BALMSHELLS
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BALMSHELLS

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BALMSHELLS! They were created for the same reason that NerdLacquer was : "Oh, the exact thing I want doesn't exist? FINE, I'LL MAKE IT MYSELF." Also, because everything should be as delightful as possible, and the more delightful a thing is, the more likely I am to actually use it often enough to do some good (this is the same sophisticated psychological reasoning behind the existence of, like, Spiderman bubble bath). Put them on your nails, put them on the backs of your hands, put them on your elbows (but the essential oils/fragrances I'm using, while 100% skin-safe, are not approved or recommended for use on lips, so probably don't put them there). 

Do your cuticles get as dry and gross as mine do? Balmshells! Do you hate the damp/greasy/dirty feeling of having lotion all over your fingers and palms like I do? Balmshells! Got a guy pal / spouse / dad / bro in your life who could use some hand help but balks at flowery-smelling lotions? BALM. SHELLS. Here's why they're good :

SIMPLE INGREDIENTS : Organic refined coconut oil, pure organic shea butter, natural beeswax, rosehip seed oil, and a dash of neem oil because a little bit of ayurvedic antibacterial/antifungal action never hurts. This is the mix I arrived at to deliver plenty of skin-friendly emollients, an occlusive (wax) to seal them in, and no lingering greasiness. Soft enough to dispense and apply easily, but not so soft they'll melt in a pocket.

FAB PACKAGE : Fun label art, yes. But more importantly, a handy slide-top tin! Easy to open, large shallow surface so it's easy to rub with pad of thumb or finger *without* getting it all packed under your nail (ugh), low-profile shape makes it easy to keep in pocket or purse. EASY.

UNUSUAL SCENTS : Balmshells have custom-blended fragrances evocative of some of my favorite fictional ass-kickers. They are, in approximate order of "most traditionally feminine" to "pretty unisex" to "more traditionally masculine" (which are my own personal favorites) :

ZOË : Nicely balanced cedar and violet. Staunch, steadfast, but also kinda sweet and soft (and maybe a little bit slinky).

SCULLY : A true and heady incense, with champa, frankincense, a little patchouli, bit of pine. Champa dominates, making this one quite perfumey. 

RIVER : Water notes and, of course, gunpowder. Like a mysterious forest stream with a high probability of impending violence. 

BOBBIE : Fresh greenery, vetiver, hint of coconut (virgin coconut oil in this one!), and a whiff of mechanical lubricant from your Goliath power armor. 

LEIA : Sharp, cool, definitely headstrong, and a little tart. Contains notes of fresh snow, grapefruit, pepper, and evergreens.

ELEVEN : Cool autumn woods, dirt, and sea salt. Very fresh, surprisingly powerful, maaaaybe psychokinetic. 

ROLAND : Black tea, black pepper, smoke. The scent of 19th century British colonialism ("give us your tea and spices or we'll burn your shit down"). FAVE.

RIPLEY : Oud, lime, fir, campfire. Peaty, smoky, slightly spicy, slightly sour. Smells like taking a flamethrower to a bunch of very exotic (alien?) biomass.

BRIENNE : Brisk and bracing winter woods, with a mix of mahogany, juniper, cedar, and fir. Cold and green, but also strong and forthright and earthy. 

LANA : “WHAT?” Gunpowder and suede. Is it amazing and quite unisex? “YUUUUUUP.” Is it only for people with massive hands? “NOOOOOOPE.” 

STARBUCK : Old leather jacket and a hint of cigar. What else could it possibly be? This one's probably my second favorite after Roland. Okay, and Ripley.

DAX : Unscented, because Trills take on the outward characteristics of their hosts, duh.

The scents on these are strong enough to be apparent when you're applying them and for a little bit afterwards, but NOT strong enough to fight with your perfume. Currently available in .5 ounce tins, AND if there's a scent you're not sure about, teeny little samples in teeny little plastic bags are available -- just note in the comments at checkout which ones you'd like to try out!