As an avid (and, OK, maybe a little addicted) Burt's Bees fan, it was kind of tough for me to test drive the fancy pants new lip balms—oh, excuse me, lip conditioning systems—that are flooding the market. I was a firm believer that that little extra sub-pocket in my jeans was designed for toting the telltale yellow tube of Burt's, but now I know there are lots of viable options for lip care, many of which have added benefits that my beloved peppermint-scented stick can't offer. Here are three up-and-comers you should consider pocketing:
Eco-chic and oh-so-sleek: Shelissa's My Sexy Lips conditioner in Naturally Naked ($5) is olive oil based and 100% vegan. Instead of drying petroleum, lanolin, and mineral oil, My Sexy Lips balm offers SPF 15 protection from all-natural and organic ingredients. This stuff sticks around: I only had to apply once during the day, and it even gave me a bit of a sexy clear-gloss effect.
An old standby wants you to read its lips: Aveeno is a staple for anyone with super-thirsty skin, so it only makes sense they'd take to caring for and conditioning lips as well. Aveeno's Essential Moisture with SPF 15 ($3.30) utilizes the brand's signature soothing oatmeal, along with shea butter and jojoba oil to protect lips and prevent icky and painful chapping.
Everything but the painful injections: On top of wrinkling skin and sagging body parts, we now have to worry about our lips looking aged. KaplanMD has us covered, though, with their LIP 20 Moisture Therapy ($30). Protect lips from sunburn, smooth fine lines and wrinkles with the scientific-sounding "hyaluronic filling spheres," and redefine the lip line with marine collagen and plumping peptides. If you've got the patience, repeated use of this clear system (a sheer color version will be available in April) will give you a fuller, smoother, and healthier pucker. Eva Longoria, Emmy Rossum and the cast of the Sopranos are fans, and we'd trust any advice that passed from their lips.