Category Archives: Lip Balm

Sephora Color Reveal Lip Balm Review & Swatches

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Sephora Color Reveal Lip Balm Unique Pink

Sephora Color Reveal Lip Balm

I’ve always been intrigued by Dior’s Lip Glow, but unwilling to spend $31 on what is essentially a sheer pink lip balm.  While browsing in Sephora the other day, I came across Sephora’s house brand Color Reveal Lip Balm which appears to be a dupe; both are marketed as moisturizing balms, and both self-adjust from clear (when initially applied) to some shade of pink based on the pH of your skin/ lips. I should have swatched both side by side in store but didn’t think to.  I have swatched Dior Lip Glow on my hand several times and I know it turns a similar color on my hand as the Sephora brand product.

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Revlon Baby Sticks Swatches & Initial Thoughts

Revlon Baby Sticks

Sunset // Pink Passion // Tahiti

Revlon has a new collection out called the Pacific Coast Collection by Gucci Westman. The collection includes four new shades of lip butters, four shades of Colorstay polish, a white Colorstay gel eyeliner, two Colorstay eyeshadow quads, and one totally new product – the Baby Sticks, which come in three shades (Sunset, Tahiti, and Pink Passion).  I purchased all three to swatch and review.  Since I just bought them today, this post is swatches and my initial thoughts rather than a full review.

As you can see, the Baby Sticks are packaged in plastic tubes that exactly match the color of the product inside.  The lids snap closed quite securely – I don’t think they would be likely to open in your bag.  The product inside twists up and down easily.  The plastic tube does not have the shade name printed on it, but there is a white adhesive label on the tube itself which has the bar code, ingredients, and shade name. The Baby Sticks were shrinkwrapped (yay for drugstore packaging that shows when it hasn’t been opened!).

It’s hard to tell from the first photo, but the tubes are very small, and there isn’t much product inside (.1oz) – here are two photos with a quarter for perspective.  For perspective, Revlon’s Photoready Cream blush has .44oz, and MAC’s Cremeblend blush has .19oz.

Revlon Baby Sticks - Size Comparison-2 Revlon Baby Sticks - Size Comparison

It’s always hard for me to describe textures – I guess I would call this sort of emollient and waxy.  It blends easily, and leaves a sheen on the skin. It is comfortable on the lips, but quite different from the texture of most lipsticks and balms, though closer to a waxy balm than anything else. I did not detect any smell or taste, but I have a cold right now and there may be a scent I am just missing!

Now to the potential problem with these: they are sheer. Really, really sheer. Here are one-swipe swatches of all three shades, done with medium pressure.

Revlon Sunset Pink Passion Tahiti Baby Stick Swatches-2

One swipe each: Sunset // Pink Passion // Tahiti

Here are VERY heavy swatches; these are about 15-20 swipes done with heavy pressure. It would not be possible to wear these like this – it’s just too much product; I swatched them like this so you could better see the color of the Baby Sticks.

Revlon Sunset Pink Passion Tahiti Baby Stick Swatches

15 – 20 swipes each: Sunset // Pink Passion // Tahiti

As you can see, Pink Passion is the most pigmented.  I can definitely see it working as blush on those with fair skin, and it might work on those with medium skin who prefer sheer blush.  Sunset may work on those with fair skin who prefer sheer blush.  I don’t see Tahiti working on anyone – it’s so so sheer that it’s almost clear.

Since these are meant for the cheeks & lips, I also did lip swatches. In each set, the top photo is my lips with no product, and the lower photo is with the Baby Stick applied.

Revlon Tahitian Baby Stick Swatch


I can’t see Tahitian on my lips – maybe just a hint of shine.

Revlon Sunset Baby Stick Swatch


Sunset adds a hint of color.

Revlon Pink Passion Baby Stick Swatch

Pink Passion

And Pink Passion works very well on the lips; it looks and feels similar to a tinted balm.

So, overall, I am a bit disappointed in the Baby Sticks. I love cream blush, and I love multipurpose lip/cheek products, but I really prefer a more opaque product I can sheer out (or even a sheer product I can build!) to a product like this, which is sheer and not very buildable.  I’ll play with them some more, and update this review if my thoughts change.

