I may be a beauty intern, but I’m definitely what you’d call a beauty minimalist. My daily makeup routine can be summarized in 5 words: serum, sunscreen, BB cream, eyebrow tint and lip product. (Does serum and sunscreen even count as makeup?) While most girls my age have become masters of eyeshadow, eyeliner and mascara, I’ve never been too interested in that area. Confession: I’ve never even used mascara.

(Related: Controversial Cult Fave: Is Marc Jacob‘s $28 Lip Vinyl Worth It?)

That being said, I LOVE lipsticks and glosses. Unfortunately, I’m perennially broke so I don’t have as many lip products as I’d like, but I rotate between Sisley Paris Phyto-Lip Twist in Pinky, Peripera Peri’s Cushion Lips in Play More, Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm in Rose (Don’t underestimate the power of Burt’s Bees lip balms!) and MAC Cremesheen Crosswires. So when it was finally my turn to do a Controversial Cult Fave, I made a beeline for Clinique‘s Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm.

The Claim

This is the description of Clinique’s Chubby Stick that you’ll see on Sephora:

“This gorgeous lip color treats lips to mouthwatering moisture and a hint of soft shine. It never needs sharpening—simply swivel up to reveal more of the balm.”

I saw a friend using Clinique’s Chubby Stick in Chunky Cherry and I loved how it looked on her lips so I decided to go with this color. Plus, I love anything in the soft pink/red spectrum. The Chubby Stick comes in 16 (!) different colors–So. Many. Choices.–and the product is 100% fragrance free, an unexpected plus.

What It Looks Like


The packaging is kind of boring, to be completely honest.


And this is what the actual crayon-like chubby stick looks like. This got me really excited. This is me pre-Chubby Stick (looking dead, I know):


And here are my lips post-Chubby Stick:



So, what do I have to say about Clinique’s Chubby Stick? Well, one swipe wasn’t enough, but it might have been because I put Burt’s Bees Besswax Lip Balm with Vitamin E & Peppermint in the morning to avoid chapped lips. (Yes, I’m aware that the Chubby Stick is a lip colour balm, but during the winter, my lips need ALL the help that it can get.)

That “mouthwatering moisture” that Sephora was talking about? Sorry, didn’t experience it. Maybe I’m just spoiled as a result of having used Sisley Paris Phyto Lip-Twist, but Clinique’s Chubby Stick wasn’t more particularly moisturizing than other drugstore products I’ve used in the past.

I’m surprised that the color didn’t look the way it did on my friend. Again, I’m wondering if it’s because I prepped my lips with Burt’s Bees Lip Balm (although frankly, that doesn’t affect the texture or color of my other lip products). The color is not the vibrant red that I was expecting and it’s really subtle. If you want color that delivers (for much less!), you might want to look at any one of these Korean lip products. Okay, to be fair, there’s a little bit of gloss, which I can always appreciate.

Would I purchase this again? No. I want to say “yes” because I do love Clinique‘s skin care products, but nothing really stood out about this lip product. It wasn’t particularly moisturizing, the color wasn’t bright and the packaging was cute, but not gorgeous.

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