizz and loads more body and movement. To protect my timely investment, I've added Kerastase's Keratine Thermique Smoothing Taming Milk ($43 USD / $48 AUS) to my haircare rotation. 

The consistency of Keratine Thermique Smoothing Taming Milk is light and creamy, its slip allows you to smooth a small amount from root to tip. Its scent is enhanced with perfumed cocoa powder; sweet enough to take a whiff of, just promise not to eat it. For whatever unknown reason I used to get a kink across the mid lengths of my hair at the back of my head, I suspect it had something to do with the placement of my hair brush while blowdrying. The kink has receded to the point where I don't need to run the flat iron over my hair. A mere coincidence or is this the power of Kerastase?

Fresh hair post 10 minute at home blowout

Fresh hair post 10 minute at home blowout

To cap off this Francophile sesh, let's discuss Decleor's Moisturising Body Milk. It's the nourishment your skin's been craving, better yet a moisturiser that melts into your skin without leaving behind any greasy residue. If you can get past a couple of shortcomings, you might enjoy this rather luxe body lotion. 


  • Looks super classy resting on my bathroom counter.
  • My post winter limbs are singing in rejoice for slathering this stuff on.


  • It's exy (ahem, expensive) at $45 USD / $44 AUS for 250 ml of lotion. I feel more inclined to pick up a bottle of my old faithful, St Ives Soothing Oatmeal & Shea Butter Body Lotion.
  • The scent is overly perfumed, the magnolia essential oil really kills it for me. That said, the pungent, flowery notes dry down within a few moments of applying. If you can get over the first hurdle, you're home free.
  • The engineering of the pump or lack thereof was a major oversight as the head of the pump doesn't extend out far enough. Unfortunately, you have to pick the bottle up, tip it slightly to the side and press the pump down. Points off for inconvenience.

*PR samples provided  –  Thoughts and ramblings written here are completely my own.

Confession: I use hand soap to wash my makeup brushes

Subtle Energies Revive Body & Hand Wash

Subtle Energies Revive Body & Hand Wash

And my brushes repeatedly live to tell a tale.

It was a recommendation made by Karen, you know, of Makeup and Beauty Blog. Like Oprah, if Karen said "bees are coming!" I too would be crazy excited.

Dr. Bonner's Bar Soap was fairly ace at the start until I became grossed out by the used bar stowed away in a Ziploc baggie - a potential breeding ground for who knows what? For kicks, I replaced the bar with the mint scented, pump version, but the syrupy consistency of the gel proved to be too heavy for both the natural and synthetic bristles. Plus, it took forever and a day for me to properly rinse out the brushes.

Switched I did to dare I say an Aesop equivalent, Subtle Energies Revive Body & Hand Wash. It's clear, lathers quite nicely, leaves behind a fresh lemon-y/clean scent and washes my handle holding, tram riding hands.

Save money you won't and perhaps I'm a tad blasé about its function as this was a surprise goodie from the very generous people over at Subtle Energies.

It's a right good soap, albeit an expensive one, but my brushes (and hands) are cleaned in no time and that's the most important thing.


*Subtle Energies kindly provided a PR sample  –  Thoughts and ramblings written here are completely my own.