Last week I purchased two of newest and most hyped drugstore lip products on the market currently: the L’Oreal Colour Riche Balms and Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butters. What I’ve gathered from watching YouTube reviews and reading blogs is that these are two very polarizing products. People who love the Revlon Lip Butters seem to hate the L’Oreal Balms, and people who love the L’Oreal Balms seem to hate the Revlon Lip Butters. I haven’t really come across many individuals who love or hate both, so I was really curious which side I’d take.
I purchased a Revlon Lip Butter in Fig Jam and a L’Oreal Balm in Plush Plum from CVS. The L’Oreal Balms usually retail for $8.49 (0.10 oz) each whereas the Revlon Lip Butters retail for $7.99 (0.09 oz) each. However, this week CVS is running a special sale on the Lip Butters and I managed to get mine for $5.99 with $3 Extra Care Bucks back. The sale at CVS ends today so if you were thinking about trying one of the Lip Butters now would be a great time to do so!
Revlon Fig Jam is a glossy reddish brown with no shimmer. L’Oreal Plush Plum is a glossy berry shade with golden shimmer. Both lip products go on sheer but the colors are buildable.
Although Plush Plum contains golden shimmer I don’t find it obvious on the lips.
In terms of color, the two shades I picked are not comparable at all so I’ll be focusing on their other aspects instead.
I knew from checking out other reviews that the L’Oreal Balms tend to be sheerer than the Revlon Lip Butters so I purposely picked out Plush Plum which is the darkest shade available. Color differences aside, I found the pigmentation of Plush Plum and Fig Jam to be about equal. At one swipe, the Revlon and L’Oreal products apply a very light, transparent layer of color to the lips. And at about five swipes, the color is still sheer but a lot more noticeable. Of the two, I would say that the L’Oreal has the glossier finish.
I find the texture of the Revlon Lip Butter to be a little on the dry side whereas the L’Oreal Balm has more slip and feels creamier. The Lip Butter, in my opinion, feels more like your standard lipstick (that doesn’t claim to be moisturizing) than a lip balm. If you like the texture of Maybelline Moisture Extreme Lipsticks (discontinued), Rimmel Moisture Renew lipsticks, Palladio tinted balms, and L’Oreal ColorJuice Sticks (discontinued), I’m pretty sure you’ll prefer the texture of the the L’Oreal Balms. Compared to those, the Revlon Lip Butter feels noticeably drier. I would say that the textures of the Revlon Super Lustrous lipsticks and NYC Ultra Last lipsticks resemble that of the Fig Jam Lip Butter the most. I think this is what disappointed me most about the Revlon Lip Butter. I expected something not greasy but a little more moist from something called a lip butter. Revlon should’ve just called it a sheer lipstick; my expectations and criteria for judging it would’ve been different and I probably would’ve liked it more. As a lip balm/butter, the Revlon Lip Butter just doesn’t cut it for me. It’s not moisturizing enough and it doesn’t glide on as easily as I’d like.
[Update: I recently bought another Revlon Lip Butter, this time in the shade Tutti Frutti, and it has a completely different texture compared to Fig Jam. Tutti Frutti is extremely soft, almost too soft, and kind of crumbles and applies unevenly whereas Fig Jam is very firm and stiff. Tutti Frutti is even softer than the L’Oreal Colour Riche Balm. The L’Oreal held its shape when I applied it; the Revlon Tutti Frutti doesn’t.]
The deal breaker for me, however, is the scent/flavor of the lip products. The Revlon Lip Butter has a subtle vanilla scent and flavor. The L’Oreal has a soft caramel scent but — blech! — tastes like sunscreen. Of the two, I think L’Oreal created the better tinted balm but then they had to go ruin things by adding SPF. That’s actually the problem I have with most of their lip products. L’Oreal produces lipsticks and lipglosses in tempting colors but then they make them smell or taste like perfume or artificial fruits. Why, L’oreal? Why? I wish you would just steer away from flavors and scents. Unscented/unflavored is the least offensive choice and my personal preference when it comes to lip products.
So, there you have it. Although I prefer the consistency of the L’Oreal Balm I’ll be buying more Revlon Lip Butters instead. In my opinion, the L’Oreal Colour Riche Balm is the better tinted lip balm. It’s smooth, creamy and feels more moisturizing on the lips than the drier textured Revlon Lip Butters. Unfortunately, the SPF was the determining factor for me and worked against L’Oreal.The Lip Butters are a good product but I think they’re marketed incorrectly. If you haven’t tried them yet, it’s best to think of them as sheer, glossy lipsticks rather than moisturizing lip butters/balms. If you buy the Revlon with that mindset, you’ll be happier and a lot more satisfied with them. I personally like sheer, glossy lipsticks which is why I’ll continue to buy more Revlon Lip Butters.
Going off on a tangent now, I tried to find a few color dupes for Plush Plum and Fig Jam in my stash. I couldn’t come up with any spot-on dupes but I did pick out a few lip products that look similar.
If you like the color of L’Oreal Plush Plum, check out the New York Color Ultra Last lipstick in Sugar Plum ($1.99). One light-pressure swipe of NYC Sugar Plum will give you the same level of pigmentation as five swipes of the L’Oreal Balm. NYC Sugar Plum is more opaque, contains no shimmer, and compared to Plush Plum is a little darker and cooler toned. It’s also completely unflavored and unscented. Fans of the Revlon Lip Butters should also check out NYC Sugar Plum because the texture of this lipstick, in my opinion, actually feels a lot like the Fig Jam Lip Butter.
I originally decided to buy Revlon Fig Jam because I heard that it’s a dupe of the famous Clinique Black Honey. Fig Jam is actually more pigmented than Black Honey and both possess brown tones. However, Black Honey has more of a reddish raisin color that Fig Jam lacks. Fig Jam’s close but no cigar. If you liked Black Honey but felt it was too brown for you, you probably won’t like Fig Jam because it’s a lot browner. Try Palladio’s Herbal Tinted Balm in Brownie ($4) instead. It’s very similar to Black Honey but has less brown and more of that reddish raisin color.
And going off on another tangent, the L’Oreal Balm totally reminds me of the discontinued L’Oreal Color Juice Sticks. Remember those? L’Oreal should’ve just brought them back instead because the texture and packaging concepts (slim tubes, slant tip bullets) are almost the same and the color payoff of the Color Juice Sticks is better.
If L’Oreal had only retooled the Color Juice Sticks and eliminated the overly strong fruity scent/taste but kept the packaging they would’ve majorly kicked Revlon’s butt. The Color Juice Sticks are a little bit more slick than the L’Oreal Balms but the textures are so, so close. And a sleek, silver chrome tube always trumps cheap looking, colored plastic caps.