Five Favorite Moisturizing Lipsticks

parched: moisturizing color for dry lips

lip color that moisturizes

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Not long after I’d embraced Chanel “Incandescente” as my Damn The Torpedos™ red lipstick, we were hit earlier this week with one of those warm, dry spells with lovely daytime temperatures, but humidity percentages in the single digits. Cue the flaky, peeling lips.

When conditions are that dry, I’ve found that on me most highly pigmented lipsticks tend to dry up and crack like the floor of Death Valley. But there are very few lip balms out there that really offer much in the way of color, and I’m all about the lips these days. So I’ve been rummaging back through products already in my stash, and trying a few at the cosmetics counters, and these are my top five moisturizing lipsticks so far (listed in ascending order of preference).

1. Revlon Color Burst Lip Butters. I’d picked up a couple of these last year, and still think they are one of the best beauty values out there. The colors I tried (Wild Watermelon and Peach Parfait) are very nice and have some longevity. They aren’t drying, though I do tend to find them a bit sticky feeling compared to some of my other lipsticks.

2. Clarins “Instant Light” Lip Balm Perfector. This is a new product from Clarins and I’ve tried these a couple of different times in the last few days. They do seem to moisturize and last longer (at least as far as lips not feeling dry) than many tinted lip balms. The color is sheer, and options are very limited, but the two colors I tried (Coral and Orange) are very pretty.

3. By Terry Hyaluronic Sheer Rouge. I tried this because of the hyaluronic aspect. The colors look much brighter in the tube than they go on, but you can build the color a bit for more intensity. There’s no stickiness, which is nice, but I also think they don’t last as long on the lips as some products.

4. NARS Lipstick, Sheer and Satin formulations (Semi-matte is much dryer, IMO). Love the texture, love the longevity. If you’re a fan of more nude/natural-leaning colors, there are a lot to choose from that are quite pretty. Some of the deeper colors tend to have a bit of shimmer/frost, which isn’t my thing. But this is a very good product.

5. Chanel Rouge Coco Shine. Good hydration, decent longevity. Lots of great colors from natural (try “Boy”) to bright (try “Monte Carlo” for a bright, warm rose, “Sari d’Eau for an orange/coral) to plum (“Suspense”). Color is sheer but definitely there. You can build without it getting thick or caked. I keep going back to this product, as it just seems to work well for me. I like that when this wears off it doesn’t get splotchy, so you can reapply as needed and the color will still look even.

How do you fare in dry weather? Do your lips chap or get flaky easily? Do you have favorite lip colors that moisturize?
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  1. January 9, 2015 / 4:57 am

    I’m going to have to check out some of those suggestions! I’ve had good luck with “Lipstick Queen.” The Saint Rouge and Saint Sunny Rouge have good color, but aren’t too drying.

    • une femme
      January 10, 2015 / 8:44 am

      I keep meaning to try Lipstick Queen again. I did a few years ago but she only had a few colors at that point, none of which really worked for me at the time.

    • une femme
      January 10, 2015 / 8:44 am

      I’ve seen this one and Cover Girl Outlast recommended often, will have to check it out.

  2. January 9, 2015 / 6:05 am

    The winter is so hard on lips…not to mention face, hands…dry, dry, dry. And this past week with -20 Celsius temperatures has been a killer. I’ve abandoned lipstick all together for a while. And looking for balm with a little colour. I’ll try that Clarins one. Thx from a “flaky” blogger!

    • une femme
      January 10, 2015 / 8:45 am

      Susan, I know, you should see my poor cuticles! Let me know how you like the Clarins.

  3. January 9, 2015 / 6:35 am

    It’s not dry here, but my lipstick often feels dry on my lips by noon. I love the Revlon Lip Butters, and also rely on Burt’s Bee’s lip balm over my color. xo

    • une femme
      January 10, 2015 / 8:46 am

      Patti, I haven’t tried Burt’s Bees over top of another color, will have to experiment!

  4. January 9, 2015 / 7:15 am

    Lipstick Queen is great. These days I’m just using Burt’s Bees Pomegranate Oil Lip Balm – somehow lipstick doesn’t look so great any more with my gray hair.

    • une femme
      January 10, 2015 / 8:47 am

      Lisa, I remember you recommending the Lipstick Queen a while back. I’ll have to take another look at that one.

  5. nell
    January 9, 2015 / 8:37 am

    Patti, I second the vote for Revlon Lip Butters. Seems to strike the right balance between having some staying power, and being luxuriously moist. Always feels “therapeutic”, in a funny way. And is translucent, but packs enough color punch. Some of the colors are too bright for me, but I like “Cotton Candy”, among others….

