Monday, November 3, 2014

Review: Pixi Shea Butter Lip Balm (Shade:Coral Crush)

By Randi Reed

Pixi  by Petra Shea Butter Lip Balm in Coral Crush is reviewed in Cosme-Haul’s latest tinted lip balm product review.

FTC Disclosure: I received this product as part of my regular Birchbox subscription, which I pay for myself.When someone uses the Birchbox invitation link to subscribe, I earn Birchbox points toward my purchases, which I use to purchase more products to review.

Unless you’re a “pink girl” Pixi by Petra may not be a brand you’ve connected with. After all, you’re either into ethereal pastels and garden sprites, or you’re not. Getting out of your comfort zone is a good thing, though, so when a recent Birchbox included a full-size Pixi Shea Butter Lip Balm in Coral Crush, I was game. After all, who doesn’t need a classic color of tinted lip balm for Fall activities like apple picking or meeting your boyfriend’s folks at Thanksgiving? 

Pixi by Petra Shea Butter Lip Balm in Coral Crush.
(Photo: Randi Reed / Cosme-Haul.)

Color: Pixi Shea Butter Lip Balm’s “Coral Crush” shade leans more toward rosy than orange on the coral spectrum. The closest Crayola Crayon color is “Mango Tango” which, when swatched next to Pixi’s “Coral Crush” on paper, is a fairly good match.

The semi-sheer nature of tinted lip balms means your natural lip color plays a large role in your color result. On me, that makes Pixi Shea Butter Lip Balm in “Coral Crush” more of a bright rose with orange undertones (a far prettier color than it sounds).

It's not quite this pink, but here you can see the texture.
(Photo: Randi Reed / Cosme-Haul.)

Pixi by Petra Shea Butter Lip Balm in Coral Crush.
(Photo: Randi Reed / Cosme-Haul.)

Texture and Application: On bare lips, Pixi Shea Butter Lip Balm glided on smoothly and felt moisturizing on application. Its moisturizers seem to melt into the skin nicely, and it felt really good at first, and looked pretty, with bright color and good pigments…

…But after ten minutes or so, it felt like the moisturizers left town and melted into the skin,  leaving the pigment behind, sitting on top. This turned the coverage uneven, with an almost gritty feel that increased over time. (Not being a chemist or makeup artist, my guess was that maybe the pigment particles weren’t finely milled enough?) Blending the product in with my finger and applying more product over top helped somewhat, but I soon had to remove it with makeup remover and start over to get even coverage.

The flat, straight end of Pixi’s Shea Butter Lip Balm stick would have been fine for a clear product but made applying the tinted product awkward and messy. A tapered lipstick bullet shape or slanted end (such as with Revlon Lip Butters) would make this product easier to use.

Fragrance / Taste: Pixi Shea Butter Lip Balm had a pleasant light vanilla flavor. There was a slight chemical odor, similar to the smell of ink from a ball point pen, but it wasn’t noticeable in the taste of the product.

Wear: After ten to fifteen minutes, as Pixi Shea Butter Lip Balm settled in, it felt too drying, That was disappointing, because for me, the moisturizing property of tinted lip balm is what makes it attractive as a product. Some of my favorite drugstore lipsticks actually feel a lot more hydrating. On a second test run I applied my usual lip balm first, negating the whole purpose of using a tinted lip balm.

While the moisturizers faded quickly, the color of Pixi Shea Butter Lip Balm’s “Coral Crush” lasted a long time--even after drinking water and having a snack. Unfortunately, over time, the pigment settled unevenly. My lips weren’t dry when I started, but somehow Pixi managed to find dry patches anyway, settling there unattractively like a lipstick with inferior pigments.
Pixi Shea Butter Lip Balm smeared and migrated—a lot. When I tested it again with liner, there was far less migrating and smearing.

Misc. Pros and Cons and Tips: After some experimentation, wearing Pixie Shea Butter Lip Balm in “Coral Crush” like a traditional lipstick gave much better results than using it as a tinted balm. A good lip scrub, pre-hydrating with a very strong lip balm, using lip liner, and applying the Pixi Shea Butter Lip Balm with a lip brush helped this product a lot. Unfortunately, this totally defeated its purpose as a tinted lip balm.

Although I didn’t try it, Pixi Shea Butter Lip Balm in “Coral Crush” would probably work better as a blush stick than it did as a tinted lip balm. Worn that way, it would probably be very pretty.

I saw no mention of sunscreen, so I don’t think Pixi Shea Butter Lip Balm has SPF, which is a minus.

The packaging is cute, though not all that sturdy.

Would I buy this product again? Probably not. At U.S.$8.00, Pix Shea Butter Lip Balm colors are pretty, but its performance falls short as a tinted lip balm. Given the choice, I’d spend more and go for a the Fresh Tinted Lip Treatment, which performs much better and has SPF. On a tight budget, if I couldn’t save for Fresh, I might go for Revlon lip butters or even just a hydrating drugstore lipstick plus a lip balm with SPF.

Score 1-10: On its own, 5. When applied like a regular lipstick, with liner, over lip balm, I’d give it a 6.

Pixi Shea Butter Lip Balm in Coral Crush.
(Photo: Randi Reed / Cosme-Haul.)

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©2014 Cosme-Haul and Randi Reed.