Battle Of The Lip Balms Part II

Friday, March 11, 2011

For the past several months, I have been trying out different lip balms to sooth my dry lips.  It's not often that I get chapped lips but when I do, it's painful and highly uncomfortable. All of the products below were purchased due to high recommendations from blogs/makeupalley/forums.  I have listed them in order of prices - from high to low. Also for those who missed my previous battle of the lip balms post, be sure to check it out here.

La Mer Lip Balm ($45USD)
   The La Mer Lip Balm is the most expensive lip balm in my collection.  I have read several reviews raving over the potency of this product and how it's the best in the industry.  I was definitely excited to try it although $45 is an incredible splurge on a lip balm! La Mer is best known for the "Miracle Broth" created by NASA scientist Max Huber.

The lip balm comes in a very simple round pot with a silver screw top cap.  I like the packaging due to its simplicity.  My only gripe is that the top cap gets scratched very easily as shown above.  I'm also not fond of having to stick my finger into the pot due to sanitary purposes.

This smells and tastes sweet + minty on the lips.  You can either use your finger or a Q-tip to scoop out a small amount from the pot.  I applied it both ways: with and without warming it between my fingertips as instructed.  At first, I found the lip balm hard and waxy.  I highly recommend warming your fingers and then dig hard into the pot to soften the balm.  After that, it is soft and very easy to work with.  I lightly rub the balm between my fingertips and tap onto my lips per the instructions.

After using this twice a day for 3 days, my lips are soft and smooth again.  This lip balm is best used at night to nourish lips during the cold winter. I also love the lasting power, where I don't have to keep on re-applying.  I usually tap this on in the morning and my lips are soft throughout the day.  It will help keep your lips smooth and reduce dry, cracked lips within 48-72 hours if applied twice a day (morning/night). The texture is a light, almost liquid minty balm.

Kiehl's Lip Balm SPF 15 ($9.5USD)
     I purchased this only to reach the minimum limit for free shipping at Bergdorf Goodman.  I read the reviews on makeupalley and many people loved this product.  It does come in a tube and contain SPF15, which is a definite plus.

The package is hassle-free with a quick squeeze on the tube to dispense the product.  I personally don't like the hard edges around the hole of the tube.  I'm guessing it was not meant for us to apply directly out of the tube. Otherwise, I think the applicator is poorly designed. 

When I first dispensed the lip balm, I immediately thought of  Vaseline.  The colors are the same and the texture is rather similar, with Kiehl's being thicker and stickier.

After using this about 4 times, I pretty much gave up on it.  To me, it really is highly priced Vaseline with SPF.  The texture is like thick petroleum with a very strange taste.  It doesn't hydrate, sooth, or cure my dry lips. I feel that it sits on top of the dry flakes and doesn't fully get absorbed.   Personally, I would rather spend my money on a huge tube of Vaseline at a fraction of the cost.

Smith's Rosebud Perfume Co Minted Rose Lip Balm ($7USD)
     The Smith's Rosebud lip balm has been a favorite among beauty bloggers for several years.  I admit, I'm super late to the game but I finally picked this up during a trip to Sephora.  The lip balm comes in a tin pot that's similar to La Mer.  Again, I'm not fond of having to stick my fingers in to scoop out the product. However, there is a tube version available, but only for the original Rosebud Salve.

There are currently 3 flavors available at Sephora: Rosebud Salve, Rosebud Strawberry Lip Balm, and Rosebud Minted Rose Lip Balm.  I purchased the minted version to compare with La Mer's lip balm.

The texture is slightly sticky and it tastes minty on the lips.  I can feel a very light tingle when this is applied with either a Q-tip or my fingertips. After daily uses for a week, I fell head over heels with this product.  I love how it moisturizes my dry lips with a soft red tint.  My only gripe is that this does need to be re-applied throughout the day, and it takes about a week to heal the lips completely.

