The Sample: Fresh Sugar Plum Tinted Lip Treatment SPF 15 (Review, Swatches & Photos)

11 Jan

Long-time readers of mine are, by now, well-versed in my profound love for tinted balm. Tinted balm is so awesome, I would marry it if I could! They’re the ultimate lip product–they do it all! And if you’ll recall from my previous post on Fresh’s Sugar Coral Tinted Lip Treatment, the Fresh line is one of my all-time favorites. I’ve almost tried all of them (except Passion and Berry, which may be a touch too bright and pigmented for my taste). I had planned on skipping out on Sugar Plum as well, but a (semi) recent review from Emi at Project Swatch convinced me that I needed it in my arsenal.

Sugar Plum is described as a “sheer berry plum”. It may look a little scary in the tube (which is why I held off for so long!), but it’s a very sheer, shiny, universally-flattering plummy-purple. It adds just a mere suggestion of vampiness to the lips. It’s perfect for those who are scared of lip color but want something more “autumn-appropriate” for their lips and those who want to take (itty-bitty) baby-steps towards a full-blown lipstick.

For many of you, I imagine the sheerness of Sugar Plum will be a major letdown. But for me, it’s just perfect. It adds a hint of plummy color to my lips without it obviously looking like I’ve put something on. It’s a shiny kiss of color and a helping of decadent moisture–perfect for tinted balm-lovers out there. Despite being so sheer, when I wear it, it really just pulls my whole look together without detracting any attention away from the rest of the look.

You’ll remember from my previous review that these Fresh lip treatments are lemon-scented. It’s okay…I’m not a huge fan of lemon normally, but this one isn’t cloying or too pungent. It does, however, linger for quite a while.

Sugar Plum lasted about 2 hours on my lips. Not very long at all, but frequent reapplication something I am fully prepared to do when it comes to balmy lip color. It’s a trade-off you have to be aware of and willing to make, otherwise I would suggest you look into an actual lipstick with a sheerer, creamier finish. But I think most people out there are aware of the shorter wear-time of products like these.

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I swatched Sugar Rosé (left) and Sugar Plum (right) side-by-side because I thought they were the most similar in terms of sheerness. They might look a little similar in the swatches but the difference in color is much more noticeable on the lips–or at least on my lips, which aren’t very pigmented on their own. The degree in which it will show on your lips will vary due to your own lips’ natural pigmentation.

If you are in search of a similar shade but with more opacity, try the newly released Sugar Berry–based on reviews I’ve seen, it’s a bit more berry-pink and definitely packs more of a pigmented punch. Sugar Coral is also one of the more pigmented ones–as is Sugar Honey (which has the most “lipstick-y” feel due to the texture which is just a touch more creamy rather than balmy. It is by far my favorite shade). And of course, the original Sugar balm is clear.

Click image to enlarge


Overall, I’m quite a happy camper and am so glad I finally got around to trying this shade. Though I haven’t tried all of them, I’ve tried enough to safely say that this whole line is a knockout! They might be pricey for “just a lip balm” (as I’ve heard many people refer to them :P), but I think the luxe packaging, luscious formula, and lovely shades make these the crème de la crème of tinted balms. Sugar Plum has become one of my most reached-for balms, and that’s saying a lot when you’re a tinted balm-hoarder like me. :)

»»Pricing: $22.50/0.15 oz. (4.3 g.)

»»Availability:,, and all Fresh stores (click here to find your nearest location)

»»Recommended for: anyone with perpetually dry lips that’s looking for comfortable, healing balm with a hint of color

»»Overall Rating: A

38 Responses to “The Sample: Fresh Sugar Plum Tinted Lip Treatment SPF 15 (Review, Swatches & Photos)”

  1. Meryl @ Memoiselle January 11, 2013 at 7:35 pm #

    haha I agree that the look of this in the tube is not awesome. But when it’s swatched, it looks sooo natural!!

    • becca January 11, 2013 at 7:42 pm #

      YES! Ooooh I love it so much–I’m so bummed it took me this long to try it! But anyway, it’s become a favorite now and it’s especially nice during the winter, I think! :)

  2. Lily January 11, 2013 at 8:44 pm #

    Haven’t tried Fresh, but I’m not a huge balm user. I’m still trying to finish the 2 tubes of Burt’s Bees I bought 8 months ago -_- That said, I’m still curious and might just get it. LOL!

