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I’m going to be controversial here and state that I rather miss winter. I’m not talking about Christmas, but winter itself, as a season. I like a nice biting winter wind, as it feels so fresh. It also makes me grateful for the warmth and cosiness of a nice fire and the great indoors.

For me dry, cracking, crusty hands and lips are the biggest unwanted part of the colder months. Dry hands… I’m still working on finding my holy grail. Dry lips? I’m sorted. After years of trying different things on my own and other people’s lips (newsflash: not all lip skin is the same – everyone’s lip condition is as unique as their skin type!) and here’s my tuppence on the big hitters of the lip moisturiser scene.

Elizabeth Arden 8h cream skin protectant

This is a favourite multi-purpose cream/ gel for me. I’ve raved about its’ multitasking ways in the past (see post on 8 Ways to use your 8H cream), and number one is as a lip balm or gloss. A little of it would be great for moisturising touch-up, but it is quite gunky and so is best used as a gloss rather than to hydrate. The thick, glossy and hydrating formula makes it perfect as a preparation balm before exfoliating lips. Slap loads on, let your lips absorb what it can, and then gently brush off the excess with a mascara spoolie, taking the dead, dry, flaky skin with it. I have tried using it as intense overnight moisture, but find that after my lips have absorbed what they can, the rest of the gel just sits on my lips. With this gel, less is more.


Vaseline Classic

The blue and faded, creamy/ yellowy tub (what is that colour?). A beauty classic. It’s been around for donkeys years and your gran probably still swears by it. Vaseline is a basic petroleum jelly. It gives initial hydration and smoothness but, like with any petroleum-based lip product, the hydration is short-term. Petroleum based lip balms don’t penetrate the lip surface deep enough to hydrate deep down and so the hydrating/ smoothing effects are temporary. I rarely use it on lips though.

Like Elizabeth Arden 8h cream, it’s a fantastic multi-tasker. I’ve used it as a skin protectant over minor kitchen burns, a little dabbed over my childrens’ scraped knees, chapped noses when they have a cold… the household mumsy uses are endless. I always have one in the first aid/ medicine cupboard at home. Always.


Dr Lipp Nipple Balm for Lips

Dr Lipp did indeed start off life as a balm for sore nipples of breastfeeding mothers. It soothed and helped heal the cracks on the very sensitive nipple area. It’s so gentle that the manufacturers considered possible uses on other areas of very sensitive skin… the lips were a natural choice.

This is my bridal and photoshoot go-to for priming lips. It makes even the driest, flaky lips smoother. I slap on at the start of bride/ model prep and then let it absorb while I make up the rest of the face. Once ready for lipstick, I blot off the excess that hasn’t absorbed (usually very little excess remains) and then apply lip liner and lipstick straight over. If lips need more hydrating, you can pop some Dr Lipp over the top of the lipstick and it really keeps the look nice and smooth without looking too glossy or gloopy.

This may come as a surprise to regular EyeSpyBeauty readers but… I prefer this to Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Skin Protectant. Yes. Shock! Horror! I said it. I prefer it as it is just as hydrating and glossy but doesn’t have the gloopy quality that the 8 Hour gel has. It is supposed to be multi-purpose as a soothing balm on other skin niggles but I have yet to use it other than on the face (eyes, lips, cheeks). It’s quite expensive (£11.50 for just 15ml) but a teeny bit goes a long way. Honestly!


Lanolips 101 Ointment

This is very similar to Dr Lipp in texture and feel. It protects just as well as Dr Lipp but is not quite as hydrating. The big advantage over Dr Lipp is availability. You can buy from pretty much any high street Boots store, whereas Dr Lipp is only available in 2-3 online outlets in the UK.


Maybelline Baby Lips

This was the much raved, long-awaited release from Maybelline. When it was released, bloggers and beauty fans were wetting themselves in excitement over how amazing this product was. Maybelline have this to say about it “Our exclusive formula moisturises lips for a full 8 hours with SPF20 lip protection.” They go on…

Why You’ll Love It

No more basic lip balm

  • The secret: Exclusive lip renew formula
  • Protects and moisturizes for a full 8 hours
  • After 1 week, lips are visibly renewed, virtually reborn

I got caught short without my regular lip balm (thanks to my 2 year old son, who loves going through my bag and removing key articles just to surprise me) and so picked one up as I fleeted past a Boots store. I used it on that day. I used it for 2 weeks afterwards, to give their claims a chance.

