The Magnificent 7: Lip Balms

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photos: we heart this

Welcome to the first edition of the we heart this Magnificent 7 list. As you may have noticed, our review team is filled with highly opinionated and well-educated beauty fiends. We wanted to do more to share this wealth of knowledge with our readers, and thus the Magnificent 7 list was born.

Each month, we will be surveying the wht review team for their opinion on the very best products on the beauty market. These women have seen, tested and tried it all (well, most of it) and we’re putting their research to use.

First up, that staple of all womankind, beautyoholic or not, the omnipresent lip balm. We all love them and each own dozens. But with so many on the market, how do you choose? Like the 96 US Gymnastics Olympic team, we’ve got a roster of 7 superstars that always offer consistently high quality performances. And just like the Mag 7 at the Atlanta games nailed routine after routine, our starting line up, balm after balm are all worthy of a perfect 10.

Keeping with our Olympic theme, if there were medals to hand out, Burt’s Bees Lip Balm would surely take the gold. This classic balm was by far, the top choice of our team. As stated in our Burt’s Bees round up, “This little tube of balm perfection has it all – a smooth, creamy texture, a soothing formula that both heals chapped lips and protects against future damage, 100% natural ingredients, a just right minty taste and smell, a hint of a tingle upon application – all for just 3 bucks a pop!”

Original Formula Lypsyl Packaging with Lypsl logo in the background

Coming in a very close second, the silver medal goes to a huge up and comer in the lip balm world, the Original Formula Lypsyl. While a favorite of Europeans for years, this uniquely and adorably packaged balm is just making a splash stateside. Our review team flipped when we first laid our hands on them and months later, LypSyl shot to the top of our balm list. Creamy, soothing, hydrating with a large oval shape and a cute bee shaped slide control, LypSyl balms earn their spot on the the podium.

Rounding out our top three, the aptly bronzed metal tube of Fresh’s Sugar Lip Treatment takes our bronze medal. This balm is pure luxury; from its shiny metallic tube and lush consistency to its long lasting moisture and distinctive sugary sweet and lemony scent. And did I mention it has an SPF15 as well?

Our review team believes that Fresh’s Sugar Lip treatment is the most lush balm of them all. At over $20 a pop, it is pretty pricey, but well worth the splurge (and everyone should have at least ONE tube of this coveted balm at least once in their lifetime).

Rounding out the rest of the field, we have four more medal worthy contenders that just missed our podium. These lip balms are world class as well and deserve their own moment of Olympic glory:

C.O. Bigelow Mentha Lip Shine – From the NYC cult favorite beauty company, this balm has so much shine it’s almost a gloss. The slight sticky formula means this balm (and that shine) really lasts and the freshly sweet flavor of Peppermint Oil freshens breath.

Julie Hewett Los Angeles, Camellia Balm – Regular readers of wht already know we think Julie Hewett is the queen of all lip products. So it’s not surprising her multi-purpose balm made our list. Available in either a tube or pot packaging, this balm smells like summer with it’s fresh orange scent and glides onto lips like butter. Use it on lips, cheeks, cuticles or anywhere skin needs some help.

eos Lip Balm – This all natural balm in the Summer Fruit flavor is a particular favorite of the team. The clear balm is known for its yummy taste and smell and you can lick your lips all you want, it’s 95% organic. Plus, the completely unique sphere packaging is worth a few extra points.

Rosebud Perfume Co. Rosebud Salve – A long time favorite of make up mavens, this multi-use salve has moved into cult beauty territory. The soft rose scent calms the senses and the balm is known for rapidly healing chapped lips. Plus, this salve soothes minor burns and calms skin irritations, including diaper rash.

Before we start the medal ceremony, we want to hear from the fans! Did we miss your champion lip balm? Tell us, which balms you think are medal worthy in the comments.


  • tyna

    Tyna is a former editor of we heart this that worries about becoming a crazy cat lady, reads at least a book a week, checks in at a Flyers fan forum every morning and is forever organizing her closets and drawers. skin tone: NW 20/25 skin type: combination favorite beauty product: eye shadows and lip balms


  1. Can I ask what balm is the one that’s in the white tube and says “Lip Delivery Nutrition”? It looks like it has a cruelty-free marking on it but I’m not sure at the angle.

    My favorite balm is actually a local brand called Vermont Bee Balm, it smells like those chocolate oranges you get around Christmas that you have to whack on a table to eat!

    I have been lusting over the Fresh Sugar Balm for awhile but just can’t justify the price tag at this moment. Maybe the next time I get a Sephora gift card!

  2. @Lucylemonade – It looks to me to be Intelligent Nutrients balm. The actual name really is just “Lip Delivery Nutrition.”

