|Beso Balm samples and a full-size of Mielo Balm.|
Disclaimer: These products were purchased by me, but I was given a blogger discount in exchange for my honest review of them.I don't even know where to begin with KaeQ.
I honestly love pretty much everything about them so far, in part because of how utterly simple everything is. And that's the kicker--the final product is simple, but their overall process isn't.
Nicole, the owner of KaeQ, locally sources the ingredients for the various fruit oils that can be found in KaeQ's balms depending on season, then presses them into oil in their own workshop, which they have videos of on their tumblr. The result is a product I can get behind--natural, handmade and local.
And the product is so good it speaks for itself.
Upon buying the Beso balm samples I'm not quite sure what I'd expected, but what I got really surprised me! I had expected a sheer, perhaps slightly oily balm color, but instead these are creamy and very pigmented, with--dare I say it--a pretty much perfect wax to oil ratio. They're not too slick or too stiff, which can sometimes be a problem. They're easy to control and spread on the lips, and Nicole even includes doefoot applicators for each sample! I love doefoots, they're my applicator of choice, so that's what I used to apply each of these.
Unto the swatches!
Disclaimer: All swatches were taken in warm indoor light and adjusted for color and clarity only in photoshop. None of these colors have been saturated or improved, only adjusted so they look true to how they look in real life.
|Mango, a rich red-orange.|
|B.S., a nicely pigmented black!|
|Seaweed, a slightly shimmery deep green.|
|Indigo, a slightly shimmery deep blue.|
|Coconut, a slightly reddened brown.|
|Lychee, a brick red.|
|Under artificial light, left to right: Lychee, Mango, Coconut|
|Under artificial light, left to right: Seaweed, Indigo, B.S.|
Also as you might note, in my lip swatches Lychee seems a bit less red than I find it really is and Seaweed seems a bit more vibrant and yellow, I find it's a bit deeper than the lip swatch makes it appear, hence the inclusion or arm swatches as well, all of which I find fairly true to color. Seaweed and Indigo are also the only two balms with a bit of shimmer to them, but I don't find it as prominent as I thought it would be.
Overall, even though Indigo does have its issues, I still find these are far, far better than other colored balms I've tried, especially in the deeper color department. It's very rare to get a black that isn't a patchy teenage goth mess, but check this shit out:
|It looks a tad blue here but I apologize. |
I swear it's as dark as my 15 year old soul was.
|Speaking of goths...|
Coconut in natural light.
The only downside to them is, because they are so minimal, they seize up in the cold! I was walking to the grocery in like -10 C weather (not your average day for Nicole in Miami, I'm sure) and found Coconut felt a bit stiff on my lips, a bit like when you dip your finger into hot candle wax and let the wax cool on the skin. It still stayed put and went back to feeling normal as soon as I entered a building, but the fact it'd happened at all made me smile, mostly because it made me realize just how far the difference in weather must be between Finland and Miami!
I also picked up a Mielo balm, which is basically Beso balm without the color. It has a delicious honey scent and is a nice thick, waxy beeswax and coconut oil balm to protect your gabbers from chapping. I've been using it before bed and find it's nice because it stays put. It's not my holy grail balm by any means, but it's a simple, solid balm that does what it's meant to, and that's very much what matters here!
So if you want a little handmade slice of Miami heaven, KaeQ is your shop. The Beso balm formula is great, and the samples are generous if you're a little wary of blind-buying a full tube for ten bucks right away! They're also safe for cheeks and eyes, so they're a wonderfully versatile little thing to tuck away for use. If you've been looking for a good time, I highly suggest you give KaeQ a little browse.
|Lychee is perfect.|