If you prefer a more intensely colored product, I would skip these.  If you’re okay with something sheer, I would tentatively recommend checking out Pink Passion – the pigmentation level of that one in particular is really quite reasonable, and the texture (as a first impression) seems very nice.  I suggest that everyone skip Tahiti – it’s just too sheer to be workable – and I’m still on the fence about Sunset.

I hope these swatches were helpful – after seeing this, are you interested in the Baby Sticks?

NYC Apple Blossom Applelicious Lip Balm Review & Swatches

nyc applelicious glossy lip balm apple blossom

Next up, we have one of NYC’s newly released products, the Applelicious Glossy Lip Balm, which is a tinted lip balm.  There are several different shades, and I picked out the shade Apple Blossom, which I thought might be a dark pink.

nyc applelicious apple blossom swatch

one swipe // multiple swipes

It’s more of a medium pink, and at first I didn’t see any shimmer (more on that in a minute).  It’s quite sheer, which is what I would expect from something labeled a lip balm.  It smells like apples – it’s a nice scent to my nose, not too artificial smelling.

nyc applicious glossy lip balm apple blossom swatch-2 Unfortunately, there were two problems when I applied it to my lips.  First, I didn’t like the color it ended up – it’s just too light of a pink for me.  But, that’s just my preference and that’s just this one shade – it doesn’t mean anything bad about the product as a whole.  However, the balm also felt extremely gritty – like it was full of shimmer, even though I didn’t see any shimmer in it. I examined the balm more closely, and it appears that the outer portion is shimmer-free, but the inner (apple-shaped) part has fine shimmer. I can barely see it, but it feels very unpleasant on my lips and I had to wipe it off.

I don’t know if the other shades have shimmer, but I am quite hesitant to try them, though I do actually quite like tinted balms and these really do have potential.  Have you tried the Applelicious balms? What are your thoughts on them?

sally hansen peptide lip smoother, plumping lip primer

Sally Hansen New Peptide Lip Smoother & Plumping Lip Primer Review

sally hansen peptide lip smoother, plumping lip primer

Sally Hansen recently released four new lip care products, which I found in a display at CVS.  I purchased the Peptide Lip Smoother and the Plumping Lip Primer, and I have reviews of both of those for you today.  The display also included an invisible lip liner and a stick lip balm balm, but since I have a Maybelline clear lip liner and plenty of lip balm, I passed on those for now.   Here are images (from of the items I did not purchase:

Sally Hansen invisible lip liner, full & radient lip balm

As to the products I did purchase – the Peptide Lip Smoother is really interesting. It’s definitely not a traditional balm.  It’s supposed to be “skincare for lips” – and it sort of feels more like a moisturizer than a lip balm. It’s a white, milky fluid when it comes out of the tube, though it does disappear completely when applied. I’m having a bit of trouble figuring out how to describe the texture – I guess it’s sort of like a thick, slightly waxy lotion.

I do find it moisturizing, but it’s not as moisturizing as my favorite lip balms (I usually use Jack Black during the day and Nuxe Reve de Miel at night).  I planned to test it the Peptide Smoother by using it as my sole lip balm for a couple days, but my lips weren’t happy with that plan – I need my other lip balms! That said, I do really like it in combination with my other balms, and I will continue to use it.

Sally Hansen Peptide Line Smoother

The Sally Hansen Plumping Lip Primer is my very first plumping lip product and my very first lip primer.  Let me say first that I like it, and second that if you have sensitive lips, it is not for you! I am wearing it (under a lipstick) right now – I applied it about 25 minutes ago, and I still feel a minty tingle from the plumping action.  It isn’t bothering me – I don’t have sensitive skin generally – but I’d play it safe & skip it if you’ve had problems with plumping products before.  I’m not sure I can detect any plumping action going on with my lips, either.

That said, this is a really nice lip primer. It applies clear (so it doesn’t interfere with your lipstick color), and is semi-matte (so it doesn’t interfere with your lipstick finish – matte lipsticks still look matte).  It’s definitely moisturizing and makes matte lipsticks more comfortable to wear.  My lips are in pretty good condition right now, but I think it also does a decent job of smoothing out lip lines and making my lipstick look better – though I will have to see how it does when my lips are in rougher shape.

