DD1 is my most girly girl. Despite my lack of interest in anything resembling fashion or make up, she seems quite clued up on these topics. I’m not that worried; there was a time when I too tried to keep up with what was ‘in’. I’m sure it’s normal for 10 year old girls and doesn’t necessarily mean she’s going to morph into some little airhead who finds science and maths ‘too hard’.
So when we were offered a Lip Balm Laboratory by Wild Science to review, I was only too pleased to accept. It’s billed as ‘perfect for girls who enjoy scientific experiments to create fantastic, but professional beauty products.’ I might not be thrilled about the beauty product aspect but they had me with ‘scientific experiment’. DD liked the idea too so it was all good.
The Lip Balm Laboratory comes in a good sized, sturdy, rather pink box. I’m not a fan of gender specific games and activities, and I suppose there wouldn’t be many boys out there interested in making lip balm, but if there were, this box would probably put them off a little!
Open it and you’ll find the plastic workbench complete with measuring spoons, beakers, small pots of ingredients and bottles of colour and scents. A pair of disposable gloves and a spatula was also provided.
Everything was well packaged, and the instructions provided were good. Being a sensible 10 year old, DD was able to follow them easily by herself with very little help from me. The only time she asked for assistance was to get the tops off some of the bottles and pots.
She enjoyed measuring out the ingredients and I let her heat the water for the water bath in the microwave herself as she’s usually pretty careful. She especially enjoyed adding the colours and scents to make the ‘shimmer’ balm. She didn’t enjoy waiting the 5 minutes for the patch test, as recommended in the booklet, but I think that’s a very sensible step to include.
The first time DD got the Laboratory out, she only had time to create two different lip balms, so the compact provided was only half filled by the time we had to pack up.
She didn’t mind though; she’s looking forward to getting it out again and making another couple of balms. She now has plans to get some little containers and make different scent/colour combinations for her friends.
I liked the Lip Balm Laboratory. The instruction booklet was clear and easy to follow and included a some background information about the ingredients, where they come from and how lip balm works. My 10 year old DD was able to complete the activities by herself but one of the steps involves handling extremely hot water so you’d want to be close by, even if you are happy for your child to do this themselves.
My 8 year old would have been able to do the measuring out and mixing, but I couldn’t trust her not to burn herself, so I would have heated up the water bath for her myself. A more careful 8 year old may be fine though.
Once the finished product had cooled, DD put some on and thought it felt nice, although perhaps a bit soft. It certainly made her lips nice and shiny.
She has decided to add more wax beads to the mixture next time, to see if she can make a slightly firmer lip balm. And that’s what science is all about, isn’t it? Experimenting with the method and ingredients, to see if you can improve the results next time.
It’s nice that Wild Science provide enough ingredients that the girls can mix it up a little once they have learnt the basics. It may not be rocket science but I would consider the Wild Science Lip Balm Laboratory to be a good introduction to cosmetic science for most girls in the 8-12 year range. Girls who just want to follow a recipe will enjoy it as much as those who want to truly experiment and make something unique.
The Wild Science Lip Balm Laboratory retails at £12.99 and is available from Wally’s Toyshop.
For the purpose of this review, the Wild Science Lip Balm Laboratory was provided free of charge. However the opinion expressed above is all my own.