Beauty Test Drive: Bare Minerals Pop Of Passion Lip Oil-Balm Is My New BFF

Elaborate beauty routines are lovely when you can set aside some special time, but during the weekly grind, practicality (and realism about what we have time for) has its place in the makeup world. We’ve all got shit to do! Looking cute is fun, but it’s more fun when you can find a way to do so without making yourself late in the process, so it’s all about making beauty convenient for yourself while still magically avoiding emerging for the day with a rushed, haphazard makeup job. I say all this to explain why I’m always looking for another quality low-commitment lip color/gloss/tinted balm to keep in my purse and swipe on during the in-between periods of my day (which I will now uncreatively deem In-Between Glosses, because they really deserve their own category).

In the hour or so between waking up and having my lipstick-ruining coffee and breakfast, when I go to a lunch or social event where I’ll want to look cute but plan on stuffing my face the whole time, or when I run out to do errands and can’t be bothered to do full-on makeup – basically, anything that would ruin a nice lipstick job – I like an easy lip look that makes me appear like something of a put-together human without stealing the show from the rest of my face. Something to keep in my purse and put on habitually (and mirror-free) like I would Chapstick, but with ever-so-slightly more festive results.

For a long time, my go-to was Fresh’s Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment in Rosé (to give you some context), but since running out and not yet getting around to replacing it, I started toying around with Bare Minerals’ Pop of Passion Lip Oil-Balm line (I have yet to determine what oil-balm actually is, in a practical sense). Come to find out, they provide much more color for the same amount of (practically nil) low-maintenance effort! The color has the brightness of a lip stain or lipstick, but the lightness and easy removability of my previously beloved casual lip balms. Of course, that removability can also have its downfalls in certain situations, but it makes for a perfect In-Between Gloss.

Price: $16, Ulta

Application: I tried three colors: a shade Ulta describes as “caramel/buff” called Nude Passion (that makes me laugh), a lovely “youthful pink” called Pink Passion, and a “vivid watermelon” tone called Punch Pop. I like my In-Between Glosses (I know, I know, stop trying to make fetch happen) to be so easy that I don’t need a mirror to put them on, but these balms colorful enough and easy enough to smudge that I couldn’t get away with that.


Results: I loved how hydrating and light the balms felt when I applied them. They come with “melt-in moisture” and vitamin E, and it definitely felt that way. Nude Passion was surprisingly colorful compared to the shade on the tube. Pink Passion is my favorite and goes with nearly everything. Punch Pop would be my second favorite in theory, but it had more of a tendency to get a bit cake-like and uneven. (All of which you’ll notice in this somewhat creepy montage of my lips/chin and my ~DRAMATIC~ MySpace-era selfie in Pink Passion).


While the glossy layer of the balm wipes off easily, but if the gloss has been on for a while, the color itself stays on your lip for a few more hours unless you go at it with some makeup remover. This is both a blessing and a curse, because the color doesn’t always stay intact evenly. Occasionally it does, but sometimes, you’ll find a gross mishmash of the embedded color in the cracks in your lip. If you don’t have time to fix it, it’s easy to even out with a clear gloss or even Chapstick, but it’s an annoyance. That said, I’m in love with the cheerful colors and the lightweight feel, and they’re perfect when you need something cute to last you for the next hour and don’t have the extra minutes needed to apply a lipstick. Pink Passion lives in my purse and comes with me everywhere I go! New lip color BFF: found.

Rating: 4/5