Rouge Baume

for $ 35.00
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Brand Overview

For some people, applying lipstick may include putting on a lip balm first and then the actual lipstick color after that. Dior says this latest addition to its lip lineup pares that down to just a single-step process –because it's "lip care and makeup" combined. In truth, it just doesn't live up to the hype! Plus it isn't very typical for women to apply a balm first and then lipstick over it, though Dior would love you to believe that is a must for your lips.

Dior claims this is a "natural lip treatment," but is never clear about what makes this natural as opposed to its other lip products. True, it contains natural ingredients like castor oil and jojoba esters, but it is not without synthetic ingredients, too, not to mention castor oil is the backbone of most creamy lipsticks anyway. This just doesn't contain anything special that makes it worthwhile to add to your lips under lipstick.

That aside, Rouge Baume feels creamy going on, and is easy to apply, with full color in just a coat or two. It has an attractive soft shine finish, and wears well for about four hours. It does tend to migrate outside the lip line a couple of hours into its wear time (as many creamy lipsticks do), so using an anti-feather lip liner is recommended, even though doing so isn't a failsafe solution, it just helps this stay in place longer.

What about the claim that this is a lip treatment? It does contain some emollient plant oils and butters, but it is no more moisturizing than the average creamy lipstick – and it does not leave lips feeling softer or more moisturized after it wears off. There is also the issue that this does contain – though in a small amount – a number of potentially-irritating fragrant ingredients, including hexyl cinnamal, linalool, and limonene. Granted, they're not present en masse, but in what's labeled as a "lip treatment," they shouldn't be here at all.

In the end, either as a lipstick or a lip treatment, Rouge Baume doesn't have much to offer, especially not for what it costs. We recommend instead looking into one of the tinted lip moisturizers you can find on our list of Best Lip Products.

  • Creamy formula is easy to apply.
  • Strong color deposit in just one or two swipes.
  • Not a moisturizing lip treatment as claimed; this moisturizes, but no better than lots of other creamy lipsticks.
  • Contains a small amount of fragrant ingredients that could pose a risk of irritation.
Jar Packaging: No
Tested on animals: Yes

Dior At-A-Glance

Strengths:Nearly all of the SPF-related products offer sufficient UVA protection; a few extraordinary foundations and mascaras; a good liquid concealer; an excellent powder eyeshadow set; some good lipsticks and eyeliners.

Weaknesses: Expensive; lackluster moisturizers and serums that contain more fragrance and preservatives than elegant ingredients; irritating toners and self-tanners; ordinary masks; lack of products to address the needs of those with blemishes or skin discolorations; some foundations with SPF ratings that are too low; mostly average makeup brushes.

If you're looking for a clear-cut case of style winning out over substance, here it is. The Dior name is synonymous with couture fashion and countless other lifestyle accoutrements, but they continue to falter when it comes to establishing a first-rate collection of skin-care products. Of course, the company believes their products are the crme de la crme and if we're judging on aesthetics alone, we see what they mean. However, what's inside the gorgeous components is what counts for your skin, and Dior's formulas leave a lot to be desired. On one hand, it's great that all of their sunscreens contain sufficient UVA protection; on the other, all of their moisturizers either leave skin wanting more or contain problematic ingredients with no skin-redeeming qualities.

Fragrance is huge for Dior, and a visit to their counter attests to this, as fragrances line the counter right beside the skin-care tester unit. It would be better for skin if the two categories were kept separate, but in most cases the amount of fragrance added to Dior's skin-care products is greater than the token amounts of state-of-the-art ingredients (and the effectiveness of most of those is further diminished by jar packaging). If you wouldn't put perfume on your face, think twice about applying it in the form of an expensive skin-care product.

On the plus side, there are a few very good products to consider if you don't mind spending the extra money. If you're a fan of Dior's fashions and want to experiment with their cosmetic products, you'll find that their makeup outshines the skin care and has improved in ways that keep the panache while making genuine improvements. Despite all manner of claims to the contrary (everything from purifying pores to lifting skin to the point that sagging is a thing of the past), the most attractive part of Dior's formulas is how they're dressed, not how they perform.

For more information about Dior, call (212) 931-2200 or visit www.dior.com.

Dior Makeup

Always fashion-forward, Dior's makeup is more well-designed and attractive than ever, offering standout products in almost every category. The most notable change over the past several years has been Dior's improved foundation formulas and shades. It's now the exception rather than the rule to find overtly peach, pink, or rose-toned shades among Dior's many complexion-enhancing options. Even better, Dior has recently introduced foundations to compensate for its previous too-low SPF efforts, with formulas available in SPF 15, 20 and 25, a couple of which even include UVA-protecting ingredients. Such a move shows that while Dior may still struggle with an overall lackluster skin care line, they are at least working to meet dermatologist-recommended benchmarks for sun protection.

You will also be very impressed with Dior's powder blush, eyeshadows (though their shiny finish is not the best for Baby Boomer eyes), the DiorSkin concealer, brow gel, and most of the mascaras. If you're a fan of lip gloss and are willing to tolerate a double-digit price, you'll be in cosmetics heaven wading through all the lip-shining options here. On the flip side, neither the standard pencils nor most of the lipsticks are worth the money. With any designer-based line built on artifice, price is more than a matter of dollars. It's indicative of a companys image and remains a prestige factor that often speaks louder than the products themselves. Dior is guilty of maximizing its assets to play up its image, but with their makeup line the good news for you is that, for the most part, they really pay attention to whats inside all the luxe containers, too.

One more note: Diors makeup tester units are much more accessible and user-friendly than for previous editions of this book. We also found their counter staff to be more accommodating and definitely less condescending than several other European-bred lines.

Note: Dior is categorized as a brand that tests on animals because its products are sold in China. Although Dior does not conduct animal testing for its products sold elsewhere, the Chinese government requires imported cosmetics be tested on animals, so foreign companies retailing there must comply. This requirement is why some brands state that they dont test on animals unless required by law. Animal rights organizations consider cosmetic companies retailed in China to be brands that test on animals, and so does the Beautypedia Research Team.

About the Experts

The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.

Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.

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