If there was ever such thing as a lip balm season, this would be it. My lips are naturally prone to dryness, but it’s amplified tenfold during the winter, so when it comes to lip balms, I do not compromise. The perfect lip balm, in my opinion, needs to do three things: hydrate the dry skin, seal in the moisture, and stay on for several hours at a time. I dug deep into my bags and pockets to bring you this roundup of my favorite lip balms currently in rotation. I can personally vouch for the effectiveness of each one of these, so you can rest assured they won’t disappoint or melt away after one sip of coffee.
Beessential Buzz Balm in Peppermint is the one I am actually wearing right now as I write this. It’s absolutely magical, the the affordable price point makes me want to buy a wagon of these. What’s special about this all-natural lip balm is the waxy lightweight film it creates on your lips. The finish is more satiny, leaning toward matte, so guys can use it, too, and it won’t look like a lip gloss. The balm adheres to the lips through thick and thin: you can have lunch and a cup of coffee, albeit carefully, and it will still be there. I apply it before going to bed, and always wake up to soft, plush lips and the balm still going strong! If peppermint is not your thing, Beessential makes these in an array of flavors to choose from, so you’ll definitely find a favorite.
PIXI Nourishing Lip Polish is technically not a lip balm, it’s more of a scrub, but I couldn’t exclude it from this roundup. This is easily one of my favorite products from PIXI, and it works so well to painlessly exfoliate dead skin cells from the lips, while hydrating them at the same time. So if your lips are already in pretty bad shape, this little magic wand will revive them after a couple of applications. I have no idea how it works, and really the silicone “scrubber” isn’t even that abrasive. There’s just something about the formula that melts the dry skin off, and deeply nourishes the freshly exposed new skin so the lips don’t hurt as a result. Again, it’s a lip balm that I highly recommend to everyone.
The only reason I don’t use BUTTER elixir lip balm more often is the fact that it comes in a jar. This type of packaging prevents it from being portable, because I’d be too paranoid to stick my finger and infect the product with random street germs. The formula, however, is simply divine. The mix of natural oils, butters, and spices makes it smell like a fancy French bakery, and it’s also super effective. This is what I would use when my lips are super tight, dry, and have bleeding cracks, because it soothes and nourishes those problem areas almost immediately. A couple days of BUTTER elixir lip balm, then a few days of Beessential Buzz Balm made a huge difference last time I needed a lip rescue. Again, if you can get past the fact that it comes in a jar, this lip balm is definitely worth checking out.
John Masters Organics Lip Calm in Peppermint may look similar to Beessential Buzz Balm listed above, but they are actually very different. Unlike the Buzz Balm, JMO’s Lip Calm sets with a glossy sheen, because it has less waxes and more oils in the formula. Besides, all of the ingredients are certified organic, which is quite impressive. With formula this clean, I even felt comfortable gifting one of these to a relative who is currently undergoing chemotherapy. The overall effectiveness and longevity is comparable to BUTTER elixir, but the fragrance selection is quite simplistic. I like to use this lip balm as a primer for lip stains. As you know, stains can go on splotchy and settle in the weirdest spots, but with this balm as a base I always get an even distribution of pigment that lasts all day.
And finally, a personal favorite of many years – TATCHA Camellia Nourishing Lip Balm. You’ve seen it mentioned countless times on this blog and featured on my Instagram and Snapchat channels season after season. That’s because this luxurious treat is more than just a lip balm. I actually use it as a highlighter sometimes when my skin is looking dull, and it works surprisingly well! I don’t know if you are familiar with the concept of face gloss, but this highlight is not the traditional shimmer type. Instead, it gives the skin slightly wet, dewy appearance, which in the end looks less like makeup and more like you’re born with it. I could talk all day about the gorgeous packaging, and the delicate gold leaves each balm is adorned with, but the hype really sprawls from the formula. Inspired by the ancient rituals of the geisha, TATCHA created one of the most effective lip balms on the market using materials that you will be hard pressed to find in competitor products. I am talking about olive-derived Squalane, which takes the top seat on the ingredient list. This unique natural occlusive looks and feels like petroleum jelly in ways that it seals moisture within the skin, allowing it to repair itself without outside interference, while also allowing it to breathe, because it’s not a petrochemical. That’s the main reason so many people – including celebrities, bloggers, and magazine editors – are obsessed with Camellia Nourishing Lip Balm, which has since risen to its present cult status. I’m on my fourth jar and it’s nearly empty, so it’s time for a restock.
Well, that’s it for my currently in-use lip balms! I actually thought there would be more, but looking at this list I realize that probably 5 is more than enough, although I know people who carry a chapstick in every pocket. However, since I started this blog, I had the opportunity to try a crazy amount of products, including lip balms, and I realized that they really are not all created equal. Do you ever apply lip balm only to see it disappear within 30 minutes or sooner? I even tried several that made my lips drier than before, and that is just unacceptable. So if you want to make sure your lips are in tip top shape this winter, look at the ingredient list first. Beeswax, cocoa butter, shea butter, and squalane are amazing for sealing in moisture and helping the skin repair, and the more other helpful oils, waxes, and extracts in the formula to nourish and protect the better.
How many lip balms do you carry around in your purse? Which ones are currently your favorites? Let me know in the comments!
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