Thursday, March 15, 2012

L'Oreal Colour Riche (Le) Balm in Plush Plum Review and Swatches

I've spoken before of my love of Revlon lip butters. Sugar Plum is my HG MLBB shade, and I have 3 (yes, 3) of them in my possession. If they ever discontinue it, I will have to buy, like, 10. Fortunately, they're a new product, so I think I've got at least a few years before I have to worry about that!

Revlon's lip butters may be the most talked-about of the new drugstore lip butters, but L'Oreal has put one out as well, called (Le) Balm (nowhere on the packaging does it say "Le," but it's referred to as Le Balm on lots of blogs). There are 8 shades, compared to Revlon's mind-boggling 20. I'd read reviews before saying that L'Oreal's were much sheerer, lighter, and slicker than Revlon's, so I knew I had to get one of the more pigmented in the range, since I find sheer-to-the-point-of-invisibility lip colors to be a complete waste of time (that's what I have my Jack Black for, thank you very much). I ended up choosing Plush Plum as a potential MLBB.
L'Oreal Plush Plum Balm

Plush Plum is a sheer pink-plum with sparse gold shimmer. It's not as obvious as Jordana Berry Colada, or even Revlon Berry Smoothie, which I'm glad about since I don't like glittery lips (though the latter is well within my comfort range), but I can definitely feel a bit of grittiness when I rub my lips together. Nothing major, but still, not as smooth and silky as I'd like.

1 swipe Plush Plum
Speaking of texture, the L'Oreal balm is definitely more akin to what I think of as a "lip butter": somewhat slick, wet, soft, and, well, buttery! Plush Plum is much less solid in texture than Sugar Plum (whoa, I only just realized they both have Plum in the name! It's finals season, I'm very distracted) so it really glides across lips easily. The lighter texture also means it doesn't last as long; I get about half an hour of noticeable color, and another hour or so more of noticeable moisture. That is one thing that the L'Oreal has over the Revlon: it does seem to work to moisturize my lips, whereas the Revlons mostly maintain the level of moisture in my lips without actively improving it.

Plush Plum applied very heavily (like, 5 layers)

Other things worth noting: the tube is sheer plastic in the same color as the lip butter with a gold base and notched cap (see top photo). I find that to be really annoying, actually, since I like to not have to concentrate to get my cosmetics closed, but whatever, I manage. I also find the gold to be a bit tacky, especially compared to Revlon's black-and-silver, and I prefer the latter's heft and weight over L'Oreal's flimsiness. It hasn't broken on me yet, and I don't have reason to think that it will, but I definitely prefer the heavier, sturdier Revlon packaging. The L'Oreal comes with 0.10 oz of product in a slim tube, whereas Revlon's lip butters are 0.09 oz in a wider tube; I do like the smaller circumference of Plush Plum, since it means more precise application, but with a product this sheer, it also doesn't really matter. As far as scent and taste go, Plush Plum smells faintly sweet (but not cloying) and has no discernable taste. Also: SPF 15.

Left to right, 1 swipe each: Revlon Sugar Plum,
L'Oreal Plush Plum, Revlon Berry Smoothie
So, to recap: Plush Plum beats Sugar Plum for moisturization and ease of application, but loses for duration, pigmentation (all of the swatches are heavily applied), consistency (the glitter is annoying) and packaging. If you want something sheer, creamy, and moisturizing, I think L'Oreal Le Balm is a solid choice (though beware, many of the shades apply clear, from swatches I've seen online, so if you want something with a hint of tint, go with the darker colors). If you're wanting something with more color and better wear, I recommend the Revlon.

I really wasn't expecting to like this much, but I actually don't mind it! It doesn't top Sugar Plum, but it's a good choice for when I want something sheer and easy with a little extra moisture. I doubt I'll rebuy it, because I have way too many lipsticks aaaaah, but I do plan on using it up!

~$7.50 for 0.10 oz, available at drugstores (as always, don't buy these full-price, wait for a sale!)

Quality: 8
Effectiveness: 4 (8 hours of moisture? Hell no.)
Ease of Use: 5
Senses: 4.5
Pigmentation: 4.5 (advertises itself to be sheer, though some of the shades are just stupidly sheer)
Duration: 3.5 (color doesn't last very long, but the moisture does [longer, at least], so...I averaged)
Consistency: 4.5 (slightly gritty glitter)
Packaging: -0.5 (effing stupid cap, and I wish it were heftier)
Grade: B(+)

Have you tried L'Oreal Le Balm? Do you prefer Revlon Lip Butter? What's your favorite tinted lip product?
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