In the dry days of winter, I operate in what I like to call "cactus mode." I'm perpetually seeking out water, hydration, and moisturizer, and I'll take it wherever I can get it. My frighteningly heavy HydroFlask becomes my most constant companion, my legs are perpetually slick with lotion and body oil, and if I'm stationary for any significant period of time, I'm almost certainly slugging.
When it comes to makeup, though, things can get a bit trickier. Oftentimes, there's a choice to be made between hydration and true color payoff—and to be honest, the pigment usually loses. But of course, leave it to Mario Dedivanovic to strike gold somewhere in the middle with one of the best all-around lip products I've ever personally tried.
The Makeup by Mario MoistureGlow Lip Plumping Serum ($22) isn't exactly a serum, but I wouldn't call it lipstick or balm, either. Though it's certainly serum-like in its benefits—namely that line-smoothing plump—the rich color payoff is far more akin to a true lipstick. Meanwhile, the glossy shine and refreshing tingle anchor it firmly in balm territory, too. Ultimately, the MoistureGlow is just one-of-a-kind, not unlike its iconic creator. Below is everything you need to know about Makeup by Mario's latest (and possibly greatest) launch.
The MoistureGlow lip serum is the sort of product you end up loving right away, but that's only because it's the sort of product you take everywhere. The slim, push-up bullet is encased in a lightweight matte plastic that manages to stay remarkably clean despite the delightfully melty, pigmented formula.
Available in seven distinct shades including mochas, apricots, pinks, and bronzes, the lip serum colors are semi-opaque—pigmented enough to add a fresh pop of color but not so occlusive that it can't be paired with an otherwise light, summery makeup look. They can be worn on their own, layered on top of another lipstick, or paired with a lip liner for precise definition.
As you might expect from a glossy balm that promises plumping benefits, the ingredients are carefully selected to tease out fullness without irritation or drying. Infused with a tangle of nourishing oils (shea butter, avocado oil, argan oil, to name a few), the moisturizing agents add so much hydration that they help fill out the appearance of fine lip lines, which makes them appear fuller and more youthful.
Though unscented, you do get that very vaguely tingly sensation that typically accompanies mentholated lip products, which makes sense considering this formula does include menthoxypropanediol, a synthetic menthol that lends that minty-fresh feel.
Though this product is a real boon for winter, what it really does is get me excited for summer beauty. It's so light, balmy, and juicy-looking that, upon swiping it on for the first time, I can't help but think of tropical vacations, poolside hangouts, and late nights with friends on patio bars. When wearing the lip serum, my own lips don't necessarily look bigger in terms of volume but they do seem more plumped, defined, overall more refreshed, which I think goes even further than a temporary filler effect.
Even after the first use, this product was immediately transferred from my larger makeup stash to my precious bag of everyday favorites I keep handy—and that's saying something as I'm pretty ruthless when it comes to culling my products. Transference was about what you would expect with such a glossy product (straws beware) but what was a pleasant surprise was that quite a bit of color remained long after the finish had worn off. A real swipe-it-forget-it sort of lip product, it comes as zero surprise to learn that it's selling out everywhere. Truly, I loved this balm.
If you're able to get your hands on this now, do it. But heaven forbid you're forced to wait 'til the weather warms up, that's not the worst thing either.