Battle of the: Drugstore Gloss Balms

August 7, 2014

So...I thought it would be cool to look through different brands and find products that are supposed to be the same or similar and compare them all together. For example, I'd take a lipstick from Revlon, one from Maybelline, one from Covergirl, etc. and compare them to each other. It'd be an interesting way to see the pros and cons of each, and it would be helpful in deciding which is the best to buy. 
While doing some research, I found a lot of the "in between a lip gloss and a lipstick" products, otherwise known as gloss balms, lip lacquers, glossy stains, etc., which have been really popular recently. I bought a few and have been testing them out and comparing them to each other. So without further ado, here are my thoughts on 5 lip products from the drugstore that aren't quite lip glosses, yet aren't quite lipsticks, yet aren't quite lipstains, and so on...

L'Oreal Color Riche Extraordinary Lip Color (shade: Dancing Rose)

This one is the most expensive at $9.99 (tied with the Revlon one) and it has a doe foot applicator. I have to say I don't love the color of this, it's a little too mauve-y/purple-y for me, but that's kinda my fault for choosing the wrong color. Other than that the quality of this is really good. It's very thick and hydrating, yet not sticky. This one is really opaque, unlike some of the others. It only lasts for a few hours before it has to be reapplied, but it doesn't fade unevenly. 

Rimmel Show Off Lip Lacquer (shade: Aurora)

The color of this is amazing and incredibly pigmented. The applicator is kinda like a sponge, unlike the standard doe foot, but I think this helped the product to go on more evenly and smoothly. I had to reapply it a couple times throughout the day, but not as often as the others. It didn't really make my lips feel dry, even though it dried more on the matte side. Compared to the others, this one is definitely the least glossy and least moisturizing. This collection has the least amount of colors, so there aren't as many options when choosing which to get. However this one has my favorite packaging because I think it's the most unique of the bunch.

Maybelline Color Elixir Lip Color (shade: Captivating Carnation)

(Just for the reference, I posted a review of this a while back- you can read it here if you so please)
The formula of this one is most similar to the L'oreal one (thick, hydrating, not sticky), yet it's not as opaque. It's very glossy, and the color is so pretty and easy to wear. It left my lips a little stained as it wore off, and it had to be reapplied a few times during the day, but it did last longer than a normal gloss. It also has a doe foot applicator, which is very similar to the L'oreal one. 

NXY Butter Gloss (shade: Vanilla Cream Pie)

This one is more sheer than the others; it looks more like a traditional gloss rather than a gloss balm type thing. However, this is similar in feel to the L'oreal or Maybelline ones because it's moisturizing and still thick. It didn't have to be reapplied as often as a regular gloss, but it had to be reapplied a few times throughout the day. It's a similar applicator to the Rimmel one, but a little more flexible. It's almost a mix between the L'oreal/Maybelline applicators and the Rimmel applicator. This one gets the award for best names, because each color is named after a dessert and I think that's the cutest thing. This one also has the largest selection of colors, but a lot of them stem towards pink-nude. In addition, these are the cheapest at $5. 

Revlon ColorStay Moisture Stain (shade: Cannes Crush)

This one is not quite as thick as the others, yet it's still hydrating. It feels in between the one from Rimmel and Maybelline/L'oreal. It's incredibly pigmented and opaque. This definitely wore off more quickly and had to be reapplied every few hours, however it didn't fade unevenly. It also left my lips a little stained once it wore off, like the Maybelline one. It has a doe foot applicator, like the L'oreal and Maybelline ones. Again, this one is tied with the L'oreal one for most expensive at $9.99.

In conclusion...
If you're looking for something that still gives the effect of a regular gloss but is a bit more hydrating to the lips, go for the L'oreal, Maybelline, NYX, or Revlon ones. If you're looking for something that's more on the matte side, go for the Rimmel one. The thinnest one is from Rimmel, and the thickest is from L'oreal. The most sheer is from NYX or Maybelline, and the most opaque is from Rimmel. The one that stayed on the longest was from Rimmel, and the rest had about the same amount of wear-time. The one that felt the most comfortable to wear was the NYX one, and the least comfortable was from L'oreal. 

Thanks for reading! Which of these do you like the most?


  1. My favourites have to be the NYX butter gloss (they just apply amazingly!!) and the Rimmel show off. It's a bit of a shame about the colour range though!

    The Sunday Chapter

  2. I love the Rimmel show offs. The pigmentation in them is amazing!



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