Beauty Favorites Lips

Lip Basics: Primers, Balms, Oils and Favorites for Fall

October 3, 2016
Lip Basics, Primers, Treatments and Oils - The Beauty Look Book

Lip products are among my favorite things in the beauty world. Something as simple as a nice lipstick or great lip balm can give that little pick-me-up boost. Lip products are great whether you need to feel a little more polished or if you need a bit of soothing hydration. I’ve done quite a few roundups on lip treatments, primers, favorite lipliners and versatile glosses in the past but thought it might be time to do an updated version for fall. I’ve teamed up with Nordstrom to roundup some of my favorites. I’ve picked out a wide range of options as I know everyone has different tastes and preferences for formula, texture, packaging and scent. There are a couple new items that I’ve tested and have been really excited about – so if you’re looking for new lip basics to add to your routine, I hope you enjoy this post!

Up first is the MAC Prep + Prime Lip which is my favorite lipstick primer. It’s a smooth easy to use primer that helps reduce lipstick feathering. It also smooths fine lines and really does make lipstick go on smoother. It’s oil-free and fragrance free so those with sensitive noses don’t need to worry about scent. While it doesn’t add hydration I find it works to help lipstick adhere better – especially if you wear matte lipsticks. If you’re more of a glossy finish/shine lipstick kind of person, this won’t really help the lipstick adhere as those have a lot of slip in them. But for regular cream, satin or mattes this is a must.

MAC Prep + Prime Lip - The Beauty Look Book

On the nails, Chanel Vamp

Next are lip treatments that come in tube format. There are quite a few good potted balms but I prefer a sponge tip or squeeze tube as I find it’s less messy on the fingers. I have very sensitive lips and some balms like the one from Kiehl’s and C.O. Bigelow (along with a number of drugstore brands) make my lips go numb and swell – I’m not sure what the ingredient is that causes sensitivity for me, but the ones below are super sensitive lip approved.

Lip Oils and Treatments - Clarins, Dior, Armani, Diptyque and Hourglass

The Clarins Instant Light Lip Confort Oil in Honey is probably my favorite lip oil. This one is clear so it won’t add color but truly does add instant comfort. As far as oils go this one is easy to to apply, doesn’t migrate off the lips and is great for everyday wear. Sometimes I’ll add a bit of liner on top smudged on the lips for color. (Some of my favorites listed below.)

The Dior Addict Lip Glow Pomade Color Reviver Instant Oil-Gel Care has been in frequent rotation lately. I’ve read it’s hit or miss on whether this will change color like the regular Addict Lip Glow (ones in the stick). For me the stick version turns my lips bright pink and this one in the tube doesn’t add any color but I’m willing to overlook it because it adds the perfect amount of moisture to my lips. It has a beveled tip to mold more to the round curves of your
lips. It’s smooth and isn’t sticky. I would say this is my go-to lip treatment of the moment.

Armani Prima Eye and Lip Contour is a multi-purpose product. When used on the lips it smooths, plumps and helps create a base to help lipstick stay put. The texture is very unique, it almost has a whipped velvet texture but blends like a cream. Once on the lips I can feel the plumping effect immediately but there’s no tingle. It’s creamy but feels matte. It’s incredibly unique and while extremely pricey does prevent lipstick feathering. It is slightly scented but in a soft sweet way and it’s not noticeable after a couple minutes. Over time with use the lip texture and surface becomes more smooth.

Diptyque Nourishing Lip Balm has been on backorder for a while but Diptyque repackaged their lip balm in a squeeze tube. I’ve been using it for almost a month now and it’s a thicker balm that adds a veil of hydration on the lips. If you don’t like thicker products you may find this too thick in which case I’d recommend an oil, a stick balm or the AmorePacific Moisture Bound Lip Treatment (which I’ve run out of and don’t have to show in this roundup).

Hourglass No. 28 Lip Oil is one of the most luxurious lip oils I’ve tried. It comes with a gold-plated applicator which adds a soothing cooling effect to the lips. It is scented with an herbal kind of scent. I find it to be like a spa treatment for the lips but if you can’t tolerate any kind of scent you may want to see if you can try before buying. It contains:
  • 14 essential oils: bois de rose, lavender, geranium, petitgrain, lemon, rosemary, vanilla, clove, amyris, orange, ylang-ylang, eucalyptus, cedar, rose geranium
  • 10 lipid-rich plant oils: hazelnut, kukui nut, rose hip, borage, olive, green tea, cherry pit, sweet almond, jojoba and evening primrose
  • vitamins A, B5, C and E 
Next are some tinted balms that I’ve been playing with. Clarins and Dior are my favorite but many of you have been asking about Burberry and the new ones from Armani. I’ve had the ones from Burberry for ages but don’t think I’ve ever swatched them all.

