Our lip treatment took 41 trial runs and a year to develop and test. This may sound like overthinking, but the truth is that Ava had very specific goals for this lip healer. She wanted it to be something creamy, nutty, and yummy that you long to reach for and apply, but foremost, she wanted to give you a lip balm that truly heals the lips.
It is a known fact among skincare formulators that effectively reparative lip care products are very hard to create. We tested formulas that looked pleasingly and elegantly white, ivory, or yellow, but those didn’t penetrate deeply, no matter what ingredients we tried. We tested a range of harder balm formulations with vegan waxes or beeswax, but those either dried out the lips instead of hydrating them, or sat on the lips forever instead of penetrating. We also tested several melt-on-contact ideas, but those felt oily, would make lipsticks applied over them run, and only protected the lips for about a minute.
Maybe we made just one mistake: we named this lip treatment Thelma early in the process. As you may know, the historic Thelma was stubborn and opinionated, so it’s no surprise that our Thelma also had to show us who was boss. Eventually, though, all our hard work yielded truly special results: a deeply penetrating, ultra-healing balm, with a soft, opaque brown hue that disappears completely to appear invisible on the lips.
The outcome of our trials is a vegan lip treatment in a soft, fluffy balm format that radically heals the lip tissue. Your lips will look smooth, even-textured, and naturally firm, and after the first several uses, you won’t need to reapply Thelma often, even if it is the middle of winter: your lips will be healthier and more resilient.
Our lip treatment is the fully penetrating kind, which means that if you are used to a thick coating from a lip balm that stays on and on (which is useful when you are skiing or snowboarding), consider applying your protective type of balm over Thelma. Thelma heals and repairs the lip tissue, absorbing fully and leaving your lips healthy and natural looking—not shiny or coated. We have found that this natural feel is a win for women who want to follow a lip treatment with a lipstick, but also for men and children, who usually don’t want something that smells or feels like a cosmetic. Thelma is made up of butters and oils that were barely hand-pressed from the seeds and lightly filtered, and on the lips it feels unprocessed and delicate; it feels one with nature and, somehow, one with the body.
The mega-penetrating qualities of Thelma come from the South African mafura butter and from the Brazilian bacuri butter, both ingredients used by the indigenous cultures of each region as heal-alls for wounds, eczema, and dry, cracked skin. We added Brazil nut oil for its bounty of minerals and vitamins, and mango kernel butter to enhance smoothness and elasticity of the lip tissue.