Etude House Balm + Color Tint Review

I spotted this curious product in Etude House, a lip product with two colors housed in a crayon-type body. Upon closer inspection, I discovered it combined two of my favorite lippies: a lip balm plus a lip color that tints. Etude House Balm + Color Tint (PHP 478.00 at Etude House stores) comes in five shades:

Etude House Balm + Color Tint Shades

Etude House Balm + Color Tint Shades

It kind of reminded me of the Laneige Lip Tone Bars (particularly #2), but those are pure lip color. I wondered if this would work like the Laneige ones because it doesn’t have a flat tip, so it’s extremely difficult to get that lip gradation with one swipe until the tip is worn down. I chose the shade #4, which has a pink tinted lip balm and a red color tint.

So how did it fare? Let’s jump right into the review.

 Safety: I ran this through (as per my usual) and was shocked. As in, shocked! Check out the complete list of ingredients at One of the ingredients, Cyclotetrasiloxane, turned up a rating of 5 (the highest possible rating) under Safety. I did a little Google search and found that “Environment Canada assessments concluded that cyclotetrasiloxane and cylcopentasiloxane — also known as D4 and D5 — are toxic, persistent, and have the potential to bioaccumulate in aquatic organisms.” So, aside from being toxic and having a long half-life when ingested, it also harms the environment. 🙁 What up, Etude House? Why’d you do this? I trusted you. Huhu.

To be fair, for this product, only shade numbers 3, 4, and 5 have this ingredient. Maybe it has something to do with the pigment? I’m not entirely sure, as cyclotetrasiloxane is commonly found in hair conditioners.

star-rating-full Sturdiness: The packaging is the standard lip crayon, nothing special or fancy but does the job and travels really well.

 True to Claims: On the box it says,

Hydrating lip balm meets vivid color making Gradation Tint Stick easier and faster to apply.

Get Lips Ready

The tinted lip balm hydrates and colors your lips, getting them perfectly ready for the gradient look.

Get Gradient Lips Faster and More Easily

The lip balm allows color to be blended easily on the lips without harshness, perfecting the natural, gradient look.

Get the Golden Ratio of 7:3

The tinted lip balm for the lips is enough for generous use with color stick in reasonable amount only for the inner areas at a ratio of 7 to 3.”

I appreciate where this is coming from. I have dry lips, and it is quite a challenge to create the perfect gradient lip by layering lip products. It kind of makes sense that it would work better if one of the lip colors was a tinted balm specifically designed for layering with a tint. Here I am with bare lips:

Bare Lips

Bare Lips

Please excuse the lighting as I had to shoot indoors. I didn’t edit the photo digitally so the lip color will show up as it truly does on cam. And here I am with the (pink) tinted lip balm:


With Tinted Lip Balm

Ah, much better. My lips don’t look parched, and I have just a touch of color. Here I am with the red color tint applied on my inner lips, blended out slightly outward:

With tinted lip balm + color tint in lip gradation

With tinted lip balm + color tint in lip gradation

All in all, I think it does what it had set out to do. What I don’t really get is the golden ratio thing. As I said previously, you can’t really apply this in one swipe. The amount of color you get depends on the angle at which you apply the product. I mean, the product doesn’t do the gradient lip for you, as it claims. Also, it does tint the lips, but when the color faded it turned patchy particularly on my dry spots. I give it half a star.

 Value for Money: I give this half a star. It does combine two lip products in one, so that kind of makes it sound like it’s worth the P478.00 I paid for it. Still, I can’t get over the fact that this has toxins. I’m actually paying for poison? Though, again, the first two shades don’t have that dreaded ingredient. Plus, look at this:

Balm + Color Tint Contents

Balm + Color Tint Contents

That gigantic crayon packaging contains that teeny tiny, half-a-pinkie-sized lip product. I mean come on, just put it in a lipstick bullet. Don’t make it look like it contains a lot of product.

star-rating-full Availability: It’s available at all Etude House branches nationwide.

star-rating-full Ethically Made: Since this was made in Korea, and EH is under the Amore Pacific group of companies, it definitely does not test on animals.

 TBG-Approved: With a weeping heart, I’d have to say that I don’t recommend this to my readers. Etude House makes really great lip products, and this is the first that has disappointed me.

FINAL TALLY: star-rating-fullstar-rating-fullstar-rating-fullstar-rating-full 4 OUT OF 7 STARS

What about you? Have you tried this product? Did you get the same shade? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!


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