Your Chapped Lips Will Love These Hydrating Tinted Lip Balms

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If you’ve ever heard that beauty is pain, tinted lip balms put that notion to rest. No mirror? No problem. Tinted balms are super easy to apply and are a low maintenance option for a pop of color. With all of the hydration and nourishment you need found in these magical little pots, tubes, and sticks, you can give your pout some TLC while taking your look up a notch.

Whether you love a less-is-more, cool girl kind of look or prefer to go full-blown glam with every given opportunity, a tinted lip balm should surely be in your beauty cabinet. "The best part about quality tinted lip balms is that you’re getting the best of both worlds," says makeup artist Tai Ceme. "You'll get lasting, buildable color, plus a lip treatment.”

From luxury brands to drugstore options and somewhere in between, we’ve got you covered. Read on for the best-tinted lip balms on the market.

Best Overall: Clinique Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm

Clinique Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm

Courtesy of Sephora

What We Like
  • Creamy, emollient texture

  • Pigmented

  • Buildable

What We Don't Like
  • Shade range could be expanded

The Clinique chubby stick was my personal first-introduction to a bit of color play as a teen—it was good then, and it’s good now! With 15 satin-finish shades ranging from sheer and natural to bold and vibrant, there are plenty of hydrating options to choose from. The jojoba oil, mango butter, and shea butter create a rich, creamy texture that goes on smooth for easily buildable color.

Coverage Level: Sheer | Finish: Satin | Shades: 15 | Size: 0.1 oz | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: No

Best Budget: e.l.f Cosmetics Ride or Die Lip Balm

e.l.f Cosmetics Ride or Die Lip Balm
What We Like
  • Moisturizes

  • Leaves lips feeling plump

  • Inexpensive

What We Don't Like
  • Difficult to get out of the tube

This tinted lip balm checks a lot of boxes. We’re talking vegan, cruelty-free, and intensely moisturizing for a great budget price. The rich, heavyweight balm is infused with jojoba oil meant to repair chapped lips, promising to leave them plump and hydrated. You’ll also love the sheer wash of color and natural fragrance.

Coverage Level: Sheer | Finish: Satin | Shades: 4 | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best Drugstore: Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Balm

Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm

Courtesy of CVS

What We Like
  • Provides long-lasting hydration

  • Pretty shades

  • Byrdie Clean

What We Don't Like
  • Color could last longer

No need to break the bank for a hydrating, all-natural smooch of color! Look no further than your local drugstore. With shea butter and botanical waxes to keep lips moisturized for up to eight hours, according to the brand, you’ll definitely want to keep this handy stick in your purse or tote. The shimmer-free shade range includes flattering shades of pinks, reds, and violets—perfect for an everyday look.

Coverage Level: Sheer | Finish: Satin | Shades: 5 | Size: 0.2 oz | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best Splurge: Dior Addict Lip Glow Color Reviving Lip Balm

dior-addict-lip-balm

Courtesy of Nordstrom

What We Like
  • Luxe packaging

  • Nice range of shades

  • Gives a subtle sheen

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

Bring on the glow with this ultra-hydrating lip balm. It has Color Reviver technology to react to your lips’ moisture level to release active ingredients. Long story short, it’s the balm that keeps on giving. The formula is enriched with mango butter and cucumber loofah meant to moisturize all day long and leave a natural flush of color unique to you.

Coverage Level: Sheer | Finish: Satin | Shades: 11 | Size: 0.1 oz | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: No

Best Hydrating: Maybelline Baby Lips Moisturizing Lip Balm

Maybelline Baby Lips Moisturizing Lip Balm in Quenched
What We Like
  • Inexpensive

  • Fun flavors and colors

  • Lips feel soft

What We Don't Like
  • Could be more pigmented

Kiss chronically chapped lips goodbye with this healing lip balm. It's been clinically tested and has had proven results for smoother, better-looking lips, according to the brand. Plus, it protects lips for up to a full eight hours, and of course (you know why we’re here), it comes in beautiful shades of pink for rich, natural-looking color.

Coverage Level: Sheer | Finish: Satin | Shades: 5 | Size: 0.2 oz | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: No

Best Shade Range: Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment SPF 15

Fresh Sugar Lip Balm SPF 15

Courtesy of Sephora

What We Like
  • Multiple finishes available

  • Intensely pigmented shades

  • SPF 15

  • Lips feel smooth and hydrated

What We Don't Like
  • Not Byrdie Clean

There’s a reason why this smoothing lip balm is known as a cult favorite. It has the sun protection you need, the hydration your lips crave (hello grapeseed oil!), and the sheer, buildable color you want. The formula is infused with sugar meant to prevent moisture loss, so you can count on long-lasting hydration. It also comes in 15 shades with a classic satin or shimmer finish, so you have plenty of options.

