Best Lip Balms for Winter 2024

Winter is murder on lips and the gentle skin surrounding them. That’s likely why lip masks, which are amped up balms, have been all the rage on the ‘Tok and the ‘Gram. They do the heavy lifting overnight but can also be worn during the day as a glossy and protective balm.

There are tons on the market — Laneige Lip Sleeping Masks are thick and best served as an overnight spa treatment, and they come in tons of yummy flavors. They are a gold standard. Sara Happ’s The Dream Slip is so luxurious and a light layer can double as your daily gloss.

But there are lots of others that I’ve fallen in deep lust with over the past few months. Chapped, flaky, parched lips are a thing of the past with the balms below. Some hydrate. Some plump. Some tingle. Some don’t. But they all have their pros.

Caliray Big Swell Hydrating Glassy Lip Plumper

What It Does: It’s clear with just a touch of iridescent shimmer and glitter while packed with hyaluronic acid, so it smoothes, swells, and shines without the sting. Big Swell plumps while it moisturizes and is an excellent choice for a la carte wear or layered over your favorite lipstick shade for some added oomph.

Tingle Factor: It has a slight tingle that will remind you how feel when novocaine starts to wear off after a trip to the dentist. But it won’t leave you fanning your lips or shouting “OUCH!”

Packaging: The doe foot wand is also pear-shaped; it’s flat in the center for controlled coverage and application.

Alleyoop Lip Goals Glossy Balm

What It Does: This tube of awesome is really more of a colored gloss than a balm, but it’s majorly emollient. It doesn’t fit the “treatment mold” but it has a delish chocolate mint scent and adds as much pigment as it does moisture.

Tingle Factor: Nope, none.

Packaging: Apply a few swipes directly to the lips from the slanted tube.

Inde Wild Dewy Lip Treatment

What It Does: If you want an unscripted, no frills shot of mega mouth moisture, this dreamy, creamy balm will provide. It’s like a kicked up Vaseline, but with a thicker and more sumptuous texture. It also lasts through a latte.

Tingle Factor: Zero.

Packaging: Slanted tip ‘n’ tube perfection.

Mutha Pucker Lip Butter

What It Does: It’s a lip mask. It’s a balm. It’s a gloss. It does it all. It’s colorless but super rich with the texture of Vaseline but with a slight minty scent. The formula melts into lips like butter (and has squalane, ceramides, and other natural oils in its recipe) and can be worn with mascara for subtle glam on those “no makeup” days. Love Laniege lip masks? Then make room on your nightstand for this Mutha Pucker.

Tingle Factor: Tingle-free.

Packaging: It’s packaged in a pot, so go ahead and indulge in a dip.

Polite Society Big Mouth

What It Does: So many modern lip plumpers proudly proclaim to nix the sting and burn of the ’00s classics like DuWop Lip Venom. But Polite Society’s Big Mouth will leave you feeling the burn — like a cocktail of jalapeños and ginger and pepper being painted on your lips. If you get even a miniscule amount of product on your tongue, it will tingle. Sounds miserable? No way! It hurts so good. My lips look like I just got fresh injections. You will also be tempted to wipe it off and rub ice on your lips. Don’t! The end result is worth it. My lips also have a rosy tint after two coats. My grandmother used to say that “Beauty must suffer,” nodding to tools, products, and hacks. That adage applies here. I’m OK with suffering.

Tingle Factor: 11 out of 10 — it’s straight fire.

Packaging: A fat doe foot wand brings the heat.

Thrive Pout Hero Liquid Balm Lip Treatment

What It Does: Birthday smells and tastes like a fresh, gooey, and moist slice of vanilla confetti cake. It’s not super thick but it glazes lips with comfortable shine and the perfect amount of hydration. The decadence comes from the yummy scent.

Tingle Factor: Zilch.

Packaging: A rectangular tube and a wand with a pointed tip. You might call it basic, but I call it effective.

Vacation Chardonnay Lip Oil

What It Does: This baby tastes like a vanilla caramel chewy candy, glazing lips with mirror-like shine. The consistency is legit perfect – it’s not thick or goopy. It requires some reapplication but it’s a true lip luxury. But the best quality? It has SPF 30, making it an excellent choice for summer and beach days, but also in winter. The sun still shines when it’s 5 degrees out!

Tingle Factor: There isn’t one.

Packaging: A ’70s-inspired tube with a fat doe-foot wand.

Rhode Peptide Lip Treatment

What It Does: This is a lip Holy Grail. Hate on Hailey Bieber all you want but this glossy balm hugs lips and doesn’t let go. Peptides lead to pillow-y lippies! The moisture lasts and lasts and the shine doesn’t slide off. It is the shiniest of all. My fave is Vanilla, followed by Salted Caramel. The brand just launched tinted and shimmer versions but they are all supple and sexy.

Tingle Factor: Tingle-free.

Packaging: Skinny squeeze tubes with slanted tips.

InkeyList Tri Peptide Plumping Balm

What It Does: InkeyList’s Tri Peptide Plumping Balm adds so much shine and is wonderfully low budget. It doesn’t have a smell or a taste and the formula does NOT linger. I found myself reapplying 10 times a day. But that’s not an issue. We talk and eat and eat and talk and wear away our lip products. Since the product is under $15 price tag, re-app is no issue.

Tingle Factor: Tingle-less

Packaging: Squeezey tube with an angled tip.

Vaseline Lip Therapy Crème Brûlée

What It Does: Anything mini is cute. And this lip balm lives in a tiny replica of a tub of this inexpensive yet effective skin staple. I must admit that it makes my lips look supple, plush, and sumptuous. It has a lightly sweet taste, glides on clear but absorbs beautifully. It’s less than $5 and adds a subtle silvery sheen and glow.

Tingle Factor: Enter the no-tingle zone.

Packaging: The adorable tiny pot + your fingers are all you need.

Marin Skincare Lip Treatment

What It Does: Marin lippies are made from lobster byproducts (marine glycoproteins) as part of the local economy in Maine. So it’s decidedly not vegan. But it does act like a giant glass of ice water for your lips, soaking into your pucker and adding hydration and moisture. The Blueberry French Toast option is yummier than the actual breakfast it’s named after and is suitable for day or night/sleep wear.

Tingle Factor: Tingle-less.

Packaging: A thick, matte squeeze tube with slanted head.

Junoco Lip Milk

What It Does: Does anything sound more glorious and sumptuous and hydrating than lip milk? Junoco, the brand that landed on my radar a few years ago with its velvet blending sponges, has pivoted to skincare. The Lip Milk absorbs into the skin and leaves no shine. Just kissable softness. It’s like lip pajamas, though — you can only wear it at night, as the resultant milky layer of moisture that doesn’t mimic a gloss or balm. Just let it do its job while you get a restful night’s sleep!

Tingle Factor: There isn’t one.

Packaging: Easy squeeze tube action with a flat head.

Lip Flip Treatment Balm

What It Does: It’s packed with natural peptides, which plump, hydrate, smooth, and improve the condition of your lips. It’s a super soft peachy shade that glides like a gloss but moisturizes like a balm.

Tingle Factor: Zilch

Packaging: A round pot, so sanitize your hands and dip your finger in!