Burts Bees Honey Lip Balm ($3USD)
    This is one of my oldest and cheapest lip balms.  I purchased it at Walgreen about 2 years ago during the harsh winter weather.  It comes in a tube form that's very simple to use. I don't think I have any complaints about the packaging or the cost on this product.

Burt's Bees lip balm contains beeswax and essential oils. 

The balm goes on clear and is slightly waxy on the lips compared to the other 3 lip balms.  It performs OK on lightly chapped lips but doesn't do too well on very dry, flaky, or cracked lips.  I like to use this as a base for lipsticks or during the fall, when the weather isn't too cold. One good thing about this product is the wear time, where I don't have to re-apply more than twice a day.

In this second battle of the lip balms, I'll have to say my 2 favorites are La Mer and Smith's Rosebud Minted Lip Balm.  La Mer does a good job of curing the lips but it costs roughly 6.5X more compared to Rosebud.  If you're on a budget and don't mind re-applying, I highly recommend picking up Rosebud lip balms (any of the 3 flavors offered). If you want faster results and don't want to re-apply, La Mer will certainly be a splurge.  In terms of texture, La Mer is a bit thicker and more minty compared to Rosebud.  However, both perform very well in harsh, snowy winter conditions.

Have you tried any of these before? Which is your favorite?


sugar sugar said...

i havent tried la mer but all the three below didn't work for me. :(

PinkOrchids said...

I don't like sticky lip balms, my lipglosses are sticky enough! La mer sounds amazing, but it's so pricey. Thanks for your review, i have yet to try Burts bees!

Anonymous said...

I really like Dermatone (SPF 22), meant for skiiers, etc. You can find it at sports stores, camping stores like REI, EMS, etc. It's only about $3-4 a tube. My other favorite is EOS medicated lip sphere (orange one). I live in NY and we've gad one of the harshest winters in years and these 2 balms have been great!

Sabrina said...

I'm obsessed with the EOS lip balms

Cynthia said...

Totally agree with you about Kiehl's - it's basically Vaseline. About a year ago I discovered Labello HydroCare lip balm. This is a European brand, that is marketed under the Nivea name in the States. I've heard that the formula under Nivea is different, however. It is very reasonable (considered a drugstore brand over there), and costs around 3-4 euros a tube. They have different kinds but the Hydrocare really works - and has no scent or flavor. I've seen this on US websites ranging from $7 to $14, so it's a bit pricier than buying in Europe, but it beats Kiehl's by a long shot...

J. said...

Can I ask which you prefer, the La Mer or Chanel?

Dizzy said...

The only one I’ve tried is the Burt’s bees; I personally don’t like it because it feels too waxy on my lips.
Great reviews BTW.

Crissy K said...

I like the Jack Black lip balm I steal it from my husband lol.

Jacqueline said...

I have tried Burt's Bees Pomegranate Lip Balm, Kiehl's and Smiths (in a blue container)out of all I love Smiths best. I use this every night before I go to sleep. My lips are always soft in the morning. It is also great when I have cracked or peeling lips which I want to heal. I use Chanel's Hydramax for when I want to prep my lips for lipstick. Smiths is too emollient for that.

Kristie said...

sugar sugar - sorry to hear. Did you find a lip balm that works for you?

PinkOrchids - I know what you mean, sticky lip balms are no fun. You might like Burt's Bee better since it's softer and more waxy on the lips.

Anonymous - thank you for the recommendation. I will definitely check it out!

Sabrina - You and me both! I love those egg shaped lip balms.

Cynthia - awesome. Thanks for the recommendation. I will be sure to check it out. Sounds like a winner!

J. - I personally prefer Chanel over La Mer because it's cheaper and feels better on the lips.

Dizzy - Yep it does feel waxy since the majority of the ingredient is beeswax. Maybe you might like a more liquid type of lip balm?

Crissy K - I know many people like JB but I had a horrible allergic reaction to it :(

Jacqueline - Yay! I'm glad to find a Smith's and Chanel lip balm lover. I like both but Chanel is still my top pick.

Marie - thanks for stopping by! I love Creme de La Mer as well.