    • une femme
      January 10, 2015 / 8:57 am

      nell, I agree it’s a very good product!

  6. January 9, 2015 / 9:56 am

    I really love Dior Addict lipsticks this time of the year. They feel like a lip balm. Color is sheer.

    • une femme
      January 10, 2015 / 9:03 am

      Cathy, I’ve worn these before and liked them. I do get frustrated with Dior sometimes as they always seem to discontinue colors that I like. 🙂

  7. Janie
    January 9, 2015 / 10:48 am

    I am very happy with Perricone MD No Lipstick Lipstick. My lips tend to be dry anyway, and it’s very cold and dry here in the winter. This is an anti-aging lip treatment that has enough color for me, at least for daytime, and actually seems to improve the lip texture and fine lines. It’s expensive but the tube is huge and is lasting a long time. Best I’ve ever used!

    • une femme
      January 10, 2015 / 9:04 am

      Janie, haven’t tried that one but will next time I’m at their counter.

  8. Leslie
    January 9, 2015 / 10:53 am

    Well that explains it! I started wearing a deeper pigmented lipstick around the holidays and pretty much stopped when the festivities ended. First I tried Laura Mercier, which I love in lighter pigments but was really drying. Then I tried Hourglass, which the saleswoman said contained only natural ingredients and was moisturizing but resulted in dry cracked lips. I tried using various untinted balms with the lipstick and they all gave a strange orange tint to the lipsticks. I’ll give the Chanel a try before I give up.

    • une femme
      January 10, 2015 / 9:05 am

      Leslie, hope you have good luck with the Chanel!

  9. Duchesse
    January 9, 2015 / 11:23 am

    A woman who worked for a major cosmetics company (in product development) told me they just can’t get a pigmented colour to deliver both long wear and what she called “emollience”. So I wear the long-wear paint-ons like MAC Longwear and CoverGirl Outlast when I need them, such as long dinner parties, and the moisturizing lipsticks (many brands) or glosses for day. I also find a good coat of CLinique’s All About Lips before sleeping overnight really helps.

    • une femme
      January 10, 2015 / 9:06 am

      Duchesse, I’ll have to try the Clinique product. Usually I just use some Rosebud Salve at bedtime.

      • Duchesse
        January 10, 2015 / 12:55 pm

        I’m not sure if this product qualifies but the Clinique counter is quite generous with samples.

  10. Pam
    January 9, 2015 / 11:33 am

    I had the problem with dry lips, which was getting worse as I grew older. My lips chap and flake when I just read a weather report showing impending dry weather :). And, the house inside is usually dry when using the AC or the heat. Last year I found a great product which has prevented dryness, chapping and keeps my lips moisturized for hours – regardless of drinking/eating. They also remain moisturized overnight. I usually blot any excess product before applying lipstick. Makes a terrific base. Lipstick goes on smoothly and looks so much better now. It’s called Liptoxyl X3 and it is a clear product inside a tube with a doefoot applicator. I know some skin spas and estheticians carry the product, but I live in a small town and have to order it online. I think the company’s name is Kinetics.

    • une femme
      January 10, 2015 / 9:07 am

      Pam, thanks for the tip!

  11. January 9, 2015 / 2:18 pm

    I’m a fan of the Rouge Coco Shine and Jane Iredale. I can’t pull red off any more sadly. It’s just too hard on my coloring. Lucky you!

    • une femme
      January 10, 2015 / 9:10 am

      Jennifer, haven’t tried the Jane Iredale. It’s not easy to find in stores here for some odd reason. I’ve found the only reds that really work for me anymore are the brighter, orange-y ones.

  12. SoSuSam
    January 9, 2015 / 2:24 pm

    Chantecaille Lip Chics–the single best balm-like, soothing, hydrating lipstick. I have extremely dry lips and these not only don’t dry them out, they help my lips look plump and feel…human.

    • une femme
      January 10, 2015 / 9:11 am

      SoSuSam, I used this a few years ago but haven’t since the Blue Mercury store near me that carried it closed down. I do remember liking it very much and will hunt down again to try.

      • sosusam
        January 10, 2015 / 10:02 am

        I hope you find a color you like–they’re really lovely. If you have a Neimans, Nordies, Saks, or other big dept store nearby, they likely carry the lip chics. I also like Chantecaille’s lip glosses (the non-sticky ones–they have two kinds, one is quite moisturizing, the other is sticky) for dry lips. I’m sounding a bit like a shill for the brand–no affiliation, just appreciation. 😉 While on the subject of glosses, By Terry’s lip glosses are also moisturizing and soothing. But expensive!

