Ah, lip balms. How do we love thee…? Let us count the ways. You’re great for lips, of course, but a good lip balm can also – at a pinch – be smoothed into cuticles or dry patches to soften them on-the-go. And we love lip balms as the base for a really strong, bold lipcolour – softening the effect, while softening our lip skin. Our perennial recommendation is to invest in several balms – you could do worse than buy every single one of these winners – and slip them into every coat pocket or handbag you possess, so as never to be without one. (Meanwhile, without blowing our own trumpet here too loudly, we’re thrilled to report that the only product Beauty Bible has ever put our name to – a chubby stick of lip-caring wonderment available exclusively from Victoria Health here – won an Award!)
GOLD and BEST NATURAL AWARD Lanolips Lemonaid Lip Treatment
Lanolips' USP is that their entire range (which is created in Australia by the dynamic Kirsten Carriol) is based on lanolin, a tried-and-trusted skin nourisher whose structure closely resembles our skin's own lipids. This little tube of whipped balm is a thirst-quencher for dry lips, slicking on via an angled dispenser to deliver a zestily lemony treat. Lanolips also recommend it as a deep treatment for flakiness: after showering, gently rub a towel across lips to exfoliate, then 'layer Lemonaid on thick'.
OUR TESTERS' COMMENTS:
‘This lemon-flavoured product is just like lip gloss and does what it says on the tube! My lips get very dry all year round and this is very hydrating and leaves a nice shiny look on your lips. It lasts two to three hours on my lips’ • ‘I love it. You can totally get enough out from the little tube with the angled nozzle and if you squeeze too much then gently sqoofing the tube back out will suck it in again. It tastes like lemons/lemonade and I really really liked it! It was quite fresh, not sweet or sickly. My lips get very dry and I use lip balms all the time usually every 15 - 30 minutes all day but I could go longer without reapplying this as it stayed on and actually moisturised my lips really well. By the end of two weeks they definitely felt better too’ • ‘I love that the balm has a slight shimmer, without being obvious. The flavour is really natural and nice, and the packaging is really good too. It feels like such good quality on the lips!’ • ‘Lovely moisturising product: I used it after days at the beach when my lips were really dry and after an initial tingle it helped a lot. The pretty shimmer looks great with some tinted moisturiser in the summer – make up done!’ • ‘Nice looking product, which is relatively inexpensive. Would make a good stocking filler for people at Christmas as it’s attractively boxed in a retro style’ • ‘Very moisturising. I use every night as I have dry lips due to cancer of the oesophagus and not being able to swallow, eat or drink. The Lanolips Lemonaid Lip Treatment was a lovely product to use and could be recommended to the cancer units in hospitals and used by the patients to alleviate dryness.’
£8.99 for 12.5g - click to buy
SILVER (JOINT) AWARD Beauty Bible Lip Balm (Aloe+Vitamin E)
Well, we are very, very proud that we scooped an Award in our own trials!!! We were introduced to this all-natural, rich formula by our friend Gill Sinclair at Victoria Health, and instantly fell in love. Frankly, the best lip balm WE had ever tried – and so we decided to launch it (with a little help from Gill, who stocks it exclusively on the VH site.) Chunkily-shaped, it glides on beautifully, generously delivering its healing, soothing blend of organic shea butter, vitamin E and aloe vera. We keep one in every pocket of our coats, and literally don't leave home without it. But don't just trust us on this – listen to what the testers had to say about our own much-loved product.
OUR TESTERS' COMMENTS:
‘I liked this better than any other balm I have tried as it wasn't at all sticky but properly moisturised my lips, rather than just sitting on the surface. Despite this very cold wintery weather, they have stayed soft and lush looking and feeling’ • ‘A fab product. I loved this balm, which moisturised my lips excellently over the winter cold months, quickly improving the texture and softness. It changed the appearance of my chapped lips. I was able to put lipstick on and it didn't ‘bleed’ after’ • ‘A surprisingly good lip balm without any nasty mineral oil or petrol-derived products, which can cause rebound dryness in my experience. Being fatter than many other stick salves, it is quick to apply as well. I would buy this again without hesitation’ • ‘My lips are finally healed after two months of using this rather than products with mineral oil, which I now know my lips do not like. They were in such a state that I used this and another free from brand regularly during the day and even at night’ • ‘The product is a thicker texture feel on the lips, which felt unusual at first, but I grew to love it. It stays in place much better than other salves I have used.’
