Style

The Best Affordable Lip Balms. We Tried Them So You Don't Have To.

These babies are all under $8.
11/17/2015 07:01am ET | Updated December 5, 2016

It's chapped lip season. The worst season. And it seems like re-applying lip balm has become our full-time job. With so many different options out there, how is one supposed to know which ones actually work? Well, we decided to find out.

We tested out the most common (and affordable) lip balm brands -- the ones you can basically find anywhere -- and ranked them according to our results. We assigned nine of our editors try one of the lip balms below for two weeks and report back. The results might surprise you ...

9. Carmex
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1. How often did you find yourself reapplying the lip balm? If I wanted my lips to stay moisturized, I would have to apply the lip balm about once an hour. 2. How did it feel on your lips?When first applied, it felt great. It felt hydrating, soft and luxurious. It also tingled just the right amount. But when the hydration had gone, my lips were even more dry than they were before.3. Have you noticed any change in the dryness of your lips throughout the two week process?My lips felt like they became slightly more dry after integrating Carmex into my routine. It was a total bummer, because I loved how the balm felt upon application. But if I wanted my lips to look and feel healthy, I couldn't use it often. 4. How would you rate it on a scale from 1-5?25. Would you recommend it to a friend?No. Sorry Carmex!

Carmex Lip Balm, Healing, Everyday, Original, $1
7. (Tied for seventh) Blistex
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1. How often did you find yourself reapplying the lip balm? I probably reapplied two-three times per day.2. How did it feel on your lips?Initially it feels incredibly soothing, since it's a medicated lip balm. That being said, after a while it starts to feel a bit waxy on my lips and I feel the need to wipe it off.3. Have you noticed any change in the dryness of your lips throughout the two week process? My lips definitely feel more moisturized than usual! At this point in the fall they're usually super chapped so it's nice not having to deal with that pain.4. How would you rate it on a scale from 1-5?3.55. Would you recommend it to a friend? If a friend had severely chapped lips, yes. If they're just in the market for an everyday balm, I'd probably recommend something less intense.Blistex Lip Medex, $1
7. (Tied for seventh) Jack Black
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1. How often did you find yourself reapplying the lip balm?I had to reapply every couple of hours because I found it wearing off throughout the day.
2. How did it feel on your lips?It was very easy to apply and felt really nice on my lips. It wasn't too sticky and made my lips feel instantly smoother. 3. Have you noticed any change in the dryness of your lips throughout the two week process? Not really. Immediately after I apply the lip balm they feel better, but a couple of hours later, they are still chapped and I need to reapply. 4. How would you rate it on a scale from 1-5?3.55. Would you recommend it to a friend?Maybe. I liked the lip balm (especially because it has SPF 25 in it), but I felt myself needing to reapply more often than I would have liked. Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm SPF 25, $7
5. (Tied for fifth) Burt's Bees
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1. How often did you find yourself reapplying the lip balm? Reapplied between three and five times per day. 2. How did it feel on your lips? It differed from flavor to flavor. Blueberry & dark chocolate, passion fruit, and vanilla bean were silky. Vitamin E & peppermint were gritty. 3. Have you noticed any change in the dryness of your lips throughout the two week process? I usually use a lip balm with color in it that isn't very moisturizing. My lips did feel a little, though not significantly, softer. 4. How would you rate it on a scale from 1-5? 3.75. 5. Would you recommend it to a friend? Yes, however the blueberry & dark chocolate was *very* pungent. My boyfriend kicked me off the couch when I was wearing it one night because of the smell.Burt's Bees Blueberry & Dark Chocolate Lip Balm, $3
5. (Tied for fifth) Rosebud Perfume Co.
