SKIN CARE: LIP BALM SMACKDOWN

Dermatologists say Vaseline and Chapstick work just as well as designer lip balms, but TIP decided to see for ourselves and test drive top brands on our lips. The results? Higher price doesn't always equal better lip service.

MURAD Soothing Lip Therapy.
Pro: As goopy and rich as Kiehl's popular Lip Balm #1 but less chalky.
Con: It has a medicine taste. And wouldn't you rather spend that money at the movies?
Rating: 4 lips.
$11, sephora.com

SMITH'S Rosebud Salve.
Pro: Like Vaseline, only better tasting and comes in a charming vintage tin.
Con: NOt as rich as the Murad. Also, the sweet taste makes you want to lick it off your lips.
Rating: 3.5 lips.
$6, amazon.com

BENEFIT Lipscription
Pro: This two-step scrub plus balm deflakes and softens so you can wear mattee lipstick.
Con: Too labor intensive. We can think of better ways to put our lips to use.
Rating: 3 lips.
$28, sephora.com

BURT'S BEES Lip Balm
Pro: PETA types love this mentholated, all natural balm that's not tested on animals.
Con: It's too think and waxy. Also who wants a cool sensation when it's already 5 below?
Rating: 2.5 lips.
$2.50, burtsbees.com

LA MER
Pro: This sea-colored balm to the stars has the best flavor: sweet and mildly minty.
Con: Rubs off too quickly. At this price, it should come with a butler to reapply for you.
Rating: two lips.
$45 at neimanmarcus.com.

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