* Prices may differ from that shown
After reading an excellent review of this lip balm by Holland1, I decided to investigate further. As we are heading towards Autumn, I am looking for lip products that will give me a bit more depth of colour than my usual favourite lip glosses, and I felt that Max Factor Xperience Sheer Gloss Balm promised to deliver this. After Googling this product, I found various images and swatches which helped me choose which colour to select. Although Boots' website - as well as Max Factor's own website - show a range of only three shades (02 Coral, 07 Pink Oyster Shell and 08 Pink Opal), I managed to find another couple of shades on eBay (03 Amber and 06 Rose Quartz). I opted for Rose Quartz, a soft and rosy plum that I thought would be the most flattering shade for me. I also checked this lip balm out on Makeup Alley - I really like their reviews and rating system - and found that it got 4.8 out of 5, and that 100% of eight reviewers said they would buy it again. Together with the review from Holland1, this sounded very promising, so I checked online to find a good deal for Rose Quartz, and bought it on eBay for £3.99 with free delivery. I thought that this product would be a good way for me to wear a more intense colour on my lips, and I was pleased with my purchase. My lips are naturally quite rosy, and the initial application gave a soft and subtle coverage that I really liked. Although this is not a lip balm in the same way as Vaseline's various types of Lip Therapy - or as my Holy Grail of lip balms, Elizabeth Arden's 8 Hour Lip Protectant - it did moisturise my lips. However, I felt that it did this best after two or even three coats. The angled balm glides on easily, has a lovely texture and felt soft on my lips, although at first it did not feel as moisturising as I had expected. However, I found that two - and even three - applications intensified both the colour and the moisturising effect. Two or three coats gave all the depth and intensity of a lipstick, but with a much softer feel. The lip balm is reasonably long-lasting. For the purposes of this review, I decided to apply two coats yesterday and then put it through its paces. I drink lots of water during the day, and I found that the colour stayed on my lips for some time, although of course some did transfer to my drinking glass too. I really like the packaging of this product - it's sleek and slimline, and handy to pop into a little pocket inside my handbag. The slender black tube bears a large green X, and the words 'Max Factor Xperience Sheer Gloss Balm' and 'SPF10'. I am always pleased to find lip products that include a sun protection factor, so this was a bonus for me. The bottom of the tube gives the shade and colour - in this case, 'Rose Quartz 06'. The product is good for 36 months after opening, and the container is recyclable. The top of the tube is clear so that you can see the shade of the angled balm within. Max Factor's website describes this lip balm as being 'enriched with Mango-butter and Shea-butter'. I have seen a couple of reviews that mention the lovely fragrance of this lip balm. To me, it does have a hint of vanilla, but this was only really noticeable when I held it right under my nose for a good sniff! I'm not sure I would have noticed it otherwise. The three shades available on Boots cost £7.99, but this lip balm (with a couple of different shades) can also be found on eBay, where prices today (13th September) go from £2.95 with free delivery. Boots currently have a free gift with purchase offer (Max Factor Eye Brightening Mascara for Brown Eyes) when you spend £12 or more on selected Max Factor products. I'm delighted with my purchase, and would probably buy again. I say 'probably' only because I am addicted to lip glosses and lip balms, and no doubt something else will come along soon to tempt me! I like Max Factor's Xperience Sheer Gloss Lip Balm very much, and I'm glad I followed through with my instincts after reading Holland1's review. At the full price of £7.99 I would probably give this four stars, but as I bought mine for £3.99 I think that is excellent value for money, and so I am happy to give it five stars. (This review is also on Ciao, under the same user name.)
As a woman, I seem to be endlessly collecting random cosmetics, and my worst weakness for this is lip balms. I have a very large collection of moisturising lip balms, lip balms with SPF built in, shimmering lip balms, and tinted lip balms. I'd actually forgotten I owned two of these from the Max Factor range, and it was only when I was clearing out my cosmetics drawer recently that I decided to start wearing them again. ==What and How Much?== This lip balm is part of the Max Factor Xperience range (that's not a typo, they're trying to be trendy and have left the "e" off!), which was launched within the last 18 months or so. I remember it because they had a 3-for-2 offer in Boots for make-up from this range, and this is how I ended up with two of these tinted lip balms, along with the foundation. At full price they cost £7.99, which seems expensive for a lip balm but personally I would categorise these as lipsticks with moisturisation, rather than lip balms with colour. According to the product description (www.boots.com), this lip balm offers "sheer colour with a lovely soft feel". It is a moisturising balm, and is a lightweight way to wear colour. It also contains SPF 10 which gives extra confidence that your lips are being cared for. The lip balm is only available in three colours which are all quite similar, called Coral, Pink Opal, and Pink Oyster Shell. I own the Pink Opal and Pink Oyster Shell, and although the difference in colour is only very subtle to look at, they are quite different when worn, as I will describe below. ==Packaging== This product is a little confusing to look at, in that it isn't obvious whether it is intended to be a lip balm or a lipstick. It fulfils both functions, but isn't packaged like either. It comes in a stick which is longer and thinner than most lipsticks, and has a transparent lid so you can see the colour inside. This is useful if, like me, you can't decide which colour to buy and end up with two! Being able to see the colour at a glance is helpful when you are picking one up in a hurry before going out. The actual tube is black with green writing (it has a green "X" splashed across it) and it looks really classy. I have carried these round in my bag quite often and there's no signs of the writing coming off. ==In Use== Applying the lip balm is the same as any other