Cheapie but Goodie: Neutrogena Tinted Lip Balms

Monday, December 3, 2012

Roughly $9
Meet what the Revlon Lip Butters should have been.

These Neutrogena lip balms have been on the market for a long time now, and I can't believe that A) I've only recently gotten around to trying them, and B) that they're rather underrated. A tinted lip balm is hardly a new makeup phenomenon, but these are just the right balance between moisture and color--a surprisingly difficult proportion to get right. 

The pigment here is fairly strong, so much so that it could take the place of a sheer lipstick, but the color is buildable and easy to intensify. Neutrogena's color range isn't as varied as I would like, but Sunny Berry (shown here) is a good mid-tone berry pink which is likely the most widely flattering of the set.  

Like with any lip balm, though, it's the texture and consistency that I'm most concerned with. Unlike a lot of waxy tinted lip balms, there's no question that this is truly hydrating the lips. It feels like what a proper lip treatment should be: creamy, moisturizing, but with a smoothing quality that seems to even out any rough bits. These leave such a healthy look to the lips, likely a combination of the moisturizing properties with the subtle shine the color delivers.

Overall, the word to best describe these tubes is comfortable. They're exactly what the ideal tinted lip balm should be: easy to apply, well pigmented, and incredibly comfortable and natural to wear. Did I mention it has SPF 20?!

If they did a more varied selection of colors (a deep red would be amazing), there really wouldn't be any reason to buy Revlon Lip Butters. They're not 100% exactly the same thing, as the Neutrogena is a balm with color, and the butters are a lip-color with more moisture, but the intended effect is extremely similar.

However, if you remember my review on the lip butters, there's something synthetic in their texture that makes them seem moisturizing and smooth when they actually wind up drying out my lips. They tend to accentuate all the dead skin and uneven texture, and don't feel truly hydrating--like the creaminess in application never penetrates the surface. The Revlon butters might last a little longer, but the Neutrogena balms are just so much more comfortable to wear that I'd rather reapply them than deal with that strange synthetic texture.

Can't even believe I took this picture.

I do have a few qualms, though, and the first one is with the packaging. I'm all for innovative designs, but why would a lip balm be shaped elliptically? It just doesn't make any sense--hold it one way and it's too wide for my lips, hold it the other and it doesn't cover half of the lip. Maybe I'll get used to it, but for now, I'm incredibly paranoid when applying this without a mirror (which kind of defeats the purpose of these slick-on anywhere lip products). 

My second issue is with the scent. The main fragrance of this balm is a pleasantly subtle watermelon which I'm fine with, but after about five minutes, you really start to smell the sunscreen. It's almost as though you're tasting that slightly plasticky, chemical-sunscreen scent. It's not too strong, and goes away after a while, but if your nose is as sensitive as mine (I can't stand lipsticks with any smell), that might be something to keep in mind.

Still, I'm so pleased with these balms that I'm willing to work around my issues. 

This type of easy lip is typically associated with summertime makeup, but I say these tubes are perfect for beautifying and hydrating our puckers this winter!

Next post will be a Mascara Experimentation featuring the newest Shu Uemura mascara!

Get excited--I know I am!

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