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Lip Balm Quick Reviews: Clarins, Jack Black, Nuxe, Tarte, Tatcha, First Aid Beauty

For reference, I test lip balms over months, not weeks or months, as I like to test them under a variety of conditions. My lips are usually what I’d say are “normal,” where they’re not dry, chapped, or cracked, and don’t feel like I need to wear lip balm all the time. As a result, a lot of lip balms are more than adequate for my day-to-day needs, which is why I end up testing them over prolonged periods of time so I can catch my lips when they’re worse as well. I typically test lip balms in the early morning, late evening, and overnight. These are a few I’ve tested (but haven’t gotten around to reviewing) over the last year and a half to two years:

01/03

Clarins Moisture Replenishing Lip Balm  

Clarins Moisture Replenishing Lip Balm  

Clarins Moisture Replenishing Lip Balm  

Clarins Moisture Replenishing Lip Balm ($24.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is supposed to have “intensive hydration for dry, chapped lips.” After trying this last year, it became my “holy grail” of lip balms (though there are others I still love and use!). The reason I love it is for how hydrating it is without ever feeling heavy, clingy, or tacky. It has a really smooth, more gel-like consistency on the lips that still lasts for hours but is incredibly comfortable to wear. There’s a subtle, sweet rose scent but no discernible taste–the scent was so subtle to my nose that I forgot it was scented until I sat down to write the review.

For me, the formula works well as a night time lip balm as well as a daytime one, as it can go under lipsticks well, too. This is the lip balm I reach for at night time, and it has worked well whether my lips are dry from too much swatching or testing of drying lip products as well as just when my lips are in “maintenance mode.” I’ve repurchased this one a few times since initially trying.

Also In This Review

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Tom Ford Clutch-Size Lip Balms (Part 2)

01/06

Tom Ford Beauty Fathom Clutch-Size Lip Balm

Tom Ford Beauty Fathom Clutch-Size Lip Balm

Tom Ford Beauty Fathom Clutch-Size Lip Balm

Tom Ford Beauty Fathom Clutch-Size Lip Balm

Tom Ford Beauty Fathom Clutch-Size Lip Balm

Tom Ford Beauty Fathom Clutch-Size Lip Balm

Fathom

Tom Ford Fathom Clutch-Size Lip Balm ($36.00 for 0.07 oz.) is a medium, pinky-red with subtle, cool undertones and a moderate sheen. It darkened my natural lip color and, to my eye, it seemed to make them look a little warm-toned–sort of like a very sheer, neutral-to-warm reddish stain to my eye. It had sheer, even coverage that applied easily as the texture was smooth, thin but not clingy, and comfortable to wear. The shine lasted for an hour and a half, while the appearance of the tint lasted for two and a half hours on me. It was lightly hydrating.

It’s a new, limited edition formula for summer, which is supposed to have a “jelly-like” feel that is hydrating, tinted (described as “subtle shades to enhance your natural lip color”), and shiny. This is the type of product that I’ve found some readers love–quick, easy for every day, and comfortable–and others can’t see paying this much for something that is sheerer. The formula was thin, slightly shiny, somewhat hydrating, and tinted; some shades had a more noticeable tint than others, but it was very much like a lip stain or tinted balm, where a lot of the natural color came through. They wore down within one to three hours, but some of the deeper shades left behind a subtle stain afterward. I did not find the formula to be all that hydrating (the brand’s regular, squeeze-tube Lip Balm is a favorite for me). They had a very subtle vanilla scent and are similar in size to the brand’s Lips & Boys Lip Colors.

Tom Ford Beauty Clutch-Size Lip Balm Fathom
Fathom
Fathom
8
Product
10
Pigmentation
9
Texture
7
Longevity
5
Application
87%
Total

Also In This Review

B+

Pure Shores

Limited Edition
Read Review
B

La Piscine

Limited Edition
Read Review

Tom Ford Clutch-Size Lip Balms (Part 1)

01/06

Tom Ford Beauty L'Odissea Clutch-Size Lip Balm

Tom Ford Beauty L'Odissea Clutch-Size Lip Balm

Tom Ford Beauty L'Odissea Clutch-Size Lip Balm

Tom Ford Beauty L'Odissea Clutch-Size Lip Balm

Tom Ford Beauty L'Odissea Clutch-Size Lip Balm

Tom Ford Beauty L'Odissea Clutch-Size Lip Balm

L'Odissea

Tom Ford L’Odissea Clutch-Size Lip Balm ($36.00 for 0.07 oz.) is a light-medium, peachy coral with warm undertones and a soft sheen. There was “coverage” with this shade, but it had less noticeable impact on my lips due to my natural coloring; I saw deepening of the color with a warmer tone overall. On those with more natural pigmentation, it may be even less impactful (possibly lightening, brightening, or warming only). The formula felt smooth going on, thin without being clingy, and was comfortable over the hour and a half it lasted. This one did not seem to leave behind any stain and was just slightly hydrating.

