Disclaimer: I have something of a lip-balm obsession. Open up any one of my handbags or totes and you’re likely to find at least a handful of different balms floating at the bottom. The sheer quantity of lip balms in my possession might lead you to think that I’m fickle when it comes to choosing a favourite, but that’s far from the truth. While many different balms float my boat depending on the occasion—workdays call for something with all-day hydration whereas on weekends I gravitate towards something glitter-flecked or with a hint of colour—I do have a holy grail lip balm that I’d save over all of the others if I had to.
And I’m not alone. A quick poll of the other Who What Wear editors confirmed that there was more than one lip balm devotee in our midst—and every single editor had a ride-or-die lip balm that they wouldn’t be without.
Keep scrolling to see and shop the best lip balms ever, according to our editors.
Mica Ricketts, Beauty Contributor
I must have been at university when Nuxe Rêve de Miel became something of a buzzy beauty item amongst the early wave of beauty bloggers and YouTubers. I had never comprehended spending more than a couple of quid on a lip balm before, but what can I say? I was influenced.
Thankfully, though, this lip balm turned out to be my one and only. I apply it every single evening before bed, as its incredibly thick in texture. It uses antibacterial honey and nourishing shea butter to calm and nourish even the most chapped of lips, and I love that it doesn’t have any hint of shine or stickiness. Plus, if you’re in a pinch, then you can also use it to soothe dry cuticles and hydrate any parched areas of the skin.
Emma Spedding, Editor
“My music teacher used to always shout at our class if we used lip balm, as she seemed to find them even more offensive than our giggling and terrible use of the recorder. So it has put me off lip balm for my whole life, and I’ve never used it. She claimed lip balm ruined your lips (she’s wrong). My sister bought me three of the Glossier Balm Dot Coms for Christmas, and I am now obsessed. Yes, partly I’m drinking the Glossier cool-aid, and this is down to the baby-pink packaging and the divine smell, but I also love how these slightly stain your lips giving a more subtle look for the day than a lipstick.”
Shannon Lawlor, Beauty Contributor
“I have chronically dry lips. Seriously, my lips are drier than just about anyone else’s that I know. They are constantly uncomfortable, tight, sore and flaking. It’s needless to say, therefore, that I am a big ol’ fan of lip balm. The concept of leaving my house without a lip balm is totally alien. And because I hate my dry lip situation so much, I like to make my lip balms luxe and have them spark some joy. And I’m using the word luxe in its purest form. For my handbag, I keep a bullet of Rouge Hermès Baume de Soin to swipe on while I’m out and about. I get countless comments on how plump it make my lips look. Permanently attached to my dressing table though is By Terry Baume de Rose. It’s rich, luxurious and is by far the most softening lip balm I have ever tried (and I’ve tried them all).’
Hannah Almassi, Editor in Chief
“The reason I love this lip balm? It moisturises for hours on end, is teeny tiny but appears to last for a lifetime and is a great base for the Bobbi Brown lip crayon I love to wear but can sometimes feel drying. On its own, it’s sufficient too, thanks to the pinky hue.”
Nell Block, Assistant Editor
“It’s highly inconvenient that my favourite lip balm is so expensive. Make no mistake—this is a real investment for your lips, but, boy, is it worth it. The minty balm feels delicate when applied, there’s no full-on grease slick that ends up in my hair or on my clothes but somehow manages to hydrate my lips in an instant. Is it actual magic? I think so.”
Joy Montgomery, Shopping Editor
“I picked up this lip balm while passing through an airport. In all honesty, I didn’t put a great deal of thought into it but grabbed it and was on my way. But when it came to trying it out on the long-haul flight (surely the best test for a lip balm?), it passed with flying colours. I generally tend to buy tinted products that look nice but never deliver when it comes to moisturising your lips, however, Elizabeth Arden’s offering does exactly what it says on the tin: It kept them hydrated for those long eight hours. Couldn’t ask much more from a lip balm, really.”
Maxine Eggenberger, Acting Assistant Editor
“I’ve never been loyal to a particular lip balm; I always just slick on whichever happens to be in the bottom of the handbag I’m using. However, I’ve recently tried Chanel’s new Rouge Coco Baume, and while I don’t want to get ahead of myself, this might just be the lip balm that I commit myself to. In all fairness, it’s more of a lipstick/lip balm hybrid—a super hydrating formula with a buildable colour. As soon as I slicked it on my lips, I could immediately feel its nourishing effects; so much so, I couldn’t stop rubbing my lips together. In terms of colour, there are seven to choose from, ranging from translucent white to just-kissed cherry. My favourite, however, is a shade called Natural Charm, which, as soon as I applied it, seemed to give my entire face an instant radiance jolt. I can’t speak to its long-term effects just yet, but I’m certainly impressed by what I’ve seen so far.”
Shop Other Who What Wear-Favourite Lip Balms
The original, untinted version of this multipurpose balm is incredible, but this peachy one is even better. Not only is it great for hydrating and adding colour to lips but it also looks beautiful applied to cheeks as a glowy blush.
You might have thought this cannabis oil–infused lip balm was just a gimmick, but it’s great. It comes out clear on your lips (despite its green appearance), is deeply hydrating and has a refreshing minty fragrance.
This is a great basic balm that just does the job. It’s dense in texture so it creates a real barrier on dry lips. Great if you have a cold or your lips are particularly dehydrated.
Sure, this lip balm delivers on moisture, but it’s the iconic peachy-gold Orgasm tint that makes this one a real winner.
If you struggle with seriously dry, damaged lips that are prone to cracking and irritation, nothing will help quite the way that this balm does. It’s rich, nourishing and gives the skin on lips everything it needs to regain health.
If it’s juicy, plumping hydration you’re after, look no further than this low-fuss serum.
This is perhaps one of the best lip balm launches of recent years. It’s thick and nourishing enough to give lips a real moisturising drink and wonderfully buttery without being sticky and tacky.
Next up, everything you need to know about retinol and the 12 best serums to try now.