Mullein & Sparrow Tinted Lip & Cheek Balm - review and swatches


We received this product in our June 2015 Violet Boxes (reviewed here). I love the little tin and the packaging in general so it's something I'll keep and display, but it's a rubbish lip/cheek tint (there's no tint!) and I'll use it only as a gloss because it's there.

Mullein & Sparrow claims/product details:
  • An all-natural, sheer, tinted balm that gives your lips and cheeks a slight flush and dewy finish 
  • Apply desired amount to lips for nourishment, protection, and colour
  • Dab a small amount on cheeks as a light cream blush
  • Perfect for beauty on-the-go
  • Brightens the whole face with a sheer rosey flush for the cheeks, gloss for the lips, and a sweet orange scent!
  • A rich balm that hydrates lips and smooths into skin 
  • RRP $22

You can see above that even after only a few uses, this tint is starting to look a bit cloudy and gross - maybe because my finger picked up some of my tinted moisturiser when I was testing this on my cheeks. I can imagine that over time it will only get worse.

Below I've swatched it on the back of my hand. You can see there's no colour - it just leaves a greasy/dewy look and feel.

Below I've put it on my cheeks. You definitely can't see a thing! I put something else over it when I went out later on, and it had slipped off or absorbed by then anyway - so any dewy/greasy effect that existed (which you can't even see below) was long gone.


I like this product in theory - the tin is cute and I'm all for double-purpose products that you can easily chuck in your purse - but the colour pay-off isn't there so I can't give it any marks as a lip and cheek tint. It doesn't show up at all on either my lips or cheeks, other than to add a bit of shine (and not in a good way on my face).

If you have really pale skin this might work for you as a tint, but even then I would be surprised if it could deliver much punch. As you may know, I love natural-looking products because I don't like looking overdone, but this takes natural into non-existent.

If this were marketed as a plain lip balm I'd be calling it a good enough product. As a balm it's fine and I've been using it to keep my lips moisturised throughout the day, but that's all I can use it for and I don't think it should be called a lip/cheek tint because it doesn't deliver any colour. This isn't just on my skin - most reviews I've seen of this product complain about the lack of colour, so it's obviously a common problem.

Another common problem that a lot of people mention is that what little colour there is, doesn't last so it's not worth using as a colour product. I have to agree with that. Not only can you not see the colour in the photo above, you can't even see that I've applied the balm itself.

One other thing to note is that I've seen many people say that the contents of the tin start to get grainy and feel/smell bad quite quickly, so you need to keep using the product once it's open or it will go rancid. Erk. Guess I'm tied to using this one for now at least. Maybe I should put in on my Project Pan 'reserve' list for the moment until I'm ready to bring some more products into circulation.

All in all, this isn't a great product but I love the little tin so I'll keep it for that reason alone. As a lip balm it's fine as well and has a nice chocolate-orange scent, so I'm happy enough to use it for that purpose.

Disappointing but not a complete loss.

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