In Parts 1-6 of the Color Adjusting Lip Series I reviewed a total of 13 lip tints, balms, and glosses that change color when applied to the lips. Of the 13 I’ve shown you, 3 came from bargain brands, 6 from mid-level brands, and 4 from luxe brands. Today I’m adding to that list one more from a bargain brand, e.l.f., and two more from a mid-level brand, Tarte.
Let’s look back at some photos of the products in Parts 1- 6. Below the image gallery you’ll see a link to a table that shows the 13 reviewed products as well as the products yet to come in Parts 8 and 9.
Link to Color Adjusting Series Master Guide Page
Now let’s take a look at the three products in Part 7 of the series.
Swatches of these three on my hand:
As you see in the photos, e.l.f. Gotta Glow produced the most noticeable flush of the three, both on my hand and on my lips. It’s stain showed up quickly and lasted for a couple of hours, although the actual balmy part/ stick wore off as soon as I ate and drank. E.l.f. Gotta Glow has no smell or taste, and comes in a grownup looking/ appropriate, but not luxe, lipstick tube with a traditional applicator edge and twist up stick. It sells for approximately $6. I found it in my local Target.
Tarte, on the other hand, is sold at retailers like Ulta and Sephora. Here I tried the color “Energy” in both the tint and the gloss, which is the lighter color of the line. Both of Tarte Lipsurgence Skintuitive Lip Tint and Lip Gloss also come in the color “Energy Noir,” which apparently has a darker pink or purple base.
Tarte’s tint and gloss from this line were surprisingly different from one another in both feel and smell. The tint/pencil smells minty and was extremely drying on my lips. This must be a negative effect that only some people get, because Tarte’s Lipsurgence pencils are big business and come in bazillions of colors and finishes. However, I have decided after this encounter with Lipsurgence Tint that I definitely do not like the pencil form of this product, whether it’s Skintuitive or a regular, straightforward, color.
Aside from how drying it is, it also has one of those irritating and distracting type of minty smells that I don’t like (compare with Dior Addict Lip Glow’s mint, which I do like). Otherwise, the packaging and appearance of the Lip Tint is just ok. The stick twists up with its cone shaped top and gets capped when not in use. I do wonder how well the cap would stay on in my makeup bag, though… If it were to come off it could really make an impressive mess, especially in warm weather.
I mentioned that Tarte’s color adjusting tint and gloss are like complete strangers as products, and I’ll tell you that their divergence begins right away with the smell. Tarte Lipsurgence Skintuitive Lip Gloss is thankfully not minty– It smells more like crème brulee than does any other product I’ve ever tried. I don’t know if that the “official” scent or not, but it works for me! It’s yummy!
The gloss is applied by a wand with a shaped sponge tip, that works pretty well. This isn’t as luxe or cool as a YSL applicator, but it’s better than a wand with a hard sponge or teeny tiny brush for an applicator. The gloss doesn’t provide any more or less flush or stain than the stick form of the product, though. One thing is for certain: I wouldn’t be concerned about the gloss unscrewing itself and messing up my makeup bag.
The Tarte products sell for around $24 each, but can sometimes be found in sampler sets in miniature versions.
In the end, neither e.l.f.’s nor Tarte’s color adjusting lip products were a hole-in-one. True, e.l.f. is economical, but then so is Physicians Formula. If only Physicians Formula pH adjusting lip gloss came in a stick form, we’d be all set. But unfortunately I still have to turn to my Bobbi Brown Extra Lip Tint, my Dior Addict Lip Glow, or my Arrow Boost Lip Balm for the perfect combination of brains and beauty!