xoVain Editor’s Pick: Maybelline Baby Lips Dr. Rescue In Berry Soft

Its main purpose is soothing chapped lips, but I love it even more for the perfectly neutral tint. Bonus: Some insider-y beauty business intel!
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Anne-Marie
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Its main purpose is soothing chapped lips, but I love it even more for the perfectly neutral tint. Bonus: Some insider-y beauty business intel!

Lip balm. Like many of you, I’m mad for it. I keep it in every makeup bag, by my bedside, in my desk--basically, in reach at all times. But long ago, it once broke my heart. 

Some quick beauty history: Way back in the early 2000s, Stila, created by makeup artist Jeanine Lobell in the mid-'90s, launched an ancillary collection called Stila Sport that included Stila Sport lip tints, amazing sheer lip balms in the BEST neutral shades. Not too sheer, not too creamy, not too balm-y--they were a perfect balance of all those things.

My favorite shade was Bare Berry: a gorgeous wash of nude-pink that matched my natural lip color perfectly. And it was, as I remember, a pretty unusual texture for that time; lip gloss was starting to take over the market because everyone was fatigued by the '90s raisin lipstick trend. (I know I was. I didn’t start wearing lipstick again until, like, five years ago.) Stila’s balms were truly something new, a hybrid between lipstick and balm, which is EVERYWHERE now, but back then? Not so much.

Eventually, Stila Sport was phased out, but the balms, renamed Stila Clear Color Moisturizing Lip Tint remained for a time, until Stila the brand, which had been acquired by Estee Lauder, was sold in 2006 to Sun Capital Partners (then acquired again Patriarch Partners in a foreclosure sale three years later), and most of the original launches were reformulated or phased out completely, including Clear Color.

I bought as many Bare Berry balms as I could, but eventually, the brand as I knew it disappeared from shelves altogether. And there was nothing else available that came close to replacing it. I moved on (*sniff*), but every time I tested a balm-tint hybrid, I always compared it to my beloved Berry Clear Color.

From left: Pink Me Up, Too Cool, Berry Soft, Soothing Sorbet, Just Peachy, Coral Crave

From left: Pink Me Up, Too Cool, Berry Soft, Soothing Sorbet, Just Peachy, Coral Crave

Enter Baby Lips Dr. Rescue in Berry Soft: I was SUPER-into the Baby Lips Electro balms that came out last summer, but as winter rolled around, I found them to be less hydrating than I needed. So when Maybelline launched the Dr. Rescue collection for chapped lips, I was curious, especially since the active ingredient is menthol, which can actually cause dryness and irritation for some people. It doesn’t for me; I find they do a perfectly decent moisturizing job. 

But the real hook? The COLORS. They remind me SO much of the Stila Clear Color shades. 

And Berry Soft is the closest thing in both tint and texture to my long-lost Bare Berry--but hopefully with a lot more staying power.

Berry Soft: My ideal tinted lip balm shade.

Berry Soft: My ideal tinted lip balm shade.

What’s your all-time favorite lip balm?