Thursday Guest Post: Comparison of Indie Lip Balms

Hi everyone!  I’m Daisy and I love talking about indies over at  /r/indiemakeupandmore.  Luna kindly agreed to let me do a guest post and I’ll be sharing my experiences with indie lip balms.

To begin with, I should probably tell you something about my lips: They’re really awful.  They crack, peel, bleed, and in general just look awful even if they’re not having a bad day.  And yes, I’ve tried drinking more water.  In elementary school, on multiple occasions, I would have teachers offer me Vaseline on little spoons  because they felt their lips peeling just looking at mine.  And those were on the good days.

I’ve since learned how to manage my finicky lips and along the way come to the conclusion that lip balms are incredibly personal. Different people take to various ingredients (the same lip balms that leave me peeling are some of my sister’s favorites while she can’t stand any of the ones I use).  There’s a lot of textural variation (soft, waxy, etc.) and personal preferences as well.

To get a reference of my personal preferences and how my lips behave here are some mainstream lip balms/ingredients that have worked for me:

  1. 100% Lanolin – holy grail, and so far the only thing I’ve encountered that actually seems to moisturize my lips rather than simply prevent them from chapping too much
  2. Blistex – prevents my lips from getting worse, possibly just a waxy barrier to trap moisture in
  3. Smith’s Rosebud salve – if my lips are already doing okay (from lanolin) then this works to maintain them at that level, otherwise it doesn’t do much for actually chapped lips

Here are some mainstream items that haven’t worked for me:

  1. EOS – these feel nice on for about 5 minutes, start to dry out my lips after that, and by 30 minutes my lips are worse for having them on
  2. Softlips – great to apply, very smooth but needs constant reapplication and dries out my lips similarly to EOS
  3. 100% Vaseline – unfortunately those teachers were just exacerbating the problem as Vaseline tends to make my lips crack as soon as the glossiness wears off
  4. 100% Shea butter – I need to reapply this about every 5 minutes, dries out my lips spectacularly fast

Now armed with a bit of information about my lips, we’re ready to talk indies!  In order of softest to hardest, here’s my list and thoughts:

  1. Detrivore Embalming Tubes: Extremely soft, this is not one you want if you ever store your lip balms in your pocket. I try to apply this by barely touching my lips. It is very buttery, feels rather oily and looks like a gloss upon first application. It sinks in after a while (30 or so minutes if you leave your lips alone, in about a minute if you rub them together) but only really maintains my lips at a decent level instead of improving them.
  2. Notoriously Morbid Coffin Kissers: Soft, but not insanely so like the Detrivore ones. This doesn’t particularly improve my lips but doesn’t make them any worse. If you like a soft lip balm that sinks in quickly, this would be your best option.
  3. Kimberly Noel Cosmetics Lip Lotion: (Full disclosure: I received this as a gift from Kimberly Noel although she didn’t know it would be featured in this guest blog post.) This is very soft and applies just as thickly as the Detrivore embalming tubes, with a gloss-like finish. However, it feels more wax-like and after checking the ingredients list I realized my HG lanolin is the 2nd one listed.  I like this one quite a bit, although I was sent “Mint Peppermint” and I find menthol a questionable inclusion. I also personally don’t like the cooling/burning sensation.
  4. noto

  5. Performance Colors Lip Repair: This is soft and applies smoothly, but is more on the waxy side than oily. It doesn’t apply with a gloss-like finish, seems to be absorbed easily and is one of the more moisturizing lip balms I’ve tried.
  6. Silk Naturals Matte Lip Balm: Slightly waxier than PC lip repair, I really enjoy applying this as it truly just glides on, even over my chapped lips. It’s not quite as moisturizing as I would like (keeping in mind my ridiculously dry lips) but it’s fantastic for when my lips are already in good condition. It also does not apply matte as advertised. It doesn’t have the same glossy or wet finish, but there is certainly a (natural-looking) sheen to it.
  7. Haus of Gloi Lip Balm: These do glide on but you do have to apply a bit more pressure to get it on your lips than with the SN lip balm. Personally, sometimes I do find this one a bit easier to use since with the other options you have to be careful not to apply too much.  It’s the most moisturizing indie option I’ve tried save for the PC lip repair.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of all the indie balms out there and there are certainly some that I’d like to try eventually. If you have any that you adore, please feel free to share in the comments.

Otherwise, I hope this provided some ideas for your next lip balms!

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  • I also hated the EOS lip balms, I don’t understand how they’re so popular! The only one I’ve tried from your indie list is the Coffin Kisser, but the Performance Colors one sounds really nice too :)