lip balm. You simply swipe it across your lips until you feel an adequate amount of moisture has been applied. It feels like applying a normal lip balm, and doesn't feel gloopy or sticky but just stays on the lips providing moisturisation. The intensity of the colour depends on how much you apply, so although you don't need a mirror to apply this, if you have dry lips and end up applying a couple of layers, you might get a bit of a surprise next time you see yourself in the mirror as the colour can get quite strong. ==The Colours== ***Pink Opal*** This is quite a light pink, and gives a nice subtle colour which is suitable for everyday use. I don't mind applying this throughout the day, as the colour never gets OTT so I don't worry about looking silly. The only annoying thing about it is that it has a tiny bit of shimmery glitter in it which I would prefer wasn't there. It's great for every day use though. ***Pink Oyster Shell*** The name of this is a little deceiving, as I would describe this as red rather than pink. It's almost crimson in colour, but it looks a lot darker in the tube than it does once applied to your lips. With this one, however, I tend to use it for evenings rather than daytime use, because it can be quite dark if you don't apply it in front of a mirror and apply more than one layer. It's a lovely colour, but just a little more intense than I need from a lip balm for daily use. ==Overall== I rate these lip balms quite highly, and having tried two of the three colours, I would definitely recommend them as a tinted lip balm. They offer more colour than most tinted lip balms, but also give excellent moisturisation at the same time. The staying power is good, and you can usually tell when you need to reapply as your lips will start feeling dry. They have a little bit of a "lipstick" fragrance to them, which I only notice when I open the tube, but not once they've been applied, so don't be put off by this. Overall, I would recommend these, and although the price might seem quite high for what is essentially a lip balm, these do fulfil the role of giving lips long lasting colour at the same time, which is well worth paying for. (This review also appears on Ciao under the username Gingerkitty)
Not long ago my Max Factor foundation ran out and, intending to repurchase, I toddled to Boots to have a look at what the company had on offer. Ultimately I got tempted away from my pre-existing foundation to another by the same brand, as I had been so impressed by the quality of their make up on my only experience so far. I had intended to also purchase my favourite Clinique powder on the same trip, but was gutted to hear that it had been shelved and not replaced. Big mistake, Clinique! I always use a powder over my foundation so I had to think quick and find a replacement - which is when I noticed that Max Factor products were on a three-for-two promotion...and they had a powder. So, again on the strength of my first impressions of the brand quality, I decided to be brave and try that with my new foundation. But I needed to pick a third, 'freebie' product. This was a typical "get the cheapest free" type affair but with both other products costing quite a bit this gave me a lot of freedom and my eyes landed on the Max Factor Xperience Sheer Gloss Balm. Basically a balm with the added bonus of a light colour. I was intrigued enough, and into the basket it went. ***THE PRODUCT*** Okay, here goes. So as I said above, what we have here is a balm that also provides colour. Now, cheaper products based on these lines - things like Nivea lip products with a pearly pink hint etc - I have often found to be very obvious, cheap looking and ineffective. However, I was instantly taken with the subtle, natural tones available with this balm. So I was happy to take this home as my freebie and test my new-found faith in the brand. This product comes in a twist-up tube a bit thinner than a lipstick case. The tip of the lid is clear so you can see the product colour and the rest is black with what I consider to be a really pretty contrasting green 'X', plus the product information. Inside we see the product in a clear twist-up tube so you can clearly see how much you have. The real selling point for me with this is that it includes SPF10. So you should in theory have the moisturising characteristics of a balm, a dash of sheer colour and protection. For this you would normally pay £7.99, which may sound a bit steep for a balm to some. So the important thing is, did it work? ***MY EXPERIENCE*** Right, let's get one thing straight. I love this product! I'm so happy I took the chance on it. I'm delighted with it and use it on an almost daily basis. Here's why... First of all, let's address it as a balm. It works! It's soothing, and makes my lips look full and hydrated and leaves them feeling soft and well looked after. It also has that SPF10 protection and I adore that added bonus - this would be a great product aesthetically speaking but with the added bonus of this protection I cannot fault it as a balm. Now the texture; this goes on smoothly and is not 'gloopy' like a gloss or irritatingly sticky. It just makes my pout feel smooth and soothed and it also stays on really well. Wearing it is a pleasure and you know that you're looking after your lips rather than just putting on a colour product. Now, that colour. Well, it's brilliantly executed by Max Factor. I picked this in Coral, which looks in the tube like quite a bright pink, but when applied the colour is so 'barely there' that it just elegantly highlights your natural lip colour and just makes your lips look not only naturally beautiful but also just that little bit more finished, polished and elegant by just boosting the colour. It's not brash, bright or in any way garish, but looks astonishingly natural and is massively flattering. You wouldn't really know you were wearing colour but it just lifts the overall look and makes you look great - not that you've made an effort, but really gorgeous. So it will come as no surprise that I wholeheartedly recommend this balm. It's such a great product because it is both practical and indulgent. It's also lasting very, very well despite my huge usage and so £7.99 is actually to my mind cheap for the product, particularly when you take into account that it is also offered in strong packaging that takes all the abuse my daily commute throws at it in my bag and it still looks fantastic as well. In short, this is by a long way my favourite lip product. Thanks for reading. This may appear on Ciao under the same name.