Hourglass Phantom Volumizing Glossy Balm Review
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I’m definitely not immune to being “influenced” and have been lusting after the Hourglass Phantom Volumizing Glossy Balms ever since I first saw them online. They are available on the official Hourglass website, Sephora, and Ulta. There is also a special holiday duo set - at Sephora and Ulta - that comes with a best selling color plus a special edition shade at a discount (compared to buying two balms individually).
Hourglass markets this as an “all-in-one lip gloss-balm that nourishes, hydrates, and visibly plumps lips while delivering full-bodied color with a dewy, high-shine finish”. I decided to buy one of the special sets, which came with shades Crave and Haze.
The balms are very creamy and easy to apply. Many plumping products cause a minty sting / irritation to increase blood flow to the lips. Hourglass has a tiny bit of that minty tingle, but nothing annoying or irritating. After application, I can’t stop looking at my lips and puckering them together, because they feel so deliciously soft and smooth.
I really like these glossy balms. I heard someone describe them as 50% gloss / 50% lipstick, and that sounds about right. I do want to caution anyone who’s susceptible to eyeing influencers and thinking “if I buy these products, I will look like that”. You probably won’t. We are all different, and most of us don’t hang out in front of flattering lights and then edit the content in post processing. Even the people in the viral videos don’t look “like that” in real life.
The Hourglass Phantom Volumizing Glossy balms ended up on my wishlist after a specific creator who kept promoting them. After ordering, I found a video of hers where she talked about all the other things she uses in conjunction with the balms - a lip liner, some other lip color, and only then the balm. Did she mention this in every video where she said “I’m wearing Hourglass”? No. I’m not saying she did anything wrong, I know from experience that repeating the same thing gets tiring. My point is - find out those things, if you can, before splurging on expensive items.
So, do my lips look like hers when I wear Hourglass balms? No, because I refuse to have a multi step lip makeup routine. But I still absolutely adore them and don’t regret buying them. I love the colors, the glossy finish, and the very comfortable feel on the lips. The gloss part does wear off eventually, leaving behind a bit of color.
I cannot speak to the plumping effect, because my lips are naturally pretty full, or at least full enough for me. Putting anything shiny on them will cause a visual volumizing effect. I don’t notice anything extra “volumizing” about Hourglass compared to a cheap clear gloss.
I love both balms equally. Crave is a bit more subdued / less intimidating for someone like me who’s not used to bold lip colors. Haze is a stunning deeper shade that’s still appropriate for the office. Both do a wonderful job nourishing the lips and providing a beautiful finish without highlighting the dry patches. Despite my best efforts, I do get dryness on my lips, and there’s nothing worse than having makeup settle there. Hourglass masks everything and makes my lips look uniformly plump and lush.
It’s a 10/10 for me, and I wouldn’t mind getting other colors. However, at this price I’m going to finish everything I have before I buy any more. I love getting lip stuff but tend to forget to use it - I am trying to change that. Hourglass is helping, because I love it and reach for it often. In fact, I’m wearing Crave as I type this. Totally worth a try.
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