TheBalm’s Mai Bills Be Paid lipstick (theBalm, $17) is described on their website as a “velvety nude”. It’s a pale near-matte shade that has enough pink in it to keep it from looking dead the way some “nude” shades can look on many of us.
As I mentioned in my review of another shade from this line, Foxy Pout, this is a seriously long-wearing formula. Mai Bills Be Paid is slightly more dry-feeling than Foxy Pout, probably because it’s more matte and that’s just a tendency with matte shades. It’s not really dry at all, and it’s certainly not drying – it’s just that while I literally forget I have Foxy Pout on, once or twice over 4-6 hours of wear I might feel the need to rub my lips together for moisture.
The coverage is definitely opaque, and the light scent, which I can only smell on my lips for a minute or two after application, is vanilla mint.
This color is a pale pink with a finish that’s nearly matte, but with a little bit of creamy sheen. It looks dark in the swatch on my arm, which is pretty pale, but light on my lips which are fairly pigmented. It’s got a mauve undertone – not quite blue or warm, which means it should work well for both warm and cool skin tones.
Mai Bills Be Paid wears very comfortably for a long time. I’m a fan of Mac Creamsheens and all the Bite creamy lipsticks I’ve tried (see here and here), and this shade beats them both for performance. If you’ve struggled to find a nude shade that doesn’t make you look dead, this one has a neutral pink tone that warms it up just that little bit.