LIP LOCK: When a product takes four years and 35 iterations to nail, such as Dr. Barbara Sturm’s new lip balm, it calls for a celebration. The Miami regular jumped on December’s Art Basel bandwagon by releasing a limited-edition artwork with Niclas Castello, an artist who grew up in the same region as her that was once part of East Germany. She commissioned 20 of his signature sculptures shaped as voluptuous, natural-looking lips. Each glossy red case holds a single lip balm and is numbered and signed.
“I love beautiful things and combining the lip with the balm was a cool idea,” she said of the series, which sold two and reserved 15 during her Miami Art Week pop-ups at Faena Hotel and Gee Beauty, and is available through her web site. “When the batch is sold, we’ll do another limited-edition in a different color. People love it.”
The collaboration marks her art foray and his first in general. Castello introduced his lip series in 2010 and says he has no plans to work with other brands. Sturm describes skin-care formulation as where art meets science. She finds lip balms especially tricky for their need to hydrate and last when applied. Omitting fragrances, mineral oils and silicones, hers blends purslane, her go-to ingredient, and plant-based oils including coconut, avocado and sunflower seed with shea butter, beeswax and vitamin E.
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“I use it as my lip gloss now, but it’s fundamentally a healing balm. It’s even amazing to protect cheeks and under eyes against harsh winter weather,” she said, of the $55 addition to her antiaging line.