BATTLE OF THE BALMS: BATTLE ROSE-YAL! Glossier vs. Aerin vs. Vaseline vs. By Terry
Characteristically way off schedule, we return to BATTLE OF THE BALMS! A series exploring different lightweight lip products. Today I'll be looking at four rose flavored balms: rose Glossier Balm Dotcom, Aerin rose lip conditioner, Vaseline Rosy Lips and By Terry Baume de Rose.
The criteria I'll be looking at are:
- Deployment Mechanism: the main question here is 'do I have to get my finger dirty'? Preference is put on tubes that deploy product directly to your lips (no appendages involved).
- Goo Effect: 'will my hair stick to this'? Points off for an overly sticky or tacky texture.
- Hydration: 'will this chap my lips'? (Looking at you, Dior Glow!) Preference given to formulas that either actively seem to moisturize lips or leave them in the same state as pre-application.
- Shade: 'is this a pleasant color'? A good tinted balm is one that gives you more life, not one that makes you look hypothermic. I also look for consistent deposits of color. Longevity isn't a concern, because I don't think it's fair to hold a product whose entire purpose is to to be sheer to the same standards as a regular lipstick in terms of staying-power. It's a balm, you'll have to re-apply!
- Extra Benefits: 'does it have SPF? Can I use this as a lipstick primer? Can this layer over other lip products nicely'? Just the other little things that can make a lightweight lip product extra special.
Unlike last time, I'll present this post by criteria as I'm looking at four instead of two and, to be honest, these are pretty similar in a lot of respects.
I'll get shade out of the way first because as you can see, there is little to NO difference between the four of these.
Each has a nice light pink sheen, but it's really not THAT different from my natural lip color. The Baume de Terry is the least pigmented, most opaque light pink (which I think makes me look a little anemic) while the Vaseline Rosy Lips is the most 'rosy' darker pink, but we are talking very minimal degrees of difference here (as you can see from the pictures!) If you are interested in a rose balm that has some real tint to it, look elsewhere -- if you enjoy rose smell, taste and some sheen, these will do fine.
Ranked from least to most gooey:
1. Vaseline Rosy Lips: the most 'oil' like texture of all of these (surprisingly, given this is Vaseline!) 5/5
2. Glossier Rose Balm Dotcom: thicker texture, but 'melts' pretty well on lips. Limited hair stickage. 5/5
3. By Terry Baume de Rose: almost a tie with Glossier. Thickest, almost waxy texture, but not that 'sticky' on. Slightly more hair danger than Glossier though. Gets a 4/5 because the waxy-ness makes it a good long-lasting overnight treatment and makes it feel 'luxe'. ✨
4. Aerin: Could be used as a glue substitute in an emergency. Seriously this stuff is STICKY. Not a thick texture, but just really gooey. Your hair (and lint, and anything unlucky enough to brush against this) WILL get stuck.
These all fail!!! I can understand for Vaseline and By Terry are in pots: they both have a thicker, more solid 'resting' form before applied, so a squeeze tube with an applicator tip might not be feasible. Aerin and Glossier, however? No excuse! You are already in a tube! Why not take the extra step and do an easy applicator (the little tapered ends to lip balm tubes -- see photo below to see what I'm talking about) so I don't have to get my finger dirty? I've seen people 'dab' tubes like Glossier and Aerin directly on their lips, but don't you still have to use your finger to get full coverage? Anyway, all of these get a 0/5 on deployment. 👎🏼
**DISCLAIMER** I am dealing with the sample size Aerin -- looking at photos online of the full size, it does seem like they use the tapered plastic. Aerin just got bumped up to a 5/5! 👏🏼
Ranked from most moisturizing to least:
1. Aerin Rose Lip Conditioner: despite the stickiness, this really works! While on, my lips feel well protected from the elements, and after it wears off (after a few hours or a meal) they feel hydrated and smooth. This works as a great overnight treatment too -- just pin back your hair! 5/5
2. By Terry Baume de Rose: this has more of a waxy texture than Aerin, but comparable wear-time and moisture benefits. They really tie in terms of hydration -- both work really well and are great for overnight. I've ranked By Terry second as it lasts a little less time than Aerin. 5/5
3. Glossier Rose Bam Dotcom: I think maybe I'm allergic to lanolin? Whenever I apply any of the Glossier Dotcoms (yes, I have three) I get a slight rash around my lips. My lips respond well, but the skin around gets irritated. So -- test patch maybe with this one! I don't find it particularly hydrating, but it has a nice sheen on. Mostly I think of this as a skin protectant, not really a moisturizer. Tastes and smells good though! 2/5
4. Vaseline Rosy Lips Lip Therapy: a tie with Glossier. It's just less-viscous Vaseline for me -- I don't feel any additional hydration from the almond oil (supposedly) added to the formula. It's a lighter and more 'slick' application than Glossier which might be more comfortable for some. I like it, but more as a occlusive layer over something more moisturizing. 2/5
None of these have SPF, which is disappointing -- but they all layer over an SPF base nicely. Just make sure to apply your sunscreen at least 15-20 minutes before you put something else on top so it has time to sink in (I like the Avene Sunscreen Balm). There is no extra benefit in terms of tone -- these either are basically clear or give a slight pink tinge, but nothing dramatic. The only 'extra' benefit (which might be a turn-off for some) are fragrance and taste. By Terry has the best flavor -- it tastes like fancy rose candy! (I mean it should have SOMETHING special for how much it f&#king costs...) Glossier and Aerin are similar, but less strong and less... elegant in terms of taste and smell. Vaseline is the most rose perfume-like of the four.
Which one would I repurchase if it ran out? If it wasn't so expensive, I'd get another Baume de Rose, just because I really like it as an overnight treatment. But $60?!?! 💸💸💸
Instead, I'll be going for a full size Aerin. At $30 it is not exactly cheap, but I like the formula and really appreciate the tapered plastic tube format. I also like the shade (although calling it a 'shade' is a little bit of a stretch) the most -- it's a nice mellow pink with great shine. I'll just put my hair up while wearing it! 😜