Lip balm is bigger than ever. But which ones work – and are worth the spend? These, in our opinion, are the best balms in the business …
Lip balm is one of those things we take for granted on the beauty front – but I bet most of us have at least one knocking around our bags or pockets. I noticed that I have four on my bedside table alone. And I’d still splash out on a new Fresh Sugar Caramel one. There’s a pleasure in starting a new pot or tube of beautifully scented balm. And finding an old favourite in a coat pocket is nearly as good as a forgotten fiver.
I was listening to the Desert Island Discs archive the other day, my absolute favourite thing (though I do have one question: where is Cillian Murphy’s Desert Island Discs? He would be far more interesting than many people on here – Will Carling is a definite low point; if you can get beyond eight minutes of him talking, you’re doing better than me – and so into music, too. Haven’t they asked him? Did he turn it down? It’s an eternal mystery). Anyway, lip balm. Musician/writer Tracey Thorn chose a “moisturising lip balm” as her island luxury (“Being on a desert island without a lipbalm would be a nightmare”) and I felt this was a good call, especially as she likes one with a bit of colour in it. Thorn quotes Dusty Springfield’s line, “Always reapply your lipstick before a lead vocal take”, as advice to live by.
And apparently we’re all buying more lipbalm than ever – according to Klarna shopping data, sales are up by 25 per cent this year. Lip oil purchases have increased too, by over 30 per cent (I’m told that Clarins Lip Oil is a TikTok favourite; I know my teen always lights up when she sees a sample arrive, and it disappears pretty fast). Lipgloss is rather languishing, as we favour shiny oils and buttery balms.
We all have our favourites. I’ve always had a soft spot for ByTerry’s Baume de Rose, with its luxurious feel and scent, but it is an indulgence; I’m more likely to have a staple such as Dr Lipp or Dr Bronner’s in my pocket. For at home, try also Flying Wild’s natural Botanical Bee Balm, called Beeseline, a €6.50 multi-purpose balm made with love and care in Co Tipperary (www.flyingwild.ie).
Here are some brilliant balms that do the job beautifully, at prices from €4.95 and beyond:
And we’re looking forward to trying Q&A’s distinctive (and silicone-free) Liquorice Lip Oil, too (€4.95, at www.mcelhinneys.com, and at pharmacies nationwide – a love/hate flavour for sure.
The Body Shop Born Lippy Watermelon lip balm is here, for old times’ sake – remember their original pots of mint lipbalms that we all had in the eighties? They have rarely been bettered. Their current Watermelon one takes us back. €3, www.thebodyshop.com.
The Burren Perfumery do an entirely natural Beeswax and Honey lip balm (€10.50) that is really beautiful. Soft, moisturising, certified organic and a pleasure to use. www.theburrenperfumery.com.
Nuxe Reve de Miel Honey Lip Balm has been around for nearly 30 years. It’s a heavier texture, with honey and beeswax, €12.90 (there’s a stick version for €7.90), at pharmacies.
Grown Alchemists Vanilla and Watermelon lip balm (€18 at Brown Thomas) would make a stylish stocking-filler. Along with Arden 8hr Cream, the ones we’re using and rate most highly include: L’Occitane Shea Green Chestnut Lip Balm which has a fresh, clean scent and feels so comfortable and glossy, €10.50; ie.loccitane.com. Clarins Hydra-Essentiel Moisture Replenishing Lip Balm, €25.50, at pharmacies and stockists nationwide; a handy and trustworthy tube. Eve Lom Kiss Mix (€20), a classic that’s thicker than the others and with a great minty scent.
For a glam monochrome pot and great texture, treat yourself to Chanel Hydra Beauty lip balm, €36, at counters nationwide. Though we’d be tempted to spend a few euros more and get one of the No1 de Chanel Lip & Cheek Balms – the colours are fabulous, and they are really pigmented, so you only need the tiniest bit. Mix with your regular lipbalm for more moisture, and they’ll last for ages.
BLOW THE BUDGET
La Mer Lip Balm is so expensive at €68, but we can’t help loving it (and it’s €57 at theloop.ie at Dublin airport, so maybe wait until you’re travelling to pick one up; pretty good savings on the skincare too). They do a divine Lip Polish, too, but it’s also nearly €70, so we go instead for Rituals’ Fortune Balm Sugar Polish for €11.50. They are mainly sugar, after all.
Sisley Nutritive Lip Balm, €65 at counters nationwide, is another treat – it’s richly and creamily nourishing and indulgent.