I disagree with Maybelline’s claims.

  • It doesn’t hydrate for 8 hours. Not on my lips. Even when not eating or drinking. I have used it at night and it lasts a few hours, but I always wake up with dry lips again. I only sleep for 4-5 hours a night, so definitely not 8 hours hydration. It’s petroleum based (see comments re Vaseline) and so the hydration is short-lived.
  • My lips were not in fact re-born after 1 week or even 2. They were just my normal lips.
  • SPF in lip balm or lipstick always makes me roll my eyes. Why? Well, to get the full SPF that they claim, you’d have be wearing a load of it. I never know whether I’ve put enough on to give the SPF coverage. I’d rather just use a proper SPF lip product, that has guidance on how much to use to get the protection e.g. use 3 coats or 2 coats, or whatever works for that formula. Just tossing in some SPF without guidance usually means people think they’re covered by applying a thin layer but really they aren’t.

They should probably change their claims to “Up to 8 hours. Some lip rebirth may occur” and that way they’re covered. I was expecting a lip balm. I got a lip balm. That’s it. Nothing more, nothing less.


Carmex Original

This classic lip balm was raved about back in the 2000’s as much as Baby Lips was in 2013. It was the little pot in everyone’s bag. Now they come in tubes as well with a more gentle, glossy formula. I’m talking here about the original pot version. The one where you get tingly lips before it smoothes the lips and makes them look all pretty. The Carmex pot is great… when you want a quick fix to smooth out dry lips.

Over the course of a day, it doesn’t have the same effect. It’s not really moisturising enough and I have found on myself and most of the models I’ve worked with, that it dries the lips out after long periods of time. It’s more of a lip prep product. The salicyclic acid will loosen the dead, dry skin at the top layer, and you can then remove it to find your gorgeous natural lips below. Add a little regular lip moisturiser on top and you really are all set. It’s not a stand-alone lip moisturiser, but is an amazing primer before you moisturise or add lipstick. I use it a lot on set when I need a quick fix for a model’s dry lips.


MAC Prep & Prime for lips

This is a fairly divisive product. Some people love it. Some hate it. Why? Well, as I said at the beginning, everyone has different condition of skin on their lips. What works on one persons lips may not work well on anothers.

I have lots of lip priming products already, so I don’t even know why I bought this. But at some point, I did. And I’ve used it a fair bit because it’s handy. It’s slim, compact and spends most of its days in one of my personal make-up bags, coincidentally the one with my Maybelline 10H gloss stains. I find they work well together. The longwear lip stains can be quite drying on some lips. If you add a heavy lip moisturiser underneath, the gloss stain doesn’t sit well on the lips and rubs off. With the longwear lip stains, all you need is a little hydration and smoothness. The MAC Prep & Prime for lips does just that. When worn under lipstick, I find it doesn’t add much more longevity, smoothness or hydration. Most lipsticks these days are pretty good at doing that on their own. I do love it as a smoothing base before applying any matte lip product or a longwear stain like Sleek Pout Paints or OCC Lip Tars. It may be that it just suits my lip skin well, where it fails for others.


Product links

Elizabeth Arden 8h cream skin protectant http://www.elizabetharden.co.uk/skincare/eight-hour-cream/

Vaseline Classic http://www.vaseline.co.uk/en-GB/Product1768.html?Path=Consumer/OurProducts/PetroleumJelly

Dr Lipp Nipple Balm for Lips http://www.drlipp.com/

Lanolips 101 http://www.lanolips.com/uk/range-lips/

Maybelline Babylips http://www.maybelline.com/products/lip-makeup/lip-balm/baby-lips.aspx

Carmex http://mycarmex.com/

MAC Prep & Prime Lip http://www.maccosmetics.com/product/169/968/Prep-Prime-Lip/index.tmpl



So thanks for reading my whistle-stop tour through a selection of moisturisers I have in my kit, make-up bag, first aid kit and everywhere. Hope you find the one that’s right for you… before you collect as many as I did!

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