Published on February 3, 2018

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Photography by AARON BENGOCHEA

We’re practically lip scientists now after the ingredient investigation we’ve conducted into Lip Balm 101. Let’s take all our new found knowledge and have some fun playing favorites. At Domino HQ, we swiped on every lip balm around, and below is our very favorites that we keep coming back to. Dry, cracked winter lips don’t stand a chance next to this crew.

The One That Tastes Great

Grown Alchemist Watermelon & Vanilla Lip Balm, $23

Purified watermelon extract gives this formula its scent (and tasty flavor), while shea butter, sweet almond, rose hip, and jojoba oils hydrate. And it’s certified organic to boot (Good enough to eat!). It’s a bit thicker than the standard balms, and gives a gorgeous slick shine.

The Organic All-in-One Balm

RMS Lip & Skin Balm, $25

Celebrity makeup artist Rose-Marie Smith hand-selected every single ingredient in here for their healing properties (coconut oil, beeswax, shea butter, and cocoa butter). It heals, protects, and hydrates both on the lips, and any other dry patch on the face too, its truly a universal heal-all balm. It goes on smooth and because it’s nice and light, you’ll have to reapply a bit more often, but your lips will begin to need less balm over time too because of the healing properties in it.

The Healing One

Lano Lanolips 101 Ointment, $19

Dense as the day is long, this pure lanolin healing ointment holds 200 percent of its weight in moisture (aka it’s gonna hydrate). As the name hints at, it’s a multi-purpose ointment that has a 101 uses (no really), like healing dry cuticles, heels, noses, paper cuts, insect bites… (we could be here all day counting the ways).

The Tinted One

Love + Sage Well Red Lip Balm, $12

Handmade in Brooklyn, Love + Sage is formulated with shea butter, coconut oil, and beeswax, and it glides on perfectly smooth. And impressively, this sheer red tint is made naturally from alkanet root (instead of faux coloring), and scented with essential oils of neroli and sweet orange.

The Gold Standard

Tatcha Camellia Gold Spun Lip Balm, $30

Cue Bruno Mars because there is “24 karat magic in the air”, or, uh, in the balm. This one has a bit of a jelly-like texture, which feels A+, and it gets an A for hydrating too, thanks to camellia oil and squalene (both are crazy rich in moisturizing vitamins and fatty omegas). The 23-karat gold flakes add a hint of shimmer, and makes the balm feel extraordinarily special. (Pro tip: this makes an epic, showstopper gift too. Or just keep it for yourself, your secret is safe with us.)

The Scientific One

37 Actives High Performance Anti-Aging and Filler Lip Treatment, $95

“My new patent-pending lip formula delivers plant-based actives to transform wrinkled and chapped lips to soft, plump and youthful lips over time,” says 37 Actives founder Dr. Macrene Alexiades. So, let’s get this straight: It hydrates in the short term, and plumps and softens lips in the long run? Literally sold. Active hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and coconut oil give it a silky smooth feel, with a pretty, shiny sheen.

The Mask Version

Bite Agave Lip Mask, $26

Nothing turns lips from dry, cracked mess to hydrated finesse like a lip mask, and this version is the best. Lonolin and jojoba oil hydrate and heal, while agave sweets the whole deal. It’s made for night time healing especially, but you can wear it all day long too (And it’ll stay on for hours and hours.).

The One That Feels So Great

Kopari Lip Glossy, $12

Goes on like silk, leaves an amazing glossy shine without any stickiness, and has a slight coconut scent. Coconut oil hydrates, while squalene mimics skin’s naturally occurring omega fatty acids. It’s a vacation in a tiny tube.

The Elevated Version of Burt’s Bees

Farmacy Honey Butter, $10

This is a real cocktail of best-of ingredients: superfood oil blend (olive, castor, coconut, sunflower, and jojoba), cocoa butter for moisture, and all things bees: honey, propolis, and royal jelly. This one feels great, glides on like a dream, zero shine, and very hydrating. Thanks, bee friends.

The Tesla of Lip Balms

Kjaer Weis The Lip Balm, $50

Certified organic, this balm is in the most gorgeous container that has ever happened. Brazilian nut oil deeply hydrates without heaviness, sunflower seed oil hydrates with Vitamin E, and chamomile calms redness and inflammation. But that packaging, folks! That price scaring you off a bit? Everything at Kjaer is entirely refillable, so that packaging is meant to stick around forever (you just refill the balm when it’s done).

The Natural Version of Balm Dotcom

Nuori Lip Treat, $25

Your friends avocado, shea, and cocoa butter combine to soften dry, dehydrated lips. And that packaging is a minimalist dream. “Our whole concept is built around freshness,” says Ann-Marie Ronlund Jensen, Brand Manager of Denmark-based brand NUORI. “Our freshly blended formulas namely offer you two distinct benefits: higher efficacy of ingredients and purer products. In other words, fresh skincare makes sense to us the same way fresh food does—it’s more nourishing and has less additives.”

Read more about winter skincare solutions:


Lip Balm 101: What Exactly Are You Putting On Your Lips?
The Exotic Ingredient That Will Save Your Winter Skin
How to Care For Your Hair in the Winter

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