It's Instant Smooth Crystal Lip Balm from Clarins, a limited edition product for spring/summer. This is its second outing, brought back by popular demand after it achieved cult status during its first release last year. It comes in three shades, Crystal Coral, Crystal Red and Crystal (which is pink). This one is Crystal Coral. It's not coral though, it's bright day-glo orange, and I'm not going to listen to a word suggesting otherwise. I love that its orange. If I'd made it, it would be called Clashing Clementine or Tangerine Tantrum. That's not very Clarins, but still.
It's a balm in bullet form, and it comes in a lovely heavyweight silver-toned tube with clear orange accents. The texture, when applied, is much like a sheer lipstick - very light, comfortable and (as the name implies) instantly smoothing. I don't recognise much from the ingredient list, but the blurb assures me that it contains lip-conditioning substances. Not dimethicone, lanolin or petrolatum though, so I'm not sure exactly what is at work here. Apparently it uses "gelled oils" and borrows filling and smoothing ingredients from Clarins' skincare line. Here's how it looks on my lips:
Not much colour or shine, but quite smooth and soft. It sinks right in and leaves lips well moisturised but not slippy or coated.
To be honest though, the lip conditioning element is of secondary importance to me. I mainly love looking at its insane orange translucent-ness, and playing with the shiny heavy tube, and smelling its strawberry scent when I apply it. Look at the embossed bullet, there. So cool. And the top of the tube is embossed too, with the Clarins logo.
I realise this hasn't been much of a review - more a post in which I indicate the amazing bright orange see-through lipstick/balm and kind of point at it and go "look, look, it's brilliant!" But I encourage you to get one. Because it's classy, original, super-smoothing and a pleasure to use. Worth £16.50 of anybody's money.
Clarins Instant Smooth Crystal Lip Balm is available from June 2011 at £16.50 from Clarins counters nationwide.