Chic Product Review: Smith's Rosebud Salve

I’m an impulse buyer by nature – a sucker for the fun, colorful displays of interesting-looking junk near cash registers, and it’s rare that I make a purchase without grabbing something at the last minute and spending even more money I don’t really have. One thing I can thank this bad habit for, is that it is single-handedly responsible for my love affair with Smith’s Rosebud Salve.

 Smith’s, affectionately called “Rosebud” by myself and my friends, can be tricky to find, but is well worth the hunt. Rosebud advertises itself as an "all purpose skin preparation," and I’m addicted to it as a lip gloss, but have been known to use it on dry, chapped skin in the winter, and it’s especially soothing for cracked cuticles. It comes in only one color – a light, “rosy” pink that looks great on everyone, hence the cult-like following it has gained among my friends.

It’s smooth and creamy, but not sticky or too shiny like a lot of lip glosses tend to be, and has the subtle, romantic smell of roses – nothing too overwhelmingly fruity. Smith’s has come out with a strawberry flavor, which is a slightly brighter pink, but the original’s mere hint of fragrance and color is what I really love about the salve. It creates a natural, dewy look that suits the low-maintenance style I prefer. If you require a slightly darker color, it’s great to layer over a lipstick or lip stain while still keeping that natural, glamorous-without-trying look we all covet.

Not a day goes by when the phrase, “Anyone have any Rosebud?” doesn’t leave the mouth of at least one of my friends, and it’s become common courtesy to offer the tin around if you’re the first one to pull it out of your purse after a meal or in the back of a cab on our way out for the night. The tin it comes in provides for Rosebud’s other appeal. Its design is quaintly old-fashioned, evoking images of a small-town drugstore, which is understandable since part of the description in small print on the top reads, “First prepared by a druggist in 1892.”

The tin is also handy if you’re anything like me and tend to drop everything important, (cell phones, especially), trying to dig things out of your purse – it won’t break and won’t roll away. If you’re forgetful (also, like me) and have ever left a lip gloss or lip stick in your car on a summer’s day, you know what a nasty, gooey mess it creates. An easy trick I’ve learned, just stick the Rosebud tin in the fridge for five minutes, and it’s solid again.

I apologize if this reads like a love letter, but I would shamelessly say that picking that first Rosebud out of a bowl and throwing it on top of the stack of clothes I was buying at Urban Outfitters is one of the best impulse decisions I’ve ever made. I’m on my third tin, (did I mention it lasts forever), in as many years, and this one, like the others, is dented, scratched, fading, and almost empty – all the signs of a life lived full of constant and undying adoration.

You can find Smith’s Rosebud Salve for around $6 on several specialty beauty Web sites, such as,,, and in Urban Outfitters stores.

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