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Lip Balm vs Lipstick: What’s the Difference?


Lip Balm vs Lipstick: What’s the Difference?

Posted by LiveGlam on Aug 26, 2020

For the makeup newbies of the world, this one’s for you! Let’s chat about lip products, as they can all seem to run together in a blur of pigment and texture. Two lip staples for any collection are lip balm and lipstick (many of which can be found in my bag at all times).

Let’s get right to it: lip balm vs lipstick: what’s the difference?


What is it?

Lipstick is one of the oldest forms of cosmetics recorded in history. This OG makeup favorite is used to add color to the lips. It comes in the traditional bullet form, more modern liquid lipstick, or even crayon pencils. Lipstick is often used to create a focal point, such as a bright red matte lip, or a shine-finish pink pout.

when to use lip balm instead of lipstick

Lip Balm

What is it?

Lip balm is a soft, emollient product designed to soften, hydrate, and protect the lips. It often comes in the form of a solid stick, or sometimes in a pot or jar. It protects the lips from sun and wind while keeping the skin hydrated and crack-free.

So, what’s the difference between lipstick and lip balm?

difference between lip balm and lipstick


Lipstick is used to add color to the lips, whether it’s an opaque orange or a sheer pink. However, lip balm is used to hydrate and moisturize the lips, or to protect them from the sun. Balm can also be used with lipstick, to create a hydrating base underneath matte formulas.

Color and Aesthetic

Lip balm is generally clear (colorless) or has a sheer wash of color. Lipstick, while it can also be sheer, has a more concentrated color payoff.

Lip balm is often created with hydrating oils and emollient fats and waxes. This provides a soft, velvety, almost wet-look to the lips. Balm is the perfect choice for a no-makeup makeup look or to balance out an extreme eye look.

Lipstick comes in all different finishes from flat matte to high shine or metallic. Lipstick can create a full-glam look with saturated color or a fresh, youthful look with a sheer wash.


While there are some super-cheap lipsticks out there, the best are often a little more expensive. However, lip balms are generally very cost-effective and can be picked up at the drugstore for a few bucks, without compromising on quality.

Which one is for me?

Both! A lip balm is an essential item for anyone, no matter their makeup addiction level. A sheer lip balm like our tinted lip balm in “Bare” is easy to slick on without a mirror and keeps your lips comfy all day long. For evening looks or to add a little color to your daily glam, pick a universal pink lipstick like the dreamy LiveGlam bullet lipstick in “Flutter”.

Shop Lip Balms

Shop Lipstick




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