In a previous blog post I mentioned buying two of the limited edition EXO Natural Butter Lip Balms ($6.90 each) from a newly opened Nature Republic store in Flushing. I believe there are 9 flavors in total representing each of the members of the kpop boy band EXO. The ones I own are Chanyeol/Strawberry and D.O/Grapefruit.
I’ve been using the lip balms off and on for the past few weeks and I have to say, much to my chagrin (it’s a bit embarrassing to be using boy band inspired makeup), that I really like them. The actual products are rather nice.
First of all, how cute is the packaging? The outer cardboard boxes and plastic lip balm tubes are adorable. I really like the amount of detail they put into drawing the faces and clothing of the EXO members. [They’re a little blurry (sorry, cell phone pics) but if you want to see what the packaging for the other flavors look like you can click on over to my previous Nature Republic blog post.]
The two flavors I own look intimidating b in the tube — Strawberry appears to be a bold red and Grapefruit a bright orange — but they’re actually sheer, translucent tinted balms with a glossy finish. Strawberry comes off as a sheer pink on my lips and Grapefruit as a sheer peach. My lips are naturally very pale and I’m satisfied with the color payoff of these balms but I’m not sure if it would be enough for people with really pigmented lips.
All of the Nature Republic EXO balms are scented and flavored. The Strawberry balm smells and tastes of strawberries and the Grapefruit balm smells and tastes of grapefruit zest but they’re on the lighter, more subtle side. There is no actual sweetness or sugariness to these balms.
The texture is emollient and creamy but not super heavy. Compared to some of the other lip products in my stash, it feels thicker and balmier than the Revlon Shine lipsticks but nowhere as rich or cushiony as the Too Faced La Creme or Sonia Kashuk Shine Luxe Sheer lipsticks. I’d say these Nature Republic balms are very comfortable, provide a decent amount of moisture, don’t leave my lips feeling dried out after they’ve worn off, and the balm-like consistency does a good job of filling in and smoothing out a lot of the fine lines on my lips. They work better on lip lines for me than the thinner formula of the Revlon Shine lipsticks or the more opaque formulas of the Maybelline Color Sensational Matte and Bare Minerals Marvelous Moxie lipsticks; however, they’re not quite as line smoothing as the Too Faced La Creme lipsticks which are still my favorite in terms of texture (not too crazy about the bakery lemon scent).
Some swatches for reference.
The Nature Republic balms are sheerer than the Revlon Super Lustrous Shine and Sonia Kashuk lipsticks. Strawberry is definitely a lot more pink on the skin than it appears in the tube. Revlon Lovers Coral and Sonia Kashuk Eden are both more red/coral than the peachy orange Grapefruit.
You know me, although I really like my recently purchased Lovers Coral the glossier, more orange Nature Republic Grapefruit speaks to my orange loving heart a whole lot more.