Should Lip Balm Go Over or Under Lipstick?

Lip balm is the best way to prime your lips for a killer day of beautiful colour and long wear. In fact, lip balm is to lipstick as primer is to foundation.

model applying lip balm

Why does lip balm go under lipstick and not over it?

It’s the same sort of story as your skincare coming before your makeup: you want to create a smooth base for colour cosmetics.

Like face makeup, lip colours have both a moisturising component and a pigment component. When these ingredients stick together, they do their best work.

When the two types of ingredients separate, however, you see issues. When the base for any cosmetic product is balanced hydration-wise, the makeup itself won’t separate and thus can do its job better.

model applying lipstick

What kind of lip balm should I use under my lipstick?

The best kind of lip balm to use under a lipstick is a balm with hydrating emollients or humectants rather than protective occlusives. Emollients and humectants sink into the lips to provide hydration, whereas occlusive ingredients lock in the hydration already present and protect the lips from the elements.

You want a smooth, hydrated base for your lip colour to lie on, so an emollient lip balm preps the lips better than a thicker, occlusive balm that may just be sitting atop a dry lip. Throughout the day, that protective barrier will dissipate, leaving you with the same dry lips you had before you applied it.

Keep your lipstick moist and colourful with the right balm. Start the day with a hydrating product, such as Payot Stick Hydro-Nutritives Lip Balm, under your lipstick for a better base and longer wear.


Shop Burt's Bees Hydrating Lip Balm

Are there any situations where my lip balm would be better applied over lipstick?

There are, but you still need to apply a balm beneath the lipstick before application. A heavy-duty matte or long-wear lipstick may dry out your lips over the course of a day, regardless of how you prep your lips.

You can apply a lighter gel-formula balm from a tube in small amounts to refresh your matte lipstick and prevent a dry, cracked look. Good examples of this type of lipstick-refreshing balm are:

These formulas are light enough not to disturb your lip colour, but hydrating enough to refresh its appearance with just a dab.

So to bring it all together: unless you're wearing a matte or long-wear lipstick, lip balm is best applied underneath as a solid base for all-day-fab colour. Have an amazing balm, but need a fabulous new lip shade? Check out our lip makeup selection for endless, amazing options.


Should Lip Balm Go Over or Under Lipstick?

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