    • becca January 11, 2013 at 9:03 pm #

      Really?? It’s always so weird for me to hear that some people don’t use/need lip balm. I am CONSTANTLY applying lip balm–literally every half hour or so. I need the constant feel of product on my lips otherwise they immediately start to get tight and shrivelly and uncomfortable :/ I’ve even been known to kill a new stick of balm in under 2 weeks :P haha

  3. svetlana January 11, 2013 at 10:17 pm #

    i think i’ll like this one more than the korres balm in the plum/berry color. i like how it’s more subtle. good choice! (i also like this color better than the coral one they had. :)

    • becca January 11, 2013 at 10:22 pm #

      It definitely is MUCH more subtle than the Korres Plum (which is surprisingly bright!). I much prefer my lip color that way, which is why I didn’t like Sugar Coral all that much either. It’s pretty but a tad too bright for my personal taste :)

  4. Emi at Project Swatch January 11, 2013 at 10:37 pm #

    I bought the set of all the colors a little while back, and I have been really loving these for low-makeup days – I totally agree with you that the balms just pull the look together! I feel like I’m not wearing anything on my lips – and it sort of looks like that too, just better :)

    • becca January 11, 2013 at 11:08 pm #

      I know! When I wear Sugar Plum, I really can’t tell that I’m wearing even a tinted balm. It just kinda looks like my lips are a pretty plummy color…but NOT in a weird way :P

  5. Claire January 12, 2013 at 1:52 am #

    one of the best lipbalms out there! I also adore the scent, thank god no vanilla :D

    • becca January 12, 2013 at 2:00 am #

      I agree! I am not as enthused about the lemon scent, but it’s actually starting to grow on me. When I tried my first Fresh tinted balm, I wasn’t sure I could handle the lemon but now I think it’s nice and zesty. :)

      • Claire January 13, 2013 at 2:05 pm #

        haha, it’s refreshing as well :D

        • becca January 13, 2013 at 3:11 pm #

          Yes definitely! Perfect for spring and summer :D

  6. Popblush January 12, 2013 at 2:36 am #

    I’ve seen this reviewed a few times on Youtube and they have all been positive. I don’t think I’ve seen this in Aussie yet but would like to try it one day. I think it would look lovely on your lips! xx

    • becca January 12, 2013 at 3:30 am #

      Really?? I didn’t realize they didn’t have it there :/ I hope you are able to try it, too–it’s really an amazing tinted balm. And they didn’t sacrifice ANY of the moisture for color either–it’s so rich and soothing for cracked lips!

  7. Chris January 12, 2013 at 5:47 am #

    I was just thinking about getting this. I heart sheer tinted balms as well because my lips tend to get chapped in the winter. Also like that you don’t need a mirror to apply this.

    • becca January 12, 2013 at 2:34 pm #

      Oooh you definitely need to–Sugar Honey and Sugar Plum are my favorites (but especially Sugar Honey!). Do you have your eye on a particular one??

  8. Sunny January 12, 2013 at 7:42 am #

    I do really like the two baby ones I own, though I don’t tend to use lip balm too often during the day so I still have quite a bit left! I’m pretty sure I’ll want to grab a new one when I run out though. I just don’t know which shade yet!

    • becca January 12, 2013 at 2:34 pm #


  9. Marianna January 12, 2013 at 9:40 am #

    That actually looks really pretty! I’ve been using lip balms like crazy lately (hello winter!) and those seem like a nice way to add a hint of color to a casual look if you don’t necessarily want to wear an actual lipstick. I’ll have to give this a try!

    • becca January 12, 2013 at 2:35 pm #

      You definitely have to–these are some of the best tinted balms EVER! :D

  10. Liz January 12, 2013 at 10:11 am #

    This was my favourite for a while and also my baby steps voyage into scarier colours! I find that while sheer, it’s also buildable for a more opaque look.

