My favorite moisturizing lipsticks & treatments

Susan B's favorite moisturizing lip treatments & lipsticks.

We live in what’s technically a “coastal desert,” and the air can get very dry this time of year. My lips tend toward dryness as it is, so I don’t want to wear anything that’s going to exacerbate that.

Lip treatments

My lips used to ALWAYS be chapped, and were often flaky no matter how much balm I applied. A few years ago Brian gave me a lip treatment product to try, and it’s become one of my Holy Grail products. I apply just a drop of Re-Creation Lip Treatment 2-3 times a day and it not only moisturizes but smooths and has improved the texture of my lips. I also apply around the outside of my lips to plump and reduce those lines.

When we travel, I toss a tube of by Terry Baume de Rose Lip Scrub in my bag. It’s a great on-the-go lip smoother and balm.


My makeup preference is for a more natural look, but I do think a bit of subtle, sheer lip color brightens up my face and adds definition. Most days I opt for a sheer shade that’s just a little brighter than my own lip color.

The challenge with sheer moisturizing lipsticks, though, is that they can be short-lived. These are the best I’ve found for conditioning, color, and longevity.

Chantecaille Lip Chic has been my go-to for years now. They usually have a good range of colors, and I love this formula. The color I wear most often is “Sunrise.”

Another recent fave is the Sheer Moisture Lipstick from Brian + MW. My go-to color is “Passego Puro,” but I also like “Mea’Ono” for a more pinky shade. And “Roj” is a great MLBB color that suits many people. If you need color recommendations, Brian is always happy to help!

Someday when masks are no longer part of our daily lives, I’m looking forward to the return of The Red Lip. 💄 Kosas “Thrillist” is a fabulous warm red that’s highly pigmented but not drying. There are several shades available in this formula.

What is your favorite lip color?

Fall sales are landing!

Talbots40% off entire purchase

Bloomingdale’s – Friends & Family, 25% off

Vince25% off sitewide, code INVITE25

rag & bone25% off new fall, extra 30% off sale

J.Crewup to 40% off fall essentials

Ann Taylorextra 50% off sale styles

Instagram chat…

Tomorrow I’ll be going LIVE with Pam of Over 50 Feeling 40 to talk about how we’ve revamped our wardrobes to incorporate our color palettes. We’ll kick things off at 10am PT / 12pm CT / 1pm ET, and I’ll post the video to my Instagram feed afterward. Hope you can join us!

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  1. I hear you on the challenge of finding sheer lipcolor that is long lasting. My go-to is Revlon Colorstay Overtime liquid lipcolor in a wand, color on one end, clear gloss on the other. Once you get the hang of application, you can create a tint of color all the way to opaque, all-day coverage with absolutely no stickiness. For sheer coverage the key is applying lightly, then blending with a finger to even out before it dries. It works well, lasts through meals, and gives me the hint of color I need. Plenty of pretty colors. I’m a bright winter and Non-stop Cherry, blended down, is my favorite MLBB.

    1. Nicole,
      Thanks for the recommendation. Was looking in the mirror this morning and felt kind of blah. A new lip should perk things up. This product is easily available and so affordable one can experiment.

  2. Hello….this is off-topic…but wanted you to know I love Colleen Rothschild! I ordered the three you highlighted in a previous post and I am thrilled with them! Thank you!

  3. I don’t skimp on lipstick and always return to Dior 999. The perfect red! It is a true red neither blue nor yellow so it suits almost everyone. Mars Cruella is a slightly more intense blue red that looks beautiful on. I think if more intense colour is applied with a brush the effect is more subtle.

    1. My MLBB color would be called something like “Ashy, But Even More So!” I love Estée Lauder’s “Intense Nude” – it’s a nice pinky-browny-mauvey mid-tone – but I think they don’t make it anymore, alas, so I’ll have to find something similar. I’ve found the EL Pure Color line to be a good combo of moisturizing and durable color.

  4. Brian’s Lip Treatment is one of the very few products with a physical not just a feel good effect. After few weeks my lips were rosy and a bit plumper. Many thanks to Brian and to you, Susan, for recommending it.

  5. I really like Clinique Moisture Surge Hydro-Plump Lip Treatment (what a mouthful…). It seems to make my thin lips a little thicker and stays on without being too sticky or runny.