When's the last time you got really, truly excited about a lip balm? Probably sometime in 2003, when you spent your birthday money on a glittery Limited Too stick or Maybelline Baby Lips (hey, still a classic!) that you immediately lost in your backpack at school the next day. Well, the world of lip balms has come a very long way since your middle school days. Today's formulas are now available tinted, stained, and plumping; long-lasting or quick-dry; cheap or pricey—basically, whatever it is that your lips, and your wallet, have been crying out for. there's bound to be one for you. Not to mention, the same hydrating ingredients you look for in skincare products have finally found their way into the lip category, thank goodness.
If you want truly kissable (and honestly, just comfortable) lips during the frigid winter months in 2022, you'll need a good formula that's made specifically to soften, hydrate, and even the texture of your lips. To make the journey a billion times easier, we searched the internet (and our own purses and medicine cabinets) for our absolute favorites, both classic and current. Here, we present to you the very best lip balms, treatments, stains, salves, and crayons you'll actually be excited to slather on each day.
But First, Lip Scrub
Before you start slathering, take a good hard look at the current state of your lips. Do they look dry, cracked, or otherwise not in the best shape? Then you'll probably need to keep a lip scrub handy to slough away any dead or dry skin before you apply your balm.
If you've ever applied a ton of lip balm only to feel like your lips are still as dry as the desert, it's probably because that dead skin was making it nearly impossible for all of those hydrating and good-for-you-ingredients to really seep in and get the job done.
Luckily, just like lip balms, the lip exfoliator market has boomed over the last few years. So much so that many of these exfoliators also have plenty of hydrating ingredients in them that will set the stage for comfortable, lipstick-ready lips all winter long. To help you make sense of it all, we editors scrolled through basically the entire internet to find the best ones.
Shop Marie Claire's Favorite Lip Scrubs:
Shop Marie Claire's Favorite Lip Balms:
LAWLESS Forget The Filler Overnight Lip Plumping Mask
Want lips that look like you came fresh from the medispa *without* having to book a trip? This brand-new balm from LAWLESS will do just that. It's the balm version of the brand's bestselling Forget The Filler Plumping Gloss, so you can rest assured that your lips are going to look amazing the minute you wake up.
BITE Beauty Agave Lip Butter Balm
Mango seed butter, mango seed oil, and agave nectar give this brand-new balm from BITE a boost of hydration.
Youthforia Dewy Gloss Hydrating Lip Gloss
Want a gloss that does it all? Check out this one from cool-girl-approved brand Youthforia. A blend of plant-based oils in this gloss give your lips shine and comfort them as you wear it.
The Original 101 Ointment Multipurpose Superbalm
If you were on YouTube in the early 2010's, you know how popular Lano's range of lip products was—and is—today. Perfect under lipstick or as an overnight treatment, this ointment promises the smoothest lips, bar none.
Rare Beauty by Selena Gomez Stay Vulnerable Glossy Lip Balm
Gone are the days were glosses leave your lips feeling sticky and dry. Rare Beauty's Vulnerable Glossy Lip Balm has earned thousands of glowing reviews on #BeautyTok thanks to its silky smooth formula and nourishing feel.
Go To! Lips! Balm
This balm has a wonderfully luscious texture courtesy of jojoba oil, evening primrose, and vitamin E.
Lucas Papaw Ointment
This is the kind of product that works on just about every skin ailment, from burns to chapped lips. It's an all-around beauty lifesaver that you need to have on-hand.
Summer Fridays Lip Butter Balm
If there was an award for the best-smelling balm, this one from Summer Fridays would win. One Sephora reviewer even claimed it was the best balm they had ever used.
PATRICK TA Major Glow Softening Lip Masque
Celebrity makeup artist Patrick Ta's line dropped this glowy-as-hell lip balm to give you Instagram-filtered lips with one swipe.
Avène Cold Cream Nourishing Lip Balm
This super-smooth balm from French pharmacy-essential brand Avène is designed to reduce the effects that an allergic reaction from other products might cause. The inclusion of linoleic acid retains your lips' natural moisture, while Vitamin E nourishes your lips all day long.
TRULY Unicorn Fruit Lip Plumping Balm
How fun is this rainbow-hued Lip Plumping Balm from TRULY? But don't buy it for the colors alone: Shea butter adds hydration and peppermint oil stimulates blood flow that will make your lips look fuller.
Rituel de Fille Color Nectar Pigment Balm
This Color Pigment Balm can be used to add a touch of color to your lips, cheeks and eyes. The jelly texture is deeply hydrating, wherever you choose to apply it.
e.l.f Ride Or Die Lip Balm
This cheap-and-chic lip balm packs a bunch in four different shades. The formula is also 100% vegan and cruelty-free!
RMS Beauty Lip Skin Balm
RMS Beauty's range of good-for-you skincare includes this heavenly balm that is designed to minimize wrinkles on both your lips and your face.
Vaseline Lip Therapy Lip Balm Tin in Cocoa Butter
Some products really do just stand the test of time. Vaseline Lip Therapy Lip Balm Tin in Cocoa Butter is one of those products.
