As part of the July 2016 Into the Sea Collection, Julep released a new product, Lip Shade Sheer Lip Butters, in nine shades. This post is solely a review of the the Lip Shades. If you want to read about the accompanying controversy, read my post about it here, because I’m not going to discuss it in this post. And if you don’t care, or if you’re sick of hearing it, or if you’re just interested in the product, keep reading.
According to Julep, Lip Shades are “a luxuriously silky lip butter that glides on weightlessly to deliver a sheer wash of color plus the ultimate SPF 30 Broad Spectrum protection from harmful UVA/UVB rays.” The lip butters are formulated with shea butter, broccoli seed oil, rosehip seed oil, and black currant seed oil, to protect, nourish, and heal lips. “Crafted with a nourishing blend of moisturizing butters and natural oils, Lip Shade gives you the color you want and the protection you need.” The Lip Shades are available in Macaroon, Lace, Petal, Primrose, Dahlia, Currant, Plumeria, Crimson, and Poppy. The listing is up on the Julep site but shows as out of stock. At this time however, you may order them by calling customer service (and you can use a coupon over the phone), as long as you say that you don’t care about the SPF expiration date.
Because the product was released early on, they are still testing the efficacy of the SPF, which means it’s marked with a expiration date within a few months. It sounds like they’re going to continue to test the life of the product and update the date as they go, but for now, it has to be marked as expiring within a few months. If you read more about SPF and the science behind it vs FDA rules, it’s pretty clear that expiration dates err on the far side of caution. Products are in all likelihood good for longer, but have to be marked as expiring for legal reasons. However, if SPF is a critical component for your use, you should probably make sure you’re not using a product marked as expired, just to be safe. If SPF isn’t important to you, at least not in a lip sheer, then there’s no need to worry about this. The product did pass shelf-stability tests, and can still be used long after the listed expiration date (Julep just can’t guarantee the SPF).
So now that you know more than you ever wanted to know about it, how is the actual product? Overall, I’m happy with it. The moisturizing effect of the Lip Shades is effective and long lasting. It really appeals to me because it has the color pop of a lipstick, but the moisturizing power of a good lip balm, which is the perfect combination. I used to have a lipstick like this, but eventually used it up, so I’m excited to have a new version of this. In terms of color, I’m not sure I would call these sheer. They provide almost as much coverage as a lipstick; the lighter colors are slightly more sheer, but the brighter and darker colors are pretty full coverage, and it’s more than a subtle hint of color. Depending on how you feel, as a bonus or a downside, they smell like rich, sweet vanilla. They also have good staying power. I don’t believe they advertise anywhere to be long-wearing, but I only had to reapply after eating or after wearing for 3-4 hours, which I think is impressive for a moisturizing lip product (most long-wear products seem to be really drying). One last feature I really appreciated was the fact that the caps are magnetic, so I know the cap is not going to pop off and make a mess in my bag.
Final Thoughts: The SPF is a great feature to have in a more makeup-y lip product, and will last through the end of summer. If you’re looking for a great SPF lip product for the fall, you might want to wait until they have more data and a longer expiration date on these. If you’re looking for a very sheer product, you want to stay with the lighter colors; calling this a sheer is a bit of stretch for some of the shades. If you’re in it for the color payoff and moisturizing properties, I definitely recommend them. It’s a wonderful blend of lipstick and lip balm, and I’ll probably find myself using them frequently.