Spoiler Alert: That Lip Balm All Over Your Feeds Actually Exceeds the Hype


(Image credit: @aniyahmorinia@c_bellamy)

Welcome to Internet Famous, a monthly series in which we ask our Instagram followers to vote on a viral beauty product that's taken social media by storm. Then the beauty team will take the winning pick for a spin and share their reviews—pictures included.

Up until about 48 hours ago, I was under the impression that all lip products had at least one con. I mean, you and I both know that not all makeup is created equal. Some lip balms leave a white residue in the corners of your mouth while others err on the sticky side or have messy applicators. There are only a select few lip products in my collection that I consider flawless. So when I go on TikTok (far too often) and see a slew of videos raving about a lip gloss, balm, or oil, I can't help but wonder if the product is truly as perfect as everyone says it is. But when TikTok talks, we test. This time around, my co-workers and I are taking the Hourglass Phantom Volumizing Glossy Balm ($36) from our For You Pages straight to our vanities for the ultimate test.

Thousands of video reviews, heart-eye emojis, and "OMG, I need" comments later, we've officially fallen victim to the hype (and without regret). We came for the packaging, but we stayed for the product. Inside this luxe, shiny gold tube, you'll find a compact balm formula that resembles a creamy lipstick and melts into a gloss-like finish when applied to your lips. No joke, my lips got juicier with each stroke. It's nourishing and non-sticky, and it instantly plumps your lips and adds the perfect flush of color. This balm is infused with Hourglass's Conditioning Complex that makes your lips instantly look softer and smoother while keeping them hydrated all day. Four new shades just dropped, but I haven't shut up about this product in days, so I'm going to let our editors do the rest of the talking. It received 10 out of 10 across the board, so prepare to enter your payment details for this fan favorite in a few.

Emma Walsh, Associate Beauty Editor


(Image credit: @emma.walsh)

"I'm so indecisive when it comes to lippies. I adore the high-shine finish of a gloss, but I also love the convenience and simplicity of a balm. This hybrid formula piqued my interest, and it did not disappoint. It feels incredibly luxe—it comes in gold packaging, applies so silky smooth, and also has this minty tingle that I can't get enough of. My favorite shade was Impulse, a gorgeous, deep red. I do one swipe for a subtle hint of color or two if I want a more intense color payoff. I didn't see any insanely noticeable plumping or volumizing effects on my lips, but I'm so in love with the other aspects of the balm that I honestly don't mind. This is definitely a new essential in my everyday makeup routine."

Erin Jahns, Beauty Director 


(Image credit: @erin_jahns)

"Even though I love a glossy finish on my lips, I don't want anything that looks over the top or feels too sticky, especially on days when I'm wearing less makeup. This product really is the perfect compromise. It gives you a really flattering wash of color that's noticeable but not too intense, and it immediately makes your lips look full, juicy, and extremely glassy—without the stick. It has a light, cooling, and refreshing feel after you apply it, which I liked, and it's also one of those no-fuss formulas you can swipe over your lips in two seconds without a mirror. Plus, it actually felt like it was moisturizing and conditioning my lips—something so many balms and glosses claim but fail to achieve. This will be in my regular rotation from here on out."

Aniyah Morinia, Editor 


(Image credit: @aniyahmorinia)

"I carry about three to five lip products in my purse every day. Yes, it's excessive, but I swear they all serve different purposes. I have a plumping gloss, a lip balm, a lipstick (just in case), and a standard lip gloss, of course. But when I tried this glossy balm in the shade Rise, I realized that I'll only need one product moving forward. This color is a nude that showed up on my skin tone as more of a clear gloss, which I loved. Because it's so buildable, I could get a richer nude with just a few more swipes. It's rare that I put on a product with a glossy finish and actually feel like my lips are being nourished, but my lips truly felt so soft. There's a nice cooling effect that isn't painful and offered the most natural plumpness. This pretty gold tube is already sitting at the bottom of my purse."

Caitie Schlisserman, Sr. Beauty Director, Branded Content


(Image credit: @c_bellamy)

"I can't find a single thing I don't like about this. It kind of feels like a glossy lipstick even though it's technically a glossy balm. Either way, the color payoff is perfect—it's not as intense as a lipstick but has more of an impact than a tinted balm. It's shockingly smooth and creamy and really glides onto the lips, leaving such a nice high-shine finish. I can see the shade Desire becoming a go-to for me. And the chic packaging earned it even more points."

Katie Berohn, Beauty Editor 


(Image credit: @ktberohn)

"I love how the Hourglass Phantom Volumizing Glossy Balm feels so hydrating—I'm always a fan of a tinted balm, and this one feels more like a treatment than a tint, which I appreciate. It has an immediate cooling sensation, which feels amazing, and the color is sheer and buildable. Overall, this is my type of summer lip product."

Maya Thomas, Assistant Beauty Editor 


(Image credit: @itsmayalala)

"Wow! I didn't know what to expect from the Hourglass Phantom Volumizing Glossy Balm, but I was pleasantly surprised. This must-have lippie brings on max hydration, shine, and buildable color. My absolute favorite shade is Haze, a gorgeous, deep mauve. It also goes on semi-sheer but is completely buildable. It will definitely be a new favorite of mine from here on out."

Up Next: If You Despise Sticky Lips, You'll Love Rare Beauty's Viral Tinted Lip Oil

Aniyah Morinia
Associate Branded Content Editor
Aniyah Morinia is an NYC-based associate beauty and fashion editor at Who What Wear. She has worked in fashion media since 2018 and joined WWW's branded content team, where she not only writes for some of her favorite brands but also creates content for them. Aniyah will find any excuse to get a photo of her outfit and absolutely loves taking photos. She graduated from the University of Florida in 2020 with a bachlor's degree in public relations and started post-grad life freelancing for EveryStylishGirl, Riot Swim, and Baby Tress. Since starting at Who What Wear, Aniyah has developed a passion for hosting livestreams, working red carpets, and creating TikToks in addition to writing fashion and beauty stories. When Aniyah's not writing or creating content, you can find her exploring Brooklyn and eating her way through the city. She'll never pass up the opportunity to uncover an NYC hidden gem or mix and mingle with her friends (all while swapping holy-grail products, of course).