If you’ve consciously uncoupled with lipstick this season: who can blame you. Now that our new normal involves hours of face time wearing masks that often chafe and dehydrate our lips, it’s understandable that you might just not be into lipstick right now.
“Lipsticks are definitely on hold this season simply because of masks,” shares Singapore-based make-up artist, Andrea Claire who has worked with the likes of Henry Golding, Romee Strijd, and Indian-Canadian actress, Lisa Ray.
“Only the bold dare to put a lipstick on underneath their mask,” says make-up artist, Sahur Saleim who adds, “I can’t lie, that’s what I do!”
If you’re having withdrawals from a painted pout (we’re talkin’ the colour, the gesture, the whole ASMR sensorial ‘click’ as you cap your bullet), a tinted lip balm may just be the hybrid for you. It sits in the venn diagram of everything you need in this moment: there’s the pigment that lipstick lends to your face when you take your mask off at lunch plus the hydration, lip conditioning and SPF protection that a skincare product offers.
“Unlike lipsticks that are mainly aesthetic, tinted lip balms are formulated to be like skincare for your lips. Once the active, hydrating ingredients absorb, the tint stains the lip and is (usually) non-transferring, so our masks are unaffected,” says Claire.
“Lip balms offer offer hydration with a gorgeous flush of colour,” Saleim adds. “Perfect for chapped lips and people who find matte lipstick too uncomfortable. I definitely think of lip balm as an apply-and-take-along-with-you product. Because it’s so hydrating, it can get absorbed by your lips pretty fast and isn’t transfer proof.”
Additionally, today’s lip balms come in a mélange of shades which mean you’re not confined to a drawer of half-used, waxy-looking lip care products: there’s deep purples and juicy corals that are great for days you want to dip your toe in the water and experiment with wild and unexpected hues that spark joy.
“I do love Fresh Sugar Lip Balm (which also has SPF). Dior Lip Glow self-adjusts with your skin tone for the perfect, bespoke to you tint and Nars Afterglow Lip Balm in Dolce Vita is a fave of mine or the Orgasm which also self adjusts to your pH! Swoon!,” says Claire.
1 / 5
Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment Sunscreen SPF 15
So comfortable, you’ll almost forget you’re wearing a tinted lip balm, we love the Sugar Lip Treatment for a number of reasons. It offers SPF 15 protection from UV rays, while moisturising with real sugar, a natural humectant, and a blend of antioxidant-rich meadowfoam, blackcurrant, and grapeseed oils. Play it sheer or build it up: the coverage and intensity of colour is totally customisable and up to you.
Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment Sunscreen SPF 15 in Punch, $36; available at Sephora
2 / 5
Givenchy Le Rose Perfecto Beautifying Lip Balm
If lipstick and lip balm had a love child, Le Rose Perfecto would be it. It nourishes, smoothes, plumps and imparts a wash of colour to instantly perk up the complexion. Current obsession: this balm in 04, blue-pink which looks like an intergalactic goth purple complete with micro-glitter in tube, but actually swipes on the lips as a gorgeous, sheer berry hue with a hint of sparkle.
Givenchy Le Rose Perfecto Beautifying Lip Balm, $52; available at Sephora
3 / 5
Fenty Beauty Pro Kiss’r Luscious Lip Balm
Sheer, barely-there, almost nude… More a gloss than a balm, but creamy and conditioning nonetheless, Fenty‘s lip balm comes in three flattering shades—this happens to be Cocoa Drizzle, a sheer chocolate. It will keep your lips soft, kissable and nourished thanks to non-greasy shea and mango seed butters.
Fenty Beauty Pro Kiss’r Luscious Lip Balm, $28; available at Sephora
4 / 5
Benefit California Kissin’ Colour Balm
If you experience chapped lips on the regular, you may just want to replace your everyday lipstick with Benefit’s hyaluronic acid-loaded balm. Yes, the colour payoff is that pigmented and the balm comes in 12 shades from nudes, to pinks, berries, and reds. Hear that? It’s your lipstick wardrobe begging for an overhaul with Benefit.
Benefit California Kissin’ Colour Balm, $36; available at Sephora
5 / 5
Shiseido ColorGel Lip Balm
Shiseido‘s ColorGel Lip Balm promises perfectly nourished puckers in the form of a hydrating stick balm that melts on lips to repair the moisture barrier, while adding a buildable wash of highly-pigmented colour.
Shiseido ColorGel Lip Balm in 109 Wisteria, $46; available at Sephora