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This No-Fuss Lip Color Combines Long Wear and Serious Moisture

Clinique's Chubby Lip Balm nails effortless glamour


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It takes a bold woman to rock a red lip during the day, and Clinique wants to help you become that woman. Even if you have dry lips. Even if you don't have the time or patience to reapply lipstick.

The problem with mega daytime lip color is that it requires mega daytime lip maintenance between coffee and water and lunch and the general lipstick wear that occurs by virtue of human existence. But Clinique's Chubby Stick Intense Moisturizing Lip Color Balm doesn't seem phased by those hurdles. You draw it on, (it's more like a marker than a traditional lipstick tube), press your lips together, and go. A fresh application has that San Francisco "ooh, pretty!" appeal instead of the caked, matte "how much lipstick is she wearing" look. Hours later, the color will still be there. It may not be as bright as fresh makeup, but it's definitely not that creepy residual outline.

I've long been a fan of Clinique's eyeshadow Chubbies, but I never considered a lip Chubby until Clinique sent a sample. I had my doubts —how soon would that Mightiest Maraschino Chubby wind up my mightiest makeup mistake?— but I'm now a believer.

That said, the product isn't perfect. First, the name is insanely long. And you kinda need to use the entire name —or at least the term Intense Chubby Stick— when shopping for it because there's a regular, non-intense Chubby Stick, too. Second, the Chubby doesn't have SPF, a major bummer during vacation and festival season. But if you're avoiding prolonged sun exposure, this colored balm is only $17 and it works better than more expensive tinted balms. Think of it this way: if you don't love it as a lip color, you can always use it as a marker.