Clinique can lay claim, as far as I can remember and research, to releasing the original tinted lip balm in a wind-up stick. Many imitators on, and why do I still love their Chubby Sticks (£17) so much? Well, I’ve tried far too many of these sort of balms and they all disappointed, either providing not enough colour or they weren’t really moisturising at all!
The Chubby Sticks provide just the right amount of pigmented sheen with the most moisturising and gentle formula I’ve ever tried. It’s easy to see why, as the product includes Castor seed oil, candelilla wax, beeswax, shea butter, jojoba seed oil and mango seed butter plus some titanium dioxide for a little sun protection.
I alternate two ‘everyday’ lip colours during spring, summer and on holidays and my Chubby lasted me a year before I rebought, so I think it’s worth the price.
Adding a bit of colour with this sheer formula is also totally office appropriate as it’s subtle and with no need to carefully touch up your lipstick in the ladies – just swipe and go like you would a regular lip balm. Wearability is pretty good and it doesn’t wear off in patches so you can re-apply or layer really well, making them a great choice for brides and bridesmaids who don’t want to wear an opaque lipstick on the day.
You can also use the chubby sticks as cream blushers and although they won’t have as much pigment or staying powder as a proper cream blush, it’s good for using on-the-go and on holidays. Just search for one close to your normal blusher colour and you can read my tips about picking a blusher colour if you need a little help.
Clinique recently brought out an Intense version which also features some lovely shades, but for summer the original, sheerer formula is my pick. My favourite shades are: Mighty Mimosa (a suits-all, pretty and subtle pink), Woppin’ Watermelon (a more punchy blue-pink suitable for fair to medium blondes), Richer Raisin (for darker skin tones and lovers of brown/plum lips) and Two Ton Tomato (a gentle pink-red which will pop against a tan for fair and medium-toned skins).
My high street substitutes are Revlon Just Bitten Kissable (£5.99), Max Factor Colour Elixir Giant Pen Stick (£6.99), both with an ok colour range and Bourjois Colour Boost lip crayons (£7.99) which has a shinier finish in four pretty bright colours. Despite the great prices they just don’t come in many colours which is why I still favour the Clinique sticks years after they first came out. I have to say that I do also love the NARS Velvet Gloss and Satin lip pencils (both £17.50) for the colours and variety of finishes.
“But what if I’m not really a lipstick kind of gal?”, I hear you ask. Well, I think that in general, lipsticks are now available in so many modern and wearable formulas, and these moisturising balms are the perfect solution for dipping your toe into colour.