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Fall is the perfect time to switch your lipstick with tinted lip balms

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You can nourish your lips while adding a wash of color

If you enjoy wearing lipstick but notice that it tends to dry out your lips — especially in the fall and winter — consider switching to a tinted lip balm. Tinted lip balms still give you the look of a lip color while replenishing your pout (which can get dry and chapped as a result of the colder air) with nourishing ingredients. 

Shop this article: Ilia Balmy Tint Hydrating Lip BalmFresh Sugar Lip Balm Hydrating Treatment and MDSolarsciences Hydrating Sheer SPF 30 Lip Balm

What to look for in a tinted lip balm

Color payoff

Tinted lip balms run the gamut, from products that give a subtle hint of sheer color to those that have a color payoff that resembles a lipstick. Many tinted lip balms have buildable color, which means the color payoff becomes stronger as you layer on the product. Decide whether you’re going for a more natural look or want something more bold. 


Just like lipsticks and clear lip balms, tinted lip balms come in different formulations. The right formula is just based on personal preference. Stick formulas can have a waxy or buttery feeling on lips and are easy to apply with a few swipes. Gel formulas can give more of a glossy look and sheen, but can sometimes feel sticky on lips. Lip balms that come in pots need to be applied with fingers, which can get messy and be less hygienic if you don’t wash your hands before putting your fingers in the pot. 

Ingredients and SPF

It’s important to check the ingredient labels to make sure the tinted lip balm you're choosing has a formula to address your skin concerns. If you're looking to load up on moisture and hydration, look out for shea butter or hyaluronic acid. Botanical and fruit oils — including but not limited to coconut oil, avocado oil, castor oil and jojoba oil — can add all kinds of benefits, such as smoothing, softening and conditioning. 

If you’ll be spending time outdoors, it’s a good idea to pick a lip product that contains SPF protection regardless of the time of year. Even in the colder months, your lips can get damaging sunburns. 

Best tinted lip balms to shop

Ilia Balmy Tint Hydrating Lip Balm

This hydrating clean balm, available in eight hues, is formulated with nourishing ingredients. Antioxidant rosehip seed oil replenishes moisture while shea butter conditions lips and locks in moisture. It glides on buttery smooth and the color is buildable, so you can customize the look.

Fresh Sugar Lip Balm Hydrating Treatment

A huge color selection makes Fresh’s tinted lip balm a beloved favorite. Beyond that, the product contains nourishing ingredients including hydrating sugar, smoothing cranberry seed oil and softening grapeseed oil. It glides on easily and provides a buildable color. 

MDSolarsciences Hydrating Sheer SPF 30 Lip Balm

Six sheer tinted hues give you buildable color with this SPF 30 protecting lip balm, perfect for traveling to sunny locations. The hydrating formula is packed with shea butter and avocado and olive oils for lasting moisture and a smooth, creamy texture.

Tower 28 Beauty JuiceBalm Vegan Tinted Lip Balm

Tower 28’s version of a tinted lip balm has a great color payoff akin to that of lipstick. Still, you’ll get a hydrating, balmy feel thanks to the ingredient list. The satin-finish product contains shea butter, which soothes and boosts hydration, and marula oil, a rich antioxidant that moisturizes and softens lips.

Goop Beauty Clean Nourishing Lip Balm

This lip treatment contains a sheer wash of color, which comes in four hues in addition to a colorless version. It’s super-moisturizing thanks to a mixture of botanical oils including those from coconut, argan, castor seed, jojoba and sunflower. Pomegranate extract and shea butter add additional moisturizing benefits. 

Supergoop! Lipshade 100% Mineral SPF 30 Hydrating Lipstick

Try this pick from customer-favorite sunscreen brand Supergoop! for a bold lip-color look with SPF 30 sun protection. Though technically a lipstick, the product contains hydrating ingredients including mango, shea and murumuru butters. It has plant-derived oils, which soothe and add shine, while natural peptides and portulaca pilosa extracts hydrate and plump lips. 

Glossier Ultralip Nourishing Shine and Color

This product has the look of a lipstick but the nourishment of a balm. It comes in 11 beautiful hues, each of which provides a tint of buildable color. The product contains a nourishing triple-oil blend from meadowfoam, jojoba and watermelon, which work in tandem to lock in moisture and leave lips feeling soft and quenched. 

Honest Beauty Tinted Lip Balm

Avocado oil helps improve your skin barrier’s function while you wear this tinted lip treatment, available in six shades and a clear option. Antioxidant-rich acai and pomegranate sterols add even more benefits to your pout. It goes on sheer, but the color is buildable as you layer it on.

Lawless Forget the Filler Lip-Plumping Line-Smoothing Tinted Lip Balm

This product contains hydrating shea butter and softening rosa canina fruit oil. It comes in seven beautiful shades, which have a high-shine finish. The product has a plumping effect. 

Covergirl Clean Fresh Tinted Lip Balm

For a budget-friendly option, try this tinted lip treatment, which delivers a subtle and natural-looking shine with just a hint of color. It contains hyaluronic acid and pomegranate oil to provide a surge of hydration. 

Worth checking out 

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Talia Ergas writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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