It goes without saying that my adult self is radically different from childhood me. Fully grown, I'm much more patient, calmer, and taller (barely) but there are some immutable, fundamental things that might not ever change—namely, the gravitational hold all glimmering, sparkling, or pearlescent bits, pieces, and products have on me. Young Amanda might have collected trinkets to house in a Sailor Moon lunchbox, Grown Amanda stashes their cosmetic counterparts in her makeup bag. Both versions would have bonded over a love for Laneige's new Lip Treatment Balm ($25), that much I know for certain.
If you're at all familiar with Korean skincare and makeup brand Laneige, you're familiar with the line's chief functions: get you hydrated, get you glowing, do it all while smelling amazing, likely of fruity freshness. That extends to the Lip Treatment Balm, which acts as something of a daytime counterpart to their cult-classic Lip Sleeping Mask ($22). This version delivers nearly as much hydration for a fraction of the weight, alongside a set of specific perks that set it apart from its best-selling big sister, however. Immediately noticeable is the packaging, a minimalist dream marrying form and function. Not only is the luminous, pearlescent balm kept in a half-pink, half-transparent macaron-shaped pot, the lid also conceals its reusable applicator which slides in and out of its designated slot with ease. Just between us friends, I lost the unattached plastic spatula that came with the Sleeping Mask instantly so this sleek packaging upgrade is one both deeply impressive to and appreciated by me.
But for how squeal-inducing the Lip Treatment Balm's case is, even that pales in comparison to its actual formulation. Coconut oil heads up the ingredients list, lending not only some portable vacation vibes with its scent but also maximum hydration for moisturized and softer lips. Peptides and adenosine, a naturally-occurring ingredient proven to smooth wrinkles' surfaces, contribute to fuller-looking lips while mint adds refreshment, tingle, and a plumper feeling. This could be anecdotal, but I personally found that the light tingling coaxed out just a hint of extra color to my lips, which paired with the pearlescence to look like a more polished version of my natural mouth. In other words, it's a lazy person's dream (read: my dream). $25 for a plastic pot of lip balm is undoubtedly decadent but this one really is a cut above the rest, something I'd liken to a silk or satin pillowcase: it seems outrageous until you try it, and then you wonder how you lived without it.
I will begrudgingly admit that I'm the type to hang on to a so-so product (or outfit...or person...) just because I'm so enchanted by the way it looks. It's rare to find something that scratches that aesthetic itch but delivers on all physical promises and then some. Lucky for me, that just about covers Laneige's entire line, with the balm a very welcome addition to my bag.
Laneige Lip Treatment Balm is available March 23 on Sephora.com and in Sephora stores early April.