Sephora Collection's limited-edition Hot Hues Neon Lip Balm ($10) is billed as a moisturizing lipstick with a sheer, neon tint. Sephora says this lip treatment combines the hydrating benefits of a lip balm with the sheer tint of a lipstick. "The pop of neon color will highlight any look, and the long-wearing formula means you can keep your pout both moisturized and flashy from day into night." To quote Liz Crenshaw at NBC Washington, "Buuut...does it really do that?
Let's take a look at this fascinating lip balm/lip color. Check out its Jello-like appearance. That may be the feature of Hot Hues Neon Lip Balm I find most interesting. The transparent bullet in the tube is unique. I ordered Hot Pink, shown above, not knowing what to think about the four shades available when I saw the online color representations.
My swatch photos show Hot Pink on my arm in full sunlight. You'll see a baby pink that translates on the lips as a pink-tinted balm (as advertised). It's pretty, but not earth shattering, and definitely not "hot." On my lips, it doesn't have the shine the sun provided on my arm. On my lips it's boring - unfortunately.
I wasn't sure what to expect from Paradisso Purple, Funky Fuschia, or Crazy Coral. When I went to Sephora last weekend, I wanted to see the other shades. I couldn't find them on the Sephora brand display. One of the hovering sales people asked if she could help me. I responded by saying yes and asking where I might find these shades. She had no idea what I was talking about and punted by saying without hesitation that they didn't have the product. It was bad form in my opinion. She should have asked someone.
Hot Hues Neon Lip Balm is like a lip balm, but more like Chapstick than a tinted balm that's incredibly moisturizing, such as Rosebud Salve in a Tube (which I love). Keep in mind that my lips are moisture starved. Those with more natural moisture may find the hydration more effective. The only active, hydrating ingredient is jojoba seed oil. There are also some normal lipstick chemicals that read like hieroglyphics. I know what they are and do for a lipstick, but I won't bore you with the details.
You can purchase Hot Hues Neon Lip Balm at Sephora online. I don't know if it has arrived at Sephora stores, and I'm unlikely to find out any time soon. I like the one I bought, but I don't see any reason to purchase additional shades. It gets a pass, but not a rave.
Photo at top courtesy of Sephora; other photos by Best Things in Beauty