Tarte Amazonian Butter Lipstick in Plummy Rose has been my constant companion in the last few months as a lip balm alternative. When I swatched it at Ulta I thought it'll have more color impact on the lips, as you can see it doesn't appear particularly sheer. But notice the difference between the color in the tube and the decidedly warm slant it gets on my arm: this Tarte lipstick picks a lot of the color from the surface underneath. Since my arm is warm toned that's what it shows, and since my lips are darker than average and lean rosy/purple, the result is more of a nude no-lipstick lipstick kind of thing, which works spectacularly for a casual look or as a finishing touch for an eye-focused makeup.
The formula is spectacularly balmy and comfortable. It feels like a hydrating product more than a color one, creates a protective layer against dry heat, and gives the lips a hydrating and plumping boost without taking over the face. The lipsticks are enriched with cupuacu butter, murumuru butter, and shea butter, so that explains the "good for you" feel they give. There's no fragrance or taste other than the natural peppermint oi used by Tarte (beware if you're sensitive), so that's nice, and you need to reapply the way you do with regular balms. There's no stain left on my lips and no color debris, either.
Bottom Line: cute and efficient.
Tarte Amazonian Butter Lipstick in Plummy Rose ($17, made in USA) is available at Ulta, Sephora, and tartecosmetics.com.