Coverage Level: Sheer | Finish: Satin | Shades: 15 | Size: 0.2 oz | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: No

Best Long-Lasting: Honest Beauty Tinted Lip Balm

Honest Beauty Tinted Lip Balm
What We Like
  • Glides on easily

  • Lips feel hydrated

  • Buildable

What We Don't Like
  • Scent could be improved

This hydrating formula slips on easily and stays on for up to eight hours of hydration. It’s infused with avocado oil meant to leave your lips feeling smooth and moisturized, but never sticky or waxy. Whether you’re looking for a soft nude or something more vibrant, swipe it on for a sheer look or keep on building for more noticeable color.

Coverage Level: Sheer | Finish: Satin | Shades: 7 | Size: 0.1 oz | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best Subtle Color: NARS Afterglow Lip Balm

NARS Afterglow Lip Balm
What We Like
  • Provides long-lasting hydration

  • Muted, pretty shades

  • Nourishing formula

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

When it comes to ingredients, color pay off, moisture, and texture, this comforting lip balm fires on all cylinders. It comes in six universally flattering colors, no matter your skin tone, and it protects and conditions your lips hours after application. This is also a great product to introduce yourself to new colors. Curious about a red shade but not quite ready for the real deal? Turbo is a great place to start.

Coverage Level: Sheer | Finish: Radiant | Shades: 8 | Size: 0.1 oz | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: No

Runner-Up, Best Subtle Color: BLK/OPL Lip and Cheek Tinted Balm

BLK/OPL Lip and Cheek Tinted Balm

Courtesy of BLK/OPL

What We Like
  • Can be used on cheeks

  • Hydrating formula

  • Gives a glow

What We Don't Like
  • Limited shade range

On days we’re craving a dewy, barely-there makeup look, these sheer tinted balms from BLK/OPL do just the trick. Available in two universally flattering shades—a slightly shimmery nude and a pinky rose gold—these balm sticks provide the sheer wash of color we’re craving and can be used on both the lips and cheeks. They also have plenty of skin-care benefits: Vitamins E and C offer antioxidant protection while a blend of chamomile oil and cocoa and shea butters revive dry and damaged lips and skin.

Coverage Level: Light | Finish: Shimmer | Shades: 2 | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best Natural: Kari Gran Lip Whip Color Balm

Kari Gran Lip Whip Color Balm
What We Like
  • Smooth, whipped texture

  • Long-lasting

  • Bright, pretty shades

  • Byrdie Clean

What We Don't Like
  • A little expensive

This whipped color balm has grown in popularity for its super nourishing formula and buildable color, but it also scores major points for its natural ingredients. “This is my favorite balm because it’s a clean product," says Ceme. "I also love that it feels very nourishing and hydrating, but has real staying power with color that lasts for hours."

Coverage Level: Sheer | Finish: Satin | Shades: 6 | Size: 0.1 oz | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best Rouge: Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Lip Balm

Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Lip Balm
What We Like
  • Glides on easily

  • Gives a subtle sheen

  • Shades suit many skin tones

What We Don't Like
  • More expensive than similar options

If you’re looking for what Byrdie contributor, Emily Algar calls “the french-girl lipstick of [her] dreams,” then you are in the right place. It comes in five shades of rouge that offer a muted stained yet hydrated look. You’ll love the effortless color, and the balm is comprised of moringa butter to glide on smoothly while protecting your lips and skin.

Coverage Level: Light | Finish: Radiant | Shades: 3 | Size: 0.1 oz | Cruelty-Free: No

Best With SPF: Coola Suncare Mineral Liplux Organic Tinted Lip Balm SPF 30

Coola Suncare Mineral Liplux® Organic Tinted Lip Balm SPF 30
What We Like
  • SPF 30

  • Unique shades

  • Feels refreshing

What We Don't Like
  • Could be more pigmented

Your lips need sun protection too, and this hydrating SPF 30 balm has you covered. Not only does it protect from UV exposure, but it’s also nourishing and super softening. You’ll also love that it comes in fun, unique colors, like Coral Reef and Purple Sky.

Coverage Level: Sheer | Finish: Satin | Shades: 5 | Size: 0.2 oz | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best Multipurpose: Glossier Balm Dotcom

What We Like
  • Nourishing formula

  • Goes on smoothly

  • Unique shades

  • Good value

What We Don't Like
  • Not Byrdie Clean

Barely-there makeup lovers, rejoice! This hydrating balm is packed with antioxidants and natural emollients meant to nourish dry, chafed skin. It’s formulated with heavy-duty moisturizers like castor oil and beeswax to hydrate and seal in moisture without irritating sensitive skin. Whether you’re looking for a subtle shimmer or a sheer red tint, you can apply this do-it-all balm wherever you need extra moisture.

