Since I'm a visual person I hardly ever remember the album title but I just remember what the album art looks like.
When I was offered the opportunity to review the new Clinique Baby Tint Chubby Sticks, I squealed at my phone screen in delight. Clinique is a brand that I deeply appreciate both for the quality of its products and the extensive range of foundation shades it provides, and chubbies are my favorite form of lip color. Having the two of them together was getting the best of both worlds, like a perfect cosmetic ice cream cake.
Dazzled by the intense colors of the packaging, I immediately sprang for the cherry red Coming Up Rosy stick, excitedly applying it before slowly stopping to stare at my reflection in disappointment.
Clinique is not a brand that’s known for boldly saturated hues; on the contrary, it’s very dependable for subtle lipstick tints. Even considering this, however, the Baby Tint was whisper sheer, to the point of barely being able to tell that it’d been applied at all. I tried passing the chubby over my lips several more times, to no avail: I couldn’t get the juicy punch-bowl red of the tube to grace my face with the intensity that I’d imagined.
“Perhaps the others will be different!” I hoped aloud while crying inside, applying and re-applying each chubby at least a dozen times to coax some color from them.
Unfortunately, however, the rest of the chubbies behaved in the exact same way: beautifully moist and dewy in feel, with barely a hint of color at all.
Determined to make these work, I decided to try using one as a lip balm for an entire day, with the hope that the color would build up gradually after multiple applications. I found to my pleasant surprise that the colors did appear to look more apparent as the day wore on; not nearly to the extent of the vibrancy of the packaging, but still enough that it was evident that I was at least wearing color.
More important, though, was my realization that the balm’s elegant genius is its subtlety.
My mistake in my initial harsh judgment was to expect them to work in the same way as a saturated lipstick or gloss, where the color will boldly stand out on your face, independent of your natural lip color.
By stark contrast, the Baby Tint Chubbies worked more like photo tint filters for your lips. Instead of seeing the chubbies as a red, pink, lavender, and tangerine, they should instead be seen as variations on those hues--rosy, pastel, berry, and coral--that will enhance your natural lip color to look a little more sanguine, fruity, floral, or vibrant than they are normally. In addition, their sheerness allows them to naturally complement a wide range of skin tones as well.
After discovering this masterful use of color to enhance rather than subsume, I became completely obsessed with the chubbies, excited to see how each new color would play on my lips and face. I fell in love with how voluminous my lips looked under their dewy sheen, and how naturally the color presented itself. Without my trying, and against my best efforts, I’d found my forever chubby.
I would not recommend these for the lipstick maven who adores an unabashedly bold lip (or anyone who deeply enjoys the olfactory satisfaction of a lovely-smelling lip product, as these are disappointingly scentless), but for anyone looking to give their natural lip color a soft blush, the Baby Tint Chubby Sticks are the way to go.
Do you prefer your chubbies saturated or sheer?