Which tinted lip balms are best?

Tinted lip balms have long been popular because of their versatility — they not only hydrate but also  add color to your lips without drying them out. They’re low-maintenance, too, and easy to apply. If you’re looking for a lush, nourishing tinted lip balm, then Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm is the top choice. 

What to know before you buy tinted lip balm


Tinted lip balm can come in a variety of colors. Most come in shades of pink, red and orange.  


Most lip balm comes in an adjustable cylinder tube. However, some come in squeezable tubes or shallow, closable pots. 

Earth impact

Cruelty-free, vegan and sustainably harvested products are made with an environmental focus. Some lip balms are made with vegan ingredients and never test on animals. 

What to look for in quality tinted lip balm


A quality tinted lip balm starts with quality ingredients. Tinted lip balms made from all-natural ingredients, vitamins and minerals are most nourishing for the lips.  


It should stay on the lips anywhere from 4-8 hours. Opt for a lip balm that describes itself as long-lasting, as its formula will be made for long periods of wear.   


It should be visible on the lips after just one swipe of application — meaning it has a visible amount of pigmentation. Several swipes of a tinted lip balm may result in a fuller, darker color.    

How much you can expect to spend on tinted lip balm

Quality tinted lip balm will generally cost between $5-$18. 

Tinted lip balm FAQ

Is tinted lip balm matte?

A. Most lip balms have consistencies similar to moisturizing Chapstick, but tinted lip balm has color and sometimes a little bit of shine. Avoid tinted lip balms may claim they have a matte finish. Matte finishes can be drying, and are usually sold as liquid lipsticks that dry after application. 

Is tinted lip balm flavored?  

A. It depends on the brand. Some have subtle flavors while others are generally flavorless, like Chapstick.  

Do tinted lip balms protect lips from the sun? 

A. Tinted lip balms differ from lip gloss and lipsticks because they’re made to moisturize the lips. Check the balm’s description to see if it will protect your lips from the sun’s ultraviolet rays.   

Can I wear tinted lip balm every day? 

A. Lip balm is safe for everyday use because of its nourishing qualities. 

How to apply tinted lip balm 

  • Choose a balm that moisturizes and is a flattering shade for your skin tone. Avoid balms that contain harmful ingredients such as parabens, propylene glycol and triethanolamine.  
  • Exfoliate your lips before application to remove dead skin. Exfoliating helps the lip balm’s color be applied more evenly. An easy DIY lip exfoliant is made from one part olive oil or coconut oil and two parts sugar. 
  • Next, if your balm comes in a tube, apply it by rolling it up. Start at the corner of your bottom lip and swipe the balm across. For the top lip, start at the center and move to the outer corners. 
  • If you want a more precise application, or your lip balm does not come in a tube, you can use a thin makeup brush to apply it. It’s important to note that applying a tinted lip balm with unwashed fingers has a risk of spreading bacteria onto your lips. 

Tips for purchasing tinted lip balm

  • Ingredients: Lip balms should be moisturizing, so seek out those that use moisturizing, natural ingredients such as hemp seed oil, castor seed oil, shea butter and lanolin.   
  • SPF: Protect your lips by purchasing a balm that has a Sun Protection Factor, or SPF, rating. Physical blockers like zinc and titanium dioxide offer protection from the sun. 
  • Color: Seek out a tinted lip balm that will enhance your natural features. 
    • Shades for fair skin: pinks, corals, peach and beiges 
    • Shades for medium skin: rose, mauve and berry 
    • Shades for tan skin: corals, deep pinks and oranges
    • Shades for dark skin: plums, berry, purples and reds 

What’s the best tinted lip balm to buy?

Top tinted lip balm

Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm

Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm 

What you should know: Burt’s Bees balms come in shades that are flattering for any skin tone.  

What you’ll love: This balm uses moisturizing, natural ingredients like coconut oil, and is made without testing on animals. One swipe of the balm can keep your lips smooth and nourished for up to 8 hours. 

What you should consider: Burt’s Bees tinted lip balms do not contain sun protection.   

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Kohl’s  

Top tinted lip balm for the money

Sun Bum Tinted Lip Balm

Sun Bum Tinted Lip Balm 

What you should know: This balm with sun protection is manufactured in the U.S. and comes in five shades.  

What you’ll love: It’s cruelty-free, vegan and gluten-free. It’s also reef-friendly — it doesn’t contain oxybenzone or octinoxate, two commonly found ultraviolet-blocking chemicals that can cause coral bleaching.   

What you should consider: The product is described as having a vanilla scent.   

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Ulta Beauty 

Worth checking out 

Melixir Vegan Lip Butter

Melixir Vegan Lip Butter   

What you should know: Made with agave and shea butter, this vegan lip butter comes in 12 shades. 

What you’ll love: The formula is non-greasy and is made from natural ingredients including vitamin E, green tea seed oil, jojoba oil and argan oil. The packaging is compostable.   

What you should consider: It does not offer sun protection.  

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

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

Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.