November 13, 2013

Stila Color Balm Lipstick Review & Swatches

I receive a small commission if you shop through my link.

stila vivienne color balm lipstick

This a where I tell you the story about this one time I reviewed a sample of Stila Color Balm Lipstick because I purchased five of these when they original launched and I have NO IDEA where I put them!

No seriously, this is a true story. When Stila Color Balm Lipstick launched I recall it being a little after Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter had come into town. And let’s face it those kinda sorta started the hybrid lip balm lipstick epidemic. I recall be terribly excited that Stila was launching a similar product.

Fast forward to me throwing a few in my cart review. Well, I’m organized…typically anything I review goes in different Rubbermaid bins which I dub my “to be reviewed pile” but for the life of me I can’t find where I put these. I suspect I might have either donated them by mistake or perhaps tossed them in the garbage.

Oh woe is me.

So here I am, like a loser, raving Stila Color Balm Lipstick but only have a sample to review for you that I got from cashing in some Sephora points.

Don’t worry, I’ll follow up with a deeper review soon as I might have to buy every single shade of these as soon as possible!


Stila Color Balm Lipstick is Vivienne is a 100 point perk at Sephora right now so I’d cash in if I were you! Vivienne is a wearable shade of dusky terracotta rose.

stila color balm lipstick

stila color balm lipstick swatches

I love me some Revlon Lip Butters but I gotta admit Stila Color Balm Lipstick actually has the better formula (not by much, but I do feel these are a bit creamier in texture).

This is hybrid formula so it is one part lightweight balm and one part lipstick. Although for me, it’s kinda all creamy lipstick. It has the pigmentation of a lightweight lipstick and offers opaque color on a single application with a cool, peppermint taste and fragrance. It glides onto lips without tugging and has a super plush creamy feel. The satin finish makes it easy to wear and gives lips a slight luminous sheen. It kept my lips pleasantly moist through the wear but not highly hydrating. There’s something terribly no nonsense about the formula. It applies in a snap, looks incredible on lips, and wears for a solid four hours without migrating or feather and offering a bit of moisture through that wear.

stila color balm lipstick fotd

Nothing not to love here kids.

I have a feeling ALL of the shades are in my future.

Muse Approved.

Follow up soon with more lip swatches as I def need to repurchase these soon!

Available now at Sephora and

Anyone try?

Do share!


I receive a small commission if you shop through my link.

About the Muse

Isabella MuseIsabella is just an average everyday geeky girl who doesn’t blend her eyeshadow correctly, wears too much blush, and hopes she never finds her holy grail products because she likes the thrill of the chase so much. Her mission is to bring you super honest reviews on makeup, skincare, fragrance and all things beauty. She’s in no way an expert on the topic and she sure as hell isn’t a super model. But she’s passionate about makeup and is seeking like-minded individuals that like pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, and ones that enjoy spending hundreds of dollars at Sephora without feeling buyer’s remorse. If you’re that person feel free to reach out and leave a comment or follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Bloglovin‘.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  • Cindy

    I have these in 3 shades, and just got the same sample with the Sephora points. I really liked them for the opacity of the color & the length of time they stay on. They do have a minty/menthol feeling that I’m not too thrilled with but it wears off. The other issue with the full-sized ones is that the lipstick itself is very wide – I’ve never experienced this with other lipsticks, but it seems too big for my lips so I have to apply it carefully.

    • the Muse

      I only had the sample cindy so it fit the contour of my lips a ok! I’ll have to see when I try the full size though! 😀 how odd!

    • Ruth

      cindy- I have the same problem with the new UD lipsticks- they’re way too big for my lips. I have one color and think that it is beautiful, the formula is excellent but can’t apply it straight from the bullet because it gets everywhere.

  • kilikina

    That sucks that you can’t find them, Muse!!! Hopefully they will pop up under the bed or in a make up bag! Glad to hear you like them though!

  • Saira

    I got one as well on 100 points at sephora and I absolutely LOVE it!!! Should’ve swatched it at the store since I came back home and tested and fell in love…then I had to order it online as if the 3 bags of goodies I bought weren’t enough! smh!

