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.

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