Lip balm is one of our desert island beauty essentials—so much so that we tend to hoard them. (Have you ever met a woman who owned just one?) For any makeup lover, tinted lip balms are a must-have because they give a sheer wash of color while also hydrating your lips—the color benefit of a lipstick without the heaviness or subsequent dryness. We’ve been thoroughly impressed with some extraordinary new versions that have come across our desks in the past few weeks as well as the time-tested classics we always keep on hand. Boasting hardworking hydration and uncompromising color, the best tinted lip balms serve up the best of both worlds for your pout. Available in an expanding range of color, sheer, and vibrant pigments and even different finishes like semi-matte and shiny, tinted lip balms deserve a place in your makeup bag. Suffice to say that we can’t stop applying.
This lip balm is both intensely hydrating and vibrantly pigmented. The semi-matte finish is super long-lasting, and it’s perfect for those days when you want the look of lipstick without the full commitment. We’re obsessed.
Packed with antioxidants and essential oils, this lip balm gives a subtle hint of color while intensely moisturizing your lips. It’s made with a blend of ingredients that restores the appearance of softness, elasticity, and firmness. Plus, this balm can be worn over your lipstick as a shiny topcoat.
Cocoa butter, jojoba oil, and vitamin E hydrate and nourish lips while pomegranate seed extract fights free radicals in this balm made with only natural ingredients. These have a subtle tint that’s easily buildable, plus they protect your pout with SPF. It’s a win-win.
Soothe chapped lips with organic oils and butters like peppermint and sweet orange essential oils while staining lips or cheeks with a beautiful rosy finish—achieved naturally with organic beet root or organic hibiscus.
Lanolin—the main ingredient—is a very effective moisturizer because its molecular structure resembles and mimics skin’s natural oils. This means that your lips will end up intensely hydrated with just a hint of shine. Because of the lanolin, the texture is similar to that of a gloss, but it doesn’t have the unwanted stickiness. Our lips felt soft and hydrated with just the slightest flush of color for hours.
Castor seed oil and beeswax create a protective barrier that keeps moisture locked in. Rose Balm Dotcom gives lips a pretty pink tint, while Cherry Balm Dotcom gives a popping red tint.
Available in an array of “flavors,” this rich, buttery balm delivers a shiny finish in sheer coral, baby pink, or deep red for a juicy pop of color. Its soothing formulation of natural oils and extracts, shea butter, and rice wax melts into lips to maximize hydration.
Don’t let the cute crayon-like packaging fool you—this product is a moisturizing powerhouse. The stick allows for extra precision, so nothing’s stopping you from drawing on some sheer, long-lasting color while hydrating and smoothing any dryness.
This sheer universal balm comes in three different finishes—matte, satin, and shimmer. Every shade in the palette enhances your natural lip color while also doubling as lip care that moisturizes and protects your pout.
Packed with antioxidants from grape-seed polyphenols and repairing aloe vera, this super-nourishing formula boasts buildable color that leaves lips with a creamy, hydrated finish.
Available in a variety of tints, each boasting SPF protection, this lip balm has become a cult favorite for a reason. The sugar formulation helps prevent moisture loss, leaving lips feeling softer, silkier, and suppler.
The silky texture of this lip balm provides long-lasting hydration with a glossy finish. The sheer color still delivers intense color, and the sleek pen-like applicator makes it easy to apply color exactly where you want it.
This story was originally published on May 14, 2016, and has since been updated.