These Are The Most Sophisticated Lip Balms We’ve Ever Seen

The humble lip balm. It’s not the sexiest product in the beauty universe, but it’s certainly among the most ubiquitous. As of writing this, I have approximately five different ones in my makeup bag. Lip balm was the first beauty product many of us ever owned. My love affair with the stuff started with Cherry ChapStick, and then I graduated to Bonne Bell Lip Smackers. After that, I hoarded Stila’s Clear Color Lip Tint (RIP). Next was my introduction to ultra-fancy options like cult-favorite By Terry Baume de Rose, Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment, and the short-lived Prada Shielding Balm — the teeny one that came in the individually wrapped capsules. (Man, I wish it still existed.) My obsession continued with the launch of Maybelline Baby Lips (and all of its iterations), and has since taken me into drugstores around the world, hunting for new formulas, brands, and varieties to add to my (large) collection.
There are several things to love about lip balms: They’re generally pretty cheap. They often taste good. And they’re practical — great for reviving matte lips, adding softness, or as an overnight moisturizer. You probably wouldn’t use the word “sophisticated” to describe a lip balm — until now. Feast your eyes on these chic, Jell-O-like babies from Chosungah22, a new Korean beauty brand that recently hit Sephora stores. Though the range is called Flavorful Lipstick, that’s a misnomer. The only thing these products share in common with lipstick is their shape. These three lippies are crystal-clear, and at first glance, their appearance may make you think the formula is glossy, not balmy. But that, too, is incorrect. These are hydrating products, through and through, made with emollients and oils. That they're as sheer as they are (in texture and payoff) also adds to their appeal, especially for those who find balms too greasy or waxy, or don't want to use anything truly tinted.
And the taste? A lot of balms go big on the flavor, often veering into junk-food territory — frosting, cupcake, chocolate, bubble gum, even bacon (yes, bacon) — which can be kind of a turnoff. Especially if you are a grown lady. Chosungah22's balms are on the mild side of the flavor spectrum — guava, chai, and peach tea — and all equally subtle and inoffensive. To recap, what you have here are super-cute lip balms that taste lovely, work effectively, and feel fancy to use. And what I have are three more additions to my makeup bag.

Flavorful Lipstick, $18, available at Sephora.

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