The Vicious Cycle of Lipchap

Ah, October 21st.

This date may seem of no importance to the untrained calendrical eye other than the fact that in 1931 a woman named Vivian Pickles was born, but it marks the start of two very important annual happenings.

1) I purchase my inaugural* hot coffee thus transitioning out of its iced version and officially, reluctantly, bravely waving adieu to warmer days.

2) Lip season begins. And with it comes a vicious cycle.

I have applied mouth moisturizer maybe 100 times since I came in to work today, and before that I applied about 10 times from the moment I woke up. It may actually be physically impossible for my lips to ever reach the point of chapping because I am applying so consistently.

My preferred brand is Palmer’s Cocoa Butter. It’s in a big fat white tube that looks like I’m applying a glue stick instead of salve to my mouth. Because my lipchap is so large and assuming, my obsessive compulsive habit doesn’t exactly go unnoticed. If I could count the number of times someone asked, “Why are you putting glue on your lips,” then I would have a very long list of people I’d like to smack with a yoga mat. If I could count the number of times these same individuals have asked why I just applied glue for the thousandth time in a one hour span, then I would be Albert Einstein in my high-counting abilities.

But I can’t help it. The combination of autumnal chill and dry heat from old radiators makes me feel like Spongebob the first time he visited Sandy in her water-free bubble and started to shrivel up from dehydration. It’s completely in my head and yet — I am not afraid to tell you that if someone comes in for a forward-facing kiss his takeaway will most likely be, “Wow. Her lips were not only appropriately hydrated but I get the feeling that they are never not hydrated.” This person may also tell you that he detects the faintest hint of vanilla because that cocoa butter situation is delicious.

My kissing and compulsive habits aside, I’m well aware that I am not the only one who reapplies lipchap with manic vigor. Katy Perry sang about cherry ChapStick so I know that got locked into your subconscious somewhere, and despite the rumor that Carmex will make your lips more chapped, I have friends who worship at its medicinal alter.

What about you guys? What’s your weapon of choice in the fight against the self-manufactured chapped-lip phobia? Are you as insane about it as I am? Better? Worse? Is it confined to one season or are you a year-round lip balm-aholic?

Tell me! Then let’s play spin the bottle! But no tongue you perverts.

*Man Repeller Mandate states that I can use this word exactly as I did above because if Obama can be inaugurated twice, so too can my coffee.

— Amelia Diamond

  • Meredith Whitfield

    Holy f the new chapstick 8 hour hydration lock has displaced EVEN the miracle Jouer lippie in my rotation.

    • possibilitygirl

      Yes! It’s the greatest! I got it in my Birchbox and at first I was like, “um, what?” but it absolutely won me over.

      • Meredith Whitfield

        Same here. Loved it so much I bought a second one to stash in my desk.

  • Sara

    C.O. Bigelow matte mentha lip balm! There will never be enough on hand to fuel my addiction. However at almost $8/tube, maybe I’m better off switching to the cocoa butter stick.

  • Brie

    ChapStick in Classic Original. Erry day, all day.

    • Carrie

      Me too! I have to have it with me year round. Some people lost if they forget their cell phone, I feel lost without my chapstick.

  • Quinn

    Chapstick, to me, was the “gateway drug” to makeup. Chapstick is something that you actually need when you’re young, so your mother allows you to buy it. It made me feel mature to be applying something to my lips almost the same way my mom did. Then comes lip gloss and all of its magnificent flavours (thank you Lip Smacker)! From there you could only add more shine, colour, and lipgloss/lipstick, to this day, is the one beauty product that will always be found in my bag.

    • Audrey

      OMG you are totally right! Same thing with me!

  • Dee

    I’m strictly a balm-aholic in the fall/winter. Sometimes during the late summer I’ll apply Chapstick if I feel like the heat is too dry (I know I know dry heat isn’t something that is as real as unicorns in New York but still). I love Blistex but I had the taste/smell that it gives off so I usually use blistex during my commute and at the office or out and about I use that same glue stick size coca butter that you use.

  • Mariona

    I am as insane as you are or worse. I have around 50 lip chaps and i am not lying

  • Riley O’Donnell

    The real question is: how often do you truly finish a tube of ChapStick or said “glue stick” rather than losing it or buying a new one for the sake of necessity?

    • Kate Barnett

      so true. there’s such a huge sense of satisfaction when you actually do finish one.

  • Danielle

    I use the Burt’s Bees sun protecting lip balm. Smells like passion fruit. However, if I use too much it can be unattractive; too many layers of the whiteness of sun protectant. BTW, thanks for reminding me to put some on!

  • Bloomaglow

    I’m definitely an all year-round lip balm-aholic and I just keep switching. I guess I haven’t found the one, but for the most part Chapstick

  • Jenny

    Burt’s Bees all day. It’s minty fresh and I don’t need to apply it so often since it actually un-chaps my lips for a decent amount of time.

  • Vaseline. Yep. 🙂

  • hunter2117

    Blistex Lip Medex. there is nothing else better. i’ve got girls to make out with me because i used the same lip protectant.

  • Andrew

    In 3rd grade, my Dad took me to the doctor’s office because he was CONCERNED about my chapped lips. He thought they were too severe. I was so embarrassed, I vowed to never get chapped lips again. Now, I use Acure dark chocolate + mint lip balm, and I apply it like it’s my day job.