It’s a new, limited edition formula for summer, which is supposed to have a “jelly-like” feel that is hydrating, tinted (described as “subtle shades to enhance your natural lip color”), and shiny. This is the type of product that I’ve found some readers love–quick, easy for every day, and comfortable–and others can’t see paying this much for something that is sheerer. The formula was thin, slightly shiny, somewhat hydrating, and tinted; some shades had a more noticeable tint than others, but it was very much like a lip stain or tinted balm, where a lot of the natural color came through. They wore down within one to three hours, but some of the deeper shades left behind a subtle stain afterward. I did not find the formula to be all that hydrating (the brand’s regular, squeeze-tube Lip Balm is a favorite for me). They had a very subtle vanilla scent and are similar in size to the brand’s Lips & Boys Lip Colors.

Tom Ford Beauty Clutch-Size Lip Balm L'Odissea
L'Odissea
L'Odissea
8
Product
10
Pigmentation
9
Texture
6
Longevity
5
Application
84%
Total

Also In This Review

B+

Neotropic

Limited Edition
Read Review
B+

Cruising

Limited Edition
Read Review
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Bite Beauty Agave Lip Balm & Sugar Lip Scrub Reviews & Photos

01/04

Bite Beauty Original Agave Lip Balm

Bite Beauty Original Agave Lip Balm

Bite Beauty Original Agave Lip Balm

Bite Beauty Original Agave Lip Balm

Original

Bite Beauty Agave Lip Balm ($18.00 for 0.15 oz.) is supposed to be a hydrating, restorative lip balm that comes in a twist-up tube. The texture was firmer in the tube, and there was some tugging until the balm started to melt against my lips. I also went through a tube in three weeks–an entire tube!–as it seemed to wear down quickly. The original Lip Mask lasts all night for me, but the Lip Balm only stayed on for two hours, tops. It felt more like a film of product on the lips than something imparting real moisture or nourishment to my lips.

While I’m a huge fan of the brand’s original Agave Lip Mask, this fell short for me. It just did not seem to keep my lips hydrated or restored; my lips felt dry and never seemed in good condition during the three weeks I used this for. As soon as I stopped using it, within a few days of going back to my normal routine (Jack Black Lip Balm during the day, Clarins Lip Balm at night unless it was a lip-swatching-bonanza kind of day, then Bite’s Agave Lip Mask), and my lips felt and looked so much better.

Bite Beauty Agave Lip Balm Original
Original
Original
6
Product
10
Pigmentation
7
Texture
6
Longevity
4.5
Application
74%
Total

Guerlain KissKiss Roselip Tinted Lip Balms

Guerlain Crazy Bouquet KissKiss Roselip
Guerlain Crazy Bouquet KissKiss Roselip

Guerlain KissKiss Roselip ($37.00 for 0.09 oz.) is new for fall, and it is designed to be a tinted lip balm that is supposed to hydrate, comfort, and protect the skin with a “subt[le] tint.” It’s available in six shades, and I have three of the six. While Morning Rose is said to be colorless, there is some color, but it was certainly the sheerest of the three I tried. The other two had more noticeable color–translucent, semi-sheer coverage. The formula is comfortable to wear with a very light tackiness and is moderately hydrating. It had a perfume-y scent but no discernible taste.

