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The Best Tinted Lip Balms for Every Budget and Skin Tone

Clare Holden
Written by Clare Holden
tinted lip balm

Tinted lip balm doesn’t always get the attention it deserves. It may not be as striking as red lipstick or show-stopping as a smokey eye, but it is the one beauty product that most of us use on a daily basis. Women of all ages and levels of makeup expertise are guaranteed to have at least one tinted lip balm in their cosmetics collection, making it a true desert island beauty product.

Tinted lip balms not only improve your appearance, but keep your lips hydrated and soft — while also offering added benefits like protection against UV rays and brightening up your smile. After testing out new releases and existing offerings, investigating ingredients and deep diving through customer reviews, the list below provides carefully selected picks of the best tinted lip balms available for every budget, skin tone and lifestyle.

The 15 Best Tinted Lip Balms

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Finding the Best Tinted Lip Balms

Tinted lip balm hits the sweet spot between a traditional lip stick and a basic lip balm. It provides all the moisturizing qualities of a balm along with a subtle dash of color. They may not ever become a trending topic on social media, but tinted lip balms will always be a beauty essential and having one on you at all times will prevent your lips from getting chapped and damaged.

Most lip balms have the same base formulation of shea butter and vitamin E. Keep an eye out for those which contain SPF to prevent sun damage. Tinted lip balms are a product you will use regularly, so it’s important to keep this in mind when choosing which one is right for you.

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Tinted Lip Balms


Unlike lipsticks, tinted lip balms only provide a sheer veil of color, making them suitable for most skin tones and easier to pair with your complexion. Berry reds are the most popular shade, with neutral nudes also serving as a great option for those who like to keep things natural.


Lips can become damaged extremely quickly, whether that be from weather conditions or wearing too much lipstick. Look for skin nourishing ingredients such as vitamin E, hyaluronic acid, coconut oil, castor seed oil, shea and mango butters to prevent your lips from drying out.


Tinted lips balms mostly have a soft dewy finish due to their texture. This looks great for elevated day makeup, but if you prefer a more matte finish, applying a lip balm under your lipstick will prevent your lips from cracking throughout the day. For those looking for a gloss finish, lip balms with a wand applicator tend to provide a shinier result.


This is one of the few makeup categories where drugstore brands hold their own against the higher-end brands. Due to how frequently you will be using the balm — most likely everyday and reapplying every few hours — picking up an affordable option makes more sense, as you will use it up quite quickly.


Tub lip balms are less hygienic, as the application process involves using your fingertips to apply and dip into the container. This also makes for a messier application, so choosing a twist up stick or wand applicator will keep things cleaner and more convenient for you.

What are the Different Types of Tinted Lip Balm?


The most popular type of lip balm packaging due to how compact they are to carry around and how easy it is to apply them. There is no mirror necessary when gliding a stick balm across the lips.


The original type of packaging for lip balms. While they are slightly messier to apply, pots are generally 100% recyclable, so ultimately make for the most environmentally-friendly option.


Tinted lip balms with the added bonus of SPF will keep your lips safe in the sun and prevent sun damage around the lip area. A great option for the summer months or for those who spend a lot of time outdoors.


Best Overall: Nivea Cherry Shine Caring Lip Balm


  • Affordable
  • Bestselling product
  • Dermatologically-approved


  • Limited shade range
  • Simple packaging
  • Not everyone may like the scent

When it comes to tinted lip balm, this Cherry Shine from Nivea keeps it simple and does exactly what it's supposed to — deliver hydration to your lips with a hint of color. While other brands may oversell on promises and results, this lip balm has remained a shopper-favorite and a makeup bag staple for women all over the world for years.

This balm is so popular, they now sell it in multi-packs of four, because customers were buying it in bulk due to how often they wore it. The veil of cherry red combined with its long-lasting moisturizing capabilities means you will never have to worry about having chapped lips or missing out on wearing lip color again.


Best Color Range: Jones Road The Lip Tint


  • Huge shade range
  • Quick and easy application
  • Cruelty-free


  • Not as widely available
  • Not everyone may like the thinner stick
  • Fewer reviews

Legendary makeup artist Bobbi Brown has made a triumphant return to the beauty world with her latest venture Jones Road. Offering a curated collection of expertly formulated everyday makeup essentials, each product is easy to apply and blends seamlessly into the skin. Their lip tints are no exception, and even beginners to makeup will be able to achieve a flawless precise finish to elevate their daily look.

Being available in thirteen dreamy shades makes it difficult to choose just one, but it also means you will be able to find the perfect tone for your complexion. Castor seed is one of the main ingredients of this lip tint which boosts collagen production and reduces the signs of fine lines.


Best Budget: Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm


  • Affordable
  • Rave reviews
  • Natural ingredients


  • Limited tint shades
  • Simple packaging
  • May melt if left in the sun

The ultimate everyday lip balm for every skin tone. Burt’s Bees has been around since the '80s, and there is a reason why their tinted lip balm remains a hit with customers new and old. The 100% natural formula provides deep hydration for lips with just a dash of red tint, which creates the perfect moisturized and berry infused lip.

