Traveling isn't easy, especially the packing part. Most airlines now allow only 2 pieces of check-in luggage weighing no more than 50 lbs. (~ 22.7kg) each for international travel (unless you fly first class, in which case it'd be much cheaper to just courier the darn luggages). And while packing for the few months we'll be spending in Taipei, hubby went even further and limited each of us to just 1 piece of luggage. Cruel, I tell you. Cruel. But fine, whatever. I wanted to save room for new Taiwan additions anyway :P *muahaha* Shh...don't tell him I said that xD
Clinique Chubby Sticks Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm
Top to bottom: 04 Mega Melon, 05 Chunky Cherry, 06 Woppin' Watermelon, 07 Super Strawberry, 12 Oversized Orange. All pictures taken in natural light without flash.
Needless to say it was exceedingly difficult to pick what to bring with me to Taipei given the little room I had. Adding to the challenge was that I did a whole lot of cosmetics shopping before moving home from Japan (who wouldn't?!?), so all the sparkling newbies were equally beckoning. In the end, I decided on, well, non-Japanese balm-tints, either in a twist up bullet, like the Sephora Hot Hues Neon Lip Balm or Maybelline ColorSensational Pop Sticks, or in a pencil form, like the Stila Lip Glaze Sticks minus the sharpening. I figured balm-tints are meant to be travel-friendly, as in you don't really need a mirror to apply them. At the same time, they are multi-functional, [supposedly] providing moisture, a hint of color, and sometimes even a sheen.
Which brings me to these Clinique Chubby Sticks, which I've been eyeing since they first came out. Living in Japan didn't do much to stop me from picking up a few to try, thanks to the internet, because I would never buy non-Japanese brand cosmetics in Japan anyway. Why pay double, triple the price? :P It took a few months for me to gather the mini collection below, with the two at top being GWPs and the three full sizes.
The 04 Mega Melon came from this nice Clinique Online GWP Nudes, which includes a Rinse-Off Foaming Cleanser 50mL, All About Eyes Serum 5mL, Repairwear Laser Focus 15mL, Moisture Surge Intense 15mL, Lash Doubling Mascara 3.4mL, and Eye Shadow Duo Nudes, both were later given away.
The 07 Super Strawberry came from this Dillards Clinique GWP Violets: Color Compact Violet, High Impact Mascara, Long Last Gloss Wear SPF15 Bamboo Pink, all 3 were given away, another Rinse Off Foaming Cleanser, Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion (read my review for the Gel version).
I can see why these Chubby Sticks have gotten so popular! They are so effortless, gliding on smoothly and wearing well. However, being billed as a Moisturizing Lip Color Balm they don't feel very balmy. Instead, they have a lipstick-like consistency, thicker than the Bare Brilliance and the Different Lipsticks, but not as thick and buttery as my favorite Butter Shine formula. I'd say they're somewhere among the Long Last Soft Shine or High Impact. They even have that crayon-y smell, just like a lipstick!
04 Mega Melon and 05 Chunky Cherry
In terms of coverage, they're no where near moderate but is not quite sheer either. I'd say they're somewhere in between, leaning more towards sheer than moderate. My guess is that because some of more popular colors fall in the my-lips-but-better range, adding translucency to that and the result is an illusion of sheerness. I was hoping for at least a sheen, but there is none. The finish is more satiny and natural, which is not a bad thing, though I couldn't help but feel a bit disappointed here. Also, these don't feel any more moisturizing than a lipstick to me. Sure, they're soft and smooth at first, but after about an hour or so they start to feather off and feel more like, well, a lipstick. This is another disappointment as well.
06 Woppin' Watermelon and 07 Super Strawberry
12 Oversized Orange
Packaging wise I have to say I like the clear cap of the GWP ones much better ^.^ The aluminum coated caps on the full size pencils make them look much bulkier and clunkier than they really are. Plus when you can't see the tip of the pencil, chances are you'll knick it with the cap. I've done this every several times already, though perhaps because I'm clumsier than most people :P But otherwise the packaging is pretty neat. It's a twist up pencil, and no sharpening is necessary. I used the 04 Mega Melon and 07 Super Strawberry first so I swatched them separately from the others.
- 04 Mega Melon: a warm tawny rose in the tube, swatched a brownish red, but turns peachy coral on me with fine gold shimmers that gives it a slight pearl sheen. This color is the most opaque out of the 5 I have, but even then it's definitely a my-lips-but-better color so it doesn't look over done no matter how much I layer it on. And I would have to layer it like crazy for it to show too! I would have prefer it with more translucency and no shimmers, but it's still very wearable.
- 07 Super Strawberry: more like a pink berry with the translucency I like. It turns more berry on my lips and has micro shimmers that don't show.
04 Mega Melon and 07 Super Strawberry
- 05 Chunky Cherry: a blue base translucent and shimmer free red that gives my lips a juicy cherry tint. Very pretty!
- 12 Oversized Orange: navel orange with very fine gold shimmers. However, like most oranges this swatched more coral on the back of my hand and turns a brighter peachy coral on my lips.
05 Chunky Cherry, 06 Woppin' Watermelon, and 12 Oversized Orange.
Overall, these Chubby Sticks are decent. Until I can find a better formula, I'd still have to admit that the unfortunately-discontinued (but still available on Ebay) Stila Lip Glaze Sticks is way better and I'd pick them in a heart beat. Yes, the sharpening is annoying, which is why I didn't bring them with me, but they are much glossier and way more moisturizing. That said, I do plan to try a few more of the new Chubby Stick additions, and I just bought the Limited Edition Plumped Up Pink Chubby Stick (Pink Ribbon series 2012) that was released earlier in the week as well. It looks like a pretty pink so I'm looking forward to playing with it ^.^
The Pink Ribbon 2012 Limited Edition Plumped Up Pink Chubby Stick.
***Picture from Clinique USA.