Why Lip Oils Are About to Replace Every Old Balm in Your Bag

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Tell us if this sounds familiar: You religiously keep your purse, pockets, and desk drawer stocked with a hydrating balm to keep lips smooth. And yet, you find yourself reapplying two, three, a billion times a day because no matter how much you put on, it feels like your mouth is always dry. There's got to be a better solution!

Enter lip oils. Just like face oils, these liquid wonders possess ultra-hydrating powers in a concentrated form. Balms, says Shrankhla Holecek, founder of Uma oils, don't get to the root of the problem — the formula merely covers the lips, while oils penetrate the skin. "Balms can often have waxes which appear to provide hydration by coating the lip," she explains.

This means that as those balms are wiped or rubbed off throughout the day, you need to reapply in order to replace that lost layer of moisture. Oils, she explains, are made of smaller molecules that absorb into the skin, which keeps that hydration inside . . . where you actually need it.

Fortunately for us, the slick stuff has caught on with everyone from drugstore brands to designers wanting to get in on the oil action. Ahead you'll find some of our favorites, from organic options to lipstick-worthy tints.

Yves Saint Laurent Volupté Tint-in-Oil

Yves Saint Laurent Volupté Tint-in-Oil

We know it sounds cliche, but we can't help ourselves: We are head-over-heels infatuated with these Tint-in-Oils ($32). These are simply the best tinted oils on the market. Period. What makes these 16 shades so addictive are the incredibly lightweight fluid texture and the ultra-glossy, just-bitten color they leave behind. Oh, and the fact that they make your lips feel like kittens with fluffy angel wings frolicking on a cloud. (That is to say, ridiculously soft).

Uma Absolute Anti Aging Lip Oil

Uma Absolute Anti Aging Lip Oil

This 100-percent organic oil ($32, available in January) has a base of healing and plumping avocado and grapeseed oil. It also uses essential oils of lavender and geranium to calm irritated, chapped pouts and lock in that moisture.

Nooni Water-Blending Lip Oil

Nooni Water-Blending Lip Oil

The Korean beauty masterminds at Memebox launched the Water-Blending Lip Oil ($12, originally $15), and after one swipe we were converted into lip oil devotees. It's a miracle worker on cracked lips, with a mix of nine botanical oils that are fantastic for hydration. But the real standout is the addition of alpha-hydroxy acids, which offer a (very) gentle exfoliation. That dry-skin dissolving addition is what creates pillowy soft, silky smooth lips. In fact, the oil has been so popular that the brand is releasing two new versions in 2018 — a plumping formula and a tinted fluid that imparts a delicate stained lip effect.

Dior Addict Lip Glow Pomade

Dior Addict Lip Glow Pomade

An innovative formula makes this gel-to-oil Dior Addict Lip Glow Pomade ($33) a standout choice. Apply it via the squishy foam tip, massage it in, and witness the transformation from cushy gel to a gleaming oil. Bonus: It adds a shiny, self-adjusting rosy tint that gives your look that little extra oomph for when you don't feel like wearing actual makeup.

Lancôme Juicy Shaker

Lancôme Juicy Shaker

All it takes is a few quick shakes to turn this bi-phase Lancôme Juicy Shaker ($22) into your new go-to lip pick. The pretty pigment — there are 15 to choose from — mixes with a quintet of lip-drenching oils that envelope your pout in a velvety flush of color.

Clarins Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil

Clarins Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil

One of the OGs of the lip oil scene, Instant Light ($26) is a lightweight gel that melts into your lips and locks in hydration. Available in a range of colors and formulations — including pH reactive shades for a unique-to-you hue and an energizing mint — it's no wonder it has a rabid following. Word to the wise: It will feel a bit sticky when you first apply, but give it time to sink into your lips and work its moisturizing magic.

Hourglass No 28 Lip Treatment Oil

Hourglass No 28 Lip Treatment Oil

This No 28 Lip Treatment Oil ($44) covers all the flake-fighting bases. It contains a blend of 24 plant and essential oils from pretty much every botanical you can think of: vanilla, green tea, jojoba, rosemary, hazelnut, evening primrose . . . the list goes on. It's also chock full of nourishing vitamins and a unique mix of peptides and hyaluronic acid that plumps lips. And, of course, there's that luxe gold-plated application tip which massages and soothes overworked mouths.

Yes To Coconut Cooling Lip Oil

Yes To Coconut Cooling Lip Oil

Coconut oil is an obvious choice for a lip-loving ingredient, but it's the addition of eucalyptus that makes this Cooling Lip Oil ($5) a standout. It adds a burst of refreshment that envelopes your mouth, relieving the fiery feeling that cracks and flakes can cause.

Tatcha Tinted Lip Oil

Tatcha Tinted Lip Oil

Think of this lip beautifier ($30) as what would happen if you wore Tatcha's iconic Kyoto Red Silk Lipstick ($55) to bed and spent the night making out, watching old episodes of Friends, and eating cold pizza. (Not at the same time, obviously. Or maybe, you do you). The point is that this creates a lived-in red look: a stunningly sheer version of the lipstick that makes your pout feel like buttah. But, bad news bears: It's limited edition so scoop it up while the going's good.