Armani Him Her Lip Care and Burberry Firs Kiss Fresh Gloss Balm

Armani just launched a new lip treatment called the Him/Her Lip Care. There are 5 options total (4 tinted, 1 clear). I bought three of the shades and on my lips the color is pretty much clear but I’ve swatched them below to show you the colors. They are medium thick and you can
feel them on the lips so they’re not weightless. They do make the lips softer and the tints give a very slight hint of color.

Clarins Instant Light Lip Perfectors are my favorite tinted balms of all time. They do have a scent to them which is like a soft sweet vanilla scent but it’s not overpowering. The colors are sheer but have enough pigment to show up on the lips. I love the slim sleek packaging and they feel great on the lips.

Burberry First Kiss Fresh Gloss Balm which are pretty much clear on the lips. They come with a special applicator that gives the lips a cooled effect. Texture is very smooth and emollient. These are a hybrid gloss and balm in one but the color is very very sheer. If you’re a low-key kind of person when it comes to lips and just want comfort and shine these are great to add moisture. Color-wise though the pigment has little to no payoff except for the red and plum versions. Scent is almost non-detectable – I have to try really hard to detect a scent in these.

Dior Addict Lip Glow Color Reviver Balm in Coral is my favorite stick balm of the moment. The color will react and change depending on the chemistry of your lips. This one gives my lips a healthy very natural flushed glow. It’s an easy no fuss kind of balm and since it adds the perfect amount of color for me it’s great for on-the-go or for days where I don’t want to think about what makeup to wear because it works with everything.

Swatches of my picks from Armani Him and Her Lip Care. The other two tinted ones were almost a taupe and taupe purple greige. There is also a clear version. There is a very soft skincare like scent to them but it’s faint.

All the Burberry First Kiss Fresh Gloss Lip Balms swatched. They go on the lips very sheer and all look the same on me so I did not lip swatch them. The last two Crushed Red and Sweet Plum give my lips a very slight hint of color, but effect is very slight.

Armani Him Her Lip Care and Burberry Firs Kiss Fresh Gloss Balm

All the Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfectors reposted as I’ve reviewed them in depth before. Love every single one of these!

Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector Swatches - The Beauty Look Book

Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector Swatches - The Beauty Look Book

For color you all know I love my nude lipsticks, but for those who find nudes and beiges boring, the next best thing for me is a soft mauve because it’s one of those shades I think is a universally flattering color. 

NARS Bound, Chanel Wild Rose, MAC Lip Pencils - The Beauty Look Book

Many of you have been asking for my thoughts on the NARS Velvet Lip Glides. I picked up four shades and will review them soon, but the shade in Bound is hands down my favorite. It’s the prettiest soft mauve pink cream that is great for everyday wear or even for nights out.

Another classic is Chanel Glossimer in Wild Rose. It has a soft silver shimmer and to me it’s the most classic mauve pink rose color you can find. If you’re new to Chanel Glossimers and want to know which one I’d recommend starting with, Wild Rose is it!

To extend the wear of your lipstick or lipgloss adding a good liner can help a lot. I am rather lazy when it comes to lipliner so I usually skip it. I have accumulated dozens of pencils but the ones I find most versatile include the MAC Lip Pencils. For me my favorite shades are Boldly Bare, MAC Dervish and MAC Whirl. For those wanting a more mauve pink color Kevyn Aucoin Hyacinth is the perfect in between. As far as neutral nude rose pinks Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat in Pillow Talk is as perfect as it gets in my opinion. 

(MAC Stripdown added for comparison purposes to show how pink/mauve the other shades are.)

Swatched on the lips:

NARS Bound, Chanel WIld Rose, MAC Lip Pencil Swatches - The Beauty Look Book

One last look:

Lip Primers, Oils and Treatments - The Beauty Look Book

If I had to pick three to stick with, it would be the MAC Prep+Prime Lip for primer, Clarins Instant Light Lip Perfectors for tinted balms and the Dior Addict Lip Glow Pomade for everyday moisture. Although I’m a lip balm/lip oil junkie and it would be very difficult for me to just stick with one for the rest of the season or even the rest of my life. If you can’t take any scent whatsoever, the AmorePacific MoistureBound Lip Treatment is among the best for very dry lips. If you can tolerate a little bit of scent the Clarins Lip Oil is also a very good one for instant relief.

That rounds up some of my favorites and thoughts on some newly launched items. I’m really liking the Armani Him and Her Balms although the color doesn’t really show up on my lips the formula is really good and I like the sleek packaging.

What are your favorite lip treatments and primers? I know there are quite a few other primers and clear lipliners people like to use to help extend lipstick wear but the MAC one is so good I haven’t looked into others for a while. If you have a favorite let me know! Always love trying new lip products.

Many thanks to Nordstrom for sponsoring this post. Press samples include the Clarins Lip Oil, Clarins Lip Perfectors, Armani Prima Lip Care.

