Lip balm, a literature review


So I love lip balm. I put it on approximately one-hundred-sixty-seven times a day. I've tried a zillion lip balms and probably currently own two dozen varieties. And I have different lip balm preferences for different times/places. So, I thought I'd share with you my lip balm literature review.

By the bed

One of the most important lip balm areas, to my mind, is next to the bed. My lips get way dry at night. For this application, I want something long-lasting, easy-application, and not too sticky or shiny or fancy. Bonus points for nice smells and tastes, and extra bonus points for an easy-to-find-in-the-dark large applicator. My choice?

eos Lip Balm Smooth Sphere
eos smooth sphere.jpg

Several years ago, I got one of the then-new eos lip balm sphere as part of a swag bag at BlogHer, and I've been a fan since then. My original sphere was mint, but I have since switched to the lemon drop shown here--I just love the subtle smell and taste. The large applicator and non-rollingness of it make it perfect for my bedside table, and one sphere lasts forever. It's also a 95% organic product, not animal tested, petrolatum, phthalate, and paraben-free, available in tons of flavors, and CHEAP (around $3). What's not to love?

In my makeup bag

As part of my makeup application, there are two uses for lip balm. One is to go under lip sticks or pencils, the other is to wear on its own. The second category is general tinted, the first is not. For untinted balm to wear under other things, I like:

Pangea Organics Lip Balm
pangea lip balm.jpg

Like the eos, I love that the Pangea has a nice smell (I use the Italian Red Mandarin shown here) and a bigger-than-average applicator. It doesn't tend to get lost among my makeup clutter. It also provides a really nice, non-sticky base layer. It's also vegan, mostly organic, and free of petroleum or synthetics. It's a bit more expensive, at about $12, but lasts forever (I've had the same tube for at least two years).

For tinted balms, it's hard for me to choose, but there are two big stand-outs:

Laura Mercier Hydratint SPF 15
laura mercier hydratint.png

I just discovered Laura Mercier Hydratint and so far I LOVE it. It has great color choices (I have the rose tint, which is medium pink), it's very hydrating, and it has good staying power. It doesn't have much for a scent or a taste, which I know is important to some people. I like that it's SPF 15, too, as I'm trying to get higher SPF in all of my daily use products. It is sheer color, so if you are looking for drama, it's probably not the best bet. It's also on the spendy side at $20, since it's kinda small (regular chapstick size) and has decidedly un-fancy packaging. It actually reminds me a whole lot of Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Balm, which is a lot cheaper at $7, but I can't wear because it contains lanolin.

Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment SPF 15
fresh lip balm.jpg

I've been a fan of Fresh Sugar lip balm's for a while now, and have recently become very attached to the new coral one. My all-time favorite, though, is the rose one shown here. Fresh is just as moisturizing as Laura Mercier, with slightly more saturated color. I also really like the packaging--the harder-shelled twist-top tube can stand being knocked around in my purse. Like the Laura Mercier, it's SPF 15, and it has decent lasting power, though re-application after hot coffee is necessary. It's spendy, though--$22.50.

In my purse

It would be a fat lie for me to tell you that there is only one lip product in my bag at any given time. However, there is one that is ALWAYS there:

pūr~lisse pur~lip comfort
purlisse lip balm.jpg

I got my first tube of pūr~lisse from my first BeautyFix bag, and I've been using it since then. I think this is tube #3. I like it for my purse because it's a very shiny balm, so I can put it on over anything to get a freshly glossy look. It's also really moisturizing, though it doesn't have good staying power, and relatively smell and taste-free. It's $16, and doesn't last as long as the harder balms do, but I don't use it that often and it's great for those times I need it.

In my desk

For my desk, I tend to rotate through lip products depending on what I like at a particular moment. One thing I always have, though, is something I can put on before a meeting if I unexpectedly need to look a bit more put together. It's not exactly a balm, but I'm including it anyway:

Clinique Almost Lipstick
clinique almost lipstick.jpg

Clinique's Almost Lipstick, in Black Honey, is a bit of an all-time beauty blogger favorite. It's one of those "everybody should have this!" things. And I can't disagree. It's somewhere between tinted balm and lipstick, goes on easily, and is a perfect color for "I'm presentable, but I'm not really trying or anything." Honestly, I think it's a little bit boring, which is why it's desk lip product and not something I wear often, but it's good to have in a pinch. It's also a great quality product at a decent price, selling for $15 for a tube that will likely last you (or me, at least) forever.

And there you have it! A million lip balms, and those are my favorites. Are you a lip balm addict? What are your favorites?


Thanks for the overview. Lip balm is one of those things that can easily take over your purse, if you're me, and I have a hard time narrowing it down.

Shockingly, I have yet to try the Eos (the packaging put me off, actually). I LOVE Pangaea's balm, though I use the Egyptian Fennel with Grapefruit and Sweet Orange. It does last forever.

And I've found the new Revlon Color Burst Lip Butter in Fig Jam to fill the same role Clinique's Black Honey used to for me. I'll probably be rebuying, since it's cheap.

That eos product looks awesome...I'm going to bookmark that.

I, too, have the clinique black honey, but I usually put it on over a neutral lipstick, as it shows flakes like crazy. I do love it still, though. :)

Thanks for this list. I always get the women in my life something (very) small for Mother's Day and I think the eos lip balm is perfect!

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