Kallor isn’t the first person to sing the praises of Germany’s answer to ChapStick: Labello’s Classic Care Lip Balm ($6). “It’s super soft and sinks into lips like a dream!” Kallor says. “I stock up on it every time I’m overseas. The closest thing in the States is Nivea’s line of balms, but I swear, there’s a slight difference that I can’t quite put my finger on.” (Luckily, you can get it online!)
Larkworthy doesn’t risk running out of her favorite balm: Burt’s Bees Classic Lip Balm ($3). “There’s two in the car, one on my bedside table, one in my purse, one in my cycling jacket, and if I'm wearing pants with pockets, there's one in there, too!” she says. “I like that it's not gooey or shiny and I love the tingly feeling on my lips.” With all the balms placed around her house she’s even converted her husband, although “he prefers the Grapefruit flavor,” she says.
Never one for sugary-smelling cosmetics, our own editorial director is currently obsessed with Earth Tu Face’s Skin Stick ($34). “It's an olive oil based, all-purpose salve that tastes savory instead of sweet!” she says.
For a balm without color Godfrey-June swears by Korres’ Lip Butter ($12) in Guava. “It’s super healing, smells like summer, and feels like heaven,” she says. “And my all-time favorite tinted balm is YSL’s Sheer Candy ($32) in the hot pink hue. It somehow wakes up your whole face but isn’t as detectable as lipstick.”
Ess doesn’t swear by a single balm—she swears by three! “I like them all for different reasons!” she says. Before bed she applies Lucas’ Papaw, letting the ointment soak in overnight. For day she likes Bare Minerals’ Loud & Clear Lip Sheers ($16) for the light sheen, and for chapped lips she turns to Dr. Dan’s CortiBalm ($8). “My dermatologist gave it to me when I came back from vacation with cracked lips,” she says. “It’s medicated and miraculous!”
Larkworthy isn’t the only editor who calls Burt’s Bees’ Classic Lip Balm ($3) a favorite. “It's the only lip balm I've found that has no shine or tackiness,” Axelrod says. “It’s totally matte and the mint scent keeps your breath fresh—as well as a piece of gum!”
Dougherty is another editor that had a hard time narrowing it down: her lips split their time between Sara Happ’s The Lip Slip Lip Balm ($24), a thick, hydrating formula; Dior’s Dior Addict Lip Glow ($31), which delivers a pink stain based on your body’s pH; and good old-fashioned Aquaphor.
Chu always has three or four balms in rotation, but her mainstay is Korres’ Lip Butter ($12) in Wild Rose. “It’s always in the mix,” she says. “I've been hooked since first discovering it about four years ago. It's not sticky or too shiny and in a pinch it also works as blush—this shade gives me a perfectly believable flush!”
“Is it cheating if this contains eye stuff too? I am obsessed with this new compact from La Prairie. It's all you need in your bag for traveling,” Flaherty says. You’ll also find Tatcha’s Gold Camellia Nourishing Lip Balm ($36) in her purse: “There is a thin, 24k gold leaf laid across the top that adds a bit of shimmer and makes it especially precious and fabulous.”