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Viral Lip Balms Are Having a Moment: Are These Lip Balms Worth the Hype?

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Viral Lip Balms Are Having a Moment: Are These Lip Balms Worth the Hype?

What if I told you that right now, you can purchase a lip balm that provides shine and color like a gloss and gives your lips the surge of moisture they need? 

Well, dreams do come true, and these lip gloss/balm hybrids are now having a moment. But are these viral lip balms worth the hype?

The year is 2023, and you’ve been perfectly content with your normal Aquaphor or Carmex lip balm for the last few decades. You don’t think there’s a need to break something if it isn’t broken. 

Besides, Aquaphor does the trick and deeply moisturizes your lips, unlike any other lip balm you’ve tried. For the days you want a little extra shine, you instead pop on your fave lip gloss, and you’re fully aware it won’t really give your lips any moisture.

Your fave lipgloss is strictly for aesthetics—two products for two different vibes, giving you two different results. If you’re crafty, you might layer them to get the maximum hydration and shine. 

Viral, Okay. But Worth the Hype? Here is My Criteria

lip balm

I took the liberty of purchasing the five most viral lip balms to see if they were worth the hype. Upon purchasing, some of the criteria needed for me to bite the bullet were that these new lipgloss/balms must:

  1. Hydrate my lips and leave them pillowy, soft
  2. Be long-lasting in color and shine
  3. Be made with safe & quality ingredients
  4. Be long-wearing to avoid reapplying every hour
  5. Make my lips look fuller and more plush, minimizing the line in my lips

The Five Lip Balms Everyone Is Talking About

After researching whether the most popular ones claimed to meet my criteria, I narrowed my purchase down to five new lip balms from five different brands.

I even threw in a lip oil for a bit of razzle-dazzle. To round out my list, I had been stalking the Rhode Skin Peptide Lip Tints, but they’ve been sold out for months, which tells me a lot.

Hopefully, I can grab one of those soon, but for now and for the sake of this review, I was able to get four of my five, and here’s what I got: 

  1. Makeup by Mario MoistureGlow Plumping Lip Serum
  2. Laneige Glowy Lip Balm
  3. Summer Fridays Lip Butter Balm
  4. E.L.F. Cosmetics Glow Reviver Tinted Lip Oil

Bottom Line Upfront: Which Lip Balm is Worth It?

lip balm

Out of all four, hands down, my favorite one is the Summer Fridays Lip Butter Balm. I purchased it in the shade “Vanilla Beige,” and it’s the most gorgeous, creamy, beige nude color.

The name perfectly depicts how it feels on my lips, like butter yet balm-y. I got so many compliments when wearing it, and my husband kept mentioning how soft my lips felt whenever I wore it. I love that for me. *wink* Later in the article, I’ll explain why this was the only hit on the list. 

Let’s take a look at these best lip balm selections (at least the ones getting the most love on TikTok these days)! 

Makeup by Mario MoistureGlow Plumping Lip Serum

makeup by mario moistureglow plumping lip serum

My first reaction when I saw the color swatches of this product was, “Wow! The shades are so gorgeous, and there’s so many!” This lip serum comes in 14 shades.

There are seven creamy shades and seven shimmery shades. It was pretty hard to choose a shade because I felt like all of them would compliment my skin very well. So I decided to go for the one closest to my natural lip tone and purchased the shade “Blush Glow,” one of the creamy shades.

The lip serum felt creamy and smooth upon first application, and the color was not too much. I also immediately noticed a tingly feeling that caught me slightly off guard.

Honestly, I didn’t realize this product was a lip-plumping balm, so it wasn’t a feeling I was expecting. It left my lips feeling cool and tingly for most of the wear, and I didn’t love that. I prefer plumping effects only to last briefly and then calm down. 

I can’t say I noticed much of a difference in the fullness of my lips after it was on for a while. I don’t think this makes or breaks the product in general because other qualities make this a worthy purchase. However, if there’s a claim for plumping, it should be more noticeable. 