  • Be honest – how many of you put on some kind of lip balm about 2 paragraphs in?

    I sure as hell did.

    I’m a huge fan of the Fresh Rose lip balm because it’s a hint of color and doesn’t taste like anything. However, in dire situations I always have a Strawberry Chapstick in my purse. My mother taught me that one – even if it’s not your favorite, keep one in your purse. It does an amazing job with severely chapped lips, flyaway hairs, and I’m sure many other MacGuyver-worthy jams. Oh, and since it’s not my favorite, I never take it out to swap it with anything, so when my dumb ass forgets to put some lip balm in my bag, it’s a great backup!

  • Kate Barnett

    finally found the one: nanak’s almond

  • Ginny

    Dudes it’s Burt’s Bees. And it makes your lips stink funky so no one wants to kiss you. Pro not con.

  • MolyMoo

    I am ADDICTED to the Palmer’s Cocoa Butter swivel stick. I have one on my desk at work, in my bag and in the drawer of my bedside table. I literally don’t think I could live without it. I also use a bit of Aquaphor before bed at night.

  • Hannah

    At home I always use Vaseline, but for when I’m out and about I’ve started using Maybeline baby lips, the mint flavoured one, fresh and minty.

  • Tamara

    Burt’s bees and/or aquaphor. I like the aquaphor for running because I put it around my eyes. Cold dry wind is not good for 49 year old skin!

  • Amanda

    Fresh Sugar lip treatment in Plum. Can we say obsession?

  • Fernanda

    Chamomile Vaseline is the absolute best, and at night I mix it with some neosporin, you wake up to healed plump lips!

    • Annita

      Wait, this is embarrassing but can we talk about those overnight lip plumpers? Lipfusion XL was soo good but it was discontinued! Are there any other good ones?

  • Hereshoping Themayanswereright

    All year round for me. I even have to keep it next to me and apply while I’m getting acupuncture treatment.I love wholefoods brand peppermint balm – I have to buy a lot because my dog somehow steals them off my desk/vanity/nightstand, gets the cap off and scarfs down the balm. They must be pet safe because she’s never gotten sick from her thievery.

  • Wandering In Heels

    Omg! I’m so glad I’m not alone!! I apply lip gloss so often, it’s serious compulsive. If I get that dry lip feeling (come on ladies, you know what I’m talking about!), I can’t concentrate at all! I’ve tried an embarrassing number of balms and I’m still on the hunt for that “perfect” one. I must try this Palmer’s glue stick you speak of!

  • liv

    I’m a fellow lip-balm-aholic. My top three are: Fresh Sugar’s lip balm, Blistex Lip Medex and Nuxe Reve Miel lip balm. Nothing beats those three! So moisturizing and soothing!

  • Jackie

    It used to worship Rosebud Salve, but now its Marc Jacobs all da way!

    • Jackie

      **I !!!

  • Anya

    As a self-proclaimed lip balm-aholic, I can vouch for Nuxe Rêve de Miel. Got it in Paris over the summer and my lips have thanked me ever since. Also honorable mention to Lucas’s Pawpaw Ointment!

  • Amy Bevis-Smith

    Has to be the original minty Burt’s Bees, it’s the best and negates the need for constant reapplication!

  • Thomas Powers


  • liz

    I am loving the sweet mint flavor of EOS this Autumn. I will add, however, I think it is because Miley “uses” it in her “We Can’t Stop” video. Kudos to you product placement, I am your minion.

  • Stephanie McCurdy

    Nivea lip butter in Raspberry Rose’ Kiss. Feels great, smells delightful. And it’s a lovely pink color in its twee tin.

  • Sinéad


    For those girls who are on Roaccuate like me, this is a necessity. I remember one day I went to school and forgot to bring a tub of Blistex with me. My lips were bleeding by morning teatime.

    Never again. I now carry multiple tubs stashed in all of my bags, around my person, and in my car.

  • Catherine

    Obsessed. I have gone through tons of tubes in my time, and sworn that whatever I am using is the holy grail (carmex, blistex, dr hauschka, chapstick) and I will never stray. But the BEST EVER is By Terry Baume de Rose, which you need to take out a small mortgage to buy, but is smells delicious, moisturises like a dream and makes my lips just look better, somehow. (also, reading this article has made me freak slightly that I might have slacked on my lip-maintenance routine. it’s been AT LEAST 3 hours since I last reapplied).

  • Zoe

    the boyfriend is addicted to the medicated Blistex that comes in the little pots and applies it super thick in the winter. Not only does it smell incredibly herbal, it makes mouth-to-mouth contact unpleasant/impossible; but I have a similar cold-weather addiction to Burt’s Bees tinted lip balm so it all works out.

  • Lisa Williams

    What I loved about this post is that is what I called chapstick growing up: Lip Chap!!! LOL

  • Sarah

    Clarins Moisture Replenishing Lip Balm with Essential Rose Wax is brilliant at moisturising. A 15ml tube usually lasts me a year, because one application will keep my lips peel-free and ‘unchapp-able’ for several days. It’s also great for blending lip pencils to make glossy, nourishing lip stains.