  • Alessandra

    I got a sample size version of this in Sephora’s Give Me More Lip set this year. I wore it yesterday, and while I love the color and the formula, the sample size is so thin that it broke off at the base. It’s not hard to use now, but I think it will be when I get closer to the bottom of the sample.

    Also, I’m not a fan of the fact that you can’t retract the lipstick all the way into the tube on the sample. Do you know if the full-size is the same way?

    • the Muse

      the only prob I had with the sample is it wouldn’t swivel all the way down totally irritated me too! I HOPE the full size does! I’m unsure as I never got a chance to use the ones I purchased!

      • Cindy

        Yep, the full-size ones swivel all the way down, they are fine. The sample was poorly made (as most Sephora lipstick samples are). You can’t swivel it all the way down and if you don’t put the cap on carefully, it’s going to break off. I could probably start a whole other thread for Sephora and their points program, LOL. The sample is nice, but worth 100 points? Meaning, you spent $100 and you get that? Lame.

        • the Muse

          this was my problem with the lip balm I reviewed recently from Black Radiance! OMG such a great product but WTH!? Doesn’t swivel down!? what are you thinking! Chances are you’re going to take a chunk out of every time you put the cap on or break it off completely. TRUE TRUE TRUE TRUE TRUE valid point. They should give a full size lol!

          • Cindy

            LOL! OK – I’ll say one more thing about it and then I’ll stop for fear of being kicked off the thread for being off topic, LOL!!! Samples used to be FREE in dept. stores. The whole point of a sample was to get people to try it and then hopefully if they liked it they would buy the full size. It’s called promotion. This whole concept of having to “earn points” to get something that should have been free in the first place blows my mind. The 500 pt gifts are NOWHERE NEAR worth $500. They were nice in the beginning but now they are just – poor. The VIB Rouge thing is also incredible. They give you a “free exclusive lipstick” which is even MORE minuscule than the Stila sample pictured above! Then they tell you that VIB Rouge members can buy this “exclusive” shade in full size. Eh, if you’re VIB Rouge, you should get full size for FREE!! Shutting up now . . . 😉

          • the Muse

            hell you won’t be kicked off 😀 you make a valid point. I mean the deluxe samples they give are nicer than what dept stores give…however, you are essentially spending $100 dollars for that small gift which should be free anyway lol! 😀 I think Ulta has some cheesy yet lovely gifts…bags, even plates and stuff..I mean they are kinda naff but they are kinda nice too 😀 way better than anything Sephora gives! ;-D LOLLLLLLLLLLLLLL you’re too funny we should do a Musings of the Day post about this topic 😀

  • telle

    good point from Cindy (luckily for me, this isn’t a concern for me! i have shade Isla). I *do* love the gorgeous minty smell- i love that i can pop it on and its very refreshing….! Muse, as for your misplaced goodies, that so beyond sucks! 🙁 maybe some holiday magic will happen and they will reappear sometime! 😉 In the meantime though, sure looking forward to whatever colors you purchase and review later! 😀

    • the Muse

      oh girl they have been gone for months! I hope so but I think the gremlins came and took them away lol! 😀 def will grab more now though!

  • Cait

    Awwww i almost got this with my sephora points and opted for the 500 pt UD perk instead, now i wish i had gotten this

    • the Muse

      stila always has sales cait so you can snag one at a discount when a sale hits 😀

  • ash

    I’m jealous. I ordered from sephora last wk & this showed up as something I could add by using my points when I checked out & I’ve been wanting to try one of these for the longest time… But when I clicked to add it to the cart, it said already sold out!!
    It looks lovely on you btw.

    • the Muse

      aw sorry ash 🙁 damn! thank YOU! buy the full size *wink wink nudge nudge*

  • Cindy

    HAHAHA! The Ulta free gifts are just that. Free. You don’t have to earn points for them and they are optional, like you get the gift if you buy a fragrance, etc. Sometimes they have special free gifts from Bare Escentuals, etc. that are cute. They also have a points program, which isn’t bad. Every few months they send you a coupon with the amount of points you earned based on the amount of $$ you spent. You can cash those in according to a list of items they have for each point value. Not all the items to choose from are great but they are real, full-size items that are for sale in the store, not tiny samples. I have a lifetime supply of the Ulta brand cotton squares and a good stock of Olay facial wipes, LOL. I also once got a hairdryer and a bottle of perfume ( D&G Light Blue) for free.

