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Ladies, we've all been there. You're sitting at the bar, and after a few drinks, your lip gloss has washed away. Who wants to wait in the inevitably long line for the ladies room to reapply when all you need is a quick second in front of the mirror? So you dare to apply color in the dark. Sometimes you succeed; sometimes you look as though you ate your lipstick, and the damn stuff is up to your nose and onto your teeth.
Thankfully, OC native Neily Messershmidt and best friend Mike Sutton have you covered. Messerschmidt, the CEO of Garden Grove-based Valvari, has created the perfect lip gloss for on-the-go night application. Press the button on the top of the applicator, and you'll be bathed in bold LED illumination as you gaze into the built-in mirror on the side, applying your lip gloss perfectly without losing your seat at the bar. (Bonus: A quick, subtle point of the light at the stranger next to you lets you know whether he's really as tall, dark and handsome as he looks in the dim club.)
The product is free of toxic chemicals, carcinogens and parabens; has not been tested on animals; and is vegan-friendly. The exclusive formula contains natural ingredients including shea butter and a rare sap called Dragon's Blood that's believed to have 30 healing qualities. After continuous use, you'll notice soft, nourished lips.
Valvari offers 22 shades of non-sticky, lightweight, highly pigmented gloss. It doesn't last the longest, but it comes in a generous 9-milliliter bottle so you don't have to feel guilty reapplying. (If you are the hoarding type, it has a two-year shelf life.)
The company is mostly private-label, catering to companies who want a creative way to get their name out there. Fuck business cards—get your logo and contact straight on the bottle. Several women have commissioned custom glosses for bridesmaids and as wedding gifts or party favors. Valvari has no minimum-purchase requirement.
Plus, several spas and hair salons carry the glosses, which run from $22 to $32, depending on the vendor. Contact Valvari at 855-Valvari (825-8274) or firstname.lastname@example.org for locations. You can also visit www.valvari.com.
In the end, Valvari is all about having a healthy, sustainable product and supporting the small business. As Messerschmidt says, "No matter how big we get, we'll always think small."
This column appeared in print as "Know Your Lips."