Anna Gragert
February 28, 2017 10:00 am
Author / Anna Buckley

My lips are high maintenance. If they don’t like a certain product, I will be notified without delay — in the form of bruising, redness, cracking, dryness, and occasionally, threatening notes scrawled in lipstick. I lived like this for years, thinking that this was simply the card I’d been dealt, until I wrote about lip balm addiction and the allergy-causing ingredients that are involved.

Following my realization that I was likely allergic to the ingredients in common, store-bought balms, I did my research and read countless lip balm reviews online. That’s how I found this certified organic, cruelty-free balm, which has protected me from my lips’ pout and punch.

Though I am ready and willing to try new things — especially in the beauty realm — I would ultimately consider myself to be a lip product skeptic. So when I was kindly sent Apa Beauty’s teeth-whitening “Apa Blue Lip Shine” ($25), you better believe I was up for the challenge (and also a lil worried that my lips would be mad).


Here’s what the brand had to say about this gloss:

You can wear this gloss on its own, or layer it over your favorite lip colors. I did both.

Here’s what my smile looks like on its own, sans anything: 


With the blue stuff: 


Here’s what my smile looks like with Revlon’s Colorstay Moisture Stain in the color “Rio Rush:”


With the blue lip shine on top:


I wasn’t in love with that look (especially because the lip shine made my stain streaky). So I switched to Maybelline New York’s Color Whisper by Color Sensational in the shade “Coral Ambition:”


With the blue crystal-filled gloss layered on top (still streaky, unfortunately):


The verdict:

I’m afraid that the lip shine did not live up to its promises. Both in pictures and IRL, I did not notice a teeth-related difference after applying the gloss. Yes, my lips were shinier, but my teeth did not look whiter. As for application, the gloss did not layer as I expected it to. Instead, it made the color underneath look streaky and as though it was not evenly applied.

In terms of my lips’ reaction? They were irritated. As I mentioned earlier, I seem to have a slight allergy to the ingredients in certain lip products and, unfortunately, this blue lip shine wasn’t an exception. The peppermint scent was lovely, though!

Ultimately, if you’re on the hunt for a pepperminty lip product that makes your lips shiny AF, Apa Beauty’s Blue Lip Shine is for you. If you want instantly white teeth, well, maybe purchase some whitening strips to use along with the gloss.