Mai Billsbepaid - The Balm Girls Lipstick* $17
OH. MY. GOD. I can't speak when it comes to this lipstick because I am at a loss for words. The Balm was SO nice and sent me a few products to try and this was one of them, I need every single one. I am a fan of lipsticks with finishes that are either cream, matte, or creamy matte. These ones start off as a cream lipstick and a few hours in the shine wears off a bit and they look more like that "creamy matte" finish - where they aren't totally matte, but aren't sheeny (is that a word?).
The shade I received is called Mai Billsbepaid which is so funny, I love the names that The Balm gives their products, they're always witty and fresh and you hear the name and just know right away "Oh, yeah. That's The Balm." without needing to hear the brand name.
This shade is what I would consider a "nude" lipstick. I don't like to call the concealer lip a nude lip, and I hate the term "my lips but better" especially because it is but isn't applicable to this shade. To me, a nude lipstick is one that suits your skin tone, evens out your lips, and goes with most makeup looks so you can have it just hanging around your purse in case you forget to put on lipstick, or the lipstick you were wearing earlier in the day you forgot to put in your bag and need to reapply something.
This lipstick is also super moisturizing, so carrying this around in your purse basically doubles as a chapstick as well. Whenever I wear this my lips feel hydrated and wonderful the whole day - I feel like this lipstick helps my lips more than if I wore nothing on them (which is unusual for me in a lipstick...)
Here is a typical hand swatch of this lipstick. To be honest I think lipsticks are shown best on the lips, but this picture shows how pigmented these lipsticks are and what you see in the bullet is what you get on your lips in the color payoff zone. This is simply one swipe of the lipstick on my hand which is pretty impressive (especially since it's a lighter shade, they usually have less color payoff than the darker shades).
I'm pretty sure I took both of these pictures on different days, but I am in love with this lipstick. If you follow me on twitter or instagram (shameless plug) or have just been keeping up to date with my fashion posts, any lipstick that I have on that obviously isn't a deep red is THIS ONE!
Somehow, by some magic this lipstick looks cool toned when you wear a cool toned look and warm toned when you wear a warm look (you'll see how it looks warmer in the picture below). I think that this lipstick is just SUCH a neutral tone that it can be paired with anything. In both pictures I've just lined my lips with Milani Nude 03 lipliner (such a good liner at such a cheap price!) and one possibly could be paired with my MAC Subculture liner - those are my top two all time favorite lipliners.
The pigmentation is to die for on these, I have really pigmented lips and the color usually shows through (not that I hate it but sometimes it's annoying and I hate putting foundation on my lips...am I the only one?) but the swatch on my hand looks exactly the same as it does on my lips here and this is just one swipe of the lipstick.
I want to add a side note, I have seen this lipstick on girls with different skin tones and colors than mine and this shade looks fantastic on everyone! I follow The Balm on instagram and see the posts there if you were wondering. (Please excuse the state of the corners of my lips in these pictures, they cracked due to the weather change and look horrendous- although this kind of camouflages that!)
Here it is in action again! Let's just end this post talking about the formula and wear time of this lipstick. I think it is safe to say that this is my favorite lipstick formulation of all time, it may even beat out YSL or they're neck and neck (but the prices definitely aren't neck and neck! $17 vs $35...)
These lipsticks apply like a dream, so smooth and creamy - these are basically what I want MAC creme sheen or amplified lipsticks to be, except this lipstick doesn't settle into any fine lines, doesn't wander outside your lipline, and doesn't show any dry patches! When you apply this lipstick there's a slight tingle, but I'm not exactly sure how to describe it. It's almost like when you put on Carmex and there's that tingle (but not as strong) it's not a minty tingle, and the lipstick definitely doesn't smell like mint! The lipstick smells somewhere in between cake batter and vanilla, but it's such a slight scent that if like MAC lipstick bothers you because of the scent this one won't. This lipstick just glides effortlessly across the lips, you only need one layer, and it lasts 3-4 hours with eating and drinking! (which is definitely not typical if you are also a fan of creme lipsticks and have tested out a fair share).
A few useful bits of information on where you can buy The Balm - thebalm.com, feelunique.com, asos.com, superdrug.com, cloud10beauty.com, and specifically if you are in Poland you can find The Balm on mintishop.pl, shoko.pl, bestmakeup.pl, and studioeprojekt.com. (And of course if you're back home in the states you can find The Balm in Ulta or on ulta.com and I think some drugstores carry it and more places on the east coast like department stores).
This is literally the most perfect lipstick ever. I am so head over heels in love with this lipstick the only time I put it down is when I go for a bold lip but other than that (if you're ever wondering what lip color I'm wearing) this is my go-to! It goes with EVERYTHING! OH and one of the most important things- if you haven't noticed I talk a lot. If I had a youtube channel the videos would be 20 minutes long. The problem with that is lip products (almost all of them) bunch up on the inner rim of my lips where they meet and I get this ugly blunt line where the lipstick has gathered. I usually don't get that problem with mattes too often, but with creamy lipsticks or glosses it ALWAYS happens! AND amazingly this one didn't which probably made me love it ten fold more.
It wears off evenly, and is literally the most low maintenance lip ever. I need low maintenance lip products in my life because I'm always talking whether it be to patients, doctors, teachers, in my labs, classes, or just in everyday life I like to talk when I'm in good company and I am not a fan of checking my lipstick every ten minutes to make sure it looks perfect. This one looks perfect and freshly applied for about 3 hours, then starts to wear off (evenly) and is probably totally gone after about 5 hours if you've been eating and drinking and you need to reapply. But what lipstick doesn't need that. That's damn good wear time in my opinion.
Bottom line after my long rant on how much I adore this lipstick is that I want to own every shade in the line (except maybe the bright pink one Anita Boytoy - don't think that would flatter me) but I want them all. I've never felt this strongly towards a makeup product- usually it's like "Oh yeah I like the formula I would wear and would like a few more." This one I feel this pressing urge to own almost every color in the line (what is wrong with me). But this formula is to die for and just pick one up and swatch it if you happen to be lucky enough to have a counter that sells The Balm near you. You'll understand as soon as you swatch it I promise.