An Honest Review Of The Ordinary’s First-Ever Lip Balm

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If you took a quick peek into any of my handbags, you’d find a collection of lip products. It’s my firm belief that almost any crusty-looking makeup can be revived with a quick slick of lipstick or gloss, which means I always have at least one lip balm, gloss, lipstick and liner on my person at any given time. 
You’d be forgiven for thinking this means I’m not picky, but as a beauty editor who gets sent many lip products, I’m actually extremely particular about the ones that are worthy of a place in my bag. So when The Ordinary asked if I’d like an exclusive sneak peek on its first-ever lip balm before it launches on July 2, it was an immediate ‘yes’. 
The Ordinary is a skincare brand that Refinery29 editors turn to for almost every skin woe. The brand’s reliably juicy hyaluronic acid serum is a firm favourite of ours, and we will happily repurchase the Retinal 0.2% Emulsion again and again. We’ve also been known to use The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution on everything from our dry heels to our flaking nails.
With that all in mind, it's fair to say that my expectations for The Ordinary’s first foray into lip care were quite high.

Why did The Ordinary choose squalane and amino acids as the hero ingredients in its first lip balm?

The Ordinary has always centred efficacious ingredients in its products, and that’s no different with the Squalane + Amino Acids Lip Balm. “The amino acid blend used in this formulation is skin identical, meaning they mimic the function of natural amino acids present within the skin to support long-lasting hydration,” Prudvi Kaka, Chief Scientific Officer at DECIEM tells Refinery29 Australia
He explains that amino acids are the main component of the skin’s “natural moisturising factor”, a collection of molecules that hold onto water within the skin, thus aiding with hydration. This works hand in hand with squalane, an oil-like emollient that helps reduce moisture loss and keep lips hydrated. 
“When you use a combination of lipid-like (oily), and water-loving ingredients, you are essentially mimicking the skin’s own barrier against moisture loss, which is made up of similar molecules,” explains Kaka. “This is the approach that we always like to take when it comes to our products formulated to seal in moisture (like our Natural Moisturizing Factors moisturisers), and this lip product is no different.”
He adds that these ingredients play well together when trying to reduce the look of dry lips instantly — and add softness over time with continued use.

How does the new Squalane + Amino Acids Lip Balm look and feel?

The first thing I noticed when I received the Squalane + Amino Acids Lip Balm was its unique teardrop-shaped packaging, which immediately separated it from many of the longer tubes floating around in my handbag. Though it does appear small and mighty, there’s 15g of product in the tube, which is in line with the others I own, which are generally around 10-15g.
As for the balm itself, it applies clear and feels lighter on the lip than many of the newer lip balms on the market right now, which tend towards a thicker consistency and high shine. The Ordinary’s lip balm is lightweight and has a true balm-like consistency that tends towards a slightly oily feel (but not so oily that you end up eating half of it off your lips within minutes). It has a satin-gloss finish on the lip and layers well over a lip liner, which is a non-negotiable for me. 
Immediately following application.
30 minutes following application.
Half an hour after application, I noticed that there wasn’t much product left on my lips, though it didn’t feel like it had rubbed off exactly, but rather, had soaked in. According to Kaka, this is by design. “When we were formulating this product, we were looking for a balm-like consistency that quickly melted on the lips, making them feel instantly smooth and hydrated without feeling heavy,” Kaka says. “Once applied, the balm offers a light, oil-like feel, and provides a slight sheen.”

Has the Squalane + Amino Acids Lip Balm earned a place in my handbag?

After two weeks of trialling The Ordinary’s Squalane + Amino Acids Lip Balm, I am pleased to report that it has earned a place in my arsenal, and sits on my desk in the office most days. Because it isn’t super glossy, I find that it’s a brilliant lip balm to have on hand for quick applications throughout the day. 
To Kaka’s point about the balm instantly smoothing the lips after application, I’ve also found that it plumps out fine lines caused by my lips being chronically dry. Though my lips aren't magically not dry anymore, they have vastly improved. This, coupled with the fact that the balm soaks in quickly also makes it great a much-appreciated step in my makeup routine. I apply a light layer as part of my skincare routine, so by the time I get around to applying lip liner as my final step, my lips are perfectly hydrated.
The Ordinary also promises that the lip balm is a "multi-use" product that can be applied to cuticles, elbows and any little dry patches you might have. As someone who finds cuticle oils messy and, well, oily, I have enjoyed smoothing a small dollop of the lip balm over my cuticles throughout the day, particularly with the onset of winter.

Where can I shop The Ordinary’s new Squalane + Amino Acids Lip Balm?

The Ordinary’s Squalane + Amino Acids Lip Balm is launching on July 2, and will be available at The Ordinary website for $16.30.
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