As somebody who has managed to build up a pretty solid beauty routine over the years, there’s one problem I’ve still never resolved: dry lips. And when I say ‘dry,’ I mean reminiscent of harsh desert terrain where little flourishes.
This problem also gets particularly bad as the weather turns and the winter chill picks up, for obvious reasons. And while finding the ultimate lip balm now practically feels like a full-time job to me, I’m also always pursuing lipsticks I can actually wear.
Sadly, ultra matte formulations and liquid lipsticks do not agree with me, meaning many of beauty’s all-time lip heroes are out of bounds. Luckily, I’ve managed to find some formulas that work brilliantly for dry lips that bring all the hydration as well as the impressive colour pay-off.
Looking to put your best pout forward for 2023? Read on for the scoop on how to prevent flaky lips and the best lipstick formulas to keep them plump and hydrated…
What type of lipstick is best for dry lips?
So, what should you be looking for? Well, it goes without saying, but lipsticks that market themselves as ‘hydrating’ are a good place to start.
These are usually the ones that have balmy textures when you swipe them across the back of your hand, and leave more of a sheeny, shiny finish.
It’s also worth being on high alert for mentions of ingredients like hyaluronic acid in the product title or on the ingredients list, which can help keep lips feeling nourished as well as looking good.
There are some great fuller pigment satin-matte lipsticks out there if you’re insistent on maintaining that bold ‘wow’ factor, but you have to scout them out well (we’ll get onto that later).
- How to make your lipstick last all day (and night) for party season
- The six best lip balms for dry lips, by someone who’s tried them all
- 6 of the best lip oils to keep your lips moisturised, from £4.99
How do I prep my lips for lipstick?
A base layer is essential when applying lipstick for dry lips. I recommend applying a lip balm before starting any of your makeup, to give it time to ‘sink in’ prior to lipstick application.
You may also want to invest in a handy lip scrub to buff away dry, flaky dead skin every day, perhaps before you go to bed. General maintenance is the best way to banish the dreaded chapped aesthetic, as is drinking enough water to stay hydrated.
With all that in mind, here are 6 of the best lipstick for dry lips to invest in now — you’re welcome.
Best for a smooth finish: Victoria Beckham Posh Lipstick
When it comes to Victoria Beckham’s beauty line, you’d expect nothing less than the perfect lipstick — and that’s pretty much what she created. The sleek black and gold tubes are so stylish they’re enough to convince you to purchase one right away before we’ve even talked about the flattering colours, comfortable hydrating formula, and long-lasting appeal.
Best value lipstick: Soap & Glory Completely Balmy Lipstick
You can’t beat a Soap & Glory affordable buy, and this extends to their comfort-wear balmy lipsticks, which will still give you change from a tenner.
These are ideal if you prefer a sheer wash of colour for that ‘your lips but better’ vibe. They come in peachy hues which flatter everyone. Pop one in your basket during your next Boots visit; you won’t regret it.
Best for bold lipstick shades: Nars Audacious Lipstick
These super-pigmented bullets have it all: stunningly gorgeous shades, long-lasting wear, and even that addictive magnetic ‘click’ sound when you close them.
They’re also great for dry lips as they offer a satin-matte finish without that drying feeling. If you don’t want to compromise on colour, these are your jam. My favourite shades include Rita and Lana (reds), Silvia (a purple), and Raquel (pink beige).
Best long-lasting lipstick: Charlotte Tilbury Hyaluronic Happikiss
Charlotte Tilbury is THE master of lipsticks; of this I’m totally convinced. I’m in love with her Matte Revolution formulas, which last forever, but sometimes (especially during winter) this formula isn’t the best for chapped pouts.
Enter: these little beauties, which offer fans CT’s most iconic colours in a much more hydrating formula without a compromise on colour pay-off. The go-to has to be Pillow Talk, a nude pink, which is the brand’s bestselling lipstick shade. If this one is slightly out of your budget, check out our guide to the best Charlotte Tilbury dupes next.
Best for a subtle hint of colour: Glossier Ultralip
Glossier’s latest lip line is a far cry from its OG Generation G lipsticks, which while lovely, did feel a little drying due to their matte finish.
These are the antidote; super moisturising with a balm texture, they feel practically undetectable on lips.
This is in part down to the four molecular weights of hydrating hyaluronic acid pumped into the formula, which work to condition lips while boosting their appearance. The blood orange shade, Coupe, is the clear standout IMO.
Best for a shiny finish: Fenty Slip Shine Lipstick
Like everything Rihanna touches, the brand founder’s first foray into lipsticks was pure gold.
These are ultra-hydrating on the lips and have a sheeny finish that looks especially gorgeous in the neutral hues like Glazed and Makeout Break. There are also some bolder colours in the mix if reds and purples are more your thing. If you’re looking for a more affordable version, read all about the best Fenty Beauty dupes here.