The 14 Best Tinted Lip Balms, According to a Beauty Editor

Where nourishing ingredients meet gorgeous color.

best tinted lip balms including nars, summer fridays, and supergoop
(Image credit: Future)

Historically, my lips were perpetually chapped—peeling, sometimes bleeding, rarely smooth. So, I became a beauty editor on a mission. Never would there ever be a time when I would let my lips fend for themselves. They would be covered, at all times, by one of the best tinted lip balms out there. 24/7 and seven days a week, with an extra heavy layer before bed. This little hydration experiment proved successful (my lips are now silky smooth) and provided me the opportunity to try an exorbitant number of tinted lip balms. 

I’ve figured out which balms are ideal for nights out when I want a bit more pigment, discovered ones I simply can’t function without (cough cough: Dior), and found the best affordable options to store in every handbag. Want to know my thoroughly-tested must-haves? Keep reading to shop for the best tinted lip balms of all time, according to yours truly. 

What to Look For in Tinted Lip Balm

  • The Right Ingredients 

A lip balm that’s genuinely hydrating is going to contain two types of ingredients: Film formers, like petrolatum or a wax, and hydrators, like ceramides, waxes, butters, oils, or sea asparagus. “If there are no hydrators in the product, it’s like putting saran wrap over a dry lip—which does not do anything,” explains cosmetic chemist Ginger King. If your lip balm does contain petrolatum, make sure it’s USP-grade, meaning the purity is par. 

  • Buildable Coverage 

“A good tinted lip balm should be able to build coverage,” says King. “If people want full coverage, they should opt for lipstick.” A sheer tint is by and large what you’ll find on this list, but there are a handful that pack in more pigment. 

The Best Tinted Lip Balms

Meet the Expert

Ginger King
Ginger King

Ginger King has been passionately creating beauty products from concept to finish since 1995. She is well versed in innovative concepts, creative product formulation, advanced technology applications, ergonomic package development and impactful competitive analysis. Ginger has developed over hundreds of products from hair care to skin care, and sun care to color cosmetics. Her claim to fame products include the revolutionary first to market Joico ICE SPIKER, water resistant hair glue, Freeze 24.7 Ice Shield, SPF 15 face wash and Avon Advance Techniques Color Protection series. Her Avon True Color Eye shadow and Daring Definition Mousse Mascara have also been selected as the finalists for CEW (Cosmetic Executive Women) for 2005 and 2006 respectively.

Samantha Holender
Beauty Editor

Samantha Holender is the Beauty Editor at Marie Claire, where she reports on the best new launches, dives into the science behind skincare, and keeps up with the latest trends in the beauty space. She has previously written for Us Weekly, Popsugar,,, and Philadelphia Wedding. Follow her on Instagram @samholender.