by Claire (for Lucy)
I don’t think I’m alone in owning about 100 lip balms, in various states of grossness. There they are, rattling about my handbag, on my desk, in my car… until of course they all disappear as soon as I’m desperate to use one, and so another gets hastily bought. Occasionally one gets so disgusting that it gets thrown away, but I seldom ever use them up. Once in a while I lose one. There we have it *Attenborough voice* the life cycle of the lipbalm is complete.
I think prevention is better than cure with dry lips - if you can just sort of autopilot smear it on when the weather changes you will avoid a lot of grief. I never do this though. Suddenly I look up and I have the lips of the evil T-Rex in ‘Land Before Time’. In this desperate scenario I turn to the top four products listed here. Thereafter, we have lovely balms, but nothing that will fix any amount of proper chapping. Happy dabbing!
Eucerin Aquaphor Soothing Skin Balm, £4
I have my friend Siobhan to thank for discovering this magic gunk - she solemnly handed me a pot of this when my undereyes were cracking up (can you imagine!) and once it sorted that I found it was also very good for death lips. This used to be one of those get-it-from-Amazon only products, but now boots do it, and in a pleasing teeny tiny little pot rather than a big medical tub.
La Neige Lip Sleeping Mask £15
During a particularly acute bout of English Patient lips last year, I took to twitter to see whether there might be an off-beat recommendation I could try that I hadn’t thought of yet. This product came up loads. It’s a Korean ‘Lip Mask’ which I guess means you are meant to slather it on and sleep in it. I personally do better with a thick layer of it on at my desk in that looong stretch between arriving and lunchtime. It comes with a tiny little spatula which I instantly lost, but maybe you are better at this (life) than me?
Anyway, this is very very good. It has acids in it (hence them wanting you to leave it on for a long stretch to work it’s magic). The acids get to work on your flakey bits, much like your exfoliating tonic would on the rest of your boat race. It is about £15 (Sorry, I know this is a lot. This seems to be the default price for a luxe balm. Better than the Creme de La Mer one which is £50 LOL)
Clinique Superbalm Lip Treatment, £14
This is the tits. It is very very sticky, but it will make a dent in your sore chapped lips problem in a way rivaled only by the La Neige. I see that they are doing their own new overnight lip treatment now (called ‘Pout restoring night Mask’ - yikes) which may well be worth trying? Sorry, but whilst writing this article I’ve realised with some alarm just how much I have spent on grubby little lip balms so I am on a lip balm purchase ban - you will therefore have to investigate for yourself.
Blistex relief cream £2.69
This reassuringly tingly and medical feeling lip cream has been around for years (previously known as Blisteze), and in my opinion is a stone cold bargain. I don’t think it does much for cold sores, but it’s good on cracked lips. When it’s new it all just spurts out in a big long uncontrollable string, which I find a bit wormlike, but other than that I have no complaints. This one seems to get the grubbiest! * cheerful manic face *
Eve Lom Kiss Mix, £16
Remember Kiss Mix from the Liberty advent calendar? I poured scorn all over it and (quite rightly) pointed out that it smells EXACTLY like an unlit menthol cigarette. Still though, this has been on my desk since December and I find myself reaching for it all the time. Maybe it’s mild Stockholm syndrome, but I think it’s actually rather good. It’s also attractively packaged and luxe feeling, which you certainly couldn't say for all of the balms on this list. Sorry Eve, I take most of it back.
The lip balm is just as nice as the hand cream, and comes in some really nice stinks. The classic is their ‘Lemonaid’ but I see on cultbeauty.com that they’re also doing some fruity ones, plus some tinted numbers which have caused pangs of longing that made me quickly close my browser window to avoid getting my debit card out. Perhaps later, after some Shiraz.
Clarins Instant Light Comfort Lip oil £19
This has absolute kawaii appeal in that is has an applicator that looks like the foot of an ickle cartoon bunny, which for some reason seduces me completely. They are shiney and quite sticky, but they do seem to really moisturise and are by far the most glamorous product on this list. I have the red berry shade, which imparts a sheer tint. I see on their website that there is now a gold one available, should you be having a Mary J Blige moment.
The best flavour of chapstick (fight me) and one readily available from most newsagents in a pinch. At around 70p you can’t complain (I mean, you can, but no one is listening).
We can’t have a lip balm guide without including Carmex, can we? The camphor tingle is reassuring, and the smell takes me back to sixth form instantly. I quite like the one with the leopard print lid. You want the pot, not the tube by the way: It’s not a proper carmex unless it’s a grimey old dinged up pot full of pencil shaving and Golden Virgina crumbs. Ah, youth.