Coverage Level: Sheer | Finish: Satin | Shades: 9 | Size: 0.5 oz | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best Multipurpose, Runner-Up: Olio E Osso Natural Lip & Cheek Balm

Olio E Osso Lip & Cheek Tinted Balm
What We Like
  • Can be used on cheeks

  • Fun packaging

  • Moisturizes

What We Don't Like
  • Could be more pigmented

When it comes to a low-maintenance beauty routine, the fewer products, the better. This moisturizing facial balm is the ideal multitasker with clean, natural ingredients that offer a hydrating boost of color to lips or cheeks. It has nourishing ingredients like olive and shea oils, and it comes in a flattering shade range that you’ll love as a blush or a lip tint.

Coverage Level: Sheer | Finish: Satin | Shades: 10 | Size: 0.4 oz | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best Plumping: Buxom Power-full Plump Lip Balm

Buxom Power-full Plump Lip Balm
What We Like
  • Lips feel plump and soft

  • Cute packaging

  • Value size available

What We Don't Like
  • Plumping effect is minimal

Get your most supple, plumpest lips yet with this moisturizing balm. Inspired by Buxom’s best-selling glosses, these tinted balms have the plumping effects that so many love without the shine and texture of a gloss. It goes on like silk and reacts to your lips’ pH for your own unique pink to nude shade.

Coverage Level: Sheer | Finish: Satin | Shades: 4 | Size: 0.2 oz | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Final Verdict

There are plenty of tinted lip balm options out there, but the Clinique Chubby Stick is at the top of our list for its hydrating formula, creamy texture, and wide shade range. Fresh Sugar Lip Balm SPF 15 is also noteworthy for its shade selection and long-lasting hydration. On a budget? Look no further than e.l.f. Ride or Die Lip Balm that offers heavyweight hydration and smooth, sheer color.

What To Look for When Buying a Tinted Lip Balm

Ingredients

When Ceme is on the hunt for a new lip balm, she says, “First and foremost, I look at the ingredients. I like to make sure that they're natural, clean, or naturally derived.” Hydrating oils like avocado oil or grapeseed oil are great places to start, and you’ll also want to look for emollient ingredients like shea butter, sugar, and botanical waxes meant to lock moisture in.


Consistency

Consistency is a major thing to keep in mind when considering a lip balm. "A thicker consistency tends to last longer,” recommends Ceme. Essentially, leave the watery formulas to glosses that are more focused on shine than hydration.


Color pigment

Not all tinted lip balms are created equal. Some are simply there to hydrate and offer a slight boost to your natural lip color, while others perform more like a sheer lipstick. Determine the sheerness or opacity of the look you’re going for to guide your shopping decisions.

FAQ
  • What’s the Difference Between Lipstick and Tinted Lip Balm?

    "The difference between a tinted lip balm and lipstick is that lipstick isn’t necessarily hydrating, while a lip balm is supposed to be nourishing and hydrating," says Ceme. You’ll also see a difference in the actual pigment payoff, with balms being more on the light, sheer side, while a lipstick’s primary concern is color.

  • What causes chapped lips?

    Environmental factors, such as dry air in the winter months or sun exposure in the summer, are often the number one culprit for chapped lips. Other causes include dehydration from not drinking enough water and drying ingredients like alcohol and synthetic fragrance.

Why Trust Byrdie

Byrdie contributor Kindra Moné has been creating fashion and beauty content since 2013. Whether contributing to some of the top women’s lifestyle magazines or working in-house with global brands, Kindra has collaborated with some of the most knowledgeable beauty professionals in the industry. When she isn’t writing or trying out Instagram recipes, she’s giving wellness tips and sharing fashion news on her podcast.

According to our Diversity Pledge, 15% of products in our newly-published market roundups will feature Black-owned and/or Black-founded brands. At the time of publishing, we were not able to find enough tinted lip balms from a Black-owned and/or Black-founded business to meet this percentage. If you know of one we should consider, please email us at contact@byrdie.com and we will evaluate the product ASAP.

Article Sources
Byrdie takes every opportunity to use high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.
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  3. Kurek-Górecka A, Górecki M, Rzepecka-Stojko A, Balwierz R, Stojko J. Bee products in dermatology and skin careMolecules. 2020;25(3):556. doi:10.3390/molecules25030556

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