The Absolute Best Lip Balms, According To Someone Who Has Tried Them All

I put every formula I could get my hands on to the test and found eight worth splurging on.
The Absolute Best Lip Balms, According To Someone Who Has Tried Them All

Nothing will divide a group of beauty lovers like asking them what their favourite lip balm is. It's the first thing many of us reach for in the morning, and the last step in our nighttime routines.

I, for one, can't commit to a single formula. From old-school waxy sticks to jars to squeeze tubes to lipstick-worthy bullets, I'll happily swipe on any new lip balm that lands on my desk. While you're bound to find handfuls of half-used tubes in every single one of my bags, there are some products I go back to again and again. Here are my MVPsthe best lip balms for every occasion.

Best lip balm for on-the-go

Burt’s Bees Ultra-Conditioning Lip Balm, $9 for a pack of 2


A Burt's Bees lip balm for an article on the best lip balms for every occasion.

This unassuming stick may look like a run-of-the-mill drugstore balm, but it packs a seriously impressive amount of hydration. Made with the brand’s signature beeswax to condition and protect, as well ultra-hydrating shea, coco and kokum butters for a creamy consistency, it deeply hydrates without leaving a hint of stickiness behind.

It's a perfectly sized lip balm for chapped lips to slip into a small clutch or a pocket, making it a great on-the-go solution for my constantly chapped lips.

Best lip balm for makeup prep

Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask in Sweet Candy, $33


A pink jar of Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask in Sweet Candy lip balm.

No lip balm round-up would be complete without Laneige’s beloved (and ultra-viral) sleeping mask—and it's absolutely worth the hype. It contains coconut oil, shea butter and murumuru seed butter, as well as vitamin C and a patented antioxidants-rich complex. Though it’s touted as an overnight lip treatment, I use it in the morning to prep my pout, whether that’s red lipstick, a tinted lip oil or a no-makeup day.

It comes in the OG Berry scent as well as Vanilla, Gummy Bear and—my favourite—Sweet Candy, with a few limited-edition drops throughout the year.

Best lip balm for overnight hydration

Tatcha The Kissu Lip Mask, $39


A jar of pink Tatcha The Kissu Lip Mask lip balm pictured with a gold spatula.

Hands down one of the most moisturizing balms on the market, Tatcha's cruelty-free lip mask lives on my nightstand. It contains Japanese peach extract to calm irritation, three rose extracts to smooth and camellia oil to nourish.

The thick, jelly-like texture forms a protective layer on lips and it's the only overnight treatment I've found that actually stays put throughout the night without absorbing too quickly or smearing on my pillowcase.

Best lip balm for a pop of colour

Dior Dior Addict Lip Glow Color Reviver Balm in Rosewood, $54


A tube of Dior Dior Addict Lip Glow Color Reviver Balm in Rosewood lip balm with a pink product swatch.

When lipstick feels like a chore but I still want to feel put-together, I turn to this balm. It contains lip-loving ingredients like cherry oil, shea butter and waxes, but it also provides a hint of a tint that lasts a surprisingly long time.

It comes in an array of shades—including Rosewood, a perfect barely-there pink hue—and it gives lips a glowy, plumped-up look. The luxe packaging doesn't hurt either; I feel incredibly bougie pulling this out of my bag.

Best lip balm for a mess-free application

Fenty Skin Plush Puddin’ Intensive Recovery Lip Mask, $33


A beige jar of Fenty Skin Plush Puddin’ Intensive Recovery Lip Mask lip balm, shown with an arrow pointing to the twist-up packaging.

This Rihanna-approved formula is a conditioning and plumping blend of coconut, castor and jojoba oils, pomegranate, vitamin E and Barbados cherry extract. It’s thick and well-suited to overnight application, but it's also totally wearable during the day thanks to a clear, glossy finish.

I love that it immediately makes unsightly dry patches disappear and that it stays put through chatty meetings and coffee breaks. I’ve even used it on my extra-dry cuticles in a pinch. The mess-free, twist-up dispenser means I don't have to stick my finger into a jar—genius!

Best lip balm for a plumper pout

The Inkey List Tripeptide Plumping Lip Balm, $18


A tube of the The Inkey List Tripeptide Plumping Lip Balm for an article about the best lip balms for every occasion.

Give this gentle balm a try if you're looking for plush lips without the sting of a traditional plumping product. It's packed with an array of hydrating butters and seed oils for hydration, plus plumping peptides and filling spheres.

Best lip balm for a luxurious vegan option

Glossier Balm Dotcom Universal Salve in Wild Fig, $19


A squeeze tube of Glossier Balm Dotcom Universal Salve in Wild Fig lip balm with a pink product swatch.

I’ve recently rekindled my relationship with the bestselling Balm Dotcom. I’m not sure why I ever put the beeswax-and-castor oil concoction aside, but the new vegan formula with its revamped applicator is permanently back in my rotation.

I much prefer the 2.0 balm's thinner consistency and the slanted tip that makes it easier to apply straight from the tube. I’ve been loving Wild Fig, a tinted addition to the permanent collection that imparts lips with a wash of colour.

Best lip balm for intensely chapped lips

U Beauty The Plasma Lip Compound in Universal, $88


A tube of U Beauty Plasma Lip Compound for an article on the best lip balms for every occasion.

Formulated with peptides and ceramides to repair and boost collagen production as well as salicylic acid to exfoliate, this lip treatment is like a supercharged serum for your lips. It soothes, hydrates and gives my pout an instant glow-up. It also works overtime to banish chapped spots by resurfacing them.

I love the cooling metal applicator. The formula is thicker than a typical lip balm, but it applies like a dream and feels nourishing for hours, though I guarantee you'll want to reapply again sooner.

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