Lip Balm, Liquid Lipstick, and a Guide to Everything in Between

By Marcella Kukulka

It seems like just yesterday that I was with my mom in our local Walgreens picking out my favorite watermelon-flavored chapstick. What I didn’t know then was that my simple obsession with Lip Smackers would accumulate into a large collection of glosses and stains by the time I was eighteen. Irritating ingredients, application techniques, and inexpensive dupes are just a few of the things I have learned about over the years. How much do you know about lip products? Test your knowledge with this guide to lip balm, liquid lipstick, everything in between!

1. Lip Balm
Perhaps the most basic lip product in the store. This is a waxy substance applied to restore moisture. When looking for a good lip balm, always make sure that it includes spf to prevent chapping from the sun. While most lip balms are colorless to prime the lips for another layer of color (via lipstick), tinted lip balms are nice for a more natural makeup look.

Must-have Basic: Burt’s Bees “Beeswax Lip Balm” ($3.30)
Suggested Buy: Lush “Rose Lollipop” ($9.95)
Worth the Splurge: La Mer “The Lip Balm” ($65)
Product to Avoid: Maybelline “BABY LIPS® MOISTURIZING LIP BALM” ($4.49)

2. Lip Gloss
Lip Gloss is a product that gives the lips subtle color with a glossy finish. PRO: It makes your lips look juicy and plump. CON: Your hair gets stuck every time. Popularly translucent in the early 2000s, lip gloss is recently reemerging in extremely opaque metallic finishes.

3. Lip Liner
Lip Liner is used to outline the lips and prevent unwanted spreading of lipsticks or stains on to the face. Lip liner is also good for the ombré lip trend because it easily blends with lipsticks while still staying saturated.

4. Lipstick
Lipstick is the most traditional and common way of applying color onto luscious lips. Essential colors for your makeup kit are a sultry red, light nude, bright pink, dark berry, and chocolate brown.

5. Lip Stains and Liquid Lipstick
Lip Stains and Liquid Lipstick are products that apply like lipgloss but dry matte like lipstick and are the hottest trend of the past year! Make sure to research several brands before buying since different formulas can be very drying, making the the lips look chapped and the product uneven.