  13. Lorna Mai (@LornaMaiLtd)
    January 9, 2015 / 3:23 pm

    I would love to try the Chanel Rouge Coco Shine, looks a lovely texture and I have a Chanel lipstick – it lasts all day

    • une femme
      January 10, 2015 / 9:11 am

      Lorna Mai, hope you like it!

  14. Marsha
    January 9, 2015 / 4:15 pm

    The Revlon lip butter is my new (and I hope, final) Answer to the Great Lip Problem – how can I have both color and unchapped lips? I have bought six so far, and have had a wonderful time layering various colors. The only thing that puzzles me is why some stores only carry a few of the colors, while the store next door carries several more. Like you, I prefer a “my lip color, but better” and I find that “Berry Smoothie” is exactly that for me.

    • une femme
      January 10, 2015 / 9:13 am

      Marsha, it’s funny but one of the best selections of Revlon products near me is at a Ralph’s grocery store. Go figure. 🙂

  15. mamamiau
    January 9, 2015 / 5:26 pm

    I’m in the Revlon Lip Butter and Lipstick Queen Saint+Medieval+Hello Sailor camp. I much prefer sheer stains/balms/whatever you call ’em to traditional lipsticks, which look harsh on me. I have a couple of Revlon stains that look like chubby pencils that seem to last pretty well, also.

    • une femme
      January 10, 2015 / 9:13 am

      mamalau, I haven’t tried those pencils yet but know they are generally well rated.

  16. Anne
    January 9, 2015 / 7:51 pm

    The only lipstick I can wear in the winter is Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Ultra Lipstick. The ceramides truly make a difference. It doesn’t dry out my lips, and there is no peeling or chapping. I usually order online.

    • une femme
      January 10, 2015 / 9:15 am

      Anne, I haven’t tried that one, will have a look. Thanks!

  17. January 10, 2015 / 2:38 am

    I do like the Revlon lip butters. They are so easy to use.

    • une femme
      January 10, 2015 / 9:16 am

      Yes! They don’t require a lot of precision to look good.

    • Duchesse
      January 10, 2015 / 12:58 pm

      Love them too. They don’t last all long on me but since so easy to apply I can do it without a mirror. And they feel wonderful.

  18. Ciara
    January 10, 2015 / 2:52 am

    Another one for Chantecaille Lip Chics and they have the most beautiful smell (not overwhelming) and ‘taste’.

    • une femme
      January 10, 2015 / 9:17 am

      Ciara, I am definitely going to try these again, thanks!

  19. January 12, 2015 / 5:01 pm

    I love everything NARS does. Their blush is the best! Their eyeshadow is brilliant as you can use it with water. Imagine, you can put it on very dark and gradient it to very light, all the same shade. A good thing.

    • une femme
      January 12, 2015 / 9:31 pm

      Marsha, NARS does have some fabulous products, don’t they?

  20. rb
    January 13, 2015 / 10:18 am

    have you tried Laura Mercier Sheer Lipcolor? it is very moisturizing. The lighter shades offer very little color but, to me, the Healthy Lips shade is the perfect pinky red. I spend a lot of time in cold, dry NY on business travel and this keeps my lips well conditioned – no chapping.

  21. rb
    January 13, 2015 / 10:18 am

    (I might have to wander over to the Walgreens near my office to check out the Revlon….)

  22. LauraH
    January 14, 2015 / 5:03 am

    I realize I’m a bit late to the party. Paula’s Choice Lip Balm works well for my very dry lips. Every night I use my face cream on my lips first, followed by the balm.

  23. Muireann
    January 14, 2015 / 8:53 am

    I have a minor obsession with tinted lip colors, and am exacting about their being moisturizing as well as semi-sheer. (Rouge Coco Shine and Nars sheers get only a C from me; Laura Mercier a B.) On the inexpensive end, the Burts Bees in the brown tubes are excellent, also Benefit Benebalm in red and the Fresh Sugar lipcolors. On the high end, Chantecaille and By Terry. In Paris I stock up on Labello Fruity Shine Cherry, which sounds like something no one should wear after 13, but is a transparent, super-moisturizing blue-red.

    Beauty blog ITG has just done a run-down, also: The Ilia they recommend is a good choice for people concerned about ingredients as it is all-organic.

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