Botanical waxes and shea butter combine to reduce dryness and deliver vitamins and antioxidants to tired-looking lips, while the hint of color immediately lifts the face. This is the ultimate handbag staple for anyone looking to keep their lips in top condition.


Best Splurge: Dior Lip Glow Oil


  • Wand applicator
  • Wide shade selection
  • Non greasy


  • Finish may be slightly shiny for some people
  • More expensive
  • Not everyone may like the scent

If keeping your lips nourished and well taken care of is at the top of your beauty priorities, then investing in this Dior Lip Glow Oil will give you hydrated and enhanced color in just one clean swipe. Available in seven different shades, this lip oil delivers a veil of natural-looking color along with deep moisture, which improves the overall condition of lips with continual wear.

The luxury packaging comes with a specially designed lip wand for an easier and more precise application, and the cherry oil infused formula protects lips from drying out and external stress factors.


Best Drugstore: Covergirl Clean Fresh Tinted Lip Balm


  • Affordable
  • Popular with shoppers
  • 6 different shades


  • Not everyone may like the plastic packaging
  • Some of the deeper shades may be too dark for some users
  • Slightly wider balm, so not as precise to apply

At under $5 and packed full of skin enriching ingredients, you can’t go wrong scooping up one of these tinted lip balms from Covergirl to take with you everywhere you go. Available in six flattering tints, You’re The Pom is the standout shade of the collection.

The ingredient list includes apricot kernel oil, shea butter, mango seed butters and vitamin c to keep lips hydrated all day long, and the formula is also paraben-free — making it suitable for those with sensitive skin. Extra points for adding in hyaluronic acid to rejuvenate and smooth out lips.


Best SPF Protection: Tizo Tinted Lip Protection SPF 45


  • High sun protection
  • Fragrance-free
  • Suitable for sensitive skin


  • Tint may not be strong enough for some wearer
  • Not as widely available
  • Simple packaging

While most lip balms offer some SPF, as it is such a sensitive area that is prominently exposed to the sun, wearing a stronger SPF on your lips is essential — not only from a vanity aspect but also from a health perspective.

This SPF 45 from suncare brand Tizo delivers protection from UV rays along with a slight tint that is also water-resistant. It can be worn under your regular lipstick as it won’t leave any white cast. The higher sun protection will prevent sunburn, and if worn daily, reduce the risk of premature aging around the lip area.


Best Fair Skin: Tower 28 Beauty JuiceBalm Vegan Tinted Lip Balm


  • Easy to apply
  • Sheer satin finish
  • Four color options


  • Not everyone may like the stick applicator
  • Fewer reviews
  • Not so widely available

A little bit goes a long way with this JuiceBalm from California-based brand Tower 28. The buttery texture glides on to lips to add just the right amount of color to brighten your face and give your lips a natural tinted glow.

The rich antioxidant marula oil provides lips with deep hydration, while moisturizing shea butter gives the balm its dewy finish. The berry, ruby and poppy reds work well with all skin tones — but will really stand out on fair skin.


Best Medium Skin: ILIA Balmy Tint Hydrating Lip Balm


  • Free from silicones
  • Targets dryness
  • Hydrating formula


  • Slightly more expensive
  • Those with fair or dark skin may prefer one of the other shades
  • Simple packaging

Clean beauty pioneers Ilia have pulled out all the stops in creating this extra hydrating lip balm available in eight delicious shades. The neutral coco brown tint Faded is our pick for those with medium skin tones, with the warm peachy nude Memoir coming in at a close second.

Silicone-free, this balm combines salicornia (sea succulent) and rosehip oil to replenish moisture and leave the lips more supple and smooth. The packaging is also recyclable and the formula cruelty-free.


Best Dark Skin: Revlon Kiss Tinted Lip Balm


  • Affordable
  • Thousands of rave reviews
  • Contains SPF 20


  • Excess packaging, could be more environmentally-friendly
  • Sometimes sells out
  • Finish may be slightly shimmery for some users

Keep your smile bright and your lips shining with this fruit oil infused tinted lip balm from beauty giants Revlon. At just over $5, the Sweet Cherry tint is the perfect shade for those with dark skin to wear daily. It also provides a protective barrier to shield lips from environmental elements, and daily stressors to keep them smooth and conditioned.

The crayon-style balm drenches lips in moisturizing properties while also delivering a sheer and subtle glossy tint to give your lips natural definition. If you are looking for a balm to wear under lipstick that also contains an SPF the shade Tropical Coconut provides the same qualities with a more neutral finish.


Best Dry Lips: ChapStick Total Hydration Tinted Lip Balm


  • Great price
  • Trusted formula
  • Naturally sourced ingredients


  • Simpler packaging
  • No SPF
  • Some shades sell out quickly due to popularity

The original in keeping lips from drying out, Chapstick now boasts a range of tinted balms which combine its winning hydrating formula with modern day beauty needs. Lipsticks and lip pencils look great the day you wear them, but can leave your pout chapped and dried out for up to a week afterwards.

