Posted: Jan 21, 2014 8:00 AM
Winter skin can benefit from a pop of color on your lips, but it can be tough to find the right makeup for moms on the go. A quick rundown of popular lip color choices will help you decide what to tuck into your makeup bag.

Always carry lip balm

No matter what else you carry during the winter months, keep a stick of lip balm within reach. The difference in inside and outside temperatures and lowered moisture level in the air means your skin is prone to dryness, and the thin skin on your lips will love you a little more if you keep lip balm at the ready.


  • Tinted lip balm provides a bit of color without requiring a mirror.
  • Lip balms contain ingredients to heal chapped lips and to prevent further damage.
  • Many balms can be picked up at drugstores, so you can stash them in different bags, cars and rooms of your house.


  • Many balms need to be reapplied frequently.
  • Balms generally transfer to cups and your children's cheeks.
  • Even tinted balms only provide a hint of color.

2014 lip smackdown- lip balms

Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Balm is a popular choice, with menthol and beeswax that make your lips feel smooth and healthy (, $7). If you want a little more color, try Clinique Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm (Sephora, $17). The easy-to-stash stick tucks conveniently into bags.

Stay shiny with lip gloss

Lip gloss has reigned atop the lip color charts for several years now. Gloss combines easy application, a pop of color and the bonus of making lips appear fuller thanks to the way gloss shines and reflects light.


  • Glosses are everywhere! You can find them in every color and in every budget.
  • Gloss can be dressed up or dressed down, depending on the color chosen.
  • Application mistakes can be repaired with a swipe of your pinkie.


  • Glosses are notorious for their lack of staying power.
  • To find a gloss that holds its shine, you generally end up with something that feels a little sticky.
  • The transfer factor is high — you'll be reapplying frequently to keep the color and shine.

2014 lip smackdown- lip gloss

For a glossy sheen, try e.l.f. Studio Glossy Gloss, alone or layered over another lip product for deeper color (Eyes Lips Face, $3). Estee Lauder Pure Color Lip Gloss claims long-lasting shine in three different finishes — mirror shine, shimmer or sparkle (Macy's, $24).

Lipstick provides rich color

If lipstick conjures up images of your grandmother prepping her pout in the mirror, you're missing out on a prime way to make your mouth pop. Modern lipsticks are lusher, containing moisturizing ingredients while still delivering rich, dimensional color.


  • Lipstick comes in a rainbow of shades from neutrals to the palest pinks and peaches to the deepest burgundy you can imagine.
  • Nothing makes a statement like a perfect red lip, and lipstick is a key tool in that perfect date night pout.
  • Today's formulas offer a combination of color and moisture that may turn even the biggest gloss lover into a lipstick convert.


  • Application is touchier — don't try this one while driving on a bumpy road.
  • As the color fades, so does the moisturizing effect. Lipstick can feel drying as the day moves forward.
  • Lipstick has a habit of straying into any fine lines that lurk around your mouth. Lip liner will keep your color where it belongs, but that adds another step during the application process.

2014 lip smackdown- lipsticks

Maybelline Color Sensational Lipcolor is a classic, and it comes in almost any imaginable color — we love it in Hooked on Pink (, $8). You can't beat the luxurious feel of Rouge Coco Hydrating Creme Lipcolor (Neiman Marcus, $34).

Make your lips pop all day with lip stain

Lip stain lets you tint your lips in the morning and forget about your lip color for the rest of the day. Stains are water or gel based and designed to enhance the color of your lips with subtle color — though some brands are branching out into stains in darker shades.


  • Lip stains can't be beat in terms of staying power. Any fade is gradual throughout the day, and most stains will still provide satisfactory color even after a full day of wear.
  • Their subtle color is perfect when you want to prettify your pout without drawing too much attention to your mouth. Lip stains are the perfect complement to smoky, dramatic eyes.
  • Designed to enhance your lips' natural color, many stains are universally flattering.


  • Without the typical lip color ingredients like wax, lip stains are the most drying of all lip products.
  • Lip stains aren't typically able to produce dramatic, deep color. To deepen your color, you need the patience to apply multiple layers, letting each dry completely before adding another.
  • They're available in a limited range of colors.

2014 Lip smackdown- lip stains

Revlon Just Bitten Stain + Balm comes with the stain on one end and a moisturizing balm on the other, so you don't have to worry about carrying an additional product to combat the loss of moisture (, $9). Multitasking makeup products are perfect for freeing space in your favorite bag, and Benefit Posie Tint can be used as both a lip and cheek color (Sephora, $34).

Bottom Line^ Lip color is available in so many colors and forms that there's absolutely something out there for everyone. Be honest with yourself about how you want your lip color to perform and try one of our recommendations — you might find several of them floating around the bottom of my bag!

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