You might know Burt’s Bees best as the brand you reached for when you decided it was time to retire that tube of Dr. Pepper Lip Smacker in favor of something a little more sophisticated. It’s a classic favorite that leaves lips feeling tingly and minty-fresh (thanks to the peppermint oil in its original formula). And no matter how old you are, you — and your wallet — can surely appreciate the leveled-up version, Burt’s Bees 100% Natural Tinted Lip Balm.
What made this balm soar above the others we tested in the budget price tier is just how well it moisturizes. The classic version’s peppermint oil has been swapped out for shea butter, a natural fat that helps to lock in moisture for hours — in some cases, even eight (yes, eight!) hours after applying, our testers reported their lips were still soft from the balm.
Botanical wax and coconut oil round out the ingredient list, helping it glide on smoothly without any sticky texture: You can rub your lips together without feeling like you’ve been eating honey out of a jar, plus it doesn’t leave a ton of residue on utensils or drinking vessels. Other brands, including Neutrogena, Revlon, and Chapstick, had testers complaining that their lips felt sticky and that frequent reapplication was necessary to maintain moisture. (As one tester put it for one of the competitors, “I had to reapply every hour, and who has time for that?”)
This tinted balm is no-frills, no fuss — and that’s one of the reasons it’s so reliable. It comes in an unremarkable brown tube with a colored cap to indicate its shade; one swift swipe, and you’re good to go, no mirror required. We’d be remiss to not give a shoutout to our runner-up, Vaseline’s Tinted Lip Balm, but the application process was where it lost points. Although it gave our testers’ lips significant moisture and color, the by-finger application from a tin is challenging when you’re on the go, as you’ll have to be okay with rubbing the excess on whatever you’re wearing if you don’t have a paper towel or sink handy. Or you could try one tester’s method of simply “kissing” the tin to get it on your lips — but just don’t share the balm with a friend after that.
Application aside, our testers agreed that Burt’s Bees lent just the right amount of color. As one noted, it was “noticeable, but not too intense.” Available in six different shades, from coral to light pink to purple, the color is faint — don’t be fooled by the cap, which might make it seem like the color will render a bit darker on your lips. While scent didn’t play a significant role in its winning status, testers agreed it was pretty light; one said it smelled like oil. Eco-conscious shoppers, take note: Not only is the product made from natural ingredients, the packaging is made from recycled materials.
Burt’s Bees 100% Natural Tinted Lip Balm finds itself nestled in the middle ground between a super-hydrating lip balm and lipstick. At $10 for a pack of two, you can leave one in your purse and one in your car or desk (or anywhere else) so you’ll have one at hand at all times — though you probably won’t need to apply it more than once or twice a day.