Sun Bum Tinted Lip Balm
Going somewhere warm sometime soon? Pack this sunscreen-balm hybrid for your trip.
Kiehl's Lip Balm #1
There's a reason this Lip Balm is called #1. With squalene, aloe vera, and vitamin E, this product soothes the lips while giving them the moisture they need. This product gives lips a juicy shine that means you can pack away your lip glosses, as an added bonus.
Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment Sunscreen SPF 15
Once upon a time, a lip stain and a lip gloss fell in love, got married, and created this baby tinted balm. The stain-gloss formula is perfectly hydrating, not at all sticky, and comes in 12 bright shades—ranging from pale rose to deep wine—that are so sheer and pretty, they'll look good on every skin tone.
Malin + Goetz Mojito Lip Balm
When I had an Ipsy subscription, I would sometimes get this lip balm—and I would treasure it down to the last drop. I’m convinced this was made with the secret to eternal youth because no matter how chapped my lips, are if I coat them liberally at night, I wake up with the softest, smoothest lips.
Rosebud Perfume Co. Rosebud Salve
This multitasking retro salve is easily the cultiest of cult-favorite beauty products (even Beyoncé has admitted to using it as a primer on her lashes), and reason is clear: You can truly slather it anywhere. At least, anywhere you want a rosy wash of color (and scent)—like over the apples of your cheeks, on the center of your eyelids, or even raked through thick eyebrows for shine and hold.
ChapStick Total Hydration with Sea Minerals Nourishing Lip Balm
Chapstick might be a classic, but this new formula takes the brand's promise of moisture to the next level. It's enriched with blue sea kale, sea algae, and aloe to moisturize and sooth lips.
Tula TULA x Christina Milian Lip SOS Lip Treatment Balm
A tinted lip balm is one thing, but a non-sticky tinted lip treatment is really stepping it up. Tula is known for its effective and clean skincare, but they really did something special with their lip treatments. This specific one from triple threat Christina Milian gives a subtle pink tinge with hydrating coconut oil as the main ingredient.
Carmex Daily Care Moisturizing Lip Balm
The Carmex classic has gotten an update, and is still as great as you remember from your childhood, that is if your mom also forced you to use this every winter like it was a cure. In fairness it practically is, and the updated scents and SPF protection are a nice bonus.
Tatcha The Kissu Lip Mask
You know that feeling when your lips have had it and your left with irritable, inflamed, cracky lips? Same—we've all been there. This jelly mask will be your lips' lifesaver because it's made of Japanese peach, which is known to soften, repair, and calm inflammation. Not to mention, the Japanese camellia oil uses omegas and vitamins to seal moisture.
Kosas Kosasport LipFuel Hyaluronic Lip Balm
Picture this: it's summer. You're playing some chic sport like tennis and you've got a cute 'lil outfit on. A tinted balm will elevate your look, but is still functional enough to rock while you sweat. This option is filled with hyaluronic acid and stays put so you can stay hydrated for longer.
Aquaphor Aquaphor Lip Repair Balm
Beyoncé uses Aquaphor on her face every night—need I say more? In an ELLE interview, Queen Bey said she lathered this all over her face at night to wake up with glowing skin: "I go to bed looking totally greasy." And you better believe my lips follow suit. This treatment is rich with moisture, so I like to apply a generous amount on my lips before bed.
Augustinus Bader The Lip Balm
Yes, it's a splurge, but it's one that's well worth it if you're a balm obsessee. The formula's plumping complex increases elasticity and fights loss of hydration, while vitamin E keeps the lips' moisture barrier intact.
ILIA Lip Conditioner
The packaging is as chic as it gets, and the formula inside is just as covetable: beeswax, avocado oil, and shape butter create a creamy, hyper-hydrating experience you can take with you.
Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask
PSA: Your lips deserve the same TLC you give to your face. This lip mask has spoiled my lips since the moment we met, and I have no plans on letting it go anytime soon. If you have naturally dry skin, you'll appreciate this fast-absorbing formula filled with antioxidants and vitamin C. The ingredient combo will sink right into your lips, providing you with long-lasting hydration and subtle shine. Even better? You don't only have to wear it overnight. In fact, I keep mine on my desk for when I want to treat my lips to a midday spa session.
La Mer The Lip Balm
Please don't hate me for including a $60 lip balm—I had to, it's that good. This is an opportunity for you to embrace "put your money where you mouth is," quite literally. La Mer has this innovate ingredient called "Miracle Broth," which is a mixture of sea kelp, minerals, and nutrients that has gone through a natural fermentation process to leave your lips feeling ridiculously smooth, soothed and hydrated. In other words, this lip balm is legit.
Dior Dior Addict Lip Glow
It's no secret that I'm obsessed with this balm. It's not too shiny or sticky, it doesn't smell like cupcakes and 2003, and it doesn't give you that gunky white line around your lips after a few hours. And, most importantly, it leaves your lips with the prettiest glow—I know, I know, but there's no better word for it—that sticks around through lunch (and second lunch).
Alexis Gaskin is a Freelance Beauty Writer for Marie Claire who can often be found painting her nails to match every outfit. She covers beauty, skincare, and fat fashion and will get distracted by any and all Halsey-related content or anything glittery.
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