The Best My Lips But Better Shades - From Drugstore and Luxury Brands
How many times have I mentioned Maybelline Color Whisper in Rose of Attraction? Feels like a lot. BUT, it holds a special place in my heart. Rose of Attraction was my intro into the world of MLBBs. My lips but better, AKA MLBB is a term for a lip product that just gives you that little juzh. It’s your lips… but better. Maybelline foolishly discontinued the Color Whisper line, and while I keep checking to see if they’ve resurrected it, I have also been on a hunt for another perfect MLBB. I have found… many of them. Here are my top picks. Some are from the drugstore, some are higher end, and all of them have the right balance of moisture, gloss, and a light wash of color that makes my ideal MLBB.
First, the drugstore gang. These are cheaper and are available at drugstores, Target, and the like. BUT, they also don’t always have the same color payoff, or might be scented kind of weird, or GET DISCONTINUED - Yes Maybelline I WILL die mad about it.
I am forever in the mood for a slow stroll down the Target makeup aisles. Partly because i’m always on the lookout for Color Whisper to make a comeback and also because I just like seein’ what’s new and giving things a shot. This method is how I’ve found lots of faves, including these three.
First is Revlon Kiss Balm (reviewed here). Unfortunately, I have to remind you of this troubling commercial Revlon released like 15 years ago but I’m still talking about. Anytime I thing about a Revlon balm/crayon lip product I’m haunted by Jessica Biel asking me if I’ve ever been bitten. The Kiss Balms, however, are true balms. The color payoff is very sheer, and while I bought two shades, Fresh Strawberry and Sweet Cherry (shown above) and you absolutely do not need both - the colors are SUPER similar. I used to carry one or both in my bag but the caps to NOT stay on, so they live in my vanity now, but still get a lot of use.
The other two are both Maybelline Baby Lips balms. The name is unfortunate but the product is DIVINE. I once needed a new tube of Cherry Me (the shade on the far right) and could not find it ANYWHERE, so when i did, I bought three. You never know when Maybelline take your fave away forever (STILL BITTER). In addition to the regular Baby Lips offerings, Maybelline also makes a version called Glow Balm, which adapts to the pH of your lips to give you the perfect pinky sheen for your skintone. There are much more expensive versions of this product out there and I can’t imagine they work any better than Maybelline’s $3 option. It’s perfect for when you want just a hint of color to convince the world that you are, in fact, alive.
Now for the higher end MLBBs. These are richer formulas, they last a bit longer, and they come in chic packaging. BUT! They are more expensive and could be harder to get ahold of. Also, just like in the drugstore gang, there are two from the same company. What can I say, when you’re good you’re good.
Starting from the left, first we have Clinque Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Balm in Super Strawberry. This is like the varsity version of the Revlon balm mentioned before. The formula is thicker and the color payoff is better. I used to have two of these - the other one was Chunky Cherry - but ol’ Chunky Cherry fell under the car seat and, like anything that ends up under a car seat, is now lost forever to the bowels of hell. The colors of the Chubby Sticks are more defined than the Revlon Kiss Balms, so I’d say it’s worth it to have more than one.
Next we have my latest love and perhaps perfect MLBB, Milk Makeup Kush Balm in Bubble. I raved about this already so I won’t repeat it here, but this stuff is just perfect. I carry one with me everywhere, I’m currently on my third tube, and I will keep buying Kush Balm as long as it exists.
Speaking of perfect products that stand the test of time, Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey has been around since the 70s. Now they have introduced many other Black Honey spinoffs, like a lip balm, eyeshadow palettes, and a lighter version, called Pink Honey. I wrote about Pink Honey and Black Honey here. They’re both great, but I find myself reaching for Pink Honey more (and I carry it in my bag right next to the Kush Balm).
Now, the moment of truth. I swatched all six of these products and, uh, they’re all very similar. But there are slight difference and I definitely need each and every one of them, OKAY?