L’Occitane Pivoine Sublime: Peony Lip Balms

May 21, 2015

For spring, L’Occitane has launched a collection of skincare, body and lip products in a Peony Collection called Pivoine Sublime or “Sublime Peony.” I was able to get a preview of the entire line at an event last month and am so impressed with the way the creams, serums and mists hydrate the skin in a gentle way. I’m still in the midst of testing out the skincare, but today I have a review prepared for the Peony Tinted Lip Balms ($16 each for 4 g / 0.14 oz) all come with SPF 25 and are formulated with shea butter and L’Occitane’s unique peony extract. There are options of lip balm, three are tinted. These come in cute metal twist up tubes with a peony petal print on the outside.

  • Clear / Transparent is a clear lip balm, it adds a sheen to the lips
  • Rose Amber is a reddish nude beige, this one has a velvety looking finish, not quite matte, not shiny, but lush and almost muted
  • Rose Nude is a brighter pink but gives the lips a soft pink tint
  • Rose Plum is a deep plum, on my lips it turns almost red, but many plums tend to pull very blue, red or bright on my pigmented lips
The lip balms have an ultra smooth and hydrating feel when applied to the lips. L’Occitane’s tests have shown these provide 8 hours of hydration to the lips. I haven’t tested any of them for a full eight hours untouched to see if the moisture remains. I usually wipe off lip products during meals or snacks and re-apply frequently. I did find the moisturizing feel lasted until I touched the lips. The darkest color Rose Plum had a visible stain that remained on the lips past several cups of coffee, lunch and a snack. The other two were closer to my natural lip tone and lighter in color so the stain wasn’t as visible as the plum, but lasting power of the tints seems to be decent for a lip balm.

I’m a huge fan of the way peonies smell, but usually not in fragrances or body products. L’Occitane’s Peony Collection is more of a sweet candied peony. While it’s clearly a floral scent that mimics that of a natural peony, the sweetness makes it less floral and I find the scent absolutely divine. You might be able to taste the lip balms if you lick your lips, snack or sip any drinks. I find the taste is exactly like the smell and it’s actually quite pleasant.

Swatches and more photos:

How each shade appears when applied on my lips, for skin tone reference, I’m wearing a combination of NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation in Santa Fe and Punjab (swatches here):

Below you can see Rose Plum pulls very red and bright on my lips, your mileage may vary depending on how you lips interact with plum-pinks. Left is straight from the tube. Right is after 5 hours of wear after drinking two cups of coffee, lunch and a few snacks in between.

Many of you have been asking for a comparison to the Fresh Sugar Lip Balms. I did a few comparison swatches to show the difference and similarities in some of the colors. The concept is indeed similar. Based on my testing, here’s what I see:

  • Packaging is very similar in both. They both have metal tubes and caps that twist off at the base. size of the tubes is almost identical, L’Occitane’s appear to be slightly chubbier.
  • Size/Price of each is as follows: Fresh Sugar Lip Treatments retail for $22.50 for 4.3 g while L’Occitane Peony Lip Balms retail for $16 at 4 g.
  • SPF is different in each, Fresh has SPF 15, L’Occitane has SPF 25.
  • Pigment is similar yet different. I find the pigment of Fresh Sugar Lip Treatments different depending on the color, lighter ones have a sheerer finish while the darker bright ones are more pigmented. L’Occitane’s are consistent among all three shades sheer-to-medium.
  • Finish is very similar in that these give the lips a natural healthy sheen that looks very subtle. They make the lips glow without looking shiny. The only exception is L’Occitane’s Rose Amber which for some reason looks more velvety on my lips rather than shiny.
  • Scent is different in each. Fresh Sugar Lip Treatments are a lot stronger and lemony sweet with strong sugar notes. L’Occitane Lip Balms have a strong noticeable scent but it’s more natural even though it is still on the sweet side.
  • Texture is different. Fresh has a thicker softer texture making them noticeably thick on the lips (not something I mind, I find it quite pleasant), L’Occitane is firmer and smoother with a weightless feel.
  • Density/composition is different. Fresh Sugar Lip Balms often break on me if the tubes get too warm. I haven’t seen a tester at Sephora or Nordstrom that wasn’t broken at the base. I have to be uber careful when I apply them to avoid them breaking on me (or put them in the fridge for a few minutes on occasion). L’Occitane’s is firmer in texture which makes it easier for me to apply without having to worry about breakage.

Swatch comparisons:

For comparisons and previous reviews, you can see how each color looks on the lips below:

Fresh Sugar Tulip on the lips here
Fresh Sugar Honey on my lips here
Fresh Sugar Rosé swatched on me here
Fresh Sugar Cherry lip swatches here

Ingredients on the packaging:

Above: Peony Lip Balms and the Peony Hand Cream

If you’re looking for a nice lip tint, I think the new ones from L’Occitane are definitely worth looking into. I know the clear one might seem boring but I really like it. It hydrates the lips and makes them feel petal-soft smooth. Out of the three tinted options, my favorite is tied between Rose Nude and Rose Amber. My heart gravitates towards soft pinks like Rose Nude, but the Rose Amber is such a pretty nude brown pink that makes the lips look velvety smooth and lush. I like that the texture of these is smooth and non-sticky. You can also use these as cheek tints, although I personally think the look is a bit too dewy for my skin type. Bottom line a winner in my lip balm book. I don’t think you need all of them. Rose Nude and Rose Amber are pretty close on me, I suspect they will look similar on many lips. Rose Plum is different from the other two being brighter and deeper, I’m a neutral lip lover so this one is a bit out of my comfort zone. I really like the clear one for touch ups or at night. 

You can find the L’Occitane Peony Lip Balms at all L’Occitane stores now, also online at usa.loccitane.com. Each one retails for $16. Have you checked these out yet?
The Peony Collection was provided courtesy of L’Occitane at a press event for review consideration. As always, all opinions my own.

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