Review: Arbonne Lip Polish

By Voxy  

Arbonne is one of those lines that I don’t really follow, largely because they still rely mostly on “Independent Consultants” like Mary Kay and Avon used to have — and you know how I feel about sales pressure. Oh, and they’re outrageously expensive. However, a holiday product caught my eye and I could not resist ordering it: a trio of Arbonne’s Lip Polishes. Had there not been a gorgeous burgundy in the set, I wouldn’t have looked twice, but … well, there it is.

Arbonne bills itself as a company that was cool and hip and botanical before botanical itself was cool and hip, if any of us can remember back that far. (I think I was four.) So, green, right? Natural, environmentally responsible, earth-friendly … OK, I can’t even sell myself on this.

Let’s look at the size of the products.

Now let’s look at the size of the products compared to the standard-size Beauté gloss I recently reviewed. The Beauté is on the left.

Oh. I see. They’re small. OK. Value-for-price aside for the moment, if they’re that small then surely they should come in a tiny box, n’est-ce-pas?

Oh. Er. Seriously, you could have fit about 40 of those tiny kits in this box. I am so tired of seeing companies that market themselves as “environmentally responsible” and “earth-conscious” and all that jazz use way, WAY too much packaging. Arbonne even has a “Green Commitment” statement, which reads as follows:

Arbonne is committed to environmental responsibility. As our business grows, we strive to minimize our impact on the earth through the implementation of innovative and responsible environmental practices, and we encourage our manufacturing and sourcing partners to do the same.

At Arbonne we:

•    Support responsible harvesting of our botanical ingredients (harvest and replenish)
•    Never utilize endangered plant species in our formulations
•    Practice “source reduction,” optimizing packaging and product design to use less materials
•    Use renewable sources for all of our paper packaging
•    Strive to achieve Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification for all paper packaging
•    Incorporate Post Consumer Recycled (PCR) content in all shipping cartons and plastic packaging, wherever possible
•    Print with soy-based inks wherever possible
•    Ensure our distribution facilities have recycling programs for all incidental packaging and shipping supplies

“Optimizing packaging.” Er, what was the option you rejected for this lip polish trio? A 6×6 crate made of pernambuco, perhaps?

Anyway. Enough of that. How are the products?

Well, uh … average. I mean, they’re fine. They’re maybe a B-, which is to say that they’re even slightly above average but that they don’t exceed expectations in any recognizable way. I do love the burgundy color. The others are … meh. Not only that, but I have a hard time imagining what kind of skin tone could wear all three of these colors: burgundy, camel, and something that’s reminiscent of latté foam.

Here are the swatches:

I do love the burgundy, and would like to find a way to work with the medium golden brown shade. The “nude” shade, the lightest, is going to be hard for me to work with — and I’m already fairly pale.

Wearlength is about average; stickiness slightly less than average. Packaging: D-.


Arbonne Lip Polish Trio: $58 (individual permanent shades available at Arbonne’s website)

Provenance: Purchased. (And, by the way, the order got screwed up the first time, which doesn’t make me love them any more.)

Price/Value Ratio (high-end: poor/fair/good/excellent): Poor. Is there a category worse than “poor”? No? I should make one.

Purchase again? Ha! No.

(Have you used this product? Love it? Hate it? Want it? Give a holler in the comments!)

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  1. avatar baz
    Posted January 31, 2011 at 11:41 pm | Permalink | Reply

    As crazy as you’ll think me, the last color looked better on the lips than the 2nd. To me anyway.

    I expected that would NOT be the case, but really I thought it looked nice. It made the lips look sweet and demure. The middle shade seemed uneven and somehow not as flattering.
    Of course, so much depends on the way the whole face looks with white lips. Very hard to pull off for some of us.


    • avatar Voxy
      Posted February 1, 2011 at 12:08 am | Permalink | Reply

      Yeah, I still haven’t found a way to wear it that I’m happy with.

      Of course, I have to admit that I haven’t exactly been trying very hard.


  2. avatar Inthelab
    Posted January 31, 2011 at 7:02 am | Permalink | Reply

    Never heard of the company until your review but now I know to STAY AWAY.
    Wear the latte foam color as lip balm.


  3. avatar S Rowe
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 12:56 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I love Arbonne products! Your review doesn’t change my mind at all. I have seen results with Arbonne’s skincare that I haven’t been able to find anywhere else. I’m talking about my skin, even tho I have witnessed other people’s skin improve as well. Thanks.


    • avatar Voxy
      Posted January 27, 2011 at 5:03 pm | Permalink | Reply

      “I love Arbonne products! Your review doesn’t change my mind at all.”

      That’s nice. Are you affiliated?


  4. avatar a biologist
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 7:14 pm | Permalink | Reply

    That’s a gorgeous burgundy but I see your point about how the shades don’t seem to go together as part of a set.


  5. avatar ab_grp
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 5:51 pm | Permalink | Reply

    The shot of the packaging was (sad, but) hilarious. I agree that those colors don’t sound as if they’d all be wearable for one person. However, to me, all three lip pics look nice! I guess it depends what the rest of the make up looks like? Of course, you know best if it suited you or not, but I didn’t think the non-burgundy looked bad on you in the pictures. Of course, I also wear brown with black, so take it with a grain of salt. The upshot seems to be that the product is not worth it anyway.


    • avatar Voxy
      Posted January 26, 2011 at 10:26 pm | Permalink | Reply

      “The shot of the packaging was (sad, but) hilarious.”

      Yes, that was pretty much my thinking. It is, indeed, both sad and hilarious.

      I think if I’m going to wear the other shades I need to cover my lips with foundation first, or use them on top of a compatibly-colored lipstick.


      • avatar chaosbydesign
        Posted January 27, 2011 at 2:05 pm | Permalink | Reply

        The last one is definitely too light for you as it is. I think it would look nice over Stila’s Convertible Color (in Lilium? I want to call it Lithium but I know that’s wrong) though. I wear a similar gloss over that and find that it is a good base for light gloss colours.


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