    Moment of near shame here- I have all of these balms, and in multiples. Seriously, at last count I have nearly 50 different balms, and that doesn’t include glosses! (And I count C.O. Bigelow as glosses.)

    My vote would go to Rosebud salve, I love it! It can seriously be used anywhere and I love the scent. I tend to slather it on my eyes, nose, and lips before I go running for the moisturizing aspects. Second place would currently go to Korres Lipbutter, it’s just so yummy! However, if you asked me next week I’m sure my vote would change!

  3. I’m definitely a big fan of Burt’s and Rosebud, but my go-to staple is still always the little pot of Blistex because I suffer from lethally chapped lips!

  4. I’m a huge fan or Burt’s Bees. I usually have a tube at work, home, and in the car. Then after the review of Lypsyl, I tried that and now I have 3 of those as well. I also have Julie Hewett,Camellia Balm on my night stand to use before I go to bed. I can’t make up my mind which one I like the most, so I use all of them. :)

  5. Oh yes, The Magnificent 7 Lip Balms, I love them all! I wanted to let the readers know (if you don’t already) Fresh’s Sugar Lip Treatment comes in tinted ROSE now! Yes, it’s just as lovely as their original lip treatment, Spf 15 included. I have to say this is my favorite – I know it’s a bit pricey but you really should treat your lips occasionally to this balm! The rest are wonderful as well. Julie Hewett has my number big-time. I have a friends who turned my onto the Rosebud Salve several years ago.. I watched her put it on minor cuts and listened to her rave how versatile it was to her and for years, she’s not been without it. Burt’s Bees can do no wrong in my book. LypSyl is also one of my latest favorites, and is my husbands fav now too.. He was stuck on Blistex forever, and now he loves it.

  6. Good round up! It’s true, our team knows their stuff.

    @Lucylemonade@mandaleem is right, it’s Intelligent Nutrients. It smells like pencil shavings and is really fab (my favorite product that I tried from them).

    Some of my other favs that are not on this list:

    Labello: I love, love, love their balms. I think it’s a German company, they’re kind of hard to find in store here. But the orange flavor is sheer heaven!

    Deserving Thyme: OMG, this balm has both tangerine and peppermint, so it’s minty and citrusy. Fabulous. And so, so smooth.

    La Mer: If you have $45 that you simply do not know what to do with, this is a very worthy splurge. I guard this balm like it’s made of gold!
    .-= Stef´s last blog ..MAC Superglass review and swatches =-.

  7. If forced to choose just one balm to use for the rest of my life, it would be Lypsyl. My former balm fickleness was cured the very first time I used this stuff! And it’s a bargain, too.

    @Stef, I have to admit your description of Deserving Thyme got my attention, though…

  8. Thanks @Stef and @mandaleem I found Intelligent Nutrients online and may have to order a tube of that, always looking out for cruelty-free stuff when I can.

    Also like Labello, Badger Balm’s Chia Rose, and someday I’m going to try Korres Lip Butters.

  9. I do love Burt’s Bees lipbalm, and the rose salve… but my number one lip balm is Aquaphor. Technically not a “lipbalm” but it cured my dry, cracking lips when nothing else would!

  10. FYI- I almost forgot to mention: Lypsyl lip balm is also avail. in, Honeyberry!(spf 15) I have it along with the original and like them both an aweful lot! So smooth and creamy and it lasts a long, long time- just what our lips need! Go get these if you haven’t already! :)

  11. It’s a sad thing to acknowledge I own almost every single balm in the picture! What can I say, I like soft lips and these all do the trick! The Fresh Sugar is awesome and I love the new one in the rose tint!

  12. OK, how sad is it that the picture in this post makes me drool?

    I am so happy that Lypsyl made the cut! I loooove the Honeyberry flavor so darn much I’m always tempted to take a big ol’ bite out of it.

    Also, I just have to add that I love love love a balm that most of us would write off as a novelty: the Yankee Candle lip balms (the ones that look like they’re tiny little jar candles). You’d think that they would suck, but they actually ROCK and are incredibly healing (I mean, I get long-term healing effects when I use mine). They contain organic extra virgin olive oil and organic hemp seed oil, which is pretty darn impressive. And it goes without saying that they smell amazing (my fave is Vanilla Lime). All this for just $3.99!

    Here’s the link if anyone’s curious:

  13. I MUST say that Julie Hewett is my idol and that her pot o’ balm at the end of my rainbow is truly worth its weight in gold. In fact, I love this so much (and have documented this so often) that I cannot think of this as mere balm; it is a realm unto itself.
    That being said, in a world of mere balms, C.O. Bigelow is my favortite. I, like Mallory, prefer the stick Menthe balm. I bought it for my guy (who suffers from chapped lips more than I and is an obsessive balm user), but use it myself every morning and every night. Its texture is almost that of melted wax and goes on thick and super-smooth. The minty aroma is natural (not manufactured) and very pleasing. I do love this so…
    Fresh is next. I see it all the time. I want it madly, deeply, truly… and their lip scrub. Love me some Fresh….but I’ve never owned it before. I’ve smelled it (it was awesome); I felt it (smooooth) on my hand, yet I have never owned it. Soon. Soon….