I also liked how long wearing it was for a lip treatment. It lasted about 3 hours before I needed to reapply. Most lip balms don’t last that long, so its longevity felt like a win.

The applicator is similar to a lipstick bullet. It has a really cool twist-up feature that allows you to click up to the amount you want to use. I loved that it was petite and could fit into my smallest bag. 

Overall, this is a decent lip balm. Would I purchase it again? No, not for the price point. It left my lips slightly hydrated, and I loved the subtle hint of color. It wasn’t too shiny and wasn’t sticky, but my least favorite thing about it was the plumping effect.

I didn’t feel it was necessary, but I understand why Mario made it this way. This feature makes it stand out compared to other lip balm/gloss hybrids, as most don’t offer plumping at all. For me, though, this makes the lip balm feel medicated, and I want to feel as though nothing is on my lips. 

Laneige Lip Glowy Balm

laneige lip glowy balm

If you’ve heard of the infamous Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask, you probably didn’t even realize the brand had created an everyday lip balm.

Now, I absolutely love their Lip Sleeping Mask. I use it for my evening skincare routine, and it gives a very nice and comforting feeling to my lips while I’m sleeping. I have also used it during the day before I knew they had a balm. So when I heard about the Lip Glowy Balm, I knew I needed to try it. 

The Laneige Lip Glow Balm in the shade ‘Berry’ is what I purchased. It came in a holiday set from Sephora, paired with a Lip Sleeping Mask in the scent peppermint. I was a bit apprehensive about the shade because I expected it to be a bit more of a darker berry tone.

However, to my surprise, it was a very pretty soft pink tone. It was more of a pale raspberry color, making my lips look slightly flushed. The texture reminded me quite a bit of the Lip Sleeping Mask, but this was a bit glossier, packing way more shine than the mask. 

It comes in 4 color tints: Gummy bear (lavender tint), Berry (pink tint), Peach (orange tint), and Grapefruit (coral tint). They are extremely sheer, though, so I wish there was more color.

Compared to other tinted lip balms, they could increase the pigment, and it would still look nice and not come across like a gloss. It wore for a very long time. I got about 3.5 hours out of this before I needed to reapply it. 

The scent was very sweet and reminded me of a berry-flavored bubblegum. I didn’t love the smell personally, which felt like a drawback because it lasted a while while wearing it. However, this should be a good thing if you’re into scented lip products. 

I felt for the price point because I got it in a set; this was a great bargain. I only spent $22 and got the full-size lip balm and sleeping mask. After wearing it, my lips felt nourished and hydrated. When I wore it, my lip was cracked in the corner from being so dry, and this made it feel so much better.

However, I wouldn’t purchase this again. The only reason is that it’s similar to the lip sleeping mask. It is just tinted and a bit glossier. If you get it in a set, consider it a bonus product.

The color isn’t very noticeable but may appear on fair skin. I think the packaging is more logical and convenient than the lip sleeping mask, which is difficult to tote around. It’s comfortable on the lip but less impressive than the lip sleeping mask. 

Summer Fridays Lip Butter Balm

summer fridays lip-butter balm

Summer Fridays is a newer brand started by influencers Marianna Hewitt and Lauren Ireland. Now, I know what you’re thinking. A brand created by an influencer can’t possibly be good; they only want to capitalize on a trillion-dollar industry.

But this one is different. Summer Fridays initially launched with one product, their Jet Lag Mask. When I say I was obsessed with this mask, I was obsessed. I’ve also tried other products by them and they were so good, so I had a really great feeling about this lip balm. 

It comes in 7 shades. I purchased the shade Vanilla Beige, and exactly how the shade sounds is exactly how it looks. It’s the perfect beige-y nude. It feels like butter on my lips and truly feels like a lip balm/gloss hybrid. I was initially skeptical when I saw that it was going viral.