£6 for 8g - click to buy
SILVER (JOINT) AWARD Tropic Lip Fudge Plumping Lip Conditioner
This is a little dippable pot of creamy, minty balm which Tropic tell us is 'bursting with 26 lip-loving plant extracts'. (Tropic is inspired by founder Susie Ma's childhood in Cairns, North Queensland – but the brand is actually proudly Surrey-based.) Those lip-friendly extracts include sea fern and omegas 6 and 9 for plumping, super-softening and conditioning açaí sterols and wheat cerasomes, plus mango wax and vitamins C and E, to repair and protect. It's quite thick in texture (hence the name 'Fudge', and actually comes in two tinted options – Rosewood and Pink Guava – but our testers slicked on the Clear version.
OUR TESTERS' COMMENTS:
‘10/10: I will be buying this lovely smelling, slightly toffee-tasting balm in its little glass pot, which made my lips feel and look better; they are now in good condition and look plumper’ • ‘Top marks! Regular use has improved the appearance of my lips, they are fuller, do not peel any more and fine lines are less visible; there is also a slightly improvement around my lips, with fewer fine lines and smoother skin. I really enjoyed using this product’ • ‘I loved, loved, loved this product. It felt like a guilty secret! I used it during terrible weather and my lips immediately felt luxurious, hydrated and rich. It lasted for a few hours, which is pretty impressive considering I was in a heated building and then a snowy exterior’ • ‘A real old-fashioned treat; felt as thought I was eating an enormous piece of delicious fudge! Tropic is very clear about the ingredients in their products. I have a lot of trust in the brand and am happy this was natural and healthy for my lips’ • ‘10/10! This lip fudge is a little pot of very moisturising goodness and I definitely don't want to be without it in my beauty bag. The taste and texture certainly make me want to apply it frequently.’
£12 for 10ml - click to buy
SILVER JOINT AWARD Clinique Pep-start Pout Restorer night mask
It's funny, isn't it, that we apply night creams – but often go to sleep bare-lipped? So Clinique opted to harness skin's ability to regenerate overnight with this overnight mask, which actually feels like a plumping, moisturising balm, dispensed via a tube with a rounded top. (Of course, the hypoallergenic product can be worn by day, too – and they promise it's a great prep for lipstick.)
OUR TESTERS' COMMENTS:
‘I was very pleased with this balm and would buy it to replace my current one, as it is much better at moisturising my lips. After a fortnight of using overnight, I can definitely say that my lips were in better condition than before. A good lip balm is very important to me as, in addition to what ageing does, I take medications that dry the lips and it is important for me to keep them moist’ • ‘Love the appealing packaging on this product, so cute and girly in its light pink packaging. The bottle size is a perfect size for pockets/handbags/makeup bags/purse. It felt so comfortable on my lips and amazingly moisturising with a luxurious consistency. I’m also super happy with the sheen/gloss, which stays put for hours. It could happily replace my lipstick during the day’ • ‘This product is definitely my new Best Friend. When I applied it every night I woke the next day and my lips felt very nourished and also plumper. I could still feel it on my lips so it had lasted eight hours’ • ‘My lips were properly moisturised and didn’t peel as much as usual’ • ‘This is a cute lip product. I mainly used it as a regular lip balm. It's easy to apply (I apply on my finger rather than direct on my lips) and I like the texture. It feels comfortable on the lips and has left them softer, nicely moisturised but not sticky and I haven’t had any flaking’ • ‘Brilliant stuff! I love it. My lips improved overnight and I will buy again’ • ‘I noticed a massive improvement in the condition of my lips in autumn/winter, which is very impressive.’