    The thing that made me disown it as a fave is that when my lips became super dry with winter weather, this thing didn’t balm as well and accentuated all the dry cracks horribly. I’ll use it again when my lips are in better condition but that was such a disappointment. :(

    • becca January 12, 2013 at 2:42 pm #

      Aww that’s too bad, wifey! I actually have HORRIBLE lips that are dry year-round and these Fresh balms actually are quite healing for me. I’m sorry that they didn’t work for you :/

  11. Larie January 12, 2013 at 10:54 am #

    I really, really like the formula of these on my lips – they are the first balm I’ve ever found that doesn’t dry out my lips further or gunk up after reapplication. I also really hate the minis, though, and the regular ones are quite pricey T_T I’m trying to find another balm that I like, but these are probably always going to be my favorite.

    • becca January 12, 2013 at 2:43 pm #

      I know the minis are useless, huh? The tip of my Sugar one snapped off after the 2nd use and I gave the Rosé one to my mom since I already had a full-size. :P

  12. Taylor January 12, 2013 at 2:32 pm #

    These balms are so wonderful! I’ve been wanting to pick up plum, it is a perfect pop, I love it! Have you tried the scrub, omg! The best ever. I love fresh everything :-)

    • becca January 12, 2013 at 2:44 pm #

      I’ve actually never used a lip scrub before–I am a loyal user of the toothbrush exfoliating method :P haha! The scrub has always sounded so nice but when I really think about it, I just feel like it would be a waste of money since a toothbrush works just fine for me :P

  13. Jacqueline January 12, 2013 at 4:26 pm #

    Becca, I have been tempted many times by this but I’m a girl that loves more pigment in my lippies. You should try the Fresh sugar scrub, I love it.

    • becca January 12, 2013 at 4:53 pm #

      I guess if I could pull of lipstick like you can, I wouldn’t bother with tinted balm either!! :P I think I will try the scrub though–that’s the 2nd time today someone has told me to! :D

  14. OPI Addict January 12, 2013 at 5:53 pm #

    I have the original, rose, and the advanced therapy one from this line! The plum shade is the next one I want to try out :)

    • becca January 13, 2013 at 2:16 am #

      You should definitely get it and let me know how you like it! I like it way WAY more than I thought it would–and surprisingly, my bf commented on how much he liked it too! (he rarely comments on my makeup :P)

  15. Joyce (bronzerbunny) January 13, 2013 at 10:34 am #

    i’ve sort of wanted sugar berry since it came out, but I don’t actually need it lol. HMMM. I do like sugar coral and sugar honey though – i feel like we talked about this a long time ago! LOL

    • becca January 13, 2013 at 1:56 pm #

      LOL did we?? Haha all I know is I LOVE these Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Treatments and Sugar Plum is now one of my new favorites–though Sugar Honey will ALWAYS be my #1 :D

  16. fairytalesandcoffee January 13, 2013 at 8:14 pm #

    I don’t like Fresh lip balms (cuz I eat them) but I just had to comment that I love the pictures for this post. I love the vibrancy of this shade of purple against the stark natural bright light.

    • becca January 14, 2013 at 12:57 am #

      Hahaha about eating them–lemon was never my favorite (scent or flavor…though I do love it in my tea), so there’s no risk of me nibbling away at it :P And thank you for your sweet comment! It’s getting harder and harder to get a nice natural lighting for my photos so I have been switching off between that and my crappy homemade lightbox. I can’t wait til there’s bright light again! :(

  17. Angela @ The Unprofessional Beauty Blog January 14, 2013 at 4:59 pm #

    The color in tube scared me a bit but the swatch turned out to be quite pretty. And then I saw you mentioned that these have a lemon scent. Now I’ll definitely be pick this up. I have a thing for lemon scented stuff LOL

    • becca January 14, 2013 at 5:01 pm #

      I know it is definitely intimidating in the tube which is why I had never even thought to try it but when I saw a blogger friend of mine post swatches and I saw how sheer they were, I made a beeline for it!! :P And if you like lemon scents, you’ll LOVE this one. I don’t usually like lemon but even this one is nice and is definitely growing on me :)

  18. Tracy@Beauty Reflections January 15, 2013 at 7:46 pm #

    I love this one too! I thought it was too brown for me, but it’s not! It’s very wearable! Love!

    • becca January 15, 2013 at 11:54 pm #

      Oh me too–I have been LOVING this color! Wear it everyday now!! :D

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