But I was pleasantly surprised by how great this was. Out of all the ones I purchased, this one provided the most product, 0.5 ounces. Priced at $24, this is definitely a splurge, but it’s worth it to me because of how much you get and how effective it is. 

The scent is naturally scented, which I love because I tend to dislike artificial fragrances. It’s very subtle, not too overpowering, and lightly flavored. I love the shea butter base in this, paired with a butter I hadn’t heard of before: murumuru butter.

Murumuru butter is known for healing cracked, severely dry skin, minor skin injuries, and burns. It also is known for treating eczema and psoriasis. 

These ingredients make it a great addition to a lip balm, especially in the cold months when lips tend to be super dry. Compared to the others I mentioned, this one left my lips feeling not just hydrated but kissable. My husband kept complimenting my lips with this one.

For me, that makes it hands down the winner out of my chosen selections. It also lasted the longest out of all the others I tried, a whopping 4 hours. 

As a skincare brand, Summer Fridays has consistently made effective, quality products focusing on skin health and radiance. I’m a fan of the brand and how well-thought-out it is. This lip butter balm meets all my criteria, and I encourage anyone to try it.

E.L.F. Glow Reviver Lip Oil

Admittedly, this product really doesn’t “fit” with the rest of my purchases. But it went viral while I was shopping for the others. So, I decided to give it a whirl. I was excited to try this because the price point is fair for a lip oil.

I got this from Ulta for $8.00, making this the most affordable product I purchased. I hoped this product could serve as a dupe for other costly lip oils and possibly be a solution for those who don’t want a gloss or balm. 

Lip oils usually contain several quality oils, such as avocado, coconut, or jojoba. So they’re made to focus on hydration and, most times, come with a tint of color.

This one contains avocado, pomegranate, apricot, and jojoba oils. It also has squalane, an ingredient that’s known for being anti-inflammatory and hydrating. Lastly, it comes in 7 shades that feel inclusive and can work for various skin tones. 

Now, let’s talk about why I was disappointed with this product. For starters, this is a lipgloss. At least, that’s what it felt like on my lips. It was heavy like lipgloss and not light like lip oil. It had superb shine, which wasn’t an issue.

Still, even with all of those standout ingredients, my lips actually felt drier after I wore it. This is something that people complain about after wearing lipgloss all day because lipglosses tend only to provide shine and not moisture. 

It caused my lips to peel badly, and they were so dry they felt like I hadn’t worn anything on them in days. Not only is it basically lipgloss, but it reminds me of the $0.99 store lipglosses that I wore as a kid.

It wasn’t sticky, but it was heavy and thick. The only positive thing I have to say about this product is that the color was nice but still not as pigmented as it could have been. I purchased the shade Pink Quartz. 

If you’re looking for a new lip oil, I would steer clear of this one. Yes, it’s affordable and can be purchased just about anywhere E.L.F. cosmetics is sold. But the fact that it works in the opposite manner that it should is a huge fail. 

The Lip Balm Alternatives from the Glamour n Glow Testing Team We Love

As we’ve seen, not every viral lip product is worth the hype! Remember, beauty influencers often work with these brands to keep the love going, but we know better, right Glamour n Glowers! 

That’s why we love dupes so much. I often love the dupe MORE than the actual, high-end product. 

But, our makeup testers here have tried so many lip balms, but what are some of our top picks? 

Sugar Bloom Fresh SPF Lip Balm

Lip balms have come a long way, but let’s be honest: just moisturizing ain’t gonna cut it anymore. Say goodbye to lackluster lip care and welcome the transformative hydration of Sugar Bloom’s SPF 15 lip balm. It’s not just your average balm; it’s a lip treatment powerhouse.

Prepare to be amazed as your lips are whisked away on a journey to unparalleled softness, smoothness, and deep hydration. This lip moisturizer means business, leaving your pout irresistibly supple and revitalized. But that’s not all – it also rocks a fabulous pink hue that’ll have heads turning in envy.

