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Thursday, June 4, 2015

Swatches & First Impressions: Rimmel Keep Calm and Lip Balm Collection (All Six Shades)

I believe this is my third post to date about this new Rimmel lip balm collection (well, "new" for the US; these have been available in the UK for a while now). If you haven't seen these in your area yet and missed my previous posts, these are new, Walmart-exclusives and you can find them in stores now (here's a pic of the display).

I've been looking for these in my area ever since my first post, and I actually just spotted them very recently in-store. So if you haven't found these yet, don't give up. They're coming! I received review samples very recently, so I wanted to get this post up as quickly as I could in case you find these and want to know what I think of them! So let's take a closer look...

Rimmel Keep Calm and Lip Balm Collection
Available exclusively at Walmart
(Retail: $2.50 each, 0.13 oz.)

Keep reading for swatches and my thoughts about this new lip balm line...

Back of packaging

Made in England

010 Keep Calm and Shop, 020 Keep Calm and Kiss, 030 Keep Calm and Rock

010 Keep Calm and Shop, 020 Keep Calm and Kiss, 030 Keep Calm and Rock

010 Keep Calm and Shop, 020 Keep Calm and Kiss, 030 Keep Calm and Rock

010 Keep Calm and Shop, 020 Keep Calm and Kiss, 030 Keep Calm and Rock

Keep Calm and Shop is a milky peach shade. The color appears as a milky light peach on my medium-pigmented lips, but both the color and milky finish are very subtle.

Keep Calm and Kiss is a light pink shade. The color appears as a very subtle wash of cool-toned pink on my lips.

Keep Calm and Rock is a neutral, warm-leaning, mid-tone pink shade. The color appears as a subtle wash of berry-pink on my lips. 

040 Keep Calm and Play, 050 Keep Calm and Party, 060 Keep Calm and Love

NOTE: 060 Keep Calm and Love is a US-exclusive shade and not available in the UK collection.

040 Keep Calm and Play, 050 Keep Calm and Party, 060 Keep Calm and Love

040 Keep Calm and Play, 050 Keep Calm and Party, 060 Keep Calm and Love

040 Keep Calm and Play, 050 Keep Calm and Party, 060 Keep Calm and Love

Keep Calm and Play is a mid-tone orange shade. The color appears as a subtle wash of warm orange-ish coral on my lips.

Keep Calm and Party is a cool, mid-tone berry shade. The color appears as a subtle wash of cool-toned berry-pink on my lips.

Keep Calm and Love is a clear, colorless shade. The color appears as clear on my lips, adding just some subtle shine.

Additional thoughts: 

None of these shades are big on color but I was not expecting them to be, considering that they're tinted lip balms in the same vein as Maybelline Baby Lips. For all of my swatches above, I required five swipes of each shade for what you see above. This is pretty much how many swipes I need for even the most pigmented of Baby Lips shades, so I would say that these are generally comparable in pigment to Baby Lips in that respect. In my opinion, Keep Calm and Rock and Keep Calm and Party are the two most pigmented shades in this range. Keep Calm and Rock is my favorite of the line; I love the berry-pink tone it gives my lips after a few swipes.

As for the flavor and fragrance of these lip balms, let me start by saying that all six shades have the exact same flavor and fragrance; these do not have specific flavors/fragrances that are unique to each shade. When I first posted about these, I heard from a few of you who disliked the fragrance and flavor. I can understand that, especially if you go into these thinking or expecting that they're going to be fruity, sweet lip balms like Baby Lips. In my opinion, these both smell and taste like vintage lipsticks. I get a powdery, floral note here, and the flavor is similar (powdery and floral). I think this is sort of interesting considering the origins of the phrase "Keep Calm and Carry On." If you're unfamiliar with how that phrase came to be, it was created by the British government at the start of World War II, and it was printed on posters as a way to raise the morale of the British public at that time (source). So given that WWII began in 1939, I think it's kind of neat that these both smell and taste like what I would imagine lipsticks to both smell and taste like during that era. Now, whether or not that was Rimmel's intention I have no idea, but I like it. And if you've been reading this blog for a while, you know I have mentioned many times that I love powdery florals, so it's really no surprise that I enjoy the flavor and fragrance of these. But I can certainly understand why others may not (especially if they were expecting something fruity, sweet or candy-like).

