Trend Tracking: Sheer Lipstick & Tinted Lip Balms

As you have perused the drugstore aisle, flipped through a magazine, or watched the commercials on your favorite TV show you may have run into an advertisement for a new sheer lipstick or tinted lip balm. So what are these products? Why are they so special? And where did they come from anyway?

Sheer lipstick and tinted lip balms are both sheer, light products you apply to your lips. They are usually more moisturizing than regular lipsticks, but are less opaque. They are ideal for achieving a natural look during the day time, but usually have less staying power due to their lack of strong pigments. They are easy to apply, subtle, moisturizing, and comfortable. Tinted lip balms are more like a slightly colored Chapstick, whereas sheer lipsticks offer more pigment but in a glossier, more moisturizing formula. The sheer lipstick and tinted lip balm trend started with the introduction of Clinique’s popular Almost Lipstick in 1989. The classic shade of “Black Honey” was a hit, and ever since many companies, even Clinique itself, have launched sheer lipstick and lip balm lines.

Jessica, from the blog Tinsel Creation, stated about Clinique’s Almost Lipstick, “Over the past year or so, cosmetics brands from Revlon to Chanel and back have released sheer lipstick lines. So when Clinique recently announced a launch of seven new “honey” shades of Almost Lipstick, inspired by the now-classic Black Honey, I thought, good for them: they deserve a piece of the current sheer lipstick action, since they set the trend the first time around.” The sheer lipstick and tinted lip balm trend really exploded last spring when companies started making wearable, sheerer versions of runway trends for the average woman. Now the trends woman see walking down the runway are accessible and as easy as driving to the corner drugstore.

Now that the trend is so popular, there are vast amounts of products and shades to choose from. Some of my favorites are Revlon’s ColorBurst Lip Butter in “Sugar Plum”, as well as the Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in “Honey”. A popular tinted lip balm is Maybelline’s Baby Lips. Burt’s Bees also makes a great tinted lip balm, which is more pigmented than Maybelline’s. CoverGirl’s NatureLuxe Gloss Balm is similar to the Burt’s Bees one, whereas the CoverGirl Lip Perfection Jumbo Gloss Balm is similar to Revlon’s Balm Stain. Shaped more like traditional lipstick is Clinique’s Almost Lipstick, Maybelline’s Color Whisper, and L’Oreal’s Colour Riche Balm. Whether you love a romantic rosy lip, a pop of coral, a deep berry, or a bright red, there is a sheer lipstick or a tinted balm out there for you.


Written by Jessica, intern.