I follow Hollie Forrest (HollieEatsLipstick) on YouTube and ever since she mentioned Chapstick’s new tinted lip balms on her channel I’ve been stalking my CVS hoping to find them. I keep seeing them at Target but I prefer to shop at CVS because of their sales and loyalty program. However, it’s been months and no luck there, so I finally caved and decided to buy the Merlot shade from Target ($4.99).
I’ve never tried Chapstick’s original un-tinted Total Hydration lip balms. This is my first experience with the Total Hydration line as a whole, so I can’t tell you whether or not the new tinted formula is drastically different from the un-tinted version. What I can say is that if you’re familiar or like Maybelline’s Baby Kiss tinted lip balms, these are like an upgraded version of those.
The Baby Kiss balms get a lot of love in the beauty community but I don’t care for them. I tried a couple of shades and the pigmentation wasn’t all that impressive and I thought the fragrances were too artificial. In comparison, the Chapstick Total Hydration tinted balm in Merlot has much better color payoff, is more moisturizing, the scent is more realistic (fruity with a hint of floral) rather than fake and cloying, and the texture’s slightly creamier. Overall, between this and Baby Lips I think Chapstick makes the better tinted lip balm. However, as with the Baby Lips balms, the Chapstick tinted balm is still too thin for my liking. If you’re like me and suffer from a lot of lip lines, you know tinted lip balms and lipsticks with thinner consistencies tend to settle into fine lines. Chapstick Merlot is no different; a single thin coat looks fine but the more you pile on, the greater the chance of creasing.
As for the color, I’d describe it as a sheer but buildable raisin/reddish brown with no shimmer. If you love colors like Clinique’s Black Honey, Palladio’s tinted lip balm in Brownie or Revlon’s Lip Butter in Fig Jam, chances are good you’ll love Chapstick Merlot too. And just like Clinique Black Honey etc., it’s the kind of color that’s largely dependent on one’s natural lip color and looks different on everyone. My lips are naturally quite pale, so I don’t get as much oomph out of Chapstick Merlot compared to Hollie whose lips are much deeper and rosier. Merlot appears lighter, warmer and browner on me but a lot deeper and redder on Hollie.
And now for a shameless plug: please check out my blog sale. I’ve updated it with some new items, grouped some items together into cheaper lots and lowered some of the prices.