Sally Hansen Plumping Lip Primer

The real question is whether it helps my lipstick last twice as long, as it claims, and the jury is still out. I tested it with two different lipsticks (both lipsticks that don’t last very long on me), and with one it didn’t seem to lengthen the wear; with the other, it helped a lot.  I think it may depend on the texture of the lipstick and how it interacts with the texture of the primer.  And, I don’t think that most lipsticks will last twice as long – but some will last an extra hour or so with the primer.  I’ll continue to test it out, and I’ll update this post if I have any further thoughts on it.

Drugstore Makeup Quick Reviews: Featuring Wet n Wild, L’oreal, and NYC

Today I have something a little bit different – mini reviews.  I am a little bit behind on reviewing some products I’ve recently purchased, so I though I would knock out several reviews with one post.  Thus, short reviews!

First up: Wet n Wild Juicy lip balm in Cherry.  This is a chubby balm with slight tint.  I love the color it gives my lips, but I absolutely cannot STAND the artificial fruit scent – it actually makes me gag. I will never wear this again!

Wet n Wild Cherry juicy lip balm

Wet n Wild Cherry juicy lip balm – left is one swipe, right is multiple swipes

Second, we have Wet n Wild Coloricon Shimmer eyeliner in 154 Black.  This is fairly basic black eyeliner with silver shimmer. I expected it to be fairly hard (because the last generation of Wet n Wild eyeliners were), but it’s quite reasonable – not soft, but light pressure gives a line with medium pigmentation. It works very well on my lower lash line, where I prefer a soft black instead of a very deep black.  It’s a little bit to hard to be ideal on my upper lash line, which requires something fairly soft.  I bought this for 60 cents during a 40% off sale, and it’s worth that price – or even the full price of $1 – but I wouldn’t pay more for it.

WnW coloricon shimmer eyeliner - black

WnW coloricon shimmer eyeliner – black

I bought L’oreal Gilded Bronze Eyeshadow single during a sale – I’d never tried L’oreal eyeshadow, and it looks like a lovely deep bronze.  It did not disappoint! It’s a lovely color, and is soft, smooth and pigmented. Recommended!

L'oreal Gilded Bronze L'oreal Gilded Bronze L'oreal Gilded Bronze - swatch  I received NYC Individual Eyes Dark Shadows in an Influenster box.   The eyeshadows are very smooth, but a little too soft  and prone to crumbling.  I re-swatched them this morning, with a fingertip, and they performed significantly better than in the swatches below, which are with a sponge-tip applicator.  With a fingertip, the white, silver, and medium grey perform adquately, and only the dark grey lacks pigmentation.  However, this palette is still not worth it to me – the colors aren’t unique, and I have much better versions of each shade.   The included primer isn’t as good as my other primer, and I’m not really sure what to do with the illuminator – it’s far too sparkly for me to use as a browbone (or face) highlighter.

NYC IndividualEyes - Dark Shadows

NYC IndividualEyes – Dark Shadows

NYC IndividualEyes Dark Shadows - swatches

swatched without primer

NYC IndividualEyes Dark Shadows - swatched

swatched over the included primer

But, I didn’t want to dismiss all NYC IndividualEyes eyeshadows based on one bad experience.  So I picked up the Animal Instinct palette from the Fashion Predator collection – which Nouveau Cheap gave a great review.  This palette was definitely superior to the Dark Shadows palette. I found that the first two shades were quite sheer, but the latter two shades (brown and blackened green) had decent, though not great, pigmentation.   I will probably depot this one, keeping the brown, blackened green, and maybe the copper, and toss the rest.

NYC IndividualEyes - Animal Instict

NYC IndividualEyes – Animal Instict

NYC IndividualEyes - Animal Instict

NYC IndividualEyes – Animal Instict

NYC IndividualEyes - Animal Instict - swatches

swatched without primer

NYC IndividualEyes - Animal Instict - swatched

swatched over included primer

And thus concludes today’s mini reviews. Thanks for reading, especially if you made it all the way to the end!

The Dark Shadows palette was provided for consideration by Influenster. All other items in this post were purchased by me. This post includes affiliate links.