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1. How often did you find yourself reapplying the lip balm? A couple of times a day sporadically. I also made sure to apply it in the morning when I woke up and before bed.2. How did it feel on your lips?At first, the product just sat on top of my lips but I think my skin became a little acclimated to it and actually started absorbing, which was better. It feels silky and hydrating, but if I accidentally over do it, it can get a little messy and greasy. So, I would say that if you decide to use this, less is more. 3. Have you noticed any change in the dryness of your lips throughout the two week process?I'm usually good about keeping my lips moisturized as one of my beauty fears is having chapped lips, but I think the salve did make my lips more ... kissable, if I may. Also after it settles in, it gives my lips a nice sheen that's not too crazy and actually makes my lips look naturally hydrated. 4. How would you rate it on a scale from 1-5?I would say a 3.75. It's great BUT one thing is that the canister can be so hard to open sometimes. If my hands were remotely wet or oily, it would take a while. Although once it's opened enough, the friction works with you and it's cool. Also sometimes I could do without the smell/taste. Other times I loved it and thought it was mad luxurious. 5. Would you recommend it to a friend?Sure, why not -- especially if they're shopping at their local Urban Outfitters and want something different than their normal Carmex or something. It's also cool looking, so I understand the appeal. LOOK CHIC WITH YOUR LIP BALM. Smith's Rosebud Salve, $6
4. Aquaphor
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1. How often did you find yourself reapplying the lip balm? About two times per day -- once in the mid-morning and once before bed. If it was a super dry and cold day, I applied during the afternoon.2. How did it feel on your lips?Amazing -- it's soft and soothing but not sticky. I honestly would have loved to apply it more but I didn't need to. 3. Have you noticed any change in the dryness of your lips throughout the two week process?I have definitely noticed that between applications, my lips have not gotten as chapped as they typically did. I always wake up with chapped lips, even though I apply lip balm before bed. I noticed that the Aquaphor worked so well that I didn't have to apply lip balm right when I woke up. 4. How would you rate it on a scale from 1-5?4 (I'd only rate it a 5 if it actually cured chapped lips).5. Would you recommend it to a friend? Yes, definitely, though it's important to note that it doesn't have SPF (bummer), so I wouldn't wear it in the sun on vacation (whether I'm at the beach or in the mountains).Aquaphor Lip Repair, $4
3. EOS
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1. How often did you find yourself reapplying the lip balm? About once every hour (I tend to lick my lips a lot so I do lots of reapplying). 2. How did it feel on your lips? Very smooth. Not sticky at all. It almost felt like I wasn't wearing any balm. 3. Have you noticed any change in the dryness of your lips throughout the two week process? I think my lips are a bit more balanced and I haven't had as many dry-lip moments that I usually experience. 4. How would you rate it on a scale from 1-5? 4.5 5. Would you recommend it to a friend? Totes aka YES!EOS Visibly Soft Lip Balm, $3
2. Vaseline
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1. How often did you find yourself reapplying the lip balm? Every three hours or so, or when I put on my coat (I keep it in my coat pocket).2. How did it feel on your lips? It wasn't too thick, but I noticed it would easily rub off on my coffee cup or wine glass, etc. So I'd apply strategically ... but if it got on my stuff it was easy to wipe off and didn't leave residue on my hands or anything. 3. Have you noticed any change in the dryness of your lips throughout the two week process? My lips felt good using it -- they are still a little chapped, but not rough or red or out of control. I don't have clown mouth going on. 4. How would you rate it on a scale from 1-5? 5 5. Would you recommend it to a friend? Yeah I mean, it's vaseline, the standard, so I wouldn't be blowing their mind, but it's a tried-and-true product with brand loyalty and a consumer can rely on it.Vaseline Lip Therapy, $1
1. Kiehl's
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1. How often did you find yourself reapplying the lip balm? I'm usually the type of person who has to reach for my lip balm 10 times a day, but this is so long-lasting that I put it on once in the morning, once after I eat lunch, and then once before bed. I honestly don't know how it lasts so long -- and it's not just that it keeps my lips moisturized for that long, but I can actually feel the product still on my lips that whole time.2. How did it feel on your lips?Super smooth and creamy, without being greasy or sticky. I.e. my hair didn't get stick on my lips whenever the wind blew. It tingled a bit the first few days I used it, but then that resided after I got used to it. 3. Have you noticed any change in the dryness of your lips throughout the two week process?Yes! I'm never putting this stuff down. My lips are in way better condition than when I started.
4. How would you rate it on a scale from 1-5?
5+
5. Would you recommend it to a friend?
I'm buying this for my whole family as stocking stuffers.

Kiehl's Lip Balm #1, $7

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