Lip Oils: Why It's Time To Ditch The Lip Balm


Of the infinite beauty products you could find in any given handbag there are a few common denominators, and lip balm is surely one of them. But what if I told you I'd found a new product that could just steal its spot? One that does everything your favourite lip balm does, just a little... better.

Allow me to introduce the new generation lip oils. If your first thought is "why would I want oily lips?" you're not alone, but one swipe of these hydrating non-greasy formulas has me converted. Many lip balms contain petroleum and other ingredients that temporarily cushion your lips but eventually dry them out and creating a cycle of constant need. Tsk tsk. Oils however, are pure skin-nourishing stuff, and if you're partial to a tinted balm, oils are the perfect formula in which to hold stains. So as the initial glossiness wanes, the colour remains for super staying power.

Have I convinced you yet? Read on to discover my favourite lip oils.

Elizabeth Arden Sheer Kiss Lip Oil, £18

Brand new for spring/summer 17, these adorable little pots of tinted lip oil are available for a limited time only, and definitely worth getting your hands on. The formula feels cushiony and balm-like, not at all slick and contains lovely things like coconut, avocado and Tsubaki oils. The tints are very sheer (just what I want from something I'm likely to smudge on with a finger) but can be built up if you prefer more of a pop.

Buy now, from Debenhams

Erborian Rose Infusion Lip Oil, £14

A typically cute offering from the Franco-Korean brand, this sheer pink oil has quite a loose consistency, so don't squeeze too hard or you'll end up going overboard! The initial colour is subtle, but the formula contains tiny droplets of stain that transform into a punchy pink when you press your lips together. The colour's easy-going enough to suit most and sticks around well after the shiny finish has died down.

Buy it now from

Clarins Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil,


The product that kick started the lip oil boom,Clarins Instant Light Lip Comfort Oilwas originally launched as a limited edition but was so popular Clarins has brought it back for good. If you have dry or cracked lips this feels like sweet relief, smells lovely and sticks around for a good few hours. There's a pretty red tinted version launching for summer too.

Buy it now, at

Zelens Lip Treatment Oil, £40

It aint cheap, but think ofZelens lip Treatment Oilas skincare for your lips. It's packed with actives - peptides to stimulate collagen, vitamins A and E, plumping hyaluronic acid - so as well as feeling lovely and nourishing, it instantly adds volume to lined lips and over time will combat lines, loss of fullness and environmental ageing. Worth the investment.

Buy it now, at Space NK

YSL Volupte Tint-In-Oil, £26

Of course YSL's step into the lip oil market would be this gorgeous and glamorous!Volupte Tint-In-Oilis a lip stain encapsulated within an oil formula, swipe it on with the pretty heart-shaped wand for lips that feel richly hydrated but not at all sticky. It comes in 11 shades from this barely-there Undress Me right up to punchy fuchsia and fiery red so there's something to suit all sensibilities.

Buy it now, at

Hourglass No.28 Lip Treatment Oil, £34

A classic product that sold out within days of its initial launch at Liberty,Hourglass No.28 Lip Treatmentdeserves a mention for sheer gorgeousness alone. Everything from the sleek packaging to 24 carat gold applicator is just a dream to use, and the formula isn't to be sniffed at with 14 essential oils, wrinkle-plumping actives and no sulfates, petroleum or other nasties. Another investment but I defy you not to fall in love.

Buy it now, at

With so many beautiful options, which one will you be trying first? Try not to chew your lips too hard while you decide!

Fiona McKim

As woman&home's Senior Beauty Editor, Fiona Mckim has tried more products than she’s had hot dinners and nothing makes her happier than raving about a brilliant beauty find on or her instagram grid (@fionamckim if you like hair dye experiments and cute shih-tzus)

Fiona joined woman&home as Assistant Beauty Editor in 2013, working under legend Jo GB, who taught her everything she needed to know about the industry (clue: learn about ingredients and employ extreme cynicism). 

In a previous life, Fiona studied journalism back home in bonnie Scotland and honed her skills as a magazine features writer, with a brief and terrifying stint on the showbiz gossip pages of a tabloid newspaper in between. She's a skincare fanatic who can’t resist adding an extra step to her routine if it’s all the rage in Japan, loves fragrance, has fun with makeup and never turns down the chance to test a new hair tool. Basically, she loves it all.

When not slathering herself in self tan or squinting at a tiny ingredients list on a moisturiser, you’ll probably find Fiona enjoying something to do with food - cooking it, eating it, cajoling her friends into trekking across London to try a hyped pop-up in a dirty car park.