Sunday, September 21, 2014

Cosme-Haul Product Review: Benefit Posiebalm

By Randi Reed

Disclosure: I received this product as part of my regular Birchbox subscription, which I pay for myself.

A new Benefit product is always something I look forward to. I especially looked forward to the release of Benefit Posiebalm and its sister products Benebalm, Lollibalm, and Chachabalm. Their versatility seemed like they’d be great candidates for travel, and the packaging looked convenient and cute. So, you can imagine how pleased I was to find a mini Posiebalm in one of my Birchboxes over the summer.

Many beauty bloggers have a policy of only reviewing products they like and ignoring products they don't. While I’m sure it’s the intention of these bloggers to be polite,
I believe that serves the cosmetics company and not the reader. Readers have no way of knowing what products bloggers are sent, or what the blogger didn’t like about them.
Cosme-Haul is here to serve the reader. Wit that in mind, here’s my review of Benefit Posiebalm.

Color: Benefit Posiebalm is a pretty, pale coral-y pink color. Described on the Benefit website as “poppy pink,” Posiebalm is slightly more coral pink than Benefit Posietint, the bubblegum pink lip and cheek stain it was designed to coordinate with.
Posiebalm’s closest color in my trusty Crayola Crayon box is "Salmon" but it isn’t an exact match. Posiebalm’s pink has more coral rose.

L-R: Posiebalm, Salmon Crayola Crayon, Posietint.
(Photo: Randi Reed / Cosme-Haul.

L-R: Posibalm, Crayola Crayon scribbles in Salmon, Posietint.
(Photo: Randi Reed / Cosme-Haul.)

Texture and Application: I tested Benefit Posiebalm on the back of my hand. (I'll get to why in a minute.) Posiebalm's texture was slightly sticky, which surprised me. I was expecting something a little more emollient-feeling, like lipstick. Posiebalm felt more like lipstick mixed with a bit of sticky lip gloss.

Because I tested on the back of my hand, I wanted to be sure my impression of the texture was accurate, so I compared it side by side with Pixi Shea Butter Lip Balm, which is a similar tinted lip balm. Compared side by side, Benefit Posiebalm sat more atop the skin and required a bit more rubbing to blend in than Pixi. Pixi had the same amount of pigment but felt more moisturizing and oily and melted into the skin a bit more.
Posiebalm’s swivel stick was convenient and made it considerably faster and easier to use than its sister product, Posietint, which has a self-contained brush similar to a nail polish brush. Posiebalm also required no drying time.
Fragrance / Taste: Here’s why I had to test this product solely on the back of my hand: Posiebalm is so strongly scented of roses, I couldn’t get it near my face. The Benefit website calls Posiebalm a lip balm. That won't be happening. I love the smell of roses--in roses--but in Posiebalm, it was overwhelming. This surprised and disappointed me, because in comparison, Benefit Posietint had no such overwhelming fragrance.

Usually if I can’t wear something as a lip product due to fragrance, I can use it as a blush. Not so with Benefit Posiebalm.
While it’s true I’m fragrance sensitive, I can nearly always test something on the back of my hand without a problem. Unfortunately, I couldn't do that with Posiebalm:

While testing Posiebalm on the back of my hand I began typing this review right away, as I always do  while testing a product. After a couple of minutes I had to stop to go wash it off, because the fragrance made me nauseous and sneezy and made my throat burn. It's rare that I have to actually wash something off the back of my hand due to fragrance issues.

Wear: Unknown, because I had to wash it off the back of my hand after a few minutes to avert a reaction to the fragrance. Posiebalm’s stickiness seemed like it would be unlikely to fade quickly, though. I had to scrub fairly hard with liquid soap to remove all traces of Posiebalm's color and fragrance.

Misc. Pros and Cons and Tips: Posiebalm’s swivel tube was a quick and convenient way to use the product, and it can be used on lips and cheeks, so I think it would be great for travel. And the packaging was cute.

I wish I could offer more positive things to say about Posiebalm by Benefit, because the product is a great concept and the colors look beautiful. Unfortunately after looking so forward to it, Posiebalm was the most disappointing product I’ve tried in quite a while.

Would I buy this product again? No. Thank you, Birchbox, for saving me from spending US$18 on this.
If the fragrance were taken out or dialed back by three quarters, I’d try it again. But unless that happens, Benefit Balms aren’t for me--or anyone else who's the least bit fragrance sensitive or doesn't enjoy a strong smell of roses. 

Score 1-10: 2. (Unfortunately, yes, that is the lowest product rating thus far on Cosme-Haul. To see what the previous lowest rated product is, click here.)

(Photo: Randi Reed / Cosme-Haul.)

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©2014 Cosme-Haul and Randi Reed.