I really, really wanted to love it and I wanted it to work for me. I have a problem with dry lips, and most products just don't seem to cut it; they are initially moisturizing, but as the wear/color fades, they dry out immensely and end up worse than they were to begin with. Maybe I just have dysfunctional lips? I don't know. This problem is elevated in the dry, cold winter months. So, even though I don't particularly enjoy the feeling of most lip products, I have to find one in order to prevent my lips from cracking and bleeding. I've been sticking to drugstore balms lately (Kiss My Face), but I've also picked up a Caudalie lip treatment balm (which I may get around to reviewing in a little bit) and I've also been waiting for this Clinique thing.
The obvious question is: how does it compare to the Tarte? To me, they're almost exactly the same. I have the original Tarte lip stains (not the mattes or the new lusters), and the Clinique balm and the Tarte stain are almost exactly the same shape and size. Both are 0.10 oz / 3g, with Clinique's selling for $15 and Tarte for $24. The color payoff and moisturizing effect of both products are pretty much the same for me, so I would say go with the Clinique, unless you are looking for a specific Tarte shade. Most people (like the Muse, who gave a great review here) have said that the color pigmentation of the Tarte stain is stronger than the Clinique, but the two shades that I have are very similar (Tarte's Enchanted and Clinique's Super Strawberry; the Clinique is slightly warmer), and they seem almost exactly the same in intensity to me - especially on my lips.
Sorry for the awkward hand swatch in fluorescent lighting...natural light's no good here in gray-town.
Bottom line? I'm still looking for a lip balm that works. The new Tokidoki ones are intriguing (and $9!) but for now, I'm experimenting with different balms and these to see if I can get a combination that isn't drying.