Is winter finally approaching the northeastern United States, just in time for the holidays? In anticipation, I’m stocking up on lip balms for the colder, drier weather. If you’re doing the same thing, and you’re feeling a need for something a bit fancier than ChapStick, something less ubiquitous than the reliable Burt’s Bees, or just a change from that greasy tin of Smith’s Rose Salve you’ve been carrying around for months, here is a six-pack of lip balm ideas.
The happy badger mascot of the Badger Balm line would make anyone smile, and the feel and scent of Badger Balm’s Lavender & Orange Lip Balm are even more smile-inducing. As the company’s slogan boasts, all Badger Balm products are “100% natural, mostly organic, totally good!” This balm is an emollient blend of olive oil, beeswax, and aloe vera, fragranced with essential oils of lavender, sweet orange, and Sicilian orange. It will heal your mouth and cheer your spirit. $3 for a stick; $5 for a tin (shown), available at badgerbalm or drugstore.com.
Skye Botanicals Tika Botanika Rose Lip Balm is my favorite recent discovery from the shelves of my local health-food store. This is another all-natural balm, and its rose scent comes from real rosa damascena oil. Its texture is smooth and silky, and its easily absorbed formula is mixed mainly from jojoba oil and soothing comfrey. This balm is very softly tinted a natural pink shade with alkanet root, and if that weren’t enough, it even has a charitable mission. It’s made in Costa Rica, and all net profits from its sales go back to that area, into a university scholarship fund for local students. $4 at skyebotanicals.
The weeks-long onslaught of holiday sweets has already begun, but Ganache for Lips can offer you a harmless moment of sugar surrender: real Scharffen Berger chocolate gives this light balm its scent and its flavor. My favorite pick is Chocolate Hazelnut, and many of the other choices sound equally tempting. Even if dessert-flavored products don’t suit your own taste, Ganache’s gift sets, available in two different boxes of four flavors each, are perfect treats for the sweet tooths on your gift list. About $4 at amazon or beautyexclusive.
Perfumeria Gal Fragranced Balm is, literally, the pretty face of this group: its tin is decorated with an Art Nouveau design like an Alfonse Mucha poster. I usually avoid balms that contain petrolatum and paraffin, but Perfumeria Gal has seduced me nonetheless. Red Currant is my favorite flavor, because the product is just as enticing as its container: a shiny balm with luscious deep cassis color and a tart-sweet, mouthwatering fragrance. About $6 at hamptonct or beautyhabit.
When you’re feeling particularly chilly and glum in mid-winter, and your lips are in danger of becoming chapped or cracked, a luxury lip treatment can make all the difference. Nuxe Rêve de Miel Honey Lip Balm is an indulgence, but a very effective one. It smells like honey topped with a slice of lemon, and it has few equals in nourishing and smoothing the fragile skin of the lips. Its thick consistency and its waxy little exfoliating particles make it difficult to use under lipstick or gloss; instead, I think of it as a night cream or overnight mask for the mouth. $21 at your-cosmetics.
I’m going to cheat here by recommending one lip balm that is unscented and unflavored, just in case you’re in a minimalist mood. Malin + Goetz Lip Moisturizer is a clear gel packaged in a tube, and it’s anything but natural — in fact, it has an unpronounceable ingredients list — but its formula works wonders. If you apply it at bedtime, it miraculously stays in place all night, moisturizing and protecting the lips. Used lightly in the daytime, it works under lipstick, or even over lipstick as a clear gloss. $12 at malinandgoetz.
Have a favorite lip balm, scented or unscented? Please share!