* Prices may differ from that shown
I'm a massive fan of lip balms and soap and glory, so when I was in my local boots I snatched up the smooch operator for (a rather expensive) £5. Now, I'd already tried one 'lip balm' from soap and glory and had written a review about its sloppy, greasiness so with this in mind I'd hoped that the smooch operator would be much better!
So £5 is very expensive for a lip balm, especially when it's sitting cosy between £1.50 balms from other highly reputable sellers. At such a high price, it's almost instinct to automatically think that you're paying for quality.
It's definitely not quantity, as the pot is absolutely tiny. The packaging leaves much to the imagination as it's very boring and basic, not as pink and in your face as other soap and glory packaging! I've got a thing for dip pots, I think they're very unhygienic and always make sure I clean my hands before using it. The smell of the product is very nice although again doesn't have that traditional soap and glory smell, and I don't actually think it smells any different to a cheaper lip balm which did start to make me worry about the quality of this product.
The product inside is very nearly rock hard and you've got to really work your finger inside to get some out. I would describe the consistency more as a balm rather than a butter. It takes me a minute or so to actually apply my lips properly with 3 or 4 attempts at 'scooping' the product out.
When it first goes on, it does taste nice though it feels like grease on my lips. At no point does it feel like it's absorbing into my skin and after about an hour or so it's time to reapply because my lips actually feel dryer than before initial application.
I'm really not impressed with this product and I genuinely feel cheated for spending £5 on a product that could be easily beaten by a lip balm that costs £4 less. I generally find that soap and glory products are a hit and a miss, their body creams, scrubs and lotions are beautiful but as for their lip balms and face washes I'd rather look elsewhere. I wouldn't recommend this product to anyone, as I need a good balm that will nourish and product my lips against harsh weather and indoor heating, and as for this product I just feel that it's adding to the damage being done. There are more effective lip balms out there that won't damage your purse! I don't feel like they can justify charging that money for such a mediocre product.
I have incredibly dry lips, pretty much all the time, and am always on the hunt for new lip products to try. I am generally a fan of S&G products, and having been previously using their normal body butter as a lip balm to good effect, thought that this product would be a great one to try. It normally retails at about £6 for 9g, but I managed to get it for £4 in the sale but Boots often have 3 for 2 or such offers on if you like other S&G products.
The packaging is typically Soap and Glory cute, although the white tub looks quite basic in my opinion (you can never have too much pink, right?). But it does feel like you get quite a lot of product - 9g
It is described as a Lip Butter Balm, and this is the first thing that unfortunately gets a star knocked off... It just isn't buttery at all. I was expecting a similar consistency to their range of body butters, and more like a traditional moisturising cream but modified for the lips (which is the reason I chose this balm over their other ones). The actual consistency is pretty much like any other lip balm in a tub - Slightly oily and transparent. It is also quite hard, so you really need to dig in with your finger to get it out. On the plus side though it smells great!
When it is applied it feels good, and gives that tingle feeling (similar to lip plumping products but not so extreme). However I find that after a few minutes it just feels quite thin, and doesn't feel like it is absorbed at all and just sits on the surface of the lips. And it has completely disappeared within the hour (but this is similar to most balms really), leaving my lips feeling slightly softer but still pretty dry.
As a regular, protective lip balm for people with not so dry lips I imagine it could be quite effective, so don't rule it out! But for me, it just doesn't cut it I'm afraid. And certainly not when you take in to consideration the price and value for money, which is where the second star gets knocked off. I have tried a *lot* of balms over the years and Smooch Operator probably sits mid-range for me, and have used balms a third of the price which have been more effective. So I'm sorry to say that I probably wouldn't buy this product again.