If it’s good enough for royalty, it should be good enough for me. Except, not really.

Santa Maria Novella is a brand which traces its origins back to 1221 in Florence, eventually creating an essence for Caterina de Medici, who eventually became Queen of France. Such a long and wonderful history certainly gives the brand a little bit of “magic” so I decided to part with US$35 for a teeny, weeny 10 ml container of lip balm. It is a “moisturising balm enriched with beeswax, sesame oil and grape seed oil for the lips, preventing cracks caused by the sun, wind and cold. Its formula, rich in sesame and apricot oils, is antioxidant and fights wrinkles.”
Unfortunately, I was not enraptured by the product. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a bad product. But it didn’t deliver on its promises either.  Anyway, before I get all negative, let’s talk about what was good about it:

  • Packaging: much more hygienic than a pot balm!
  • Texture: the balm doesn’t harden, even in the cold, making application easy. It also spreads on the lips and is absorbed very easily. (I rubbed some on my hand and it did not leave a sticky after feel – could probably double up as a hand salve for very dry skin)


Makes an effective, if pricey, hand balm


  • Not too sticky: you know how some balms and glosses are hair magnets? (very, very annoying) Thankfully this balm wasn’t too bad- I actually tried flinging my hair on my lips to see if it would stick on a windy day and 1 or 2 hairs did get caught but nothing as bad as the Lancome lip glosses

Not too much of a hair trap despite my literally shoving my hair at my lips


  • “Taste”: I certainly don’t eat my lip balms but due to the nature of the application, it is unavoidable that some end up ingested. The balm is slightly fragranced but doesn’t taste as chemically as the standard lip balm. Nonetheless, I still prefer the “flavour” of the C O Bigelow night balm (review here)


So why do I remain unconvinced?

  • Doesn’t really work. I’ve almost finished one tube now but my lips are still dry and chapped. It seems to me that the product sits on my lips rather than really being absorbed. Unlike the Lucky Cloud Lip Butter (review here), which is almost instantly absorbed into my lips (so the top of the lip feels matt but the inside feels hydrated), leaving them feeling uber soft, several applications of this Idratante Labbra later, my lips still remain cracked (albeit with slightly softer dry skin- so the top feels very soft and moist but the inside remains thirsty). Maybe it would help soft, hydrated lips remain moist, but if your lips need TLC, this product doesn’t deliver.


I guess there was a reason Queen Caterina used their essence but not their lip balm (at least not that I know of :P)


Above: lips pre balm

Below: lips post balm


I recommend saving your USD$32 and getting plain ole vaseline instead 😛



Written by Zen

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