Wish I Was Audrey said...

I have always struggled with chapped the point where it is almost embarrassing and I could never wear lipstick. I'm so happy that your favorite was a tie between a high end one and the Rose Salve ( which is way more affordable!) I've been using Carmex in a tube and the new Covergirl NatureLuxe Lipbalm. After reading how you used your different item, I'm going to definitely make sure I apply before I got to sleep each night.

Catherine said...

Hm, I might have to finally try the La Mer balm. I've tried all the other ones you reviewed (except for the Kiehl's, I'm allergic to SPF in lip products) and none of those worked for me... I have chronically dry lips and I've tried 50+ different balms and lip treatments. Might be time to splurge on the La Mer.

Anonymous said...

Aquaphor by Eucerin!

MissA* said...

I have Kiehl's Lip Balm SPF 15 and it doesn't work for me either! Like you said, it doesn't hydrate and it doesn't soothe the dry lips.

Alice said...

Wow what a great blogpost- thanks!!

I tried Kiehl's a long time ago and had the same reaction as you. Too slippery and doesn't impart any moisture or healing benefits.

I recently rediscovered my Smith's rose salve- LOVE.
La mer- you make me intrigued- if only I had an extra $45 laying around...

I've been really digging CO Bigelow's (A la Bath and Body Works) menthas as of late. They are infused with peppermint oil so they freshen your breath and keep your lips soft and moisturized.
Also, Korres Lip Butters are fantastic- with a light tint.

Love your work!

Kristie said...

Wish I Was Audrey - Glad I was able to help. I hope you find a great lip balm to cure your dry lips soon :)

Catherine - Let me know if La Mer works for you. I normally suggest getting samples but since so many people stick their fingers in the tester, it's a bit harder to get one in this case.

Anonymous - awesome. I will check it out once I get a chance.

MissA* - I know. I love Kiehl's toner but the lip balm was such a disappointment.

Alice - Thanks for the suggestions! I will check out the C.O lip balms and I've heard great things about Korres.

Christina said...

Such a great post Kristie so thanks! I really lile both Smith's Rosebud Lip Balm and Burt's Bees. I think for the price, they are definitely worth it. (Plus I like the tingly action with the Smith's.)

I haven't tried any of La Mers' products before but have heard fantastic things so it might be time for me to venture out.....

kellyyes said...

i have tried the burts bees medicated original balm and this honey on you have here and i like the medicated one but not the honey. i really cant stand the scent of it! and i dont really care for the texture, a little too waxy for my liking. you have great pictures!

Neicy said...

I tried Burt's Bees, Kiehls, and Smith Rosebud and I must say that Smith Rosebud is the clear winner in my book. Its a old school fave and its uses are multi-purpose. I can use it on my elbows, on my heels. BB was way too "waxy" Kiehls I always had to apply and apply and apply again....I have been using Smith's for almost ten years now....

Anonymous said...

Great article and reviews. I was glad to read about the products, but am not convinced that any are better (for me) than Burt's Bees Beeswax Lip Balm, not the pom one...I guess mine is the original. Minty feeling on the lips. The pom one is less waxy, I don't like the texture or taste.

I keep two tubes in my handbag just in case I use up the open one; one in the pocket of my slacks or jeans; one in my nightstand, one in my jacket pocket, one in each desk at home and at work, one in the side table beside my sofa, and several backups. I'm not joking. I can't live without something moist on my lips and I don't want to be running around looking for where I left my tube, so I keep them everywhere. I have contact allergies, so like the beeswax and mint -- no reaction, feels, great, and as long as I reapply my lips are comfortable and healthy. Lipstick makes my lips ultra-dry.
I love this blog!! Thanks.

Anonymous said...

La Mer is the BEST and lasts for ever and ever and ever ... by the time you have spent $3 on lip balm twenty times over (because you've either lost them or had to reapply so you've used them up) you are better off splurging and getting the La Mer. One application at night and another in the morning ... you're done all day.

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