Fresh Sugar Soiree Mini Lip Collection: Reviews, Swatches, Photos

Fresh Sugar Soiree Mini Lip Collection contents

Fresh Sugar Soiree Mini Lip Collection contents

Ever since I received Sephora’s birthday gift this year – which was two Fresh Sugar lip treatments, clear and rose – I’ve been a big fan of Fresh’s lip products.   And I was lucky enough to have a friend give me a Sephora Friends & Family code this year, so I decided to have a mini-splurge and buy Sephora’s Fresh Sugar Soiree Mini Lip Collection, which is $65 and includes 8 mini lip treatments – which I believe is all the lip treatments Fresh currently makes.

If $65 ($8.13 each) for this set is too much for you, Fresh has two other holiday sets consisting of the tinted mini lip treatments.  The Fresh Sugar Addiction Mini Lip Collection is $48 (8 each) includes six of the lip treatments; it doesn’t include the Advanced Therapy clear or Sugar Fresh Plum – which happens to be the sheerest and my least favorite of the bunch.  I’d actually recommend that set.  And, if you’d rather only spend $28 ($9.33 each), the Fresh Sugar Kisses Mini Lip Trio includes minis of Passion, Honey, and Berry.

Fresh Sugar Soiree Mini Lip Collection - packaging

Fresh Sugar Soiree Mini Lip Collection – packaging

Fresh Sugar Soiree

so pretty lined up inside the box!

Each mini lip balm is packaged in a screw-top metal case; each is a different color.  This is the same packaging as the Sephora birthday gift and the full size items.  I like the packaging – it’s pretty and protects the lip balm.

I really like the texture of the balm. I find it quite moisturizing and very comfortable to wear, though it’s not quite as healing on my lips as Jack Black lip balm.  The tinted balm feel exactly the same as the clear ones. I haven’t tried the Advanced Lip Therapy yet though, because I want to finish up some other lip balms first. Do note that these are quite soft and a bit fragile – I never twist them very far up, to protect the balm.  They get quite soft in hot weather, but despite walking around with one in my purse on a 95 degree day, I’ve never had one melt – just soften temporarily.

On to the swatches! I swatched all six of the colored balms, and tried to arrange them so similar colors were next to each other.  I swatched my older, used Rose balm, which is why the swatch looks slightly different / not as crisp.

Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment Swatches - coral rose honey passion berry plum

Fresh Sugar tinted lip treatments – natural light

Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment Swatches - coral rose honey passion berry plum

Fresh Sugar Tinted lip treatments – same order as above – with flash

EDIT: Here’s a better quality swatch photo. Coral was slightly melted, thus the heavier swatch – but it is the most pigmented.

Fresh Sugar tinted balm swatches - Plum Berry Passion Coral Rose Honey

Plum // Berry // Passion // Coral // Rose // Honey

(back to the post)

As you can see, Plum is the most sheer, followed by Rose then Honey.  Passion and Berry have about the same pigmentation level, and Coral is the most pigmented.  Plum barely shows up on me with a single layer, Rose and Honey add just a hint of color, and Passion, Berry, and Coral all show up very well.

I also took lip swatch pictures, including a no-lip-product photo for comparison purposes.  This is a fairly generous coat of each balm to better show the product; it’s possible to apply less and get a sheerer look.

no lip product

Fresh Sugar Honey lip swatch

Fresh Sugar Honey

Fresh Sugar Rose lip swatch

Fresh Sugar Rose

Fresh Sugar Coral lip swatch

Fresh Sugar Coral

Fresh Sugar  Passion lip swatch

Fresh Sugar Passion

Fresh Sugar Berry lip swatch

Fresh Sugar Berry

Fresh Sugar Plum lip swatch

Fresh Sugar Plum

Overall, this is a fantastic set, and a great value.  It’s listed as a $91 value, though I haven’t checked the math myself.  I’m very happy with it! However, since I don’t like Plum as much as the others, and I have plenty of clear balms, I would actually recommend the Fresh Sugar Addiction set instead (and it has the bonus of being slighly cheaper per item).

Are you a fan of holiday mini-sets in general, and does this one appeal to you?