Monday, June 10, 2013

Battle of the Balms

Going to try something a bit new here.  Each month, I'm going to pick a new "battle" between brands for the best "{insert category here}".  This month is between Maybelline, Revlon, and L'Oreal for their sheer balm lipcolors.  Next month it will be three brands that do monthly glam boxes, the month after that three different brands of the "egg" blending sponges, and so on and so forth.  What do you think?

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There's a ton of debate on which of the lip "balm" products is the best of the best.  You see people on Youtube all the time talking about how they own almost every color of the Maybelline Color Whispers, or the Revlon Lip Butters, or the L'Oreal Color Riche Balms.  All claim to hydrate with a wash of color.

Here's the breakdown on each brand, followed by some swatches, and then my thoughts.  Let the battle begin!

In corner #1, it's Maybelline Color Whispers, weighing in at $7.49 per 3g, available in 20 colors: Dare to Whisper. Get truly translucent gel color from Color Whisper by Color Sensational from Maybelline. Pure color pigments suspended in a weightless gel deliver sexy, soft, see through color with a touch of shine, without the heavy waxes & oils found in traditional lipcolor.

In corner #2, we have L'Oreal Color Riche Balm, weighing in at $7.99 per 2.9g, available in 8 standard colors (some limited edition colors have been available based on current trends): Colour Riche Lip Balm goes beyond other tinted lip balms by providing the richest hydration experience and 8 hours of continuous hydration. Even when removed, Colour Riche Lip Balm continues to leave lips feeling conditioned for an additional 2.5 hours.

And in corner #3, the Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter, weighing in at $7.49 per 2.5g, available in 20 colors: Color Burst Lip Butter by Revlon is a buttery balm with beautiful shiny color to give you baby soft, healthy glowing lips 94% of women felt lips were softer, smoother, and instantly hydrated.

In each of the formulas, I own two colors.  Here are swatches of the colors I own/have tried on my lips.


Legally Regal
Come By My Window

Coral Ambition

Cherry On Top

Sugar Plum

Red Velvet


The first brand I tried was the Revlon Lip Butters.  I'd bought the color Sugar Plum probably about 6 months before I'd ever even heard of the formula, and it was because I like the color in the tube.  The formula is hydrating, but I wouldn't call it a balm more than just a very hydrating lipstick on the Red Velvet color.  The color matches the outside case pretty perfectly.  I keep Sugar Plum in my purse at all times for days when I forget my lipcolor, because it's hydrating and also a good natural looking shade for when I want to enhance my lips without looking like I'm wearing "lipstick".  I bought the color Red Velvet in January after a bride was asking about red lipstick for her wedding and I bought a ton of different ones to experiment with to give her a recommendation.  I didn't even realize they were the same brand/formula until probably a month ago when I was organizing my makeup stash!  I like that the majority of the colors in this line are good every day colors.  They aren't too trendy or super bright.  I feel like they would be wearable for most skin tones and still natural looking.

The next brand I tried was the L'Oreal Color Riche Balm.  I saw the shade Legally Regal back in March on a display with some matching nail polishes and fell in love with the way it looked in the packaging and in the tube.  I didn't expect it to come out looking so candy purple on the lips as well.  The formula feels good and smells great, but the two colors I have are just too pastel for my tastes.  I'll have to try a non-limited edition color to make a better opinion on whether I like them for me.  I don't know about the whole 10.5 hours of hydration, because I drink so much during the day and have such a habitual addiction to reapplying my lip products every hour that I never had the opportunity to go that long in a test run.  I'll even wake up in the middle of the night to reapply chapstick.  It's a sickness. I know.  Let's move on.

Lastly, I tried the Maybelline Color Whispers after seeing so much about them on YouTube.  The packaging is super cute.  The whole concept of the gel colors intrigued me, but like the L'Oreal I haven't found a color that looks good on me.  The Coral Ambition is way too orange, and the Cherry on Top is too bright a hot pink even for my tastes.  I do love the smell, and they are a really richly pigmented brand for supposedly being a balm and "sheer" color.  Looking at the packaging in the store, I can't help but be skeptical that any of the colors would suit both my skin tone and my personality.  Knowing that they are very pigmented makes me hesitant.  The packaging is beautiful but very artificial in colors.  They look like jello shots all lined up, or little stained glass soldiers.  Pretty to look at, impractical to wear.

And the winner is......

Revlon Lip Butters! 

But only by a thin margin over the L'Oreal Balm.  The deciding factor was that they are only available in 8 standard colors.  The Revlon Lip Butters have a more natural looking color range (like the L'Oreal standard colors) and more options, even if they are the smallest by weight.  All three brands have a similar consistency, smell, and hydration factor, so it really came down the wearability of the colors and the shade range.  I'll definitely be trying a few more shades of the L'Oreal, because I do really love L'Oreal products, and the shade Tender Me Mauve has caught my eye.  The Maybelline Color Whispers are just too candy colored for my tastes and more suitable to younger women who enjoy that style of lip color.

Which do you prefer?  Do you have any recommendations on shades I should try from L'Oreal or maybe the Maybelline to change my verdict?

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