I don't remember whether Sephora has been releasing a different set every year, but I have to say this 2012 set is way better than the 2010 set both in terms of value as well as selection! I was already curious with that Rose Mini one, not to mention the full size Tarte LipSurgence alone is $24! The bonuses are Bite Beauty and Hourglass, two brands I have never heard of and will happily try ^.^
All pictures taken in natural light without flash.
From left to right: Sephora Collection Glossy Gloss 03 Precious Pink full size (gifted to my sister), this Fresh Sugar Mini Tinted Lip Treatment Rose 0.08oz/2.2g, Bite Beauty Lip Shine Vintage 0.1oz/2.72g, Laura Mercier Lip Glace Baby Doll 0.1oz/2.8g, Hourglass Extreme Sheen High Shine Lip Gloss Child 0.12oz/3.5g, and Tarte LipSurgence Natural Matte Lip Tint Hope full size.
Just as I thought, this Mini Tinted Lip Treatment Rose is a chapstick in fancy packaging with a fancy price tag. Sure, it is only slightly waxy, but it's also only somewhat moisturizing. And while it's translucent and shimmer free, it also gives a disappointingly faint rosy tint. I don't get it, how is this any different than your average lip balm? Did you know even the good ol' Cherry Chapstick will leave a slight translucent and shimmer free tint? Would you pay $22.50 for a stick of Chapstick? No? Me neither! I guess indulging my curiosity has a down side - now I'm not just reluctant with this product, I'm outraged!
To add insult to this injury, the neat twist off cap packaging is ultimately annoying and unnecessary. I seldom see an already-twist-up chapstick having a twist off cap, but precisely because it's rare that I keep forgetting. Every time I reach for it, I would attempt -and fail- to yank off the cap at least a few times before remembering to twist. Argh! Also, being a mini I would expect to be able to carry this little tube around in my pocket. Nope. Bad idea - it melts. Yes, I tried carrying this around in my blazer pocket (at the waist, not the inner or outer chest pocket) while I was at my company's conference in February. And after just half a day it got mushy and broke. I think the only thing I like about this Tinted Lip Treatment is that it's scented with a mild lemon sugar cookie fragrance and has no taste, and neither is worth paying $22.50 for in my humble opinion!
Swatches from left to right: Fresh Sugar Mini Tinted Lip Treatment Rose (top), Bite Beauty Lip Shine Vintage, Laura Mercier Lip Glace Baby Doll, Hourglass Extreme Sheen High Shine Lip Gloss Child, and Tarte LipSurgence Natural Matte Lip Tint Hope. Will review these next.
Anyway, I was once tempted to shell out some $42 for the 2012 holiday set of 5, but now that I got a chance to try this out, I am sooooo glad I didn't. I would be so upset right now if I did! Save your money, folks. Really, by sheer probability alone you'll be able to find a much better lip balm at a fraction of that price! I have, and not just one.