Guerlain Crazy Bouquet KissKiss Roselip ($37.00 for 0.09 oz.) is described as a “delicious red.” It’s a brightened, candy apple red with warm undertones and a natural sheen. Swatched, it appears much more muted, but I think that is due to how the formula softens against the heat of the lips while the consistency adheres more to the lips than my skin. It had semi-sheer color payoff with a noticeable layer of translucency where the natural lip came through. The color lasted for four hours, and it was moderately hydrating–less than the best lip balm but more than your typical lipstick. Givenchy Rouge Atelier (302) (P, $36.00) is darker, less glossy (90% similar). MAC 5 Alarm (LE, $17.00) is warmer (90% similar). Urban Decay Sheer Slowburn (DC, $22.00) is brighter (90% similar). Too Faced Red Stiletto (P, $22.00) is brighter, glossier (90% similar). MAC Flaming Lips (LE, $20.00) is brighter (90% similar). MAC Cherry Glaze (LE, $20.00) is brighter, more pigmented (90% similar). Estee Lauder Envious (P, $32.00) is brighter, more pigmented (85% similar). Revlon Provocateur (135) (P, $8.99) is brighter, more pigmented (85% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Guerlain Morning Rose KissKiss Roselip ($37.00 for 0.09 oz.) is described as a “colorless balm.” It’s a light, pinky-peach with warm undertones and a soft sheen. It is quite sheer, but it doesn’t seem totally colorless to me; on, it adds warmth and “darkens” my natural lips a bit. It lasted for three hours before it seemed to be mostly gone. The formula felt moderately moisturizing when worn. MAC Koi Coral (P, $17.00) is more shimmery, darker, more pigmented (90% similar). Too Faced Just Kissed (P, $22.00) is lighter (90% similar). MAC Soft Talkin' (LE, $20.00) is lighter, warmer (90% similar). MAC Touche (LE, $20.00) is warmer (90% similar). MAC Nippon (P, $17.00) is more shimmery, cooler (90% similar). MAC I'm In (LE, $20.00) is cooler (90% similar). Too Faced Peachykeen (P, $22.00) is lighter (90% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Guerlain Pink Me Up KissKiss Roselip ($37.00 for 0.09 oz.) is described as a “very fresh pink.” It’s a soft, medium rosy pink with warm undertones and light shine. It had sheer color coverage–I think this one represented the idea of a subtle tint best of the three–that goes on evenly and smoothly without tugging on the lips. The consistency is lightweight, comfortable to wear, and moderately hydrating. It lasted for three and a half hours on me. Surratt Beauty Perfectionniste (P, $34.00) is warmer (90% similar). Chanel Roussy (426) (P, $37.00) is brighter (90% similar). Urban Decay Sheer Streak (DC, $22.00) is lighter, brighter (90% similar). MAC Love Beam (LE, $20.00) is brighter, more pigmented (85% similar). MAC Out for Passion (LE, $20.00) is warmer (85% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Guerlain KissKiss Roselip Tinted Lip Balm Crazy Bouquet
9
Product
9
Pigmentation
9
Texture
8.5
Longevity
5
Application
90%
Total
Guerlain KissKiss Roselip Tinted Lip Balm Morning Rose
8.5
Product
7.5
Pigmentation
9
Texture
7.5
Longevity
5
Application
83%
Total
Guerlain KissKiss Roselip Tinted Lip Balm Pink Me Up
Pink Me Up
Pink Me Up
9
Product
10
Pigmentation
9
Texture
8
Longevity
5
Application
91%
Total

See more photos & swatches!

Bite Beauty Maple Agave Lip Mask

Bite Beauty Maple Agave Lip Mask
Bite Beauty Maple Agave Lip Mask

Bite Beauty Maple Agave Lip Mask ($30.00 CAN for 0.52 fl. oz.) is described as a “bronze shine.” It’s a coppery-brown with lighter gold, pink, and copper shimmer. Dior Ambre Lumiere (227) (P, $29.50) is more shimmery. Bobbi Brown Pink Cocoa (P, $24.00) is lighter, more muted. Becca Papaya/Topaz (P, $24.00) is brighter, warmer. Revlon HD Amber (555) (P, $8.99) is lighter. Surratt Beauty Ensoleille (P, $32.00) is lighter. MAC Moon Beach (LE, $19.00) is lighter, cooler. See comparison swatches / compare dupes side-by-side.

This particular flavor/shade is exclusive to Canada, and it seems like it is permanent, but I’m not 100% sure (I did try to get information from Bite via Twitter but no luck). If you’re unfamiliar with Bite’s Agave Lip Mask formula, you can read my reviews on the: original, Champagne, and Smashed formulas. I’m a big fan of the Agave Lip Mask formula for its long-wearing, ultra-hydrating properties, as I can put it on before bed and still wake up with a sheer, but noticeable, layer of product. My lips always feel so much better after wearing this for a few hours if they’ve been through a swatch-a-thon. For me, it is more hydration than I need on a regular basis, but it is a go-to when I feel like my lips have been dried by a formula I’ve tested or need an extra pick-me-up. The formula seems very comparable to past versions, and after wearing this for a few nights, it’s been lovely and a real treat (especially as I’ve been testing a lot of liquid lipsticks lately!). It has a maple scent and a more generically sweet taste to me, but the maple is noticeable on but doesn’t overwhelm me–I just periodically notice I’m wearing it by scent. The texture is medium in weight and thickness, and it is a very tacky formula, though that is likely why it can wear so long.

P.S. — Big thanks to Julie over at Swatch & Review for helping me buy this! 🙂

Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask (Tinted) Maple
Maple
Maple
A

Limited Edition

9.5
Product
10
Pigmentation
9
Texture
10
Longevity
5
Application
97%
Total

See more photos & swatches!

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