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On Finding That Perfect Lip Balm

November 19, 2013


It’s that time of year again! That time when our lips crack, burn, peel, and bleed no matter how many humidifiers we use and how much water we consume. I first realized it was Chapped Lip Season when I ducked into Duane Reade to quench the thirst of my lower, now cracking, lip just the other day. I cruised over to the health aisle (why it’s there and not in the beauty aisle is still a curious choice to me), admittedly excited to pick out a new chapstick since I lose mine on a far too frequent basis. But once I got there, the choices, which I had imagined to be endless, were plucked over like the candy section before Halloween. Given my lips’ current state of dehydration, I was in no place to dawdle, so I grabbed a mini tub of medicated Carmex and made my way to check out. One application later and my lips were tingling with the same sensation one gets when jumping from a cold pool into a hot tub, aka uncomfortable at first and then gratifying. Though my lips were temporarily quenched, the satisfaction I was looking for was not there — this was not my lip balm.


Whenever I’m out with friends — girls and/or guys — someone inevitably asks, “Does anyone have any lip balm?” Guys usually fish into their pockets and pull out a standard stick of Chapstick™, whereas girls dive into their bags and resurface with a lip balm of which the brands are endless. One friend seems to always carry Khiel’s, while another swears by Nivea’s Milk & Honey stick. I have sampled both and can understand why they’ve become such staples in each of their handbags — they’re refreshing! But still, these are not my lip balms.


When it comes to a lip balm, I’m looking for something that’s going to coat and smother my lips. I want it to be thick and nourishing, last for hours, and not make my mouth look as though I’ve covered it in the glaze off a glazed donut. So far, my quest for the perfect lip balm has been satisfied twice. The first balm to make my lips feel as smooth as Silly Puddy was Aquaphor. This versatile ointment (god I hate that word) has been a longtime companion, keeping my lips hydrated through the harshest of winters and deadliest of sunburns. But carrying around a tube of the stuff never feels that glamorous. I know, it’s chapstick, who cares? But for some reason, I do. Unless in dire need of lip balm, no one gets excited when you bust out a tube of Aquaphor. It’s like the person who brings mixers to the party; it’s great it’s there, but it ain’t the booze! This brings me to the second, more glamorous lip balm (there is such a thing) which I am slightly embarrassed to admit I spent close to $30 on. Dior’s Crème de Rose Lip Balm feels like you’re applying rose-flavored butter to your lips. It’s thick, luscious, lasts for hours, and has everyone’s hands grabbing for it when you pull it from your bag, but it’s $27. Is it worth the dinero? Yes, absolutely, it’s probably more effective than Aquaphor. But, if you’re anything like me when it comes to chapstick, you risk the possibility of losing it. I have already done this…twice…and let me just say, it’s not easy to justify spending another $30 knowing full well that I’ll likely lose the tub of crème all over again. So, for now, I’m stuck with Aquaphor — a similarly satisfying, less exciting, but far more economical option.

However, even after finding these two “perfect” lip balms, I still test out every type that comes my way, convinced that there will be one, almighty chapstick that dominates the rest. So now I ask you, what lip balm do you use?

15 Comments leave one →
  1. Amy permalink
    November 19, 2013

    I swear by Aquaphor but I have to agree with you, it’s not that glamorous. I also like Eos, that little container is too cute!


    • November 19, 2013

      I’m a sucker for a good container, what can I say…

  2. Sarah permalink
    November 19, 2013

    I lose chapsticks all the time but my favorite is rosebud salve. I’ll have to try out the Dior one though, you make it sound divine!

  3. Sofia permalink
    November 19, 2013

    Chapstick is a total essential for me in winter especially when wearing matte lipstick- I swear by Austrialian balm Lucas’ Papaw Ointment!

    • Jessica permalink
      November 19, 2013

      That stuff is a miracle worker! Have to agree with you :)

    • November 19, 2013

      I love Papaw too but I lost mine…

  4. Nicole permalink
    November 19, 2013

    I have all of the Eos flavors!

  5. Kirsten permalink
    November 19, 2013

    I’m a Pomegranate Burt’s Bees girl all the way! But when I’m really super chapped I always go with Keihl’s…

  6. Danielle permalink
    November 19, 2013

    I don’t know if it’s available in the US, but I just moved to the UK and this stuff has become a serious addiction, it is seriously going in everyone’s Christmas stocking when I come home, cheap as can be the tiniest hint of color and as moisturising as aquaphor.

  7. Emily Proud permalink
    November 19, 2013

    Omg, I am obsessed with finding the perfect lip balm! My lips are always always dry.

    So far, I’ve discovered that balms made of mostly shea butter (instead of petroleum and other additives) work for me the best. The fewer ingredients the better. For this reason, I really like the Eos brand, but I also swear by my small tub of Pure Shea Butter - it’s thick and does the deed. Mine is L’Occitane but I’m sure there are even cheaper brands.,82,1,29193,261650.htm

  8. Jaclyn permalink
    November 20, 2013

    Burt’s Bees Baby!!

  9. Ally permalink
    November 22, 2013

    I find, that its important to switch it up! When I use the same one over and over my lips get dependent on it and it starts to wear off quicker and I just want more. I use aquaphor religiously before bed and after I wash my face in the am. After that its just whatever mood I am in (I usually carry a few different kinds on me….). Lately though, I’ve been super into this mens one by Jack Black - Intense Therapy Lip Balm SPF 25 With Natural Mint & Shea Butter . It is amazing, has spf and is tingly!

  10. Mona Elissa permalink
    November 23, 2013

    I’ve been hooked on Burt’s Bees for a year now. It works wonders in Midwest winter months!

  11. Rebecca permalink
    November 27, 2013

    My go-to (and hands down best drugstore balm, IMO) has always been Palmer’s Cocoa Butter (aka the Glue Stick), despite wanting to love others’ favorites such as Rosebud and Eos. But you have just fueled my new obsession. I went and picked up the Dior Crème de Rose yesterday and am in love. Thanks for the recommendation (I won’t tell my wallet).

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