Which lip balm is right for you?
Your guide to the best lips of your life
Let’s be honest: there’s a pretty good chance that lip balm was your first foray into the beauty world, so you probably think you have it covered. You just choose a flavour you like, whack it on, and then have soft lips, right? Well, yes and no. Because, while it’s true that they are pretty simple to use, knowing some of the subtle nuances between the types of lip product out there can actually help you have better lips than ever before. We break it down for you.
Use for: Exfoliation and smoothing dry, chapped lips.
The lowdown: Lip scrubs are a treatment product that you want to use once or twice a week (not daily) if your goal is soft lips. The idea with lip scrubs is exactly the same as a body or facial exfoliant: they gently buff off the outer, dead layers of skin to make way for fresh, soft, new skin. These are particularly great in the cooler months when your lips are especially dry (and often chapped), but are also fantastic as a prep product if you’re planning on wearing a bold lip shade where your pout will be on show. Just remember, the skin on your lips is very delicate so don’t over exfoliate, and when applying scrub gently in circular motions.
Use for: Everyday soft, smooth lips in need of hydration.
The lowdown: Generally lip balms are formulated with nourishing, soothing ingredients such as Vitamin E or shea butters that can help treat dry lips, and can be used as a go-to daily product. However, some are purely cosmetic so if you’re after hydration check your ingredients listing to make sure these are included in the formula. If your lips are particularly dry or sensitive, look for petroleum free and fragrance/flavour free varieties as these are less likely to irritate your lips.
Tinted Lip Balm:
Use for: A natural lip look with just a hint of colour.
The lowdown: A slightly more glam cousin to the regular lip balm, tinted balm works in much the same way but - you guessed it - with a hint of colour. Tinted lip balms are great for those days where you want to feel a little bit polished but still want a natural look. And, because they’re a lip balm they still have the hydrating and nourishing properties of the regular kind - but with just enough colour to qualify as “making an effort”.
Use for: Colour, shine and maybe even a bit of sparkle.
The lowdown: If you’re into makeup, lip glosses are probably what you graduated to after lip balm. A purely cosmetic lip product (so they won’t treat your lips), they were huge in the ‘90s (thanks in large part to Clueless) and have seen many iterations since, including a strong comeback at all the major fashion shows this year. Sometimes they have glitter or shimmer added to them, other times they’re opaque, and although they vary in pigment density they are designed to be sheer, so stick to a lipstick if you’re after a bolder statement.
Need a new lip balm love in your life? Shop a few of our faves below: