Benefit Cosmetics California Kissin’ Colorbalm in Poppy

Traditional lipstick, as much as I love it, is high maintenance. It smudges, fades, transfers, dries out and makes eating lunch a precarious undertaking. That’s why I’ve always gravitated towards lip tints and coloured balms for daily wear – something light and hydrating but still pays dividends when it comes to that coveted pop of colour. I also subscribe to a less is more makeup aesthetic, so anything that applies easily in the back of an Uber gets a five-star rating from me.

Benefit Cosmetic’s latest launch is one that ticks every aforementioned box and then some. It’s called the California Kissin’ Colorbalm, and it might just be the MVP of my summer makeup arsenal. It’s essentially a product that takes the best bits from a lipstick (punchy pigment) and a lip balm (hydration, ease of use, laissez-faire application) and translates them into one perfect little product.

The details are as follows: The range comes in 12 beautiful shades – think pinky-beige, poppy coral, slick cherry red, soft peach, and glossy raspberry. It’s also bolstered with a stack of hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid, mango butter and loofah seed oil (an omega-rich extract from the Loofah plant… who knew!), so it keeps the lips moisturised for up to eight hours. It smells like citrus, comes in a cute bullet, retails for $37 and is available to shop here.

My Thoughts

As discussed, I love a tinted balm but this product feels like a step up. It’s got the same creamy, (almost) opaque finish of a lipstick, but the slip and moisture of a balm. I applied without a mirror, smudged in with my fingers and it looked fresh and bright and glossy (without any tackiness). They wear remarkably well for a balm (the sheen wears off but the tint stays all day) and kept my lips feeling hydrated and smooth – not dry or chapped like so many other products. I tried all 12 hues (it’s a tough gig, but someone’s gotta do it) and while I love them all, I’m particularly enamoured with Poppy, Cherry and Peach Pink (see swatches below).

Benefit Cosmetics California Kissin’ Colorbalm in Peach Pink
Benefit Cosmetics California Kissin’ Colorbalm in Poppy
Benefit Cosmetics California Kissin’ Colorbalm in Cherry

The real drawcard for me though is the versatility. We’ve all heard to old lipstick-as-blush adage, but the creamy texture of these couldn’t be more perfect. Thanks to the butters and hyaluronic acid, it makes for a cheek colour that’s dewy and bright – the kind of flush you get from an hour of reformer Pilates. Remember when I said this was looking like the MVP of my summer makeup kit? This is what I meant.

GRAZIA contributing editor Emily Algar wears Benefit Cosmetics California Kissin’ Colorbalm in Poppy on lips, cheeks and eyes

To wear California Kissin’ Colorbalm on the cheeks, simply pat the bullet straight onto the fingers and then tap onto the apples (the fleshy part when you smile), blending upwards towards the temple. Alternatively, take a medium fluffy brush and lightly swirl over the lipstick before buffing into the cheeks. Whatever excess you have (on either fingers or a brush) dust lightly over the bridge of the nose for a sun-kissed effect. Finish with a light lick of black mascara, fluffy brows and you’re golden. Who needs four palettes anyway?

My favourite method is to take one colour and use on lips and cheeks for a tonal makeup look (pink and coral hues are great here). Or, you could try a light peachy shade on the lids and a deeper berry hue on cheeks for an Ibiza-worthy glow (without the international travel).

Overall, it’s the perfect new-season, do-it-all lip product.

Shop the edit below

Benefit Cosmetics California Kissin’ Colorbalm (pictured in cherry), $37. SHOP NOW

 

Benefit Cosmetics California Kissin’ Colorbalm (pictured in peach pink), $37. SHOP NOW

 

Benefit Cosmetics California Kissin’ Colorbalm (pictured in poppy), $37. SHOP NOW

Benefit Cosmetics California Kissin’ Colorbalm is available from October 10. 

Benefit Cosmetics California Kissing’ Colorably is available from October 10. 

Benefit Cosmetics California Kissing’ Colorably is available from October 10. 

thoughts?