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Like all good magazine-reading, beauty-loving sheep, I'm a big fan of that classic orange goo, Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream. It really does solve all life's problems (Or at least it stops my skin from drying out). But I find 99% of the time I only use it on my lips, and at £18 a tube, that's a pretty pricey lipbalm / gloss.
There has been a lip treatment alternative - a lip protectant stick that basically looked like a translucent white lipstick - for some time, but I was never convinced it was going to be as good as the cream, and you don't get much in a stick compared to a tube of cream. I wanted an added incentive to part with my cash.
So when those bods at Elizabeth Arden decided to make a tinted version, I thought it was worth splashing out on because I was getting two for the price of on - protection and sheer colour. Perfect.
The new lip protectant stick comes in 5 shades (I think) and comes in at a slightly unbelievable £13. But I, being the resourceful, internet obsessed person I am, managed to get it for £3.95 + p&p on the website directcosmetics.co.uk. A bargain, I think you'll agree.
The shade I purchased was 'honey', a kind of glossy looking browny-tan, quite synthetic and cheap looking, if I'm honest. It looks just this side of natural on your lips, giving just a hint of colour, and a glossy sheen. The tube itself is a bit cheap considering the RRP. It's a translucent white plastic with silver trim, but this does tone in with the rest of the 8 hour cream family, and to be honest, I've had enough of being pulled in by pretty packaging only to find the product is crap. And it did come in a nice white and silver box with an instruction booklet. ("open, twist, put on lips.." what else is there to say?")
The first thing you'll notice about this is the smell. The original 8 hour cream is quite well known for being not only an odd colour, but also having a strangely appealing medicinal & herbal smell. This lippy has the same aroma, which you'll either love or hate. It definitely wakes you up!
The main pulling power of something like this is the moisturising properties. 8 hour cream, unsurprisingly, is supposed to sort out and and protect your skin in 8 hours. And this follows the same ideal, in a slightly different formula. Wearing this stuff will definitely benefit the skin on the lips - it's not drying like a lipstick or gloss (glosses may look like they're moisturising, but most are the opposite) and it stays on for slightly longer than the original cream. My lips did feel smooth and soft afterwards, but not as much as a nice intensive overnight treatment with the cream.
Overall, though it's a good product, considering the price tag, I'm not convinced I'd buy it again. The colour is a bit unflattering for my skintone (pale, blonde, freckly) and though it protected my skin, I constantly found myself returning to the original tube of 8 hour cream for a real treatment.
This product does have its endearing properties - obviously the tint, the protection and moisture it gives, and the fact it's much less messy than the cream. But at £13, it's not much better than something like rosebud salve, which is half the price or even blistex or carmex for a couple of quid.
If you already use the cream and you're a low-maintenance girl, you'll probably like it, but pick your colour carefully and don't use it as a replacement for the cream, it's a nice little addition.