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What’s the best tinted lip balm? Comparing Ilia, Lawless, Beautycounter…

Over the past year, but especially the last six months, the rise of the tinted lip balm has been a favorite among brands. What’s not to love? You get the moisture of a treatment, some of the shine of a gloss and some of the color of a lipstick… without the heaviness. In the clean beauty world, tinted lip balms align perfectly with the effortless aesthetic and ‘no makeup makeup’ looks we see from most of these brands. So which one is my favorite? What’s the best tinted lip balm comparing Ilia, Lawless and Beautycounter? Let’s compare!What's the best tinted lip balm? Comparing Ilia, Lawless, Beautycounter...



For today’s comparison, I want to focus on a few different categories and rate the tinted lip balms from 1-5, 1 being the worst and 5 being the best.

The categories will be:

  1. Price
  2. Scent options
  3. Shade options
  4. Level of hydration
  5. Level of shine
  6. Intensity of color
  7. How “clean” are they, really?

What's the best tinted lip balm? Comparing Lawless, Ilia and Beautycounter tinted balms | Brighter, Darling

Ilia Hold Me Swatch, Beautycounter Plush Swatch, Lawless Baby Doll Swatch
Top to Bottom, 3 swipes of each: Ilia – Hold Me, Beautycounter – Plush, Lawless – Baby Doll

what’s the best tinted lip balm?

Let’s start with the first formula I tried from Ilia.

Ilia Balmy Tint Hydrating Lip Balm
  1. Price – $28 for 4.4g of product for a Brighter, Darling score of 4.
  2. Scent options – subtle vanilla for a Brighter, Darling score of 4. I’m a fan of subtle vanilla or mint lip products.
  3. Shade options – eight shade options for a Brighter, Darling score of 5. This is a great variety of colors, although the lightest shade may pack more color than you prefer.
  4. Level of hydration – a solid 4… this formula is very buttery.
  5. Level of shine – I’d give this a 3. It’s perfectly shiny for a balm.
  6. Intensity of color – 3. This formula is nearly a lipstick, in my opinion. It’s pretty pigmented for a tinted balm. For me, I prefer a more sheer balm, but for others, you may love this intensity of color and score it higher.
  7. How “clean” are they, really? – scores a 3 out of 10 on ThinkDirty which is categorically very clean. I give it a Brighter, Darling 5 for excellently clean.

Ilia’s Tinted Lip Balm Overall Brighter, Darling score – 28/35, avg. 4

The second tinted balm I picked up were from Beautycounter.

Beautycounter Clean Swipe Hyaluronic Lip Balm
  1. Price – $22 for 3g of product for a Brighter, Darling score of 3.
  2. Scent options – sweet orange vanilla for a Brighter, Darling score of 3.
  3. Shade options – four shade options for a Brighter, Darling score of 3. This collection includes a clear balm, which is nice to offer for those who want the shine and treatment but no color. However, I do wish there were five tinted shades to choose from, as two of the four shades run rather light for deeper skin tones.
  4. Level of hydration – this is the least hydrating option of the bunch I’m comparing, so I’m giving it a Brighter, Darling 2. Great if you don’t need tons of moisture but like an easy hint of color for every day.
  5. Level of shine – although not the most hydrating, these do provide a nice level of shine. I’m giving it a Brighter, Darling 4.
  6. Intensity of color – This formula is sheer, and if I don’t factor in the clear option, I’d still give it a Brighter, Darling 3. Some people want a touch of color in a tinted balm, some expect a hint more. Again, great for subtle every day color. In my opinion, this is a true definition of a tinted lip balm.
  7. How “clean” are they, really? – this formula is EWG Verified safe, which puts it at a Brighter, Darling score of 5.

Beautycounter’s Clean Swipe Hylauronic Lip Balm Overall Brighter, Darling score – 23/35, avg. 3.29

The most recent formula I picked up was the Lawless Forget The Filler Plumping Line Smoothing Tinted Balm Stick (what a name)!

Lawless Forget The Filler Plumping Line Smoothing Tinted Balm Stick
  1. Price – $26 for 2.9g of product for a Brighter, Darling score of 1. Most expensive option in this blog post.
  2. Scent options – unofficially an artificial fruity cherry vanilla? It’s not disclosed for a Brighter, Darling score of 1. Not my favorite ‘flavor.’
  3. Shade options – six shade options for a Brighter, Darling score of 4. This collection also *sort of* has a clear (they call it a translucent clear pink), and then five tinted shades from pale pink to deep berry.
  4. Level of hydration – in my opinion, this is the most melty-buttery formula and feels the most hydrating, for a Brighter, Darling score of 5.
  5. Level of shine – following the level of hydration, this formula also packs the most glossiest shine, giving it a Brighter, Darling 5 (however, if you’re looking for more of a soft matte balm look, this would be a lower score for you).
  6. Intensity of color – this formula isn’t as pigmented as Ilia, but isn’t as sheer as Beautycounter. She falls right in the middle for a Brighter, Darling score of 4.
  7. How “clean” are they, really? – I love my Lawless makeup products, but there’s a couple questionable ingredients on this ingredient deck. “Flavor” not being explicitly described bothers me. As does C18-21 Alkane (potential carcinogen and prohibited in the EU). So I’ll have to give this a Brighter, Darling 2.

Lawless Forget The Filler Plumping Line Smoothing Tinted Balm Stick Overall Brighter, Darling score – 22/35, avg 3.14

Ilia Hold Me Lip Swatch, Beautycounter Plush Lip Swatch, Lawless Baby Doll Lip Swatch

So when we look at all aspects of these balms, my personal favorite apparently comes down to Ilia as number one! This actually surprises me because I don’t reach for this balm as often as Beautycounter or Lawless. My biggest con with this formula is how pigmented it is and they don’t have any lighter, softer (more nude/neutral) shades. I purchased the lightest one and to me, it is more bold than I am used to for every day on me.

Beautycounter provides a great, middle of the road option. She’s not too pigmented, not extremely hydrating, and not the most expensive.

Lawless has the most buttery, treatment-like feel and my favorite shades, but price, the flavor and ‘clean’ rating don’t make me as happy.

What do you think of my thoughts on these three? Have you tried them? What do you think?

*I am a Beautycounter consultant, so if you choose to try the balms or anything else on the website, I’d love if you check out with me on the website and try using the code CLEANFORALL20 or CLEANFORALL30 to get $ off your first purchase 🙂

 

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-Steffanie

What's the best tinted lip balm Comparing Lawless, Ilia and Beautycounter Clean Beauty Tinted Lip Balm Comparison | Brighter Darling Blog

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