The best lip balms for every budget and need this winter

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The best lip balms for every budget and need this winter

By Rachelle Unreich

Celebrity make-up artist Chantelle Baker knows that women can become obsessed with lip balms. She experienced it first hand when she did actor Sarah Jessica Parker’s make-up.

“It was a Mecca’s Lip De-Luscious, with a pink undertone in the colour. When I popped it on her lips, she grabbed my hand and said, ‘What is that?’ I told her she could have it!”

In winter, hard-working lip balms are especially sought-after, since cold weather plays havoc with lips and they become prone to cracking, drying and chapping.

Baker says she looks for something that’s “not too thick and sticky, but is quite creamy and light.”

In winter, one still needs an SPF she says, even more so if overseas travel is on the cards.

Should it be tinted? “I prefer something with a berry undertone. It’s about having a little bit of colour and conditioning the lips.”

For beauty writer Gemma Watts, ingredients are the key. “If a lip balm is going to work for my lips, which do tend to be dry, it has to have lanolin in it, which I know doesn’t appeal to everyone because it’s not a vegan ingredient. For me, lanolin is literally the only ingredient that does the job.”

If something has hyaluronic acid in it, more the better: “Hyaluronic has the ability to hold up to 1000 times its own weight in moisture, so it really helps the skin to draw a bit of moisture in,” Watts says.

By contrast, she stays away from petroleum jelly. “Nothing against it, but for me it’s just more of a barrier. I would use it if I was going somewhere super windy and my lips were already in good condition, but I don’t find that it actually improves the condition of the lips. It just keeps the environment out.”

Credit:iStock; Supplied.


The top lip balms for winter? Take your pick.

The cult favourite
Mecca Cosmetica: Original Lip De-Luscious with SPF25 $30

Not only was this the pot that Baker used on SJP, but it’s a favourite for its SPF protection, repair abilities and soft pink sheen. It comes in a stick too, but those in-the-know prefer the pot.

The best basic
Lanolips: 101 Ointment $14.95

Many lip balms promise fancier things, but beauty experts keep coming back to this basic. “It’s a great multi-tasker as well,” says Watts. “I use it to set my eyebrows, and you can use it on your cuticles too. You can do all sorts of things with it.”


The expert
Augustinus Nader: The Lip Balm $58

For Baker, this is the luxury, must-have lip balm, which “does all the wonderful things for your lips.” It uses their own technology and plant-based butters (it’s vegan) to plump lips while also softening and replenishing them. But it ain’t cheap.

The workhorse
Paula’s Choice: Hyaluronic Acid + Peptide Lip Booster $28

Marketed as an anti-ageing treatment for the lips, it promises to smooth fine lines and flaking while preventing moisture loss. It uses hyaluronic acid, peptides and squalene as part of its magic.

The traditional
Elizabeth Arden: Eight Hour Cream Intensive Lip Repair Balm $30

With the scent of eucalyptus and the ability to give your lips a slight sheen, this is a rich formulation which packs a moisture punch.

The new kid
Sweet Caroline: No. 3 Lip & Eye Balm $49

Boasting a mix of Bulgarian rose, vitamin C and sea buckthorn as its superpowers, this balm uses antioxidants to either nourish the lips or hydrate the eyes. Launched earlier this year.

The traveller
We Are Feel Good Inc: Cocoa Lip Balm SPF 50+ $19.95

If your Instagram is getting a workout this winter with a holiday abroad, this balm offers extreme protection, and is up to four hours water-resistant.

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