  14. I know it was hard to whittle the myriad of great lipbalms down to the top 7, but I have to add my two cents!
    I love the luxury balms too, but honestly my go to fave is only $1.99 at Walgreens!
    I am talking about the Cococare Cocoa Butter Lip Balm. If you can get over the cocoa butter smell (not for everyone..) the balm is super! Glides on smoothly, lasts and most of all does not leave your lips dry and flakey when it finally wears off! I love it and I have a tube in every drawer for emergency lip hydration!

  15. @glamazon56 – I am SO with you on the Cococare! I can’t believe I left it out. It’s probably the one I reach for most nights before bed. And, it’s only 99 cents at my Walgreens!

    @lipglossandspandex – I’m not sure I even know what Aquaphor is. I always thought it was like Vicks, no?

    @tyna had a roommate once who loved Carmex so much that she started putting Vick on her lips because she was so addicted to that menthol feeling! Bleuch.

    Actually, I’m surprised Carmex isn’t getting any love. I just got a cherry version that’s pretty darn yummy.
    .-= Stef´s last blog ..China Glaze Poolside collection =-.

  16. Radinka J. says:

    Vaseline !!! this stuff is so amazing. especially when I put it on @ night after exfoliating … i wake up w/ even toned, soft, pillowy lips !

  17. These are great picks. I’m a big fan of Julie Hewett and Smith’s Rosebud Salve is a classic. I am loving Smith’s new Mocha Rose “flavor”–you’d think those flavors don’t blend, but they surprisingly work well together and it’s super moisturizing…I really miss the little monodoses of Prada lip balm, though…that would have been my all-time #1 pick *sighs wistfully*

  18. I really like the EOS balms! I bought it in Summer Fruit a few months ago, and it has become my new favorite. I especially love the SAFE ingredient list! You can eat the stuff, there are no bad chemicals in it.

  19. rubysbeauty

    Welcome to we heart this, and thanks for your comment! I personally have not tried EOS yet, but after our testers and members have said such good things, I’ve very excited to get these lil’ balls of yum into my grubby mitts!
    .-= Stef´s last blog ..The latest from N.Y.C. New York Color =-.

  20. I hated Burt’s Bees when I tried it. Don’t know why, maybe the beeswax smell? My two HGs are up there – Julie Hewitt and EOS! I knew they were worth my adoration but it’s nice to have it confirmed. ;) I’d love to try the Fresh balm – lemony sweet sounds right up my alley.

  21. Ok, so being a lip balm addict, I read Tyna’s article with pen and paper in hand. While I did have most of the top 7, I gave in and ordered the Fresh Tinted Lip Balm. I love it! It gives just the right amount of color and lasts forever on the lips. The same week, my dear friend contributed to my habit by buying me the Lypsyl balm! (Only a true great girlfriend would buy balm for a friend, right!) well, I love that one too! Now if I only had the room in my purse for all my lipbalms!

  22. Believe it or not, my favourite lip balm is actually one made by Sunkist, and came as a free be when I bought a bottle of vitamin C supplements. It is soft, but not mushy, tastes and smells lightly of citrus, has SPF 25 and moisturizes my lips really well. I’m in heaven. I am also a fan of the Rosebud Salve, which kicks chapped lips back into the dimension they belong in!
    .-= Angela´s last blog ..Opulent Mascara! MAC wins with Opulash! =-.

  23. All natural lip balms are good. You can also try this lip balm with a 100% ultra medical grade lanonin.

  24. Can I just say that I used say “meh” to all of the hype over Rosebud Perfume Co. Rosebud Salve until I actually won a tin. It is a joy!!! Not only does it soften lips, it does a wonderful job of softening cuticles and smoothing down flyaways.

  25. Not a fan of Burt’s Bees at all. I have sensitive skin, and their lip balm stings my lips and makes them red and burny.

    LOVE Lypsyl – the Honey Berry flavor is the best! But my favorite lip balm of the moment is Chicken Poop Lip Junk. Funny name, but it has sweet orange oil and lavender, which makes for a delightfully herbally-sweet scent, and it moisturizes like no other! And it contains no actual poop (ha).

  26. Too bad we have NONE of those in my country. I m gonna order the Burt Bee’s online tho.
    I also want to order Carmex and EOS lipbalm.
    My favorite so far, is La Roche Posey ”Ceralip”.
    Its great, especially for chapped lips.

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