I am a huge fan of Fresh Sugar Plum Lip Treatment–the soft berry color, the light coverage–but paying $23 for lipstick was getting a bit expensive. So I started searching for something new, and a friend encouraged me to try a lip color balm.
Color balms in general are a great way to wear color on your lips without diving head first into a creamy lipstick or a shiny gloss. It’s color for those of us who are looking for a subtle accent, not a bold pop.
Splurge: Clinique Chubby Stick Lip Color Balm ($17). The first makeup I ever wore was Clinique, so I’ve been loyal to the brand for more than a decade. I love their Stay Matte Foundation and their Lid Smoothie cream eye color in currant, so I decided to give their newest lip creation, the Chubby Stick Balm, a try.
Thanks to Karla Sugar, I was able to see what the colors would look like on my lips, before I went to Macy’s to pick one out. Because I was looking to recreate the Fresh Sugar Plum, I chose Richer Raisin.
The balm went on smoothly and is very moisturizing. It has a buildable color, so you can customize the intensity of the shade. The color doesn’t last very long, I found myself re-applying four or five times during the evening. I also liked how easy the pencil was to use, I could apply without a mirror and still get good coverage.
Steal: Revlon Colorstay Just Bitten Balm Stain ($6). Before heading to Walgreen’s, I consulted a post on the blog Cheap as F***, and decided that the color Crush was closest to Fresh’s berry-purple hue.
Like the Clinique, the Revlon balm applies with ease and has a sheer, buildable color that can be adjusted for daytime or evening. The selection of colors is good, but the hues aren’t quite as deep as with the Clinique balm.
As for wearability, unlike the Clinique, the Revlon definitely needs a chapstick underneath it. It also feels a bit sticky on the lips after the second re-application if you don’t re-apply the chapstick as well. On the bright side, the Revlon balm did seem to have more sticking power than the Clinique balm. I only reapplied twice during my night out.
Verdict: The Clinique. While the Revlon is an excellent inexpensive alternative, the Clinique is a superior product. The colors are more intense, more mature and suitable for a wider variety of lifestyles and skin tones than the flatter, less glossy Revlon colors. The Chubby Stick was hydrating without the addition of chapstick, and the re-application issue can be lessened with a bit of lip primer.