Whether in a stick, pot or tube, lip balm is a staple you’ll find in most handbags, on desks and by bedsides. But it might be time for a texture switch-up.
‘Skin can self-moisturise everywhere but the lips,’ says Fiona Brackenbury, a leading skin expert who has trained beauty consultants from Decleor to QVC.
She says that while balms create a protective barrier to stop hydration evaporating, oils are blended for deeper nourishment and plumping.
‘The membrane of the lip line is delicate so needs replenishment to help prevent wrinkles and dryness,’ she says. ‘While balms sit on the surface, oils are rich in emollients that fill in gaps in the skin, nourishing it and making it smoother.’
Updated from the 1980s teen essential but without the cherry taste, lip oil targets this vulnerable area in a way that’s lightweight, comfortable and non-tacky.
By including sheer colour pigments it gives an instant hit of hydration with a pretty, tinted sheen.
From anti-chap to retro rollerball
For frequent re-appliers, switching to an oil means no messy fingers in pots. Even when choosing colour-free versions, the texture leaves lips coated in a water-like sheen that makes them look fuller and more juicy. It’s a finish that’s elegant and grown-up in a way that gloss just isn’t.
Versed Silk Slip conditioning lip oil
You’ll find myriad fans online swearing by the anti-chap capabilities of Versed Silk Slip conditioning lip oil.
The hydrating trio of jojoba, sunflower and camellia oils blends with protective antioxidant vitamin E in a vegan, non-sticky formula that combats flakiness fast.
ESPA Nourishing Lip Treatment
For impressive anti-ageing benefits, ESPA Nourishing Lip Treatment packs in smoothing Indian gentian leaf extract, plumping hyaluronic acid and line-fighting konjac root, encouraging a softer, more even surface.
It has a delicate, uplifting scent too, due to anti-inflammatory oils from lemon and bergamot peels.
Colour with care
Perfect for injecting a laid-back look with a put-together upgrade, tinted oils add a wash of glistening colour that’s more pigment-rich than expected.
Typology’s brush-on Tinted Lip Oil
With squalane (derived from olives) and jojoba oil, Typology’s brush-on Tinted Lip Oil gives lips a smooth skin finish (launching April 27).
It’s available in five shades – apply in layers until your desired colour depth is achieved.
Tinted oils also come in solid stick form, which is ideal if you want to define lips with a soft outline.
Deck Of Scarlet Threeway Solid lip oil
Deck Of Scarlet Threeway Solid lip oil in Fuchsia Shock adds a punchy, hot-pink tone with a glassy finish thanks to reflective pearl pigments, while watermelon and cucumber seed oils help heal and firm.
Ruby Hammer Lip Serum Balm
For a bare effect that’s far from basic, Ruby Hammer Lip Serum Balm in Nude is a suits-all latte shade with subtle pink undertones and pearly sheen. The velvety finish is boosted by meadowfoam seed oil to lock in moisture and a liquorice leaf extract for smoothness.
Vegan and gluten-free SANN Nourish + Tint lip serum
Also boasting plumping ingredients is vegan, gluten-free SANN Nourish +
Tint lip serum, alongside cocoa butter for slick application with silicones and a dewy finish.
To create a delicious raspberry stain, try the shade Wild.