About Face takes a look at face salve


 700_0490Prepare for a shiny assault. C.O. Bigelow Rose Salve is about to reflect up your life.

Welcome back to the second week of About Face! Last week we looked at two shower gels from LUSH, and this week we’re going to be swinging over to the actual “face” side of things with C.O. Bigelow Classic All-Purpose Salve in Rose Salve, Apple Rose Salve ,and Blueberry Rose Salve.

C.O. Bigelow Apothecaries

Founded in 1838, C.O. Bigelow Apothecaries is the oldest in the United States, with its products sold on its own website and store in New York City, and through Bath & Body Works. C.O. Bigelow offers a variety of products—oils, soaps, etc.—and its salves are developed by the company’s chemists, not tested on animals and meant to be used on both lips and skin, such as dry or chapped areas. They’re “emulsified with extra-soothing rose extract, which helps ease irritation and condition the skin.”

First, let’s talk about the similarities between the Original Rose, Apple Rose, and Blueberry Rose salves: they’re all a light pink, deliver a clear shine on the lips that can be built up in intensity, and are prone to melting somewhat rapidly. It’s a product you can throw in your purse only if you’re not going somewhere too hot, and you have to be comfortable using your fingers to scoop it up—there’s no applicator, just the product in the tin.

But the different salves aren’t copies of each other, exactly. They each have faintly different smells and flavors: Original Rose is flowery and straightforward; Apple Rose has a faint, subtle air of fruit, making it a bit more mellow; and Blueberry Rose is like a blue raspberry lollipop on steroids. Blueberry Rose’s smell is a bit cloying, almost too sweet—like hard candy or a 7-Eleven Slurpee—and while it doesn’t linger on the lips, it’s definitely noticeable whenever you open the product tin.

And chances are you’ll be opening the tins, and reapplying the salves, quite a bit. One big disappointment is that these don’t really have any staying power. The Original Rose faded about an hour after application, even without me eating or drinking anything, and the Blueberry Rose and Apple Rose also had short life spans on the lips. I found the best way to use these was to apply right before bed, allowing them to melt into my lips and moisturize while I slept. During the day, though, it was too much of a pain to put on, wipe my fingers off and then have to reapply again within an hour or two.

VERDICT: B- If only these had better wear time! While the salves provide a slick, clear sheen on the lips that can work for both moms and teen daughters alike, it’s frustrating to have to constantly reapply—they disappear on their own, even without eating or drinking. The Original Rose and Apple Rose smell quite good, but they’re just not easy to work with.

PRICE: $5.50 each for a 0.8 ounce tin. The tin seems like it would last a long time, but that may vary depending on how often you choose to reapply the product.

AVAILABILITY: Online at C.O. Bigelow or Bath & Body Works; call Bath & Body Works locations for availability in stores.

 EDITORIAL NOTE: The product/s reviewed in this post were provided to Chesapeake Family’s About Face blog by the manufacturer or their public relations company for review. Chesapeake Family’s reviews are inspired by personal experience and opinion, and are not paid for or influenced by the manufacturer, PR company or any other organization unless mentioned.


In middle school, Roxana Hadadi was a cosmetics-scorning tomboy; in high school, a glitter eye shadow- and black nail polish-loving trend kid; in college, obsessively committed to dying her hair unruly colors that upset her mom. Now a bit older and a bit more mature, she’s trying to figure out what hair, body and cosmetics products will work for her, you and your family in About Face, Chesapeake Family’s new beauty blog – and she’ll leave the sparkle makeup and neon highlights in the past. Roxana also writes movie reviews for Chesapeake Family’s Popcorn Parents blog.

Photo by Adam Fried

Photo above: Clockwise from top: C.O. Bigelow Original Rose Salve, C.O. Bigelow Blueberry Rose Salve and C.O. Bigelow Apple Rose Salve all share the same clear pink tint, despite their different scents and flavors.

Product photos by Adam Fried.