In our series Trial Run, TZR editors and writers put the buzziest new beauty products to the test and share their honest reviews.
With the world quickly moving away from the, ahem, beloved matte Instagram lips of the early 2010’s, there seems to be a shift this summer in either of two directions: The first is a plump, glossy lip that is reminiscent of the early aught’s, when teenagers all around the world would flock to their lockers in between classes for a quick swipe of their Smackers lip gloss. The second is a hydrated, semi-matte lip that looks like the stain that stays long put after an intense make-out session. It’s the type of barely-there finish that looks natural and pretty on anyone.
If I were to err on either side of this lip trend binary, I admit that I’d fall on the side of a slightly matte lip that looks like I just had a popsicle on a hot summer day — which is precisely why I was so excited to get my hands on Byredo’s latest launch: the Tinted Lip Balm. This new edition of Byredo’s cult-favorite Lip Balm provides the same nourishing hydration that fans know and love, now in three sheer shades. I had the chance to try them for a bit, and I had a few thoughts about them overall.
What Does It Do?
Byredo’s Tinted Lip Balm has a semi-matte finish that looks like a lipstick and applies like a balm. The color is buildable, with a sheer veil of pigment on the initial application that can escalate to match the coverage of your favorite lipstick. The product comes in three shades that are flattering for any skin tone.
1. Argila: A neutral tone with hints of mauve for an everyday neutral flush.
2. Ocra: A warm terracotta with a touch of red to provide a bright pop of color.
3. Rosa: A blush with hints of peach to brighten the complexion.
What’s The Hype?
To start, this creamy formula feels like a velvety dream. Since these balms contain so many high-quality oils and waxes (more on that later), they glide onto even the driest lips with little to no tug. And the application is seamless: simply swipe it on and you are good to go. The application is so simple, in fact, that I reapplied this at dinner one evening without a mirror, just like I would any other tube lip balm and it still turned out stunning.
The packaging is also something to write home about. It feels super luxe and looks like a chrome prop in a cool techno music video. Plus, the magnetic closure ensures that the bullet stays shut, which is great for people (like me) who typically have lipstick bullets open inside of their handbags or makeup cases (which can ruin both the product and what you’re storing it in).
Plus, the finish is pretty sheer on the initial application, meaning that I can either opt for an extremely light flush on my lips during my minimal makeup days, or swipe on a few extra coats for a pigmented pop of color. As for what I love most, I find that the pigment stays put for a while, meaning that I can truly apply this formula once and forget about it, without having to worry about blotchy lipstick and constantly reapplying.
This ultra-moisturizing formula is one-hundred percent natural and vegan, which is great for everyone from scientific-beauty loving folks to the clean-beauty obsessives. It contains a slew of oils, including castor seed oil, jojoba oil, avocado oil, and olive oil, along with moisturizing shea butter. These oils are a vital reason as to why this lip balm performs so well, and here’s why: the lips do not contain sebaceous glands (the glands in the skin that produce oil). Due to this, lips are not self-moisturizing the way the rest of the skin is, meaning that without the help of oil-rich products, the lips tend to crack quicker than the rest of the skin on the body. While the balm itself provides ample coverage and pigment, the oils inside lock moisture in for a supple pout that lasts throughout the day.
Additionally, this formula contains rice bran wax to offer a butter-like application each and every time, which is likely why it felt so easy and seamless to apply.
Testing The Tinted Lip Balm
So, all these specs are fantastic, but how does it perform in real life? I find that with daily use, my lips now need less maintenance throughout the day, which is refreshing after a winter of constantly reapplying heavy lip balms every few hours to avoid chapped lips. I’ve also noticed that I wake up in the morning with less dry lips, which is a welcome bonus. Here are my bare lips before and after two weeks of using Byredo’s Tinted Lip Balm.
As far as the colors themselves, I never realized how much I love a bright terracotta on my lips. I particularly love the shade Ocra for a subtle hint of color on a Friday night, and the shade Argila for a my-lips-but-better flush throughout the work week. And the shade Rosa gives me a peachy rose finish that I like to use on days when I need to brighten my overall complexion.
Is It Worth The Investment?
Now, do I think it’s worth the $42 price tag? Most definitely, and here’s why. This lip balm has a finish that most closely resembles a satin lipstick, and it’s pretty comparable to other lipsticks on the market in terms of price. However, the Tinted Lip Balm acts as a two-in-one that both moisturizes the lips and adds a healthy dose of pigment. This means that when you only have about ten minutes in the morning to do your makeup before your string of Zoom meetings or your early morning train, you won’t have to worry about multiple lip balms, liners, or lipsticks. All you need is this one product, making it great for throwing into even the tiniest of handbags when you’re on-the-go this summer.
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