  • Barb

    AGREE these are a must have! The colours are amazing.. the nude in Olivia is perfect on pretty well everyone (if you are looking for a nude but feel they’re too brown or maky you washed out… try this one). I love love love the mint scent/flavour. I want more………………….. (and yes a great way to try it in the 100 pnt perk)

  • Phyrra

    arg! this makes me so mad that Stila is no longer cruelty free! Yours is the first review that made me want to buy them.

      • VeeCat

        I have 1626 points and nothing looks worth it to me. I wish they had some better stuff! Or full size! Even points to convert to dollars off or a discount would be nice.

        I’m bummed they are sold out of this lippie, I’m not sure I want to spend the bucks on another color I haven’t seen swatched. Especially if it is so wide you have to use a lip brush.


  • moja31

    Got this as a 100 point perk with my massive F&F order, & it was one of the few things that actually arrived in my package. I was online first thing on day 1 to secure my haul & I was surprised when such a tiny parcel arrived, and claimed to be 1 of 1 boxes sent, turns out 1 page of the packing slip & 2/3 of my order got lost in processing. Still on the phone trying to get it figured out, never had anything like this happen with an online purchase anywhere before. End rant! But yes about the lipstick, it’s great, too bad the full size I’d ordered in a different shade didn’t make it along for the ride…oops sorry, ranting again! 🙂

    • moja31

      Ugh, just had the worst customer service experience of my life on the phone with the Sephora folks. Absolutely unbelievable, took an hour of yelling at two different people, to get them to ship the stuff that they left off my order expedited, and honor the price I’d paid for items which have gone out of stock since I placed my order. They made zero effort to accommodate me, and barely even apologized for their mistake. Even though this was entirely their mistake, they wanted me to simply re-order the items after the sale at full price whenever they came back in stock. No apologies for the inconvenience, and beyond rude over the phone. I’m so pissed about it.

  • Ashley

    I tired these on at Ulta and I struggled to find the perfect shade in between rubbing off every color at least once, I gave up and ended up not getting anything. I did like these. I like a natural look and the natural color of my lips that matched kind of washed me out, maybe next time I’ll find the perfect shade. I still like Clinque’s butter shine lipsticks better.

  • Ruthless

    These are hands down my favorite lipstick “balms”, so pigmented and creamy

  • Shivani

    Yeah, so I got my sephora vib order today and I had this as a perk too….I’m in love and wonder what happened to stila all along. This brand simply doesn’t get its due on blogosphere – this lipstick is amazing!!!

  • AmandaM

    I know I’m posting this reply a bit late (Late to the party I guess), but I have to say that I’m now officially OBSESSED with the Stila Color Balm Lipsticks! I got the Sephora sample in Vivienne and put it aside and sort of forgot about it until I read your review and tried it for myself. I liked it so much I bought the full size and 4 more to boot!

  • Michelle (Chelle)

    Oh Muse I’m really glad you mentioned the peppermint flavor/scent so I know to stay far away from this product, I am loving the color but I’m a bit allergic to peppermint (actually it repels me faster than any other scent, including fresh dumpster. Menthol in most cases actually hurts my nostrils to breathe!). I’m always super sad to find out lip products contain menthol, like Softlips and most of those chubby lip pencil balms. Thanks for the heads up!

    • Isabella Muse

      aw sorry dear 🙁 My pleasure! It’s sad so many products have it in them 🙁 you should try out Clinique’ Chubby pencils no fragrance/flavor!

  • marchessa

    If they ever discontinue these I would be lost. My fave shade is Isabelle, but I also have it in Isla, Ali and Evangeline. I cannot rave on enough about these lipsticks!!!

  • LU

    I don’t know if I’m just particularly sensitive, but the cooling sensation is especially annoying and I feel like it takes an hour to go away on me. This might be a deal breaker.