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When the latest addition in a woman’s purse is a lip balm or gloss, you know winter has truly arrived. And with so many brands vying for attention and making fancy promises of lip-repair, healing and even sun protection, we decided to give each of them a try to test their claims.

Lotus Herbals’ Lip Care offers a range of lip balms in attractive flavours like Fresh Mint, Fruity Fusion, Orange, Vanilla, Cherry, Velvety Rose and Cocoa. Priced between Rs. 125 and Rs. 135, these lip balms promise to “rehydrate, heal and protect the lips, leaving them soft and supple.” Active ingredients like shea butter and kokum butter make you feel all the more pampered, and the SPF 15 tag is meant to allay all fears of sun damage to your lips (if you’ve ever had any).Lotus Herbals Cherry Lip Therapy

I tried out the Cherry lip balm and despite (or perhaps because of) all the claims, I was left quite disappointed. You can definitely see and smell ‘cherry’ when you apply it, but the balm is surprisingly chalky. It left an uneven creaminess on my lips and although it did soften the skin, the overall thick feeling was completely unacceptable, especially for the price.

Nivea’sdermatologically approved”, latest Repair & Beauty Lip Care Stick claims to repair chapped lips, relieve dryness and discomfort immediately. It also features an active ingredient called Dexapanthenol which sounds serious enough to actually work.

And it does. But if there is one thing to fault, it is the strong and instant tingling feeling I got on my lips following application. Devoid of fancy flavours, this Nivea product – priced steeply at Rs. 149 – seems to quite heavily bank on two things – its global branding for years and its claim of instant and even lip moisturizing. I bought into the former but am still unsure about the latter.

Then there’s Vaseline Lip Care Rosy Glow. Sure it gives a glossy, rose-pink hint on the lips but the clincher comes within a few seconds of application – the overwhelming, distinctly spicy feeling that irritates the lips! Modestly priced at Rs. 70, this product seems aimed at college girls who get value-for-money from a lip balm that doubles up as gloss. It didn’t find a fan in me though.

Among all these products, I give my vote to Vaseline Lip Therapy Aloe Vera. It is smooth, soothing, with a hint of aloe vera and did everything perfectly to instantly moisturize, heal and offer a protective blanket for my lips. Available for Rs. 100 at all leading chemists, beauty and drug stores, this no-frills lip balm delivers true on its primary purpose.

Having tried out all these products the past week, I feel obliged to ask – why spend Rs. 100+ on 4gm of a product when you can simply use homemade butter to keep those lips nourished?

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