You won’t find any wimpy results here. This lip balm is a go-getter, providing long-lasting moisture that won’t let you down. With safe and natural ingredients like sugar, nourishing oils, beeswax, and a dynamic duo of vitamins E and C, your lips deserve nothing less than this transformative TLC.

The days of settling for ordinary lip balms are over. Step up your lip game with Sugar Bloom and experience the next level of lip hydration. Prepare to be wowed by the lip balm that pulls out all the stops. Your lips will thank you – and so will everyone else who can’t help but admire your gorgeously revitalized pout.

Elf Hydrating Core Lip Shine

elf hydrating core lip shine

The elf Hydrating Core Lip Shine in Delightful is not technically a lip balm, but it’s definitely one of our favorite Black Honey Dupes, which is another popular viral lip trend.

As a big fan of elf, I can confidently say that their products are not only budget-friendly but also deliver great results. I’ve personally tried their makeup line and have recently started exploring their skincare range as well.

While the Hydrating Core Lip Shine leans more towards being a lip shine than a lipstick, its affordable price tag of $7 is hard to beat! Similar to Clinique’s Black Honey , this product deeply hydrates your lips, thanks to the inclusion of nourishing Vitamin E. Applying the Lip Shine feels like giving your lips a healthy treat.

The elf Hydrating Core Lip Shine features a clever 2-in-1 design, with an outer shell providing a hint of color and an inner heart-shaped core packed with skincare benefits. It’s a fantastic combination that ensures your lips not only look good but also receive nourishment.

It’s important to note that the color payoff of this lip shine may be more subtle compared to traditional lipsticks. Additionally, some users have mentioned a slightly sticky texture, which might not be ideal for those who prefer a non-sticky feel.

Whish Lip Balm

Whish Lip Balm

Whish lip balm is one of our top picks for a reason – it’s a true powerhouse when it comes to nurturing your lips. While it may not be a tinted lip balm, it’s guaranteed to give you that coveted glossy finish, bringing out a stunning shine for your lips to glow. This is exactly what makes it a perfect fit for the hottest viral lip balm trends.

Formulated with a potent plant extract, it goes above and beyond in delivering exceptional skincare benefits. Say goodbye to dry, chapped lips as this moisturizing marvel works its magic, leaving your pout looking and feeling smoother than ever.

Whether you’re battling winter winds or simply seeking some extra hydration, Whish lip balm has got you covered.

My Final Thoughts On These Viral Lip Balms

Out of all the products mentioned above, Summer Fridays Lip Butter Balm takes the cake. If I had to recommend a comparable runner-up to it, it would be the Laneige Glowy Lip Balm.

They compare in size, feel, longevity, and effectiveness. Summer Fridays has seven shades & Makeup by Mario’s has seven creamy and seven shimmery shades.

If you’re looking for a plumping product, you should try the Makeup by Mario one, even though I didn’t see a difference. Please keep in mind that my lips are naturally a bit fuller, so this could be why I didn’t see much change. 

So, are these viral and hyped-up hybrid lip balms worth their hype and price? No. The only one worth hunting down is the Summer Fridays Lip Butter Balm. As mentioned earlier, I am still waiting to try Hailey Bieber’s Peptide Lip Treatment by her skincare brand, Rhode.

It also is trendy and has been sold out for weeks. Once I get my hands on it, I will give you my thoughts and update this article. 

When reviewing products that take the internet by storm, I always intend to navigate all the noise and publicity and get to the truth. Obviously, everything isn’t going to work for everybody, and that’s okay. A few of these I could make work, but sometimes you want that go-to item that’s fail-proof and that you can’t get enough of. 

So, I hope this helped you discover a new product to treat yourself or a loved one to and realize that a lot of times, the masses can be right, and they can also be misguided. But hey! It never hurts to try! That’s why we’re here!

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