5 Best Lip Balms

Oh, for the love of lip balm. Cute, affordable and infinitely collectable (one can never have too many, right?), a brand new lip balm is pure happiness in a stick (or pot or curious-looking, brightly coloured little egg - #wantwantwant). It's been a tough task - almost as exhausting as choosing which puppy we want for the office (a Pomsky) - but after serious pencil-twirling and brain-exhaustion (ouch), I've determined my most favourite five... for the time being.

Sun is shinin' (weather is sweet, yeah)... makes me want to smother my lips with Kaplan MD's {Lip 20 Balm} - a rich, incredibly nourishing unguent with SPF 20, that not only wards against sunburn but intensively hydrates and fights off free radicals with a cocktail of hyaluronic acid, seabuckthorn berry extract and skin-conditioning vitamin E. Ideal whenever lips are seriously suffering.

Squawk-inducingly adorbz, EOS {Medicated Tangerine Lip Balm} smells satisfyingly medicinal and feels fresh, zingy and reparative thanks to shea butter and jojoba oil, alongside antibacterial phenol (0.5%) to help slough away scales and leave lips feeling velvety soft and smooth.

Infused with menthol to soothe (and tingle!) and zinc oxide to protect lips from sun damage, Eve Lom's {Kiss Mix} looks posh (I like posh) and has a lovely, glossy finish that is just-the-right-amount pearlescent. Lovely on its own, or over lipstick as a shiny highlight.

When I fancy a hint of tint, I reach for Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics' {Tarred & Feathered Lip Balm Duo} – half black and half white, it's all a little bit Beetlejuice but works miraculously, lending lips a subtle berry stain or neutralising their natural colour for a grungy, nude-lipped look that's totally norm-core. The 'Feathered' side also doubles as a base for {Lip Tar} - blanking out lip-pinkness for a true-to-colour finish. Ingenious, no?

Nuxe's notorious {Rêve de Miel} ('Dreams of Honey' or something like that...) is the lip equivalent of a leave-in hair mask - lovely to apply before bed, so you wake to a plump, smooth and pillowy pout. I'm not a honey-lover (shudder), but this has just enough grapefruit to make the smell bearable, and the lip smoothing benefit trumps any short-term miel misery. Don't believe me? Just ask any beauty addict out there (Essie Button turned the world on to this lip saviour).

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