The Best Balms for Keeping Your Smoochers Supple & Soft

lipsI am just now getting over my first (and hopefully last) bad cold of the season. While there are all manner of potions to get you through the run of the mill cold, the real bane of my existence had nothing to do with my sinuses. Instead of bemoaning my stuffed nose or headache, I couldn't stop complaining about my cracked and dry lips.

Our lips are made up of sensitive, delicate skin. A sudden illness or a blast of cold air can wreck them. Gone is the smooth kiss of yore and, in its place, peeling, parchment-like nastiness. With winter finally rearing its ugly head (stay classy, climate change), it's time to put your lip balm collection to work. 


More from The Stir: The 3 Best Lipsticks to Make Your Teeth Look Whiter 

In more halcyon days, I was known to abjure lip balm totally. I figured that rather than being vigilant, I was just going to accept my fate of having perpetually chapped lips. Sometimes I'd make a 'meh' level effort and smear on some Chapstick. I would then chew off said Chapstick roughly five minutes later.

But then I grew up, realized not being in constant discomfort was an option, and a whole new world was born. Lip balm doesn't just heal and protect. Lip balm can provide that hint of color or sheen that makes wearing regular lip gloss so much fun. Here are 5 of my favorites. 

1. Rosebud Salve in Strawberry

This stuff is a workhorse. You can apply throughout the day as needed without accruing waxy buildup. It's super-rich and transforms your lips. It also provides a hint of light pinkness without drying you out! 

2. Kiehl's Lip Balm

This one doesn't give you any color, but frankly, with what it does to your lips, you won't need it. It may look like Vaseline, but it melts into your lips. A little goes a long way, and a pot of it will last you a year-plus. It's also got SPF -- bonus! 

3. Lip Smacker's in Dr. Pepper

An oldie but a goodie. This stuff ain't just for kids. It provides a nice barrier between you and the elements with a rich hint of tint that's very grown-up. It also tastes like heaven. Or soda. The same thing, really. 

4. Jouer Lip-Enhancer

This stuff is not playing around. It's a serious lip treat that over time claims to reduce fine lines and promote fullness. I've definitely noticed some plumping, but even without it, I'd be in full support of its pearly pink color. 

5. Laura Mercier Hydratint

This stunning cream lip product is my go-to lippy product for winter. It comes in a nice array of hues and it offers nice protection with a sheer color. Sheer as in subtle and nice, not I-cannot-even-see-it-and-also-I-hate-you. 

6. Tarte Lipsurgence

The name sounds like something a drunk stripper would call herself, but trust me on this. I am a huge fan of the saturated look lip-stains give, but not a fan of how they turn my lip-skin into a wrinkly nightmare. This chubby stick (that's what she said) is the best of both worlds. Hand to Buddha, y'all. 

What's your go-to for lip protection -- do you go for tinted or do you layer? TELL ME YOUR SECRETS.  

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