£16 for 10ml - click to buy
SILVER (JOINT) AWARD balmkind Alpine Rose & Lysine Lip Balm
A rich moisturiser with a hint of glossy sheen, this non-sticky lip balm comes from a sustainably-focused brand born of the belief that 'you should look after your lips and skin equally'. (And actually, the SPF version of this product won Gold in that category – read about it here.) The key ingredients are organic Alpine rose, which is rich in phytonutrients (the plant has to work very hard to defend itself at high altitudes), along with lysine, an important amino acid. These both have anti-viral properties, suggesting this may well be a good choice for anyone prone to cold sores. It has an angled tip dispenser.
OUR TESTERS' COMMENTS:
‘Rich, non-sticky gloss type balm that melts in to lips straight away and is very comforting to wear, felt really nourishing; lips immediately hydrated and supple; I have quite dry lips where the skin thickens and peels and this improved the texture immediately and over time, I needed to apply less and less of this product as my lips stayed hydrated and smooth’ • ‘10/10. This is the only balm I will ever use now. It seemed to glide on to my lips from the very practical doe-foot applicator tip, making them feel really soft and so comfortable. It have tried numerous lip balms throughout my life and have always been disappointed; I cannot believe that I have now found one that actually does what it says and is very economical’ • ‘It promised to nourish, soothe and protect my lips and it has done all three. I will definitely buy this product’ • ‘It lasted longer on my lips than expected, even enduring drinks. As it improved the condition of my lips over time, I needed to reapply less frequently’ • ‘The formula is brilliant as a lip treatment conditioner – far too good to be marketed as a mere ‘balm’! It’s much more like skincare. It does spread from the lips to the skin around your mouth, which lets that area benefit. But a good thing it's a colourless product’ • ‘A wholesome unfussy product that does the job of moisturising dry lips exceptionally well. It repairs dry and flaky lips and comforts chapped areas, even soothing a little dry sore red but at the side of my mouth. It gives a very comforting and protected feeling.’
£13 for 10ml - click to buy
BRONZE AWARD Twelve Beauty Hyaluroil Lip Treatment
The priciest of the winners, here we have a rollerball oil treatment from a 'clean' beauty brand – created by an expert in pharmacy, botany and cosmetology – which glides onto lips to deliver its powerful cargo of antioxidants and nutrients. It delivers up white genepi extract (anti-free radical), imperatoria leaf (anti-inflammatory), soothing, anti-irritant mallow flower and something called 'butterfly bush extract', which we're told also has a soothing action. Hyaluronic acid, konjac root powder, organic cupuaçu, argan and sunflower oils also feature, in addition to vitamin C. (Our friend Trinny Woodall is a fan, and has raved about it in one of her bathroom videos!)
OUR TESTERS' COMMENTS:
‘Perfect treatment for winter: very nourishing and plumping, not sticky which is important if you have long hair; very easy to swipe the roller ball applicator over lips a couple of times. I used it as a morning treatment before make up, it worked very well, leaving lips plumped and moisturised’ • ‘The best treatment I ever used (apart from dr.Lipp); I love the applicator, the thick glossy oil formula – I love hyaluronic acid in skincare - and the effects. I keep it on my vanity and use it every time I pass’ • ‘Lips definitely looked hydrated, glossy and fuller’• ‘My lips seem plumper and the condition improved; the lines that would usually show after applying a long last lipstick are less defined. Best seen as an ongoing treatment for lips’ • ‘I loved this very hydrating and softening oil, which I used in flight. The effect is so lovely I could use it on its own to make my lips look good’ • ‘When I am stressed my lips get really dry but this has really helped. In fact when I went out for lunch recently I panicked I had lost it. (It was okay, I found it…)’ • ‘My lips feel softer and my long-lasting lipstick seems to last longer - because my lips aren't as dry and the colour clings better.’
£28 for 10ml - click to buy