For the past year or so, the beauty world has undeniably been balm-tint mad. Revlon have been keeping me more than satisfied until now with their Clinique-esque lip offerings, but I've always wanted to try out the original; the product that seemed to start it all - the Chubby Stick. However, at more than double the price of its lower end counterparts, the Chubby Stick is an item that I've never felt able to justify buying - how much better can it be, really? Well, the other week when I was doing a spot of holiday shopping in Tenerife, I got chatting to the loveliest sales guy ever and accidentally found myself at the checkout with this in my hands (he plied me with free samples and had an accent, what can I say?). Super Strawberry was the shade recommended to me based on my skin tone and hair colour, and it's one I'd have picked out for myself in an instant. A gorgeous berry-pink shade, it's one of my favourite lip colours as it's super flattering on me and really wearable all year round. So how does it fare?
The Chubby Stick feels gorgeous on the lips and applies beautifully - it's smooth and soft on the lips, and doesn't drag at all during application like some of the cheaper alternatives. The formula is extremely balm-like, and very moisturising due to the mango and shea butters that Clinique have packed into the formula. In terms of pigmentation, the colour pay off isn't fantastic. The effect is very sheer, although it is buildable and can be layered to create a more noticeable look. Really, this is definitely a product that will appeal to lovers of the more subtle, natural look. My main issue with this product is that - as I mentioned - cheaper brands have taken advantage of the hype and created their own lipstick/balm hybrids for a fraction of the price of the Chubby Sticks. Revlon, Bourjois, Soap & Glory and MUA all have their own offerings which are are definitely worth checking out for a more purse friendly option. Clinique do have the advantage when it comes to colour options, though - with a whopping sixteen shades in the range, there's definitely something for everybody.
My advice? If you're a balm/tint novice then I'd recommend heading to Superdrug or Boots and checking out some of the cheaper options to begin with. Although not as moisturising or luxurious as the Clinique versions, there's an abundance of options to choose from at the moment and you're bound to find something to suit your tastes without breaking the bank. However, if you're already a fan of this type of product and know you'll get use out of it, I think it's probably worth adding a Chubby Stick to your collection.