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  • Candice Petersen October 3, 2016 at 3:45 pm

    The lip primer by Mac is such a great idea

    Beauty Candy Loves

    • Sabrina October 12, 2016 at 5:41 pm

      It's a staple for me!

  • lmc1971 October 3, 2016 at 4:23 pm

    Sabrina have you tried the new Fresh Sugar Cream Lip Treatment in Buff? I love it! It's a nudish peach pink…really pretty and it feels great on the lips.

    Cheers, Lisa

  • Becca Fletcher October 3, 2016 at 4:41 pm

    The clarins lip oil sounds really good. Ive never tried a lip primer before but that mac one sounds good!

  • Philippa October 3, 2016 at 6:14 pm

    I love the clarins lip perfectors, such beautiful colours!
    Philippa x

  • Anonymous October 3, 2016 at 6:18 pm

    I'd been a religious Vaseline user my whole life (never even went near Burt's Bees, Chapstick, Aquaphor, etc.) until several years ago it just stopped working for me. I went on a spree (it was fun, I admit) testing various lip treatments I'd heard about but had no reason to try since I was so happy with Vaseline.

    1. Avene Cold Cream Lip Cream- found this one through ITG. Once I discovered it, I declared my search over. It's a thicker consistency like Vaseline, but feels more substantial and moisturizing. Had a pretty heavy love affair with this one for a few years. I'd like to emphasize that this is the one that comes in a squeeze tube, as opposed to their stick version.

    Down side is, it hardens in cold temps, so I try to keep it in a pocket close to my skin's warmth in order to be able to use it! I don't think it has a scent, but my sister has mentioned that she detects something. I really like this one, but not a fan of the fact that it gets hard to squeeze out in winter. Used this one for years.

    2. Davi Napa lip balm- Avene's successor. This one has gotten strong word of mouth in Korea and has been mentioned/shown on Get It Beauty (a popular Korean beauty show). It's provided as part of the first class amenity kits on Korean Air, but you can also purchase it online through the Davi Napa website (I did). IT'S SO GOOD!! so creamy and slick and moisturizing. I had raptures when first trying it out back in May. I haven't used my Avene since.

    This one apparently has a bit of SPF, and it's got the slightest minty?ish feel or scent. I personally detest scents in my lip products, but I find I don't mind this one. My lips have been super happy since I've found this. I don't think this one gets a ton of buzz in the American beauty world, but it's definitely known in Korea/Asia.

  • Grace Campbell October 3, 2016 at 7:36 pm

    I really want to try the lip oil out it sounds amazing!!

    Grace x

  • Anna October 3, 2016 at 7:42 pm

    These all look lovely! I think Pillow Talk is my favorite.
    A New Old Fashioned Girl

  • Elisabeth Hayes October 3, 2016 at 8:27 pm

    The NARS Velvet Lip Glides have been on my wishlist since they came out!

    xo, Liz

  • JaynieShannonx October 3, 2016 at 9:10 pm

    The clarins lip perfectors look right up my street! I need to start using some kind of oils or primers because my lips are always dry 🙁

    Jaynie Shannon*


  • Glam In The City October 3, 2016 at 9:26 pm

    I have to try the hourglass lip balm!

  • Lori Jenkins October 3, 2016 at 10:45 pm

    I'm obsessed with Bobbi Brown Extra Lip Tint – it just restocked online and I stocked up!

  • Running with Scissors October 4, 2016 at 3:51 am

    gorgeous post, thanks. Christy x

  • Joni Corak October 4, 2016 at 9:30 am

    After ending up disappointed with the fat version of UD's Ozone pencil, (it's decent as a somewhat-hard-to-sharpen clear lip liner, but using it balm-style before lipstick did nothing for me, unfortunately!) I ended up with the prep+prime from MAC. I was really surprised to actually notice a difference in wear when letting it cut the line ahead of lipstick, especially creamy ones.
    You mentioned that it has no scent of flavor, though, and I've gotta disagree, there… unless my tube is either older or newer version than yours, it definitely has a vanilla-y smell and the slightest corresponding taste (at least to me!) so I wonder why if yours is scent free, why mine is not? it's not overpowering or anything, but I noticed the distinct scent with the prep+prime much much more than I do with normal MAC lippies! or… maybe I'm crazy! 🙂

  • Lindsay October 4, 2016 at 8:47 pm

    Lip product round ups are my favorite! And I love that you mentioned the Chanel Glossimer in Wild Rose– your blog introduced me to that several years ago and it remains an all time favorite for me as well! Thank you!!!

  • Jackie McD October 5, 2016 at 4:22 am

    I am also a big fan of Nars "Bound" , which I received a few days ago and immediately fell in love with. You might also want to check out the new Burberry liquid lipstick in no.9, Fawn Rose. Love it also – a bit more nude than Bound, but a very similar tone.

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