Having one of these compact tints on hand means you can apply advanced lip care on a daily basis to prevent further damage to lips and ensure they are always in their optimum condition. The paraben-free formula also makes this balm suitable for sensitive skin.


Best for Everyday: Maybelline Baby Lips Moisturizing Lip Balm


  • Affordable
  • Bestselling product
  • All day hydration


  • Some colors sell out fast
  • Simple packaging
  • Smaller shade range

If you are a daily wearer of lip balm and looking for a tinted option you can repurchase often, Baby Lips from Maybelline provides deep hydration with a veil of color for just over $3. This non-sticky balm glides onto lips to keep them soft all day without ever feeling greasy.

Cherry Me is the classic red tinted shade, while Pink Punch offers something more vibrant for those who want to add a stronger splash of color to their daily makeup. Shea butter and vitamin E keep lips from drying out without sacrificing on tint.


Best Long-Lasting: e.l.f. Hydrating Core Lip Shine


  • Wide range of colors
  • Easy to apply
  • Beauty fan-favorite


  • Finish may be slightly shiny for some wearers
  • Not as widely available
  • Some may prefer a wider balm stick

E.l.f. has become a firm favorite among beauty lovers everywhere, due to their high-quality products and affordable prices. They have hit another home run with this slightly shiny tinted lip balm that is suitable for all skin types.

This balm has one of the wider selections of color ranges on the market and offers a variety of nude, brown, peach and coral shades, that are all ideal for everyday natural makeup or teamed with a stronger eye look.


Best Natural: Sun Bum Tinted Lip Balm in Sand Bar


  • Great price
  • Thousands of rave reviews
  • Offers sun protection


  • Tint might not be strong enough for some wearers
  • Basic packaging
  • Slightly thicker texture

Many tinted lip balms tend to offer a berry tone, but this balm from Sun Bum provides a natural nude hue for those who prefer their makeup to be more earth-toned. It also offers a reef-safe SPF 15 to keep lips protected from the sun.

The hypoallergenic formula is free from parabens, silicones and oxybenzone, making it ideal for anyone with sensitive skin, while the coconut oil base keeps lips hydrated and moisturized from summer right through to winter.


Best Clean: Honest Beauty Tinted Lip Balm


  • Dermatologist-tested
  • Hypoallergenic formula
  • Shopper favorite


  • Thinner balm stick
  • Some shades sell out quickly
  • Sheerness varies between shades

Elevate your daily makeup with one of the seven natural shades of this lip balm from Jessica Alba’s clean beauty brand Honest. Formulated specifically to be free from petrolatum, paraffins, parabens, synthetic fragrances, silicones and mineral oil, it won’t irritate or aggravate skin, only nourish and moisturize.

Avocado oil, pomegranate and acai berry extract all combine to deliver a healthy dose hydration, along with a light veil of color that melts into lips for a natural and fresh-looking finish.


Best Moisturizing: Laneige Lip Glowy Balm


  • Lightweight texture
  • Compact pocket size
  • No. 1 Amazon bestselling product


  • Not as widely available
  • Not everyone may like the tube applicator
  • Smaller shade selection

Beauty insiders have long raved about Laneige’s unparalleled ability to create nourishing formulas which keep lips plumped and soft for days. This product's ability to do just that spread by word of mouth within the makeup community to elevate it to one of Amazon’s bestselling lip balms.

Moisture is locked into lips through a powerful combination of murumuru and shea butters, and despite its rich, hydrating ingredients, this balm never feels heavy or greasy. Available in five fruity shades, after trying one, you will want the full collection.

People Also Ask

  • Q: What color tinted lip balm is best?

    A:This comes down to personal preference, but a subtle berry red is flattering on all skin tones and adds a natural glow to the face.

  • Q: How to apply tinted lip balm?

    A:The best thing about tinted lip balm is that it is almost impossible to apply it incorrectly — one swipe across the lips is all that is needed to keep them soft and moisturized.

  • Q: How much should I spend on a tinted lip balm?

    A:Tinted lip balm is a product you want to have on you at all times. There are some amazing options available for less than $5, and some more luxurious offerings listed above if you want to treat yourself.

Why trust Us

At Us Weekly, we aim to inform readers to make smart purchasing decisions, saving you both time and money. Our editors are obsessed with finding products in a variety of categories from fashion and beauty, to home and fitness.

We try various products, so we can recommend our favorites, and we also summarize feedback and data from other customers. Data, like product reviews and ratings, helps us recommend the best product choices for individual price points and needs.

On top of that, we highlight unique product features for special use cases, ingredients preferences, and more. We strive to make sure you are discovering new products that can make your life easier, while keeping you up to date with the best product choices for types of items you already know and love.

Clare Holden

By Clare Holden

Beauty and style writer Clare has been a fan of makeup and fashion ever since she was a child. While studying for her degree in Journalism and Communications, Clare worked part-time on cosmetic counters. After graduating she went back and trained as a makeup artist after falling in love with beauty and skincare. She now splits her time between writing about all things makeup and running her own womenswear brand White Night.
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