Some tingle, some shine, and some shimmer — but one thing all tinted lip balms should do is hydrate. And while there are some days when we want ultra-pigmented, matte color, sometimes there’s nothing better than a barely-there balm with a hint of sheen. Lest you believe that tinted lip balms are just lipstick’s kid sister, think again: The tinted lip balm has evolved since the humble Lip Smackers days (definitely nothing wrong with those, though) with makeup brands ranging from drugstore to prestige launching their own semi-pigmented hydrating sticks, salves, and more.
There are the legacy formulas like Smith’s retro tin of rosy goodness and Fresh’s fan-favorite lip treatment, but the nouvelle vague of lip balms are every bit as chic: Here’s looking at you, Dior Lip Glow and Pat McGrath Labs Lip Fetish.
And while many lipsticks nowadays, be they liquid or traditional bullet form, are packed with good-for-you ingredients, nothing compares to the ultra-nourishing feel of a balm. Use them to prep lips before going over with lip color (just make sure to let the formula fully absorb first), or wear them solo for a sheer veil of pigment.
Read on for 23 of our all-time favorites, which we’ll be dutifully applying and reapplying all year round.
Here’s the lowdown on how to subscribe to Allure’s print edition for more beauty routines, recommendations, and features.
All products featured on Allure are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.