As for the strength of the fragrance and flavor, I can certainly smell these when I open the lid and apply them, but both the fragrance and flavor tend to fade pretty quickly for me (both are gone in about ten minutes after application).

Regarding the texture, consistency and moisturization, I'm happy with all three. These glide across the lips very smoothly (no tugging), and they feel quite creamy after application. Compared to Baby Lips, I feel like these are a tiny bit thicker and a bit creamier--Baby Lips feel thinner and slicker to me. I'm impressed with the staying power of these lip balms as well. I don't have to re-apply as often as Baby Lips and even after these have worn away, I can still feel a slight protective coating for several hours. I can't speak to any long-term moisturizing properties because I haven't had these long enough to test that, but I CAN tell you that my lips feel hydrated and soft after a day of wearing these, and that hydration seems to stick around even into the next day. (When I kissed my boyfriend last night before bed, he commented, "Oh man, your lips feel so soft right now!" and I had been wearing nothing but Keep Calm and Rock all day.)

I can't give you a final verdict because, again, this is just a first-impressions post that I wanted to get up as quickly as possible. However, I hope that the information above is useful if you spot these at Walmart and are thinking about trying one. Don't expect big color pay-off with these but, with some building, you will probably be able to see a sheer wash of color with four of the six shades. The fragrance and flavor are probably not going to be for everyone, but if you are not opposed to powdery, floral notes and the idea of a vintage lipstick scent/flavor appeals to you, then I think you might enjoy these. The big draw for me about these is that they feel quite creamy on the lips and I don't have to re-apply them often. I also have noticed that my lips feel soft and hydrated after I've been wearing these all day.

Do you own any Rimmel Keep Calm and Lip Balms? I'd love to hear what YOU think of them. Comment below and share with us!

A sample of this product was given to Nouveau Cheap for editorial purposes, either directly from the manufacturer or from the agency that works on behalf of the manufacturer. All reviews on are the honest opinion of its author and editorial samples do not, in any way, affect the outcome of product reviews. For more information, click here.


  1. Baby lips DRY out my lips! Which is crazy! So I'm so glad to hear these are better at hydrating!! I love the baby lips for color, and cannot wait to find these in my neighborhood.

  2. You're right about the smell/taste of these. For me, I don't care for it. It's a shame because I like the way these feel and the packaging is too cute, but I can't get past the taste of these.

  3. i was thrilled to find these. picked up keep calm and play... took it home, tried it out, and HATED it. i rarely feel this strongly negative about a product, but i actually regret spending $2.50 on this. the smell and taste are total dealbreakers to begin with, but i also found it to do nothing for me in terms of moisture - in fact, it kinda made my lips flaky :(

  4. boo, Walmart exclusive... I hate shopping at Walmart! These look pretty great though, like babylips but in lipstick shape! Love that berry toned one. I'm a sucker for berry lip colors. I have been over the whole "keep calm and ___" sayings for a long time though -_-

  5. I've been obsessed with Keep Calm & Rock for a few weeks now, I'm glad your first impressions agree!

  6. You are exactly right about describing the scent of these balms. I kept trying to find a way of describing the scent and the only thing that came to mind was that I thought they smelled like children's play makeup I used to wear as a child. Your description of the 'vintage lipstick' is much more accurate though. I notice that alot of people are turned off by this lip balm due to it's scent. It really does not bother me at all. I really do like these lip balms and I love the packaging!

  7. Just tried the Keep Calm and Party. I love it. Went on smooth with a pretty subtle tint. Not sticky or smelly or gooey. Reading some of the reviews, I was afraid to put it on my lips. Expected the worst, but was very happy with it